Our History – Since 1928
90 years ago, Norwegian-born Fred N. Severud hung a nameplate on the door of his new engineering firm. The year was 1928 and the firm was Fred N. Severud Consulting Engineer.
When Fred Severud started as an engineer in New York, many of his projects involved performing investigations on the masonry and brick facades of buildings around the City, which were old and often in poor condition. Severud’s skill at devising structural solutions for damaged masonry was quickly recognized and soon owners, architects, and other clients were selecting him as their structural engineer for increasingly significant projects.
The name of the firm eventually changed to Severud-Elstad-Krueger and the partnership became known for its bold and ingenious structural designs. About two decades later, Alfred Perrone, Werner Sturm, and Hannskarl Bandel joined the firm as partners and the company name changed again, to Severud-Perrone-Sturm-Bandel. In 1978, the firm became Severud-Szegezdy. Since 1984, the firm has been known — in New York, the United States, and around the world — as Severud Associates.
Throughout the years, the firm gained a reputation for engineering innovative structural designs for complex and unusual buildings. Renowned architects such as Eero Saarinen, Mies van der Rohe, Charles Luckman, and Philip Johnson became faithful clients. Together, these architectural innovators and the firm’s talented engineers designed many iconic structures, including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the Seagram Building and Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
Significantly, Severud Associates has also designed more buildings on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. than any other structural engineering firm. The firm’s first project on the Mall, in 1964, was the National Museum of American History, which has subsequently been joined by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Museum of the American Indian among others.
The standard of excellence set by Fred N. Severud and the other early partners continues to be a hallmark of the firm’s work today. Most of the senior staff—principals, associate principals, and senior associates—have 20 years or more of experience, and the entire staff is committed to providing the high level of personal involvement needed to complete projects successfully. Severud’s engineers work collaboratively, leveraging each other’s experience and expertise to develop efficient and economical designs.
Recent notable projects include 20 Times Square, the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, and the Transformation of Madison Square Garden, all in New York City; the Novartis East Hanover Campus and redevelopment of Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport, both in New Jersey; and the Los Angeles Forum renovations in California.
Nearly every year, at least one prestigious organization such as the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the American Institute of Architects recognizes Severud Associates for the invaluable contributions the firm is making to the field of structural engineering.