The C. O. Barton Planner

Legacy of Leadership

Did you know the average concrete laborer was paid $0.60 an hour and the average concrete foreman made $1.20 an hour in the late 1930s? Or in the 1920s the estimated construction cost to build the core and shell of a building for Park Chemical Company was around $2 per square foot?

Carl Osborn Barton, affectionately called C.O., was a founding partner of what eventually became Barton Malow. His leather-bound notebook is a treasured piece of Barton Malow memorabilia, and through his detailed notes and drawings, we get a look back at the early days of the construction industry.

He was meticulous and detailed, tracking information such as project estimates, material rates, wage rates, average durations to complete tasks as well as narratives of building specifications that would have been used for responding to request for proposals (RFPs). Every facet of construction was covered with specifications, including concrete, steel, painting, lumber, millwork, glass and glazing, excavating and more.

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