Harbour Contractors was founded by Red Harbour in 1959, and it has been in his family ever since.
Born in 1911 in Elmhurst, IL, Red first planted the seeds for a career in construction in 1943 when he enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. As a member of the 1879th Engineering Aviation Battalion, Red traveled to New Guinea and the Philippines to build airstrips and repair highways, railroad bridges, and other local infrastructure.
After returning to the United States and retiring from the service, Red managed and ran the construction of the Chicago area’s Tri-State Tollway (I-90/I-294), the first toll highways in the Chicago Area. During this project Red met Paul Butler, owner of Butler Paper, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.
In May of 1959, Red and Paul formed I.C. Harbour Construction Company. In its early years, the company participated in such notable projects as the Chicago Skyway and the Dan Ryan bridges over the Chicago River.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Red and Paul teamed up to build most of the buildings in Oak Brook, including the Drake Oak Brook Hotel and Butler National Golf Club. It was during this time that Red’s sons, all five of them, became involved in the company. The brothers expanded the company’s service area to most of the Midwest and eventually bought out the Butler family, changing the company’s name to Harbour Contractors, Inc.
Since that time, Harbour has made its mark across the region and the industry, heading up the construction of projects like the AT&T Center, Lincoln Center and 311 Wacker Drive in Chicago, distribution centers for Sears, Michelin Tire, and Wrigley, and, perhaps most notably, the International Terminal Five at O’Hare Airport.
Harbour is proud of its deep roots and works daily to uphold Red’s legacy. With its eye on the future, Harbour continues to innovate and grow, owing its continued success to nearly 60 years of experience in construction.