Supporting the community for over 100 years

In 2023, Larson-Danielson is celebrating 115 years in business. 115  years in La Porte. 115 years of constructing quality projects built to last.

We love our history. We have built some truly iconic projects. Moreover, we have built buildings that not only look good, but improve the lives of the people who live and work in the communities where they are built.

Throughout our 115-year history and five generations of leadership, we have maintained the L-D commitment to quality and value.

In a new article, Great News Life explores our company’s history, our commitment to community, and our drive to deliver the best projects possible.

YMCA building construction ca 1910


By: Jennifer Arzola

Founded in 1908, Larson-Danielson Construction Company has been an integral part of Northwest Indiana for over 100 years.

Larson-Danielson began first as a family, rather than a company. Founded by Charles Larson, Emil Danielson, and Frank Larson, the Larsons and the Danielsons were connected by a shared business passion, and through marriage.

Early successes

“The success of the firm started with that first generation and their ability to get along, focus on the work at hand, and divide up the work responsibilities as best suited the company,” Tim Larson, former president of Larson-Danielson, said.

This level of quality is what earned the young firm several large, community-centered contracts.

In 1910, Larson-Danielson constructed the YMCA in La Porte, Indiana, and then the YMCA in Hannibal, Missouri, and, in 1915, built the YMCA in Van Wert, Ohio. Additionally, in 1909, the company constructed the Hotel Mishawaka.

Going beyond expectations

True to its continued mission, these early projects were not just overseen by Larson-Danielson. In fact, the founders uprooted their families and moved closer to the sites to ensure the project’s completion.

“This type of commitment – to do what it took and move out of town for years – set the tone for the company,” Larson said. “The founders were dedicated and committed to successfully completing the projects they took on even if it meant moving out of town.”

The first generation of Larson-Danielson maintained this dedication, and, in 1920, their children (Marvin Danielson and Raymond Larson) became active leaders as well.

This new generation of leaders continued Larson-Danielson’s mission of providing high quality construction work with a community focus. In the 1920s and 30s, Larson-Danielson constructed the Civic Auditorium and First United Methodist Church in La Porte, as well as many other projects.

“Many facilities, such as the YMCA, La Porte Hospital, the Civic Auditorium, and schools, continue to serve the needs of the people in the community,” Larson said. “In addition, many of the manufacturers and businesses we have built provide a place of work for many community members. We are grateful for the support we have received from the community in providing us with projects that help us provide our employees with work to do and an income.”

Supporting the community

Throughout their history, Larson-Danielson has viewed their work as a community affair.

“Larson-Danielson owners have been on hospital boards, bank boards, YMCA boards, Red Cross boards, and other community organizations boards during and before my tenure,” Tom Walter, vice president of Larson-Danielson said.  “Current leadership supports La Porte and our other local communities where we live by being active members of local organizations.”

Throughout the third and fourth generations of leaders, Larson-Danielson has focused on expanding the company’s expertise while maintaining their exceptional quality.

It is through the dedication of Larson-Danielson leadership and employees that this company has been able to thrive and grow throughout the years.

“If we did not trust each other to put the company first, we would not have gotten along well,” Walter said. “We all have worked well together, and it must have been similar for prior generations.”

Today, the fifth generation of Larson-Danielson leaders is at the helm. The values and the drive of the company, however, remain the same.

“The subsequent generations of leaders and employees have each focused their talents to match their work responsibilities to best take advantage of their capabilities and dedicated their passion to make the firm successful,” Larson said.