Over the last century, Clark has transformed from a local road excavator into one of the nation’s leading construction companies.
Paving the Way
Clark’s history in heavy civil construction dates back to the founding of our company — known as the George Hyman Construction Company — in 1906. Our foray into building began years later, when company founder George Hyman realized that there was more work to be had in the industry; buildings were being built in the holes he dug. Soon thereafter, he set his sights on expanding his business to include vertical construction. Joining forces with another local contractor, George Hyman signed his first contract to build Wheatly Junior High School in Washington, D.C., in 1923. The rest is history.
Hyman took on larger contracts in the years that followed. With help from his nephew, Benjamin Rome, who joined the company in 1927, he guided the company through ups and downs in the construction market during the roaring 1920s and the Great Depression. Eventually the company would benefit from the booming demand for military construction projects during World War II.
In 1950, A. James Clark, a young engineering graduate from the University of Maryland, joined the organization. Clark helped lead the company’s efforts on the University of Maryland's Chemistry Building, American Red Cross Headquarters, and other signature projects. He quickly ascended the ranks from field engineer to estimator to company executive. Following Mr. Hyman’s death in 1959, Mr. Rome took the helm of the George Hyman Construction Company and named Mr. Clark Vice President and General Manager. The two men’s strengths complemented one another and the business flourished.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Clark assumed the role of President and CEO. Under his leadership, the company expanded its client service offerings to include foundations, concrete, interiors, and preconstruction. In the years that followed, the company would experience a number of watershed moments, including the award of one of the largest projects in Washington, D.C. history — L’Enfant Plaza.
Expanding Our Reach
In 1977, Mr. Clark formed OMNI Construction to pursue non-union projects in Washington, D.C. The company also began to build projects outside of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, including Atlanta, New York, Florida and California. Following the success of projects like the Reagan State Office Building in Los Angeles and the CenTrust Towers in Miami, permanent offices were established in Florida and California, and later in Chicago, and Texas.
Enhancing Our Services
In the 1990s, Clark bolstered its heavy civil capabilities by acquiring Shirley Contracting Company and Guy F. Atkinson Construction. In 1995, the company became Clark Construction Group when OMNI Construction and Hyman Construction merged. A new era began.
In the following decades, the company continued its upward trajectory as it expanded its employee base, services, and geographic reach. Clark's portfolio grew, too, to include massive ballparks and convention centers, sophisticated hospitals, and monumental projects like national museums, and even a space launch facility.
Remaining True to Who We Are
Now over a century later, Clark is presented with challenges and opportunities that could not have been imagined in our early history. Our construction methods, technology, and training continue to evolve to meet these challenges.
Our current projects are a far cry from those George Hyman built years ago. On the surface, the differences between the company of the early 1900s and the Clark of today are vast. But despite the evolution we've experienced since our humble beginnings, our story continues to be one of trust, relationships, innovation, and a supreme dedication to quality work, client service, and to our communities. The reason that Clark is here today — and stronger than ever — is because our core principles have not changed, and will not change. Adhering to these principles is as essential to our success in our second century of business as it was in 1906.