Founded in 1918 the Lichtefeld family business began as a partnership between two young entrepreneurs Fred J. Lichtefeld and Fred Metzner.
Born in 1895 Fred J. Lichtefeld began his career as a carpenter apprentice at the age of 15 working for the Frey Planing Mill Company located on Breckenridge Street. Also working for the Mill Company was Fred Metzner, a bookkeeper for the company. The two became friends while working there and decided to leave Frey Planing to begin a new venture in the construction business. The partnership, called “Lichtefeld Metzner & Company”, was established in 1918. Metzner was responsible for the in-office duties of accounting and estimating while Lichtefeld handled sales and hands on field construction management.
Lichtefeld and Metzner began their construction responsibilities in the home repair and remodeling business handling small projects early on. Their reputation for quality construction practices spread quickly in the Louisville area. The company expanded their capabilities into the custom home building industry in the early 1920’s and gradually working up to large upscale residential homes. Most recognized homes were in Glenview, St. Mathews, River Road, Prospect, and the Lexington Road area. Lichtefeld Metzner was recognized as one of the most reputable home builders in Louisville. A most notable historic home constructed by Lichtefeld was the William S. Speed home off Lexington Road. A boost in the company’s growth came when Mr. Speed opened the Speed Indiana Cement Company in Speed Indiana also known as Cementville. Mr. Speed hired Lichtefeld to build and develop a small homes subdivision for his employees in the Speed Indiana area. In fact, at that time Lichtefeld Metzner and Company built most of the homes in that development.
During the 1920’s Metzner invested most of his success in the stock market for retirement purposes while Lichtefeld saved his money for his children’s college education. The great depression in 1929 was the demise of the construction industry and their partnership. Because of his fully vested interest in the stock market like many others in the 1920’s, Metzner found himself with no money to keep the business running regarding his percentage of ownership. Lichtefeld, on the other hand, used the money saved up for his children’s education to keep the company in business as best he could. Fred J. Lichtefeld reverted back to his roots in doing what he knew best. He used the education money to buy materials for small home repairs. Sometimes Fred J. would barter in trade for food or clothing for his family during these tough times. Lichtefeld ran the company without Metzner all through the days of the depression until his only son Stanley F. Lichtefeld came into the business to give his father a hand.
Stanley F. Lichtefeld, the only son of nine children, born March 24, 1915 came into the family business in the 1930’s. After graduating from St. Xavier High School in 1933, Stan began working for the Armor Meat and Packing Company for a couple of years. After his short employment with Armor, Stan joined his father in the construction business. In 1935 Stanley acquired the responsibilities of bookkeeping and estimating as well as office management. This was the beginning of “Fred J. Lichtefeld and Son Construction Company”. For nine years Stanley helped his father grow the business back to the same reputable residential construction company as the Lichtefeld’s had been known for in the 1920’s. The beginning of WWII proved to be another turning point for the Lichtefeld family business. In 1944 Stanley was called to duty, being drafted by the US Navy participating in WWII. Fortunately for the Lichtefeld business, unfortunate for Fred J., Stan’s father suffered a heart attack while he was away at war in 1945. Fearful of loosing the business Fred J. requested that his only son be released from the Navy to carry on the family business. Stanley was released with an honorable discharge from the Navy about the same time WWII was ending. During the mid 1940’s the tables turned regarding company responsibilities. Fred J. had to slow down regarding fieldwork to become the office person while Stanley changed responsibilities handling field procurement and management.
Stanley continued to service Fred’s clients and continued upscale home building through the 1950’s in Louisville. Because of their reputation for quality home building the Lichtefeld’s were asked by reputable architects to bid on new church construction. This was the beginning of the companies commercial, office, and industrial era. Some of Stanley’s most notable accomplishments were St. Francis in the Fields Rectory and Church expansion, and the Broadway Baptist Church.
The companies third generation began after Stanley’s oldest son Paul A. Lichtefeld decided to come into the family business. Paul A., born in March of 1942, graduated from Trinity High School in 1960. He enrolled in the University of Louisville’s Speed School and left school in 1962 due to his father having a bout with cancer. Paul A. sacrificed his college education to carry on the family business just as his father did for his grandfather during WWII.
Paul A Lichtefeld chose to take the company in a new direction leaving the home building business forever. Paul grew the business by partnering with Pruden Building Systems, later known as Varco-Pruden Building Systems. Paul gained quite a bit of knowledge regarding fast tracking, value engineering, and new selling techniques at that time. Because of his success in the pre-engineered building business with Varco-Pruden, Paul was approached and recruited by the leading pre-engineered building company in the country. Impressed with Butlers product line Paul decided to partner and sell buildings for Butler Manufacturing Company in the mid 1960’s. Paul learned a great deal from the leading pre-engineered building company regarding sales techniques using the design/build method of construction.
Now in their fourth generation, Paul A Lichtefeld has been joined by his three sons, Paul Jr., Stanley, and Mark in the family business. Construction of office, commercial and industrial buildings has been a way of life for the Lichtefeld family for over 100 years now. Family members have kept this tradition of excellence and integrity constant throughout the years. Their fundamental belief is to give each project, regardless of size and cost, the same quality construction processes while working within the clients’ budget. Their dedication to clients never ends as they stand behind their workmanship years after a project is complete.
When you select Lichtefeld, Incorporated, you’re buying more than 9 decades of experience and quality assured construction methods. Lichtefeld, Incorporated prides itself in offering reliability and integrity of Butler’s products, which meets the toughest criteria of independent authorities such as Underwriters Laboratories, Factory Mutual, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strict criteria.
To this day Lichtefeld Inc. continues to represent Butler Manufacturing systems, the world’s premier manufacturer of pre-engineered metal building systems. With Butler’s 25 year standing seam roof system, Butler’s performance, reliability, and warranties are unsurpassed in the industry. While other manufacturers are cutting quality to remain competitive on price, Butler stays ahead of the competition through research and development of product innovation and manufacturing efficiencies to remain the industry leader in value and quality. These high performance standards are found within Butler’s MR-24 roof system, a 360 degree “Pittsburgh” double lock machine seamed roof system coupled with a twenty five year warranty, the smallest details such as stronger fasteners, deeper corrugations for assured strength, factory pre-punching for proper alignment, special sealants, unmatched coating performance and finally, their exclusive warranties on materials and labor. This system has a 25 year warranty.