In 1916, Langford Clinton Whitford “Ford” founded The L.C. Whitford Company (LCW) in Allegany County to provide residential and commercial construction services to the communities of Western New York. Over one hundred years and four generations later, this family-operated company remains committed to offering quality construction of buildings, bridges, and highways, while continually expanding and exploring new markets and opportunities.
During Ford’s presidency, LCW erected many important buildings throughout Western New York, including the Allegany County Courthouse. He eventually moved away from residential construction, but continued to build commercial and institutional buildings. Ford died in 1937, and he passed the thriving company on to his son, Langford Rodman “Rod” Whitford.
Under Rod’s leadership, LCW continued to expand. Over the next few decades, the firm constructed buildings at the Alfred University Campus, and erected several schools throughout the Southern Tier. In order to supply materials to his company, Rod opened ready-mix concrete plants in Wellsville and Alfred in 1950; these later formed the foundation of The L.C. Whitford Materials Company. Upon Rod’s death in 1969, Langford Chandler “Chan” Whitford took over the company.
Chan’s tenure as president was a time of great changes for the company. In 1972, the company began to shift its primary focus from buildings to bridges, due in part to the high demand for bridges in the aftermath of 1972’s Hurricane Agnes. Bridge construction and rehabilitation remains the specialty of LCW today, though the company continues to work on highways and buildings. Major building projects from Chan’s era include a 200,000 square-foot manufacturing facility for Bush Industries in Jamestown, a 95,000 square-foot Tracewell Electronics plant in Cuba, and the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, NY.
In order to make the company more self-sufficient, Chan founded The L.C. Whitford Materials Company in 1987. In addition to the ready-mix concrete plants that his father had built, Chan added facilities for manufacturing pre-stressed concrete and other pre-cast components, as well as for rebar fabrication and asphalt production. These facilities provide materials, not only for L.C. Whitford’s projects, but also for other companies throughout New York and Pennsylvania. Since its inception, the company has sold more pre-cast beams for NYS Department of Transportation projects than any other manufacturer.
LCW entered the development market in 1994, when the company purchased land in Wellsville alongside the Genesee River. They then built the Riverwalk Plaza, which has since become a successful commercial venture, providing venues for such businesses as K-Mart and Tops Supermarkets in Allegany County.
In 1995, LCW began to expand further south, creating a second division in Atlanta, GA during the 1996 Summer Olympics. This division, which focuses primarily on bridge construction and rehabilitation, is constantly providing new opportunities for the company.
Chan created The L.C. Whitford Equipment Company in 1997, which sells and rents forestry and construction equipment throughout New York and Pennsylvania. By 2006, the company was covering all of New York State for Morbark Industrial Equipment, in addition to carrying several other lines.
January 2006, Chan’s eldest son, Langford Bradley “Brad” Whitford was made President of the company. Under Brad’s leadership, the company’s 100-plus years of success continues. LCW’s New York Division performs dozens of heavy/highway projects in New York and Pennsylvania and power plant projects throughout the northeast annually. LCW’s Atlanta Division is expanding its market and performing heavy/highway projects in the southeastern states. Newer endeavors, such as railroad work and waterproofing and containment, have taken LCW to all states east of the Mississippi River. LCW is consistently recognized as one of the largest construction companies in Western New York, with the highest number of employees and the lowest percentage of subcontracted work (about 10%). The firm has been included in Business First’s list of the Top Private Companies in Western New York for many years.
The firm’s current office is on North Main Street in Wellsville, NY, across the street from the David A. Howe Public Library. This library, built by LCW in 1935, is considered one of the most beautiful and recognizable architectural landmarks in the Southern Tier, a testament to the quality of work that The L.C. Whitford Company strives to achieve in each of its endeavors.