Anniversary Party

Oldest Foundation Repair Company Celebrates 175 Years

It is doubtful that Abry Brothers’ founder, John G. Abry, could have imagined that his modest family-operated shoring and foundation repair company would endure six generations and go on to become New Orleans’ oldest enterprise.


Abry, a structural contractor, emigrated from Germany in 1832. He formally established his business in the year 1840, following a disastrous spate of Mississippi-born tornadoes.


Upon his death, John Abry passed his flourishing business on to his son, Emile. Emile Abry was characterized by the Times Picayune as an industry “pioneer”. He was considered an important figure in New Orleans’ business scene through the late 1890s. Emile’s sons George, John and Herman took the reins in 1907. Together, they grew Abry Brothers through much of the early 20th Century.


George Abry served both as Treasurer of the New Orleans Contractors & Dealers Exchange and as Representative of the 5th Ward in The Louisiana State Legislature. He was quoted in New Orleans’ journal, Architectural Art and Its Allies, as having said, “In following the business there is, on all occasions, a demand on a man for the closest attention and most accurate calculations.”


In 1912, Abry Brothers used 50 men and 800 manual jacks to move Samuel J. Peters school, a project reported by the TP to have been the largest of its kind. In 1914, the brothers relocated two 100-ton bank vaults using only men and mules. Abry Brothers is credited with other ambitious projects, such as the 1917 relocation of the 119-foot-tall St. Boniface Church from Galvez and Lapeyrouse to St. Bernard Avenue.


“We were then, and are now, set apart by our willingness to do difficult work, and do it well,” says Greg Abry, Abry Brothers’ current president. Emily Abry Barre, Greg’s sister and office manager, adds: “It’s the attention we give to the little details, too.”


Whatever the reason for their continued success, Abry Brothers is proud to have been in continuous operation since 1840. The company celebrated this impressive milestone with a private Anniversary Party on March 21, 2015. The event was held at Antoine’s Restaurant. Invitations were extended to city officials, prominent business figures, close friends and family.


The photos in this gallery are all from Abry Brothers Anniversary party. To download printable, high resolution files, please contact Abry Brothers with a request.