Family & History

  1. 1844

    September 21, 1844 – William Gilbane Born

    William Gilbane - Son of Thomas and Bridget Gilbane, natives of County Leitrim - Born September 21, 1844
  2. 1844 - 1870

    The History of Gilbane

    Gilbane is one of the largest privately, held family-owned construction and real estate development firms in the industry. This timeline provides a brief overview of the Gilbane family history and Gilbane's evolution from a carpentry business to a global firm.
  3. 1845

    From Ireland To The USA

    Thomas Gilbane, his wife and young son William immigrated to America in 1845 from County Leitrim in Ireland at the height of the Great Irish Famine (also known as the Irish Potato Famine).
  4. 1854

    New arrival: Thomas Francis Gilbane Born November 5, 1854

    Thomas Francis Gilbane born - November 5, 1854 - Son of Thomas and Bridget Gilbane and brother to William.
  5. 1870

    William Gilbane Founds Carpentry Firm

    In 1870, William went into business for himself as a carpenter and a builder.
  6. 1870 - 1908: The Founding Years

    1870 – 1882 William Gilbane Contractor and Builder

    William was driven by the belief that hard work, attention to quality craftsmanship and basic honesty would carry him through the recession (1870-1879). These basic principles formed the cornerstone that Gilbane's reputation is built upon.
  7. 1871

    Thomas Gilbane Apprentices With Brother

    Thomas Gilbane entered upon an apprenticeship with his brother William Gilbane to learn the carpenters' trade.
  8. 1875

    William Henry Gilbane Born October 21, 1875

  9. 1883 - 1907

    1883 – 1907 William Gilbane and Brother

    In 1883, the brothers formalized their partnership by establishing "William Gilbane and Brother." William Gilbane and Brother worked dusk to dawn, six days a week. They built homes so well the owners boasted (and still do) "Built by Gilbane" at resale.
  10. 1894 - 1895

    1894 – 1895 Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History, Providence, RI

    Built between 1894-1895, the building was opened in 1896 and is still in operation today. Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is within Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island.
  11. 1896

    Holy Name Church cornerstone laid Providence, RI

    Built between 1896 and 1900, by William Gilbane and Bro., the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus was built in the romanesque style.
  12. 1897

    Like Tinder…

    On April 23, 1897, a large kerosene lamp exploded in the shop of Gilbane Brothers on Centre Street. The entire building was engulfed in flames. A small amount of lumber stored across the street was all that remained. Losses exceeded the insured amount. Thankfully the company's books were locked in a fireproof safe and were not destroyed in the fire. This tragedy did not stop the brothers and their company. The company went straight back to work to ensure that their customers were not affected.
  13. 1900

    Brown University Providence, RI

    In 1900, the Gilbanes were contracted to build a colonial revival brick and marble house for Brown President, William Faunce on the corner of Hope and Manning Streets. This was the beginning of Gilbane's long-standing relationship with Brown University.
  14. 1902

    Central Fire Station Providence, RI

    In 1902, the company won a major contract to build Providence's new Central Fire Station, the largest public project at the time.
  15. 1908

    Gilbane Building Company Incorporated Providence, RI

    In 1908, Gilbane Building Company was officially incorporated. In the Providence Board of Trade Journal under building and Architectural Notes: Gilbane Building Company has been incorporated in Providence for purpose of engaging in the business of building, general contract work and manufacturing in wood and other materials, buying and selling land, houses, lumber, hardware, and other merchandise. Capital stock is $60,000. Incorporators are William Gilbane, Thomas F Gilbane, and William H Gilbane.
  16. 1908

    William James Gilbane Born, Nov 22, 1908

  17. 1909 - 1938: The Loyal Years

    1909 – 1938: The Loyal Years

    Three laborers were digging a ditch. "What are you doing?" asked a passerby. "Digging," said one. "Earning five dollars," said another. "Building a cathedral," said the third. The Gilbane employee would be the one "building a cathedral," said Thomas F. Gilbane commenting on his favorite story.
  18. 1909

    Second Generation Takes the Lead

    William H. Gilbane, son of William Gilbane became the second company president when his father retired in 1909. William ran the company through a poor economy. Loyalty and dedication became deep-rooted values. 90 Calverly St. Providence, RI becomes company headquarters.
  19. 1911

