Sollitt: A Family Company Since 1838


A family of Master Builders since 1650

Cathedral Builders at York England 1689- 1830

Renovation work halted 1830 after arson

John Sollitt - Mason 1689 1689 1689
Thomas Sollitt - Mason 1732 1732 12
John Sollitt - Mstr Carpenter 1773 York 40
James Sollitt - Mstr Stone Mason 1806 York 24

John Sollitt

John Sollitt born 1813 moves to North America after York Minster fire. John Settled for a year in Hamilton, Canada & in 1838 began building in Chicago.

1838-1840: Worked for Azel Peck
1840-1845: Updike, Peck & Sollitt
1846-1850: Updike & Sollitt
1851-1870: Sollitt & Sons

  • Brothers Thomas and William follow in 1836 and 1838
  • William goes to California in 1849-1856 rejoins company in 1857
  • 1875 – Sollitt Boys Ralph, Thomas & Sumner take over the company as Sollitt Brothers

Sollitt becomes Builder of Choice in Chicago

Sollitt Brothers begin the Reconstruction of the City

October 8, 1871 Chicago Fire
100,000 left homeless 3.3 square
miles burned 68% of structures

1875 the next generation of Sollitt boys, Ralph
Thomas and Sumner take over the company and
Reinvent it as Sollitt Brothers Construction

Sumner Sollitt named AGC President 1927

As Sons grow into manhood Ralph and Sumner split the company in 1913 into Ralph Sollitt & Sons
Construction Company and
Sumner Sollitt & Sons
Construction Company

WWI finds Sollitt a vibrant leader in constructing Fireproof
Buildings and Manufacturing Plants
Here at Fort Sheridan they built 86 buildings in 9 days

Post War Client List Grows

  • Pullman
  • Armor
  • Fields
  • McCormick
  • Studebaker
  • Bendix

Brothers open new office in South Bend Indiana to service Studebaker and other new industrial Clients

Here Come The Irish

  • In South Bend Sollitt was able to survive and thrive during the depression
  • Built 13 buildings on Notre Dame Campus all fueled by Football revenues
  • Expanded its base into the South doing USPS
  • Expanded into Power Generation on Tennessee Valley Authority power plants
  • Followed Steel producers into Gary Indiana
  • Followed Automobile producers outside of Indiana

Ralph Sollitt and Sons Construction splits again 1933

  • George Sollitt keeps all the clients in Chicago
  • Ralph Sollitt gets the rest of the country and Notre Dame.

Sollitt Goes to War Again

  • Major munitions factories in Arkansas and Oklahoma
  • Ship building facilities on the Ohio River and in Benicia, California
  • Steel Production Facilities in Ohio, and Indiana
  • More powerplants on Ohio River and Mississippi River

George Sollitt Post War Expansion

Post War Expansion of Sumner Sollitt Construction in Chicago

Sollitt Construction Company Post War in rest of country

1967 New generation of Sollitt family expands into new markets

Legacy Companies

George Sollitt 60 years at O’Hare Airport

“People are what made Sollitt Construction a great company”

Ralph Sollitt 1978

Succession Plans and Economic Downturns End Two of Three Sollitt Companies

George Sollitt Construction Company

#42 ENR Top Midwest