December 15, 2022,

Woodward Celebrates 100 Years of Building History

New Orleans-based construction company reaches its centennial milestone in January 2023.

Woodward Design+Build, whose construction portfolio shaped much of the New Orleans skyline, will celebrate its 100th year in business on January 2, 2023. Founded by architect Carl Ellsworth Woodward in 1923, Woodward is a design-build firm delivering turnkey commercial construction services across the Gulf Coast.

In its early days, the company provided mostly residential architecture and construction services in and around the uptown New Orleans area. Following his notable service in World War II, Mr. Woodward returned to New Orleans and reopened the business, Carl E. Woodward, Inc., with a focus on commercial and light industrial construction.

In 1955, with the arrival of key leaders including the firm’s next President & CEO, Armand ‘Ace’ LeGardeur, Construction Manager John McCaskell, and Architect Larry Case, the firm generated substantial momentum by providing innovative, budget-conscious design, construction, and pre-engineered metal building solutions to local businesses such as Coca-Cola, K&B, and the Benson Motor Company.

Paul Flower, the firm’s current CEO, joined Woodward in 1970 as a structural engineer. According to his peers, Paul exhibited great forethought and creative problem-solving along with his trademark work ethic and attention to detail. His knowledge and responsibilities grew quickly within the company. Over time, he became Woodward’s third chief executive and company owner. Under his direction, Woodward expanded service to Texas and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The company also furthered its vertical integration with the addition of real estate development and self-performing divisions of millwork, structural steel erection, and sheet metal fabrication.

While Woodward’s offerings expanded, the firm’s original mission held steadfast: to provide integrated design-build solutions that meet the owner’s schedule and budget. Over the past two decades, the company continued to service many light industrial and manufacturing clients such as Laitram, Elmer’s, and Airgas, while also providing elegant design solutions and building services to office, auto-dealership, education, hospitality, and multi-family clients.

As Woodward enters its 100th year, a new generation of leaders maintain the firm’s current services while also eagerly incorporating emerging technologies that support effective, efficient practices. Ken Flower joined the firm in 2001 and currently serves as President. Through his leadership, Woodward has taken great steps toward sustainability, technology, diversity, and lean construction practices. The company remains dedicated to executing innovative, streamlined building practices, centered on excellent service to its esteemed trade partners and clients.

From humble beginnings in 1923 as a three-person shop, to now providing jobs to nearly 200 employees, Woodward enters its centennial celebration with respect for its founding leaders, appreciation for its trusted clients, and gratitude for each of its employees, past and present, who remain Woodward’s source of success and positive impact in the Gulf Coast region.