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.

The Future – 2022 Marks O’ROURKE’S 60TH Anniversary!


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.

Millennium Hotel Towers

Millenium Hotel Towers


The 34 story and 32 story Millennium Hotel Towers are the largest demolition project in Cincinnati and has one of the tallest tower cranes erected in Cincinnati history standing at 410’ tall.

2020’s It’s About the Team!

O'ROURKE's leadership team


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.

The First Woman CEO

Michele O'Rourke, the first female CEO


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.

Music Hall Renovation

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.

Gaining National Presence

Demolition and hose spraying


O’ROURKE has doubled in size and is consistently ranked in the Top 15 as one of the largest Demolition Contractors in the US by ENR Magazine.

Clearing the way for the construction of the KFC YUM! Center

Implosion demolition of LG&E building


LG&E Waterside Station Demolition & Humana Building Implosion cleared the way for the construction of the KFC YUM! Center.  This project was filmed by the Discovery Channel and featured on the series The Detonators.

Grant Hospital Demolition & Implosion at active Level 3 Trauma Facility

Implosion demolition at Grant Hospital


Grant Hospital Demolition & Implosion at active Level 3 Trauma Facility

Recycling Goals

O'Rourke waste management and recycling yard


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

Riverfront Stadium Demolition and Implosion

Riverfront stadium before demolition


This 37-second implosion cleared the way for the new Cincinnati Red’s Great American Ballpark.

Market Expansion

O'Rourke demolition at power generation plant


O’ROURKE’s stellar reputation and safety record allowed us to continue to grow and perform work in all markets including, power plants, manufacturing, automotive, utilities, healthcare, hospitality, retail, entertainment, education, government and many more.

Horseshoe Stadium Renovation

Aerial view of OSU's Horseshoe stadium demolition in 1877


Ohio State University’s iconic Horseshoe Stadium renovation was O’ROURKE’S largest project in company history at the time.  This project was multi phased and involved working around multiple trade contractors during active demolition.

Pennsylvania Transportation & Safety Building, Harrisburg, PA Implosion

Harrisburg PA building demolition


Pennsylvania Transportation & Safety Building, Harrisburg, PA Implosion

Muehlebach Hotel, Kansas City, MO

Muehlebach Hotel demolition


Implosion of the 17 -story Muehlebach Hotel, Kansas City, MO. This famous hotel was visited by every President from Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan.

Implosion of Cuneo Buildings, Chicago, IL

Cuneo building demolition in Chicago, IL


Implosion of Cuneo Buildings, Chicago, IL – these buildings were used during the filming of the movie Backdraft staring Kurt Russell.

State Prison, Jackson, MI


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

One Final Wish

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.

Changing of the Guard

Demolition and implosion of UC Sander Hall dormitory


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!

Carew Tower Project

Carew Tower demolition


Carew Tower Project showcased O’ROURKE’s ability to demolish the top 20 stories of the 28 story building.

O’ROURKE’s Corporate Headquarters

O’ROURKE’s corporate headquarters were constructed and still our present office today.

Mike O’Rourke joined the firm full time

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.

Neil House Hotel, Columbus, OH

Neil House demolition


The 14 Story Neil House Hotel, Columbus, OH put O’ROURKE on the map for being experts in high-rise demolition

Making Our Mark

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.

ACE Carton Factory, Hershy, PA was O’ROURKE’S very first implosion.

O’ROURKE’S very first implosion at ACE Carton Factory, Hershy, PA


ACE Carton Factory, Hershy, PA was O’ROURKE’S very first implosion.

The First Stadium Demolition

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

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


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.

Major Growth

O'Rourke office in Mayhew


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.

Expanded Scope of Services

Pat standing in front of demolition site


Throughout the late 60’s Pat expanded the scope of services offered to include demolition, underground utility construction, as well as commercial and residential development.

The Beginning

Gray and white image of a demolition project


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.