    Thomas Freeman Gilbane Born, Nov 4, 1911

  20. 1939

    Third Generation Take the Lead

    William J. Gilbane and Thomas F. Gilbane take over as President and Vice President.
  21. 1940

    1940 – 1959: The Progressive Years

  22. 1943

    Gilbane awarded Army-Navy “E”

    Awarded for "...outstanding performance in wartime construction - and for preserving the unbeatable American spirit which can only be satisfied by achieving today what yesterday seemed impossible." Under-Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal
  23. 1946

    GM Assembly Plant, Framingham, MA

    Following the sucess of the Navy work, Gilbane secured a national client in General Motors. In 1946, Gilbane built GM's new assembly plant in Framingham, MA worth $12 million. It was the largest industrial plant in New England at the time. This was Gilbane's first significant out-of-state project and marked a major milestone in the company's development. The relationship with GM grew and in 1957, Gilbane was awarded the Fisher Body Plant project in Mansfield, OH.
  24. 1946

    BT Equipment Formed

    Up until this time, equipment for very large jobs had to be subleased. On the General Motors job in Massachusetts, the excavation subcontractor suddenly went out of business and Gilbane was left stranded. "Without hesitation, we jumped in and arranged to buy the equipment we needed," said Bill Gilbane, Sr. BT Equipment Company became a tremendous asset to the business. BT referring to Bill and Tom Gilbane.
  25. 1947

    Precast concrete

    In 1947, under the guidance of Paul Choquette, Sr. (Tom and Bill’s sister, Virginia’s husband) Gilbane developed a system of pouring concrete year round under canvas tents. This precast method was first utilized by Gilbane in the construction of eight dormitory buildings at the University of Connecticut.
  26. 1952

    “The Big Squeeze” North Grafton, MA

    Gilbane wins contract to build the world's largest closed die forging press for Wyman-Gordan Co.
  27. 1960 – 1984: The Expansion Years

    1960 – 1984: The Expansion Years

    "It was my father's philosophy that it didn't matter if a man ate steak or left behind a little or a lot of money. What really mattered was to leave behind a good reputation." - Robert V. Gilbane
  28. 1964

    New York World’s Fair

    The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair hailed itself as a "universal and international" exposition. Gilbane built the iconic egg-shaped IBM Corporation pavilion for the Fair. Gilbane also built the India Pavilion, the Hawaii Pavilion and the New England States Pavilion.
  29. 1970

    1970 – 1979 Real Estate Development Arm Created

    Under the leadership of Robert V. Gilbane in the 1970’s, a real estate development company known as, Gilbane Properties was founded. This subsidiary of Gilbane Building Company worked on projects such as joint ventures and affordable housing developments. Some of the earlier projects included: Fleet Center -Providence, LaSalle Square (AT&T, now Hasbro) -Providence and Arsenal Marketplace and Apartments –Watertown, MA
  30. 1976

    Miller Brewing Company

    Gilbane worked on eleven Miller Brewing Company projects spanning an eight-year period, totaling $1.3B and 8,000,000-SF, including a $10M barrel brewery with warehouse and packaging facility.
  31. 1976

    Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

    It was critical that the museum be ready for the nation's bicentennial celebration on July 1, 1976. At a time when government projects were seldom completed as planned, this project was completed on time and under budget. The end result is a stunning piece of history that we can all be proud of.
  32. 1978

    New Corporate Headquarters Providence, RI

    In 1978, Gilbane broke ground on its new corporate headquarters in Providence, RI. The design was planned to reflect the strong, forward-looking corporate image. On March 7, 1980, the brick four-story building opened its doors
  33. 1980

    XIII Winter Olympics Facilities, Lake Placid, NY

    The ice arena -- home of the lengendary "Miracle on Ice" game -- was a huge triumph for Gilbane. The inflexible deadline and strict budget imposed by the Olympic Committee presented great challenges.
  34. 1981

    Cleveland Clinic

    Gilbane built the Cleveland Clinic building, a 617,800 SF, 13-story freestanding ambulatory care facility that marked the start of numerous projects with the Clinic.
  35. 1982

    Gilbane Development Company redeveloped the nation’s second oldest military arsenal located in Watertown, Massachusetts

    Arsenal Apartments and Marketplace into a mixed-use residential, retail and business community. The site, now registered on the ASCE’s List of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks and the US National Register of Historic Places, housed buildings designed by renowned architect Alexander Parris, later designer of Quincy Market. For forty years, Gilbane Development Company has owned and continues to manage the 156-unit community, Arsenal Apartments.

