Who is Red Harbour?
Red Harbour is the founder of Harbour Contractors. He was born in 1911 in the Chicagoland suburbs of Elmhurst. The seeds for his lifelong successful career in construction were first planted in 1943 when he enlisted in the Army Corps. of Engineers during World War II. As an active member of the 1879th Engineering Aviation Battalion, Red was required to relocate to New Guinea and the Philippines where he was then tasked with building airstrips, repairing highways, railroad bridges, and other local infrastructure.
Building the First Toll Highways in Chicago
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, the owner of Butler Paper, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.
Later 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.
Building Oak Brook, IL to O’Hare International Airport
In the 1960s and 1970s, Red and Paul teamed up to build most of the buildings in Oak Brook, Illinois, including the Drake Oak Brook Hotel and Butler National Golf Club. It was during this time that Red’s five sons 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, One Lincoln Centre, and 311 South Wacker Drive in Chicago, distribution centers for Sears, Michelin Tire, and Wrigley, and, perhaps most notably, the International Terminal Five at O’Hare Airport.
Red’s Legacy and Our Promise to Stay Grounded with Integrity
We are proud of our company’s deep roots and work daily to uphold Red’s legacy with integrity and honor. With our eyes on the future, we continue to innovate and grow, owing our success of 63+ years in the construction field to the strong foundation of integrity and honor that Red instilled in our company.