Spancrete Group notes the Jan. 13 passing of company founder Henry Nagy, whose name is synonymous architectural and structural precast throughout the Midwest, and hollow core plank and machinery worldwide. In an announcement to the industry, company officials observe, “Henry’s pioneering contribution to the concrete products industry is legend
Sources: Spancrete Group, Inc., Waukesha, Wis.; Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago; CP staff
Spancrete Group notes the Jan. 13 passing of company founder Henry Nagy, whose name is synonymous architectural and structural precast throughout the Midwest, and hollow core plank and machinery worldwide. Company officials observe, Henry’s pioneering contribution to the concrete products industry is legend. He was an innovator and entrepreneur, making friends and influencing lives on many levels around the world.
Born June 23, 1908, in Milwaukee, Mr. Nagy entered construction materials as a 19-year-old driver for Jaeger Sand & Gravel. He landed the position after returning to the U.S. from his family’s homeland, Hungary, which by the late 1920s began to feel pressure from the Nazi Party’s emergence in Germany. Marriage to Mary Jaeger and deferred draft for later call up in the U.S. Army positioned Mr. Nagy to make his mark in manufactured concrete early in the post-war era. He founded a block business, West Allis Concrete Products, in 1946, expanding it through acquisition of producers to whom he had delivered sand & gravel. Mindful of hollow core plank prospects in the U.S., he acquired slipform machinery technology in 1953 from a German innovator.
The machinery and production process, which Mr. Nagy’s son Robert refined, carried the Spancrete brand, as did producers who purchased the equipment and rights to the proprietary prestressed floor plank in markets beyond Wisconsin. The Nagy family has continued development of the Group, now with a payroll of 500-plus, around Spancrete Machinery Corp. in Waukesha; Spancrete Industries, Inc. precast/prestressed operations in Waukesha, Green Bay and Valders, Wis.; Spancrete of Illinois in Crystal Lake; American Concrete Pipe in Milwaukee and Green Bay; and, Florida Precast Industries in Sebring.
Recognizing individuals central to the first five decades of precast/prestressed in North America, PCI named Henry Nagy a Titan of the industry in 2004, coinciding with the institute’s golden anniversary celebration. Grandson John Nagy is Spancrete Group president and chief executive officer; he succeeded his father Robert, who died five years ago. Private visitation and services are planned for Henry Nagy.