  36. 1982

    Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Washington DC

    Work on site began March 16, 1982, five days after the design and plans received final Federal approval, and broke ground on March 26, 1982. The completed Vietnam Veterans Memorial was accepted by the President of the United States on November 10, 1984. Etched into the marble walls are the names of the nation’s 58,000 dead and missing of the Vietnam conflict.
  37. 1985 – 2000: The Quality Years

    1985 – 2000: The Quality Years

  38. 1986

    Fourth Generation Takes the Lead

  39. 1987

    Delivering complex project with precision for BNY Mellon in Pittsburg, PA

    Gilbane developed and built a 14-story, 765,000 SF facility to house 2,000 employees in the heart of Pittsburgh’s central business district. GDC worked with Mellon to analyze four potential locations then provided a thorough evaluation of the chosen site’s overall development costs, including telecommunications and utility infrastructure, relocation expenses, construction/FF&E costs, and design fees.

  40. 1996

    Gilbane Development Company completes Loudoun County Government Center in LEESBURG, VA

    In one of our first P3 GDC developed a state-of-the-art, 158,000 SF, five-story county government center with 418-car garage keeping with the architecture of the neighboring historical district.

  41. 1998

    Genetech Inc. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Campus

    This project included a biopharmaceutical manufacturing building, a laboratory/ office facility, warehouse, and support buildings on a 100-acre greenfield site.
  42. 1998

    Gilbane, Inc. is formed

    Gilbane Inc. was formed with Gilbane Building Company and what is now known today as Gilbane Development Company as its subsidiaries.
  43. 1999

    National World War II Memorial, Washington DC

    The Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to those who served during World War II and is located at the east end of the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
  44. 2000

    Gilbane partnered with the Houston Independent School District in Houston, TX

    GDC and GBC partnered with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to develop a creative, cost-conscious plan to provide schools that would accommodate the area’s surging student population, which included 5,000 new students annually.

  45. 2001 – 2009: The Growth Years

    2001 – 2009: The Growth Years

  46. 2001

    Narragansett Bay Commission CSO Tunnel Providence, RI

    A 30-foot diameter, 690-ton hard-rock tunnel boring machine was used for the excavation through rock formations for the tunnel’s main spine along with various other excavation support techniques. The project also included constructing a 50-million-gallon-per-day pump station within a gymnasium-sized cavern carved out in rock 30-stories below ground; a state-of-the-art computer control system; and seven near-surface facilities that include structures for diverting overflows into 250-foot deep drop shafts.
  47. 2004

    Thomas F. Gilbane Jr. Named Chairman and CEO

    In 2004, Thomas F. Gilbane Jr. is named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilbane Building Company
  48. 2007

    Robert V. Gilbane named Chairman and Founder of Gilbane Development Company

    Robert V. Gilbane
  49. 2008

    Gilbane Development wins national award for Eastern State Hospital Project

    Gilbane Development Company and The Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) and received the NCPPP’s Innovation Award for their unique collaboration in delivering the new Hancock Geriatric Treatment Center at Eastern State Hospital, which opened its doors to 150 patients last spring, under Virginia’s Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA).

  50. 2009

    Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, Innovation and Technical Center, Beloit, WI

    The new state-of-the-art Innovation and Technical Center boasts customer application suites, research and development labs, culinary facilities, sensory services and a vast commercialization center dedicated to customer production commercialization.
  51. 2010 – 2020: ‘One Company’

    2010 – 2020: ‘One Company’

  52. 2010

    Gilbane Acquires Florida-based W.G. Mills, Inc.

