A History of Excellence
When the late Pat O’Rourke started in 1962 with a loader and a pickup truck little did he realize the impact of his life’s work on the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. In our 6th decade of excellence, O’ROURKE has developed into one of the largest demolition contractors providing integrated demolition and environmental services throughout the Midwest and beyond.
Today, O’ROURKE still operates on the cornerstones on which it was founded – superior service, reliability, integrity and innovation. Just as Pat believed and Mike & Michele O’Rourke continue to instill that a company is judged by its quality of work and the dedication of its employees. These simple traits have kept O’ROURKE as a leader in demolition industry and clients coming back decade after decade.
O’ROURKE embraces a culture of caring for our Team, our clients and our community. We want everyone to feel welcome and safe so that as we move into this next decade our reputation is one of the best in superior service and a great place to work and do business with. As a diverse business O’ROURKE is always looking for ways to expose students and young adults to careers in construction. Through our work with Spirit of Construction’s Career Construction Advocacy Program (CCAP) and Uptown Workforce Development Initiative (UWDI) we work hard to educate and train students in inner city schools about careers in the construction trades while also employing young adults coming from these programs.
Michele O’Rourke became the first woman Chief Executive Officer and majority owner of O’Rourke Wrecking Company and is focused on the strategic growth of the business and day-to-day operations. Michele joined the O’ROURKE Team in 1993 and has held various positions throughout her tenure. O’ROURKE is a certified WBE through WBENC and NWBOC.
O’ROURKE was selected for this historic renovation and selective demolition of the iconic Music Hall which became a designated National Historic Landmark in 1975.
O’ROURKE opened a recycling center and C&D landfill to aid in its recycling goals of diverting as many loads as possible from sanitary landfills. www.whitewaterreclamation.com
State Prison, Jackson, MI selective demolition and façade preservation was the first project that Mike successfully won as the new President and CEO of O’ROURKE
Our founder, Patrick H. O’Rourke, tragically lost his life to cancer. Pat’s one final wish to Mike and the O’ROURKE Team was to “Keep the Pedal Down.” This theme still continues today!
Mike and his wife Michele with the support from a strong team advanced the business to become one of the nation’s top demolition specialty contractors providing a complete scope of demolition, abatement and environmental services.
The 90’s started with Mike’s tenure running the day-to-day operations at O’ROURKE. To kick off this decade O’ROURKE was the successful bidder on the demolition and implosion of University of Cincinnati’s Sander Hall – a 27-story dormitory. This was the tallest building to ever be demolished on UC’s Campus and at the time in 1991 the tallest structure to be imploded in North America. The 90’s was a decade of iconic implosions!
O’ROURKE’s corporate headquarters were constructed and still our present office today.
Mike O’Rourke joined the firm full time. Having worked in the field since an early age, Mike had fulfilled his dream to join his father and grow a family business.
O’ROURKE continued to expand and perform high-profile demolition projects. During this decade Pat also developed Watertown Town Marina, an FBO at Lunken Airport called Million Air, and many sub-divisions throughout Greater Cincinnati. He also built many commercial structures including Millrace Lodge, The Vineyards Clubhouse, Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center and many more.
O’ROURKE received the demolition contract for University of KY’s McClean Stadium. This was the first of many stadiums O’ROURKE would demolish.
Southern Ohio Bank Building and the entire block located at 6th & Main were cleared by O’ROURKE to make way for the Atrium I & II Buildings that stand there today.
Ohio State University’s University Hall built in 1873 was razed by O’ROURKE. This was one of the original buildings on OSU’s campus and in today’s environment would have never been torn down but preserved.
Throughout the 70’s Pat started making a name for O’ROURKE in the demolition sector. He became known for doing outstanding work with integrity. His jobsites were left extremely clean and never a need for a punch list. In 1973 O’ROURKE moved into its first formal office and maintenance shop on 4333 Mayhew in Delhi Township.
In 1962, Patrick H. O’Rourke laid the foundation for what would become O’Rourke Wrecking Company. At the age of 20, Pat started his own business excavating basements and foundations for home builders in Cincinnati. Word quickly spread about the quality service and integrity with which Pat conducted business. He capitalized on the opportunity to grow the company as Cincinnati experienced an urban renewal during the 1960’s.