Harold F. “Red” Lenz was born on a farm in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1905 and graduated from New Castle High School. His father, a farmer and lay preacher, wanted Harold to follow in his footsteps. Young Lenz had other ideas – he was determined to study engineering and financed his own education at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) by driving an ambulance, waiting tables, and other business ventures.
In the late 1920s, Harold and a man by the name of George Rikenberg became partners and started a business selling heating and ventilation equipment in Pittsburgh. They did many sizable projects and their first major undertaking was the 40-story Grant Building in Pittsburgh. However when the Depression struck in 1929, the company went bankrupt.
Lenz became a licensed Professional Engineer and began offering his services in the sales-engineering business on his own in 1931. He sold boilers, steam traps, valves and other equipment. During that time, layout, drafting and design were done in combination with the sale of equipment. Whatever equipment Lenz sold, he also engineered.
He established the H.F. Lenz Company in its present form in 1946, and in 1953 the company was incorporated in Pennsylvania. And always a forward thinker, the longevity of the company was important to Lenz. His main concern was a slow, steady and stable growth. Our firm is currently headed by twelve Principals, eleven of which are Licensed Professional Engineers with over 20 years of experience. Our projects span the nation, with the heaviest concentration in the Northeast.
As an employee and former Vice President of the company, Roy Kelly summarized Lenz’s philosophy as, “work hard, get it done right, give the client what they paid for.”