    Gilbane acquires W.G. Mills, Inc., a construction management firm with operations based in Florida. The acquisition dramatically strengthens Gilbane’s position in Florida’s growing market and complements its already established presence in the southeast.
  53. 2010

    Gilbane Development Company is Recognized with a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Leadership in Housing Award

    Gilbane Development Company announces it has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2010 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award.

  54. 2010

    Gilbane Acquires Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI)

    Gilbane Building Company announced the acquisition of Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI). Bringing ITSI into Gilbane broadened the firm’s capabilities with the U.S. Government, especially the Department of Defense, around the world.
  55. 2011

    Fort Belvoir Community Hospital opens, Fort Belvoir, VA

  56. 2012

    Gilbane Development Company begins redevelopment of the 1200 Block of W. Marshall Street: Another New Residential Option in the Virginia Commonwealth University Area

    Transformed a vacant industrial site into a vibrant, mixed-use environment where several others before Gilbane had been unsuccessful in redevelopment. Project also restored the 1920s-era Hajoca Building, plus two wings of new construction to provide 136-unit, 406-bed community designed for Virginia Commonwealth University students.

  57. 2012

    Georgia Tech Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory Team, Atlanta, GA

    Named Builders of the Year Project: This highly modern building features 1,400 solar cells (including several hundred that act as cladding on the south facing side of the building) that make the building 87 percent energy self-sufficient. This team used integrated design to create a state-of-the-art design/build facility that strives to meet 2030 goals of carbon neutrality. Tenants include the Georgia Tech Strategic Energy Institute and other energy research teams. Perhaps the most remarkable part of the building is that there is no air-conditioning in the laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia. Using natural ventilation even in 100+ plus degree heat --- there is so much air that goes through the building – up to 10 air changes a minute in the high bay lab that it stays cool.
  58. 2014

    Gilbane Building Company names Michael E. McKelvy President and Chief Operating Officer

    In June 2014, Michael McKelvy has joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer. He became CEO in 2016.
  59. 2014

    GSA U.S. Diplomacy Center Pavilion

    The project comprised of approximately 22,375 square feet space adjacent to State Department’s old War Department Building along 21st Street, NW, in Washington, DC.
  60. 2014

    Ed Broderick named President of Gilbane Development Company

    Gilbane Development Company announces the promotion of Edward Broderick to President of Gilbane Development Company effective January 2014

  61. 2015

    A Huge Achievement in Texas

    The largest project in Gilbane’s history, the ExxonMobil campus in Houston reaches completion. The complex covers 385-acres and is home to 10,000 workers. It features 14 office buildings, three parking garages, state-of-art central utility plant and several other buildings. The project achieved 17 million hours worked without a lost-time incident.
  62. 2015

    Gilbane Federal Completed the Five-Story Afghan Ministry of Defense (MOD) Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan

  63. 2015

    College Town receives 2015 BOMA Rochester Recognition Award

    Gilbane Development Company and Fairmount Properties announced that the College Town Rochester, NY project was awarded by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Rochester a 2015 BOMA Rochester Recognition Award in the category of New Construction.

  64. 2015

    Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, Innovation and Technical Center, Ireland

  65. 2016

    118 Fulton Street

    Creating New Icon in Manhattan's Skyline, read more here.
  66. 2016

    257 Thayer Project Awarded Student Housing Business Innovator Award for “Best New Development” and Receives Leed® Silver Certification

    Gilbane Development Company’s thoughtful design and sustainable development resulted in 257 Thayer receiving a LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) as well as winning the Student Housing Business Innovator Award for “Best New Development under 300 beds”, presented last week at the InterFace Student Housing Awards in Austin, Texas

  67. 2016

    Global Honors from ENR

    The Afghanistan Ministry of Defense in Kabul and the Kerry Foods Global Technology and innovation Centre in Naas, Ireland are named winners of ENR’s Best Projects Awards. The Ministry of Defense won the military category and the Kerry Centre won for Manufacturing.
  68. 2016

    Los Angeles Office Opens

    Gilbane established its Los Angeles region, formally entering that urban marketplace.
  69. 2016

    Paid Family Leave

    Gilbane launched our construction industry-first family leave benefit, offering employees four weeks of Paid Family Leave that can be used in a single block of time or intermittently.
  70. 2016

