Our History

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An American Dream Story.

The Oltmans story begins in 1886 with the birth of Joseph Overwin Oltmans, born Tjark Overwin Oltmann, in Northwest Germany. After the passing of Oltmans’ father, to give her children a better chance in life, Oltmans’ mother brought the family to America when Joseph was three months old, settling in Central Illinois. 46 years later, as the Great Depression came to an end, he would create a small, humble business that extended into the 21st Century, growing to over 500 employees, overseen by three generations of the Oltmans family. The company would become one of the largest commercial and industrial contractors is Southern California.  Read More

OUR HISTORY

1910
J.O. Oltmans

J.O. Oltmans

J.O. Oltmans, founder of Oltmans Construction Co., graduates from Stanford University in 1910 with a degree in engineering. Oltmans lands his first civil engineering job with Stone and Webster working on the White River hydroelectric project in Sumner, Washington.

1912
J.O. Oltmans Early Career Working In California

J.O. Oltmans Early Career Working In California

In 1912, J.O. Oltmans transfers to Big Creek, California in the high Sierras to work on hydroelectric development for the Pacific Light and Power Co. of Los Angeles. Horseback is his only means of transportation. He became chief engineer and supervised several large construction projects between 1919-1924. He is elected to the American Society of Civil Engineers as an associate member, becoming a life member in 1956.

1930
Oltmans - History - 1930

The Beginning of Oltmans Construction Co.

In 1931 Oltmans decides to venture out for himself. He establishes the firm of J.O. Oltmans, General Contractor, hiring as his first employee Dennis Roy [1932], who becomes his right-hand man. Oltmans comes into official being in 1932 with a total construction volume of $26,000. Five years later [1938], the first office opens on East 18th Street, Los Angeles, CA with construction contracts grossing over $100,000.

Oltmans survives the Depression, operating in cubby holes of other firms’ offices to keep overhead at a minimum. Work was very scarce, but Oltmans built a sterling reputation that brought him much business after the Depression.

 

1932

A Partnership Begins, D.J. Roy Sr.

1932 – D.J. Roy Sr., Oltmans future Vice President, joins the firm and an official partnership is formed. He manages and supervises the field operations. Above are a few photos from his early years working in Los Angeles on projects like St. Vincent Church.

1936

A Family Business – O.H. “Bud” Oltmans

In 1936 Oltmans brings into the business his son, “Bud”, who later becomes President and then Chairman of the Board. Daughter Helen also works for the company as a Designer. Oltmans’ business really takes off at the start of World War II. His clients include General Motors, Pacific Electric Railroad Co., Los Angeles Union Terminal Co., Southern Pacific Gas Co., and many others.

 

1940

Oltmans Pioneers Concrete Tilt-Up Construction

1940 — Oltmans is the first to pioneer concrete tilt-up construction in Southern California. Our advancement in this field sets us apart from other commercial general contractors.

1946 — Due to the desire to include D.J. Roy as a partner, it was decided to form a corporation. The company is incorporated in 1946 by its founder, J.O. Oltmans. CA License #86393

1949 — Photos of Oltmans’ field employees.

 

1950

OLTMANS TOPS THE $1M MARK IN CONSTRUCTION VOLUME & ROBERT M. HOLMES JOINS OLTMANS CONSTRUCTION

The 1950’s brings major growth for Oltmans Construction Co. The company tops the $1 million dollar mark by building projects like BF Goodrich, Thrifty Stores, and Goodyear. The company moves to the new 516 South Monterey Pass Road building and O.H. Oltmans implements the Employee Profit Sharing Plan. Robert M. Holmes begins his Oltmans career in 1950 as a Project Manager. His 19 years of dedication leads him to be Oltman’s third President and General Manager.

1964

The Third Generation of Oltmans

The Oltmans general contracting business is growing fast and total construction volume reaches $10 million. In 1964, J.O. Oltmans II, the son of O.H. Oltmans, joins the firm; making him the third generation of Oltmans to work at the company. He is named President in 1982 and CEO/Chairman of the Board in 2003.

1970
1970’s – Building up

1970’s – Building up

The Oltmans built Security Pacific Bank Tower Project in Westwood, CA is the winner of the “Building of the Decade Award,” by Western Los Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

1975
Oltmans - History - 1975

John Gormly

John Gormly joins Oltmans in 1975 as an Estimator-Trainee. 28 years later he earns the title of President.

1980

1980’s – Oltmans opens Thousand Oaks Office and celebrates its 10,000th Job in the Southland!

Oltmans celebrates its 10,000th Job in the Southland! – Queen of the Valley Medical Arts Building, a $12-million, 4-story medical office building in West Covina.

1982

J.O. Oltmans II Becomes President

J.O. Oltmans II becomes President and Robert M. Holmes takes over the position of Chairman of the Board.

1985
1990

1990’s – Oltmans Launches the Special Projects Division

1990 — Oltmans launches its Special Projects Division bringing our general contracting skills and project management expertise to the unique challenges of interior/exterior improvements, renovations and seismic retrofits. Today, the Special Projects Division accounts for 25% of our annual revenue.

1997 — Oltmans Board of Directors Group Photo (From Top Left): Robert Larson, John Gormly, Dan Schlothan, Basil Johnson, Antonio Perez, Robert Holmes, and J.O. Oltmans II

1999 — Oltmans ranks #194 of ENR’s Top 225 International Contractors and ranks #45 on LABJ’s Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of LA’s 100 Largest Private Companies.

2000

2000’s – Oltmans starts the Solar Division.

2000 — Oltmans launches the solar division and is considered one of the largest solar providers in Southern California. In this year, the company also completes the notable California Speedway project in Fontana, CA.

2001 — Oltmans makes ENR’s Top 400 Contractors at #138.

2003
2011
2012
2013
2014

Oltmans Launches the Strategic Markets Group

Oltmans Construction launches the Strategic Markets Group, which specializes in healthcare and education construction.

2018

Oltmans business booms with sales reaching $750M

Oltmans Construction Co. was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The company makes #70, with a revenue jump of 68% from 2015 through 2017. The company also completes its largest project to date, the Goodman Eastvale Commerce Center (Amazon) project.

2019

J.O. Oltmans II Retires

Joseph O. Oltmans II becomes Chairman Emeritus, John Gormly takes over as CEO and Chairman of the Board, and Charles Roy is promoted to President.

Oltmans Construction Co. is ranked at #137 on the ENR Top 400 List for 2019.