OSBORN ENGINEERING CO. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
OSBORN ENGINEERING CO., Cleveland's oldest engineering firm, was founded on 1 July 1892 by Frank C. Osborn, formerly chief engineer for Cleveland's King Bridge Co. Osborn's diversified company offered a wide range of civil and structural engineering services, including the design, plans, estimates, and construction supervision for roofs, buildings, bridges, railways, and highways. These diverse services enabled Osborn to survive the economic depression of the 1890s and positioned the firm to take advantage of expanding infrastructure requirements in the 20th century. Incorporated on 16 May 1900 as the Osborn Engineering Co., the firm built a national reputation as a stadium designer during its first 4 decades. When selected as project engineer for CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM in 1928, Osborn already had designed more than 75 sports facilities, including New York's Yankee Stadium, Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Comiskey Park, and sports facilities for numerous colleges and universities, including Purdue, Notre Dame, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Among the other Cleveland landmarks engineered by the firm were the UNION CLUB OF CLEVELAND, Cleveland Public Hall and Music Hall, the MAIN AVE. BRIDGE, and GRAYS ARMORY. More recently, Osborn did the structural and foundation engineering for JACOBS FIELD and the CLEVELAND BROWNS STADIUM.
Osborn, seeking to expand its service market in the 1950s, secured contracts from U.S. firms to design factories in South Africa, France, Saudi Arabia, and South America. The company grew from a structural consultant to a full-service architectural engineering firm as business remained strong throughout the 1960s. In 1987 the company had revenues of about $5 million. One of its major projects in the late 1980s was the design and engineering of a new Power Systems Facility for the NASA JOHN H. GLENN RESEARCH CENTER AT LEWIS FIELD. By 2004, Osborn Architects-Engineers maintained offices at 1300 E. 9th St. in Cleveland and at 441 Wolf Ledges Rd. in Akron.