    2011-2016 ACE Mentor Program

    Gilbane CEO Tom Gilbane, Jr., served as ACE Mentor Program of America’s national chairman.
  71. 2017

    Constellation Brands

    Gilbane completed the world’s largest brewery, the Constellation Brands facility in Nava, Mexico.
  72. 2017


    Gilbane Inc. completed a $10-million renovation of its Providence headquarters
  73. 2017

    Lucky 13 for Gilbane University

    Gilbane is named to Training Magazine’s Top 125 list at #39. It is the 13th time Gilbane has been earned a place on this prestigious list.
  74. 2017

    Gilbane Development Company earned the 2017 Multifamily Executive Award Awards, Affordable (100%), Merit for The Grove at Parkside

  75. 2018

    $5 Billion Mark

    Gilbane exceeded $5B in annual revenue.
  76. 2018

    Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

    Gilbane created Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support inclusion, diversity, and belonging at the company. Each employee-led group has a mission and targeted demographic, but any employee can join any group as an ally.
  77. 2018

    Japan Office

    Gilbane’s Japan office celebrated its 15-year anniversary.
  78. 2019

    Nathan Deal Judicial Center

    The Gilbane-built Nathan Deal Judicial Center in Atlanta, GA opened to the public with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and Georgia native, Clarence Thomas attending the ribbon cutting.
  79. 2019

    Norton Museum of Art

    Gilbane finished construction on the award winning Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  80. 2019

    Gilbane Development Company named Top 50 Developer of Affordable Housing

  81. 2020


    Gilbane started work on the HARIBO of America production facility in Pleasant Prairie, WI.
  82. 2020

    Gilbane Celebrates 150 Years

    Gilbane kicks off its celebration of 150 years in business by thanking our Gilbane family of employees, clients, and partners. Please enjoy this short video as we raise Gilbane's beam to the future.
  83. 2020


    Gilbane completes work on the Edge, the highest observation deck in Western Hemisphere, including its restaurant, interactive exhibit space, and event hall.
  84. 2020

    40th Anniversary of Lake Placid

    Gilbane returns to work on Lake Placid Olympic Center. Forty years after historic "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey victory, Gilbane partners with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority to modernize their facilities.
  85. 2021

    Gilbane Development Project, The Peninsula, Wins the 2021 Community Open Space Big Apple Brownfield Award

    Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies, MHANY Management, Inc., WXY Architecture + Urban Design and Body Lawson Associates, Schnapf LLC, and Roux Environmental Engineering and Geology, P.P.C. redeveloped a former juvenile detention center into The Peninsula in HuntsPoint neighborhood of the Bronx, NY.

  86. 2021

    Gilbane Development Company named Top 10 Student Housing Developer by Student Housing Business Magazine

  87. 2022

    Thomas M. Laird, Jr. named President and CEO, Gilbane Building Company

    Gilbane Building Company announced Thomas M. Laird, Jr. named President and CEO, Gilbane Building Company.
  88. 2022

    Gilbane Development Company partners with Amazon and its Amazon Housing Equity Fund

    Gilbane’s Atworth included in Amazon’s $2 billion commitment to building affordable, Transit Oriented Development along Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)‘s College Park transit station

  89. 2022

    Gilbane Building Company Makes Strong, Early Progress towards Five-Year $4 Billion MWBE+ Commitment

  90. 2022

    Gilbane | Turner in Association with 34 Group Selected to Build New Stadium for the Buffalo Bills

  91. 2023

    Gilbane’s Tempo and ‘EMU Welcome Home 2025 Plan’ Student Housing Projects Honored with Innovator Awards

    Gilbane’s Tempo student housing community in College Park, Maryland was awarded ‘Best Use of Green & Sustainable Construction & Development’ and the Gilbane-led Eastern Michigan University Welcome Home 2025 Plan for quality, affordable on-campus housing was awarded ‘Best Public/Private Financing Solution’ at last week’s 2023 Student Housing Business Innovator Award ceremony and conference in Austin, Texas.

  92. 2023

    Gilbane Development Company named Top 10 Most Active Student Housing Developer by Student Housing Business

  93. 2023

    Gilbane Building Company Names 18-Year Company Veteran Adam R. Jelen as Next Chief Executive Officer