Commercial Building Products July/August 2015 - (Page 6)
Epstein helped realize I.M. Pei's original design
intent with the renovation and expansion of the
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
Photo: David Sundberg/Esto
West Side Story
From humble beginnings on the west side of Chicago,
a small structural-engineering firm grew into a worldwide
company with full-service AEC capabilities.
today, was by no means an international firm
of the A. Epstein and Sons name being known throughout the world
when it was founded in 1921 by recent Univ. of
as an expert in the design of food-processing facilities.
Illinois graduate and Russian immigrant Abraham Epstein. Work-
In 1980, the firm made its international presence official by
ing out of a small office at 2011 Pershing Road on the west side
changing its name to A. Epstein and Sons International Inc. A signif-
of Chicago, A. Epstein-Structural Engineer, as the company was
icant percentage of its business was being conducted internationally,
first called, provided engineering solutions for a modest mix of
primarily in Europe and Israel.
Epstein and Sons International Inc., as it is known
industrial and commercial clients throughout Chicago.
The 1990s saw a dramatic rise in high-profile corporate interiors
Ninety-three years later, the employee-owned firm is still
projects as well as exhibition/convention centers. Epstein also created
headquartered in Chicago with offices in New York, Warsaw,
striking interior spaces for many Fortune 500 clients.
Bucharest, Vancouver, and Veracruz. Epstein's capabilities range
Major aviation projects, massive mixed-use developments, and the
from architecture, interior design, and full-service engineering-
world's largest pork-processing facility were among Epstein's achieve-
including civil, MEP, and structural-to a variety of construction
ments in 2000, but perhaps the most significant event was the trans-
services. The company was one of the pioneers of the design-
formation of Epstein from a senior-management-owned firm into a
build delivery method and specializes in this project delivery
method. Epstein can also provide clients with a variety of strategic
consulting and sustainability services, including logistics, LEED/
BREEAM consulting, energy modeling, and owners' services.
Over the years, Epstein built a portfolio that includes projects
Epstein provided design-build services for an $18-million, 40,000-sq.-ft. yogurt processing facility for Alpina
Foods LLC in Batavia, NY. The front entry features a
modern design that is welcoming to visitors and employees. Photo: Mark Ballogg/Ballogg Photography
as diverse as iconic high-rise office buildings to intricate and com-
100% employee-owned firm.
More recently, Epstein's New York office completed the Jacob K.
Javits Convention Center renovation and expansion, as well as the
design of a cutting-edge conference center in Libreville, Gabon.
Epstein's new vision/mission statements, unveiled in 2014, mention goals of improving the world and enhancing communities, but
plex industrial processing facilities to intensive transportation infrastructure assignments.
employees took those goals to heart before that, founding the Epstein Community Foun-
This success was not assured, however. Epstein faced bleak economic times during the
dation (ECF) in 2008 as a charity devoted to helping communities in need. ECF has been
depression in the 1930s but "miraculously thrived through incredible sacrifice, hard work,
involved in numerous charitable partnerships/collaborations with organizations such
dedication, and a dash of good fortune."
as Rebuilding Together, Open Books, and Chicago Public Schools, as well as a current
The firm's subsequent history closely parallels the country's economic growth. World
alliance with Iniciativas de Paz, a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit organization devoted to
War II brought with it a major push in industrial development, and Epstein's engineering
improving the quality of life, education, and opportunity in developing countries in Latin
talents made the firm a major player in new manufacturing projects. Similarly, in the
America and the Caribbean.
1950s, what was then known as A. Epstein and Sons Inc. caught the high-rise residential
Through this alliance with Iniciativas de Paz, the ECF is currently designing a com-
and commercial boom, pioneering a new project-delivery method known as design-build.
munity center in Haiti that will include a nutritional program to provide meals for 75 to
The socially turbulent '60s were smooth and prosperous years. The firm expanded,
150 local school children and an alternative education center which aims to offer therapy
opening offices domestically (New York) and internationally (Tel Aviv and Paris). The
sessions to special needs children, as well as health and literacy classes for mothers and
decade also saw Epstein's first partnership with a world-renowned architect, Mies van der
Rohe, on Chicago's Federal Center.
Like buildings, AEC firms must change and grow if they are to survive. Ninety-three
The following decade witnessed continued expansion internationally with the opening
of offices in London and Warsaw, Poland. The Warsaw office came about as a direct result
years ago, when Abraham Epstein signed his first client, few likely imagined what the
fledgling structural-engineering firm would become. CBP
A . Epstein and Sons International Inc. F A C T S
Founded July 25, 1921
by Abraham Epstein
COMMERCI A L BUIL DING P RODUC T S
Chicago; New York;
Bucharest, Romania; Warsaw,
Poland; Veracruz, Mexico;
Architecture, Civil Engineering,
Construction, Design-Build, Interior
Design, MEP/FP Engineering,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Building Products July/August 2015
Table of Contents I
Table of Contents II
Helping Buildings Evolve Gracefully
Fan-Coil Integral In Hotel Renovation
Reclaimed Water System Scores Touchdown
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Renovation Conserves Industrial Legacy
Windows & Doors Products
Nuts To Poor Insulation
Youth Theatre An Engineering Challenge
Building Technology Products
Relamping Brightens Gyms, Cuts Costs
Lighting & Electrical Products
Commercial Building Products July/August 2015