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Serving Customers Through War and Peace: A Proud Kansas City History

P1 Group_100 years

In celebration of our 100-year anniversary, we've been going through the family albums (so to speak).

P1 Group’s founding company, A.D. Jacobson, began in 1919 and survived a lot during times of war, peace and even disaster. We found some of their remarkable stories in a promotional brochure published in 1954.

In Peace

During the 1920s, the bulk of work for Jacobsen was in residential and apartments in Kansas City. While some commercial contracts were handled, that line didn’t expand until later.

“The 1930s saw the continued growth of the company as larger projects were undertaken. The prison at Jefferson City and much remodernization work at Ft. Leavenworth were among our major jobs…”

AD Jacobsen_Ford ClaycomoPictured above, from left: an A.D. Jacobson crew in the truss space of the Ford Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO; plumbing rough-in for one of the administration building bathrooms.

In War

Today, P1 Group does robust business in the government and military verticals, the history of which comes, in part, from A.D. Jacobson’s expansion during World War II.

“In 1942, we reached our peak year, with a payroll of 500 men and a $7 million business. Our services were spread throughout the middle west, and our firm completed installations at Camp Carson, Colorado; Ft. Riley, Kansas; Camp Crowder, Neosho, Missouri; Camp Chaffee at Ft. Smith, Arkansas; the Naval Air Station at Hutchinson, Kansas; the air bases at Lincoln and Grand Island, Nebraska; Salt Lake City Air Base; La Junta, Colorado Air Base; the reception center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.”

AD Jacobsen_Jeff CityPictured above, from left: Aerial view of the new state office building, Jefferson City, MO. The 14-story building had an all-aluminum exterior; partial view of the mechanical equipment room before insulation.

In Emergency

The ongoing mission of integrity P1 Group still stands by today was put to the test during the great Missouri and Kansas river flood of 1951. At the time of the flood, 70 percent of A.D. Jacobsen’s projects were located in the path of destruction. The largest project at the time was the Gustin-Bacon Plant #7.

Fun fact: Gustin-Bacon was a leading manufacturer of fiberglass products in Kansas City’s West Bottoms, In 1966, Gustin-Bacon merged with CertainTeed Corporation, for whom P1 Group’s Millwright division recently provided multiple design, fabrication and install projects.

“But the A.D. Jacobson Company, temporarily crippled by the flood, worked long and hard to recover – not only their own losses, but to help customers get back into business…The ‘Kansas City Spirit’ was apparent as rehabilitation became the by-word…”

“Every available man was put on emergency crews. New contracts were held at a minimum in order to devote as much time as possible to the big job that was foremost in the minds of most Kansas Citians – cleaning up.”

AD Jacobsen_Twin OaksPictured above, from left: The famous Twin Oaks apartments, which lived for decades across from the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus until they were torn down in 2007; one of the two boiler rooms showing the three-combination gas-oil fired low-pressure boilers serving each building.

Keep following our blog and social media for more #100Stories100Years.

AD Jacobsen_New BrotherhoodPictured above, from left: Aerial view of the New Brotherhood building in Kansas City, KS (now home to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, among others); 550-ton water chiller and circulating pumps

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