Our History

W. L. Gary boasts a rich history that has stood the test of time over the past 125 years. No matter what challenges lay ahead, our experience and longevity position us well to continue bringing lasting solutions to our clients.

1895 - Beginnings
Walker Littlebury Gary, a young Washingtonian plumber, begins a plumbing, heating, and roofing mechanical business – W. L. Gary & Company.
1913 - New Locations

The company office moves to several different locations on 14th St NW before settling at 3111 14th St, a location purchased by Walker and his wife Roy.

1923 - W. L. Gary Company, Inc

Walker incorporates his business as W. L. Gary Company, Inc.  Both of his sons as well as a couple business partners, including Phillip Moorehead, his son-in-law, receive shares in the company.

1930's - Great Depression and Loss

The company is hit not only by the Depression sweeping the nation but also by several deaths including the beloved founder Walker Littlebury Gary and then his eldest son William Spencer Gary a few months later.

1930's - Roy Becomes President

Roy Spencer Gary, Walker’s wife, becomes the president of the company. Her youngest son William (Bill) Gary, leaves school to help run the business.

1940's - William Greer Hired

William C. (Buddy) Greer, Bill’s nephew, is hired.

1940's - W. L. Gary and WWII

W. L. Gary Company joins the war effort with a contract from the Department of the Navy. The sheet metal shop builds scale model ships for the David Taylor Model Basin.  After the Navy tested the ships they send them back to Gary Company for repairs.

 

1950's - Gary The Plumber

Bill Gary decides to concentrate on plumbing and heating, closing the sheet metal and roofing part of the business. As a result, W. L. Gary Company, Inc. came to be known to our customers as Gary the Plumber.

1960's - First Hospital Job

Gary Company receives our first hospital job at Washington Hospital Center.

1967 - Joe Dent Hired

Gary the Plumber hires our first full time steamfitter journeyman, Joseph (Joe) Dent, who helps provide complete mechanical solutions with the addition of air conditioning as a new service to our clients.

1968 - Office Burned Down

During the 1968 riots in D.C. the main Gary office on 3111 14th Street NW is burned down. Unable to salvage the building or the records inside, W. L. Gary Company finds a home with Tuckman-Barbee Construction. After only a few months, we set up shop at 225 Vine Street NW.

Mid 1970's - Brooke & Randy Greer Hired

Two of Buddy’s sons are hired. Brooke C. Greer as a steamfitter and W. Randall (Randy) Greer as a plumber.  With their addition, the 4th generation is on board.

1977 - Bill Gary Passes Away

Bill Gary passes away after a battle with cancer.  His widow, Anne Gary, becomes president for a few years before passing the role onto her nephew, Buddy Greer.

1980's - Return of W. L. Gary Company, Inc.

Gary the Plumber returns to its legal name, W. L. Gary Company, Inc., with total mechanical solutions now being our main focus.

1990 - Senior Leadership

Joe Dent becomes the president and Buddy Greer becomes the Chairman of the Board.

1991 - Buddy Greer Passes Away

After 50 years with W. L. Gary Company, Buddy Greer passes away. Joe Dent, the only non-family member to hold the office of president, runs W. L. Gary Company for the next 7 years until his retirement.

1993 - Mike Dent Hired

Michael A. (Mike) Dent, Joe Dent’s son, joins the Gary team as a project manager after working several years in the industry as a steamfitter, estimator, and project manager.

1998 - Succession

The company passes to Brooke Greer, Randy Greer, and Mike Dent. Brooke serves as the president of W. L. Gary Company, while Randy serves as the Executive Vice President overseeing the service department, and Mike serves as the Executive Vice President running the construction department.

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1999 - GMP Lab Facility and Craftsmanship Award

Life Technologies, Inc. GMP lab facility design assist with HITT Contracting. Also won a craftsmanship award for 3M job.

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2003 - Video Inspection Business

W. L. Gary enters the Video inspection business with the purchase of its first push camera.

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2004 - Large Growth Surge from 2003, 35% Increase

Brought CAD in house by starting new CAD department internally

St. Mary’s Hospital Addition/Renovation Whiting Turner Contracting Co. 6M

Prince William Hospital Addition/Renovation Forrester Construction Co. 4M

Georgetown University New South Dorm Renovation Whiting Turner Construction Co. 4.5M Summer Blitz Project

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2006 - More Growth and Large Projects

First tow behind Jetter purchased

First mainline Video inspection rover camera

Calvert Memorial Hospital Whiting Turner Construction Co. 6.6M

Civista Hospital La Plata, MD Gilbane Building Co. 7.7M

College of Southern Maryland Facchina Construction 4.1M

Northern Virginia Community College Gilbane Building Co. 4.4M

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2008 - The Next Generation

Mike Dent Jr. Joins the team full time as a Steamfitter

Gary Company Starts Sewage and Storm water pumpimg with the purchase of the first pump trailer custom built to fit in 6’ -4” garages

West End 25 Condominium James G. Davis 12.4M

Alice Deal Middle School HEERY International 9.1M

George Mason University P.E. Building 6M

Walker Jones Middle School Forrester Construction 6.3M

MedImmune AREA 51 Bio Lab Parsons 5.8M

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2011 - Anacostia High School Forrester Construction 11.2M
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2012 - Danielle Greer Joins the team full time in Marketing

Carl Sanburg Middle School Grunley Construction 10M

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2013 - Build out of the Fabrication Shop in Hyattsville, MD

Cambria Suites Clark Construction 5.7M

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2014 - New Talent and Systems

Brent Greer Joins the team full time

Purchased new ERP to handle Accounting, Construction, Service and Document management in one system

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2015 - Steady, Large Projects

Achievement Prep MCN Build 5.2M

American University Washington College of Law JV Shapiro/Duncan 6.5M

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2016 - Continued Success

University of Maryland various projects 9M

MCN Build various projects 4.4M

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2019 - Georgetown University Central Utility Plant 19M
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2020 - Relocated Corporate office to Uline Arena 1140 3rd Street