Our History

The BX celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017!


This milestone was recognized with feature articles about the history of BX activities and traditions. Each has a "history" that members should know, because you are now linked to them through your BX involvement today.

125 Years of Remarkable Builders and Buildings

It's hard to believe that the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio has been around since Benjamin Harrison was president, or that the association arrived one year after the electric streetcar did in downtown Columbus.

Let's start with looking back at the first 25 years of the Builders' and Traders' Exchange, from 1892 through 1917. So, hop on that electric streetcar, go "back to the future" and enjoy!



1966 BX Estimating & Bid class

1966 BX Estimating & Bid class

Exploding Growth in the Young Capital City of Columbus Lead 17 Men to Launch Builders' and Traders' Exchange

Columbus, Ohio in 1892 was the ideal place to be a builder. With a population of 88,150, the capital had grown 71% from just a decade earlier.

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The Evolution of Today's Ohio Construction Conference

The lineage of today's Ohio Construction Conference goes, “Expo, Conference, Expo, Conference.” The lesson learned? One reason the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is because its members invent and evolve programs to meet the industry’s ever-changing needs.

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Cornerstone Recipients Reflect Diverse Styles of Industry Leadership

Originally called the “Man of the Year” award, the recognition was created by the Exchange board of directors in 1954. Its purpose was to thank an individual for “distinguished service rendered to the community and/or building industry,” according to Marion Ross (Garwick & Ross, Inc.), the board member proposing the concept.

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BX Scholarship Program Celebrates Six Decades of Impacting the Industry's Future

As the Builders Exchange celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, the organization is looking  back at programs launched over its long history. Arguably, none have had more impact on the local construction industry than the BX Scholarship Program.

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BX Foundation's Impact in Young yet Remarkable History

In its young life, the Builders Exchange Foundation has already had a high impact. In less than two decades, the Foundation has distributed $1,245,958 in grants and with assets of $4.2 million, it’s a vital part of the BX story with much to celebrate as the association marks 125 years of operation.

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Craftsmanship Awards Valued as Unique Piece of BX History

It was a simple note in the 1964 Builders Exchange annual report from Board President Art Hess (Garwick & Ross, Inc.).

“In order to encourage good workmanship in the building industry, the Exchange added to its list of Honors and Awards, starting this year, 1964, a group of annual ‘Craftsmanship Awards’ for excellence in workmanship. The recipients of these awards will be chosen by an impartial committee of local architects, engineers, etc., and the award will be made after the dinner of the 1965 Construction Conference.”

Thus launched a program that quickly became a favorite among BX members.

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50 Years of Member-Driven Programs Built BX Reputation for Industry Education


Neither the instructors nor the students of a 2016 Estimating & Bid Prep class realized they were part of a 51-year-old tradition at the Builders Exchange. The first estimating course launched in October 1966 with 30 students and 13 volunteer teachers, starting a precedent that remains a hallmark of the organization.

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An Early Business Arrival on Dublin Road, BX Headquarters Was a Mid-Century Classic  


Imagine the impact made on Builders Exchange members who walked through the doors on October 26, 1950 for the dedication of their just-completed headquarters at 1175 Dublin Rd.

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For 125 Years, BX Annual Meetings Have Reflected the State of the Industry  

The BX annual meeting has a colorful history: over the past century it has featured boxing matches, dance demonstrations, “motion pictures,” orchestras, magicians, professional models, comedians and sports figures along with its business reports.

Part 1 of 2: 1892 through 1950     | Read More |

Part 2 of 2: 1950 through Today   | Read More |