Paul Matt, the co-founder and chairman of downtown-based Matt Construction that built major L.A. projects including the Broad museum and Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, died on Friday. He was 85.
Matt, a Newport Beach resident for more than 45 years, died from cancer, his son Steve Matt said in a statement Wednesday.
The industry veteran co-founded Matt Construction with Steve Matt and his brother Al Matt in 1991, going on to tackle a range of commercial projects spanning museums, hotels, schools and science labs. With 250 employees and four offices, the company today brings in more than $500 million in annual revenue.
Steve Matt, the company’s chief executive, commended his father’s enthusiasm for the profession.
“During his recent battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he continued to apply his amazing passion for building. All of us at Matt take great solace that he lived to see his dream fully realized, … building a company of great builders and great people,” he said.
Paul Matt was born in Rome, New York, on June 1, 1932. He studied structural engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology, and, after serving in the Air Force, got his first construction job as a welder on Oregon’s The Dalles Dam. That experience led him to positions at contractors George A. Fuller Co. and C.L. Peck before he launched a new venture with his son and brother.
In 2015, the Engineering News-Record magazine lauded the array of projects that Matt oversaw during his lengthy career, writing: “Paul Matt’s lifelong ambition to tackle challenging projects head on with a collaborative spirit has led to a career in construction that spans 65 years and encompasses more than 450 buildings, many of which are among Southern California’s most iconic structures.”