The Greatest Milestone: Biscayne Engineering Company in Miami Celebrates 110 Years

The year was 1898 and William McKinley was president of the United States. That year would see the United States declare war on Spain in a dispute over the sovereignty of Cuba and the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor. It was the year the U.S. would get claims to Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Hawaii became an official territory of the country. In baseball, the top team was the Boston Beaneaters, and there was no World Series that year. George Gershwin was born. So was Ocala, Florida native Onezima “Oni” Ponder, who in September 2008 became the oldest woman at 110 years old. It was also the year that a small, upstart company began operating in Miami, and today Biscayne Engineering Company is the oldest company in the City of Miami with its history effectively spanning three centuries.

The success of any city is the flourishing businesses within its boundaries. When a local city has a prominent business that maintains a great reputation for service and social responsibility it is likely to sing its praises. The City of Miami has been singing the praises of Biscayne Engineering Company for over a century. Biscayne Engineering Company is celebrating 110 years of dedicated engineering and surveying excellence in the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and all of south Florida. It has also had an impact on the southeast region of Florida stretching as far north as Cape Canaveral. Biscayne Engineering Company is now permanently woven into the fabric of Miami, standing strong on 529 West Flagler Street.
Biscayne Engineering Company was started by two Florida pioneers, J.S. Frederick and W.E. Brown in 1898. These settlers journeyed to Miami from the North whereby they created one of the first establishments in this newly incorporated city. Frederick was also instrumental in creating the first map of Miami in 1905. Initially called Frederick Brown Engineering Company and later changed to Biscayne Engineering Company in 1911, it earned a strong presence and reputation for itself by approving many Miami structural projects that are still nationally recognized today.
One major project for Biscayne Engineering Company was the laying out of the streets of Miami, the largest Metropolitan region in South Florida. With the streets successfully in place, locals and new settlers established communities and began building a viable economy for the region. This new growth triggered the start of a new industry, tourism. Biscayne Engineering Company was commissioned to help develop such tourist sites as Villa Vizcaya (1916). This historic museum once served as a summer home for the prominent Deering family. Other projects that have the BEC seal of excellence imbedded in their infrastructure include: Miami Beach, the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, US Post Office building, and the University of Miami Campus.

As with most companies, Biscayne Engineering Company has made several changes to maintain its leading edge with an evolving global business environment. New technology has led to improved techniques in engineering and surveying practices. In staying abreast of the evolution of technology Biscayne Engineering Company is committed to only using the most current and sophisticated computers, hardware, software and field surveying equipment available, including electronic measuring devices, data collectors, and computer-aided drafting tools.

Biscayne Engineering Company is a strong proponent in protecting Florida’s delicate ecosystem, while developing enterprises that generate new jobs and economic viability. For that reason, the company’s management team works very closely with state, federal, and city government environmental awareness agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and the Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM).
Biscayne Engineering Company has remained competitive by focusing on recruiting the best people in the industry. Many great people played major roles in the leadership of Biscayne Engineering Company, which catapulted it to the status it maintains today. Present owner and president George C. Bolton (left) began his career in 1949 and became part owner in 1967. In 1976 he acquired 100% ownership and management of the company. Bolton’s stoic work ethic comes from a culmination of his dedication to his family, and his military background, where he acquired leadership and surveying techniques. Bolton’s grandfather E.E. Harvey was one of the original stockholders of the firm.
The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners presented to Mr. Bolton a proclamation naming January 8th as Biscayne Engineering Company Day in honor of the 110th anniversary of the company’s start. Proclamations were also presented throughout the year at city council ceremonies by the City of Miami, the City of Miami Beach and the City of Hialeah. Along with Bolton, the staff of Biscayne Engineering Company is as diverse as the rich culture that has embedded South Florida.
Throughout the years Biscayne Engineering Company has been recognized for its contributions to the engineering industry. It received a commendation from the City of Miami in 1976; it was recognized as a Cornerstone Company in 1991 by the Beacon Council and dubbed a Pioneer Company by the Miami Centennial ’96 Committee.

The successes of Biscayne Engineering Company were made possible thanks to its lineage of management that developed strong core values still in place today. Those core values include excellence in execution, integrity, honor, leadership, trust, and passion. Biscayne Engineering Company’s mission is to secure the value and history of surveying and engineering, and thereby causing the integrity of the foundation for the growth of the community.