The firm was founded in 1905 by Walter G. Franz. Franz's engineering firm was located in the Fifth-Third Union Trust Building on the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets, in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon Franz's death in 1922, the firm was acquired by two of its employees, Otto E. Hilmer, and William P. Fosdick, who renamed the firm Fosdick & Hilmer and operated it as a partnership. O. E. Hilmer's son, Otto L. joined the firm in 1937 and became managing principal in 1954, after his father's death. In 1972, the firm was incorporated under the name Fosdick & Hilmer, Inc., with O.L. Hilmer as president and C. Edward Glass as vice-president. During the early 1980's Glass retired, and three employees, Robert J. Miller, Robert L. Staley, and James W. Pretz bought interests in the firm. In 1990, O. L. Hilmer retired, and Pretz became managing principal. In 1998, two more employees, Joel R. Grubbs and Richard W. Saunders became owners and principals.
Pretz, Grubbs, and Saunders are the current principals in the firm. The office was recently relocated, from the original building where Franz started the firm, to the lobby of the PNC building. The new building is also located in the heart of downtown, Cincinnati. Fosdick & Hilmer, Inc. employs more than 50 people, providing engineering, project management, and related services to a growing list of clients who are engaged in a multitude of commercial, industrial, and institutional enterprises.
Fosdick & Hilmer is in the enviable position of having employed several of the top individuals in their respective fields for careers that have lasted 20, 30 and even 40 years. We have augmented our staff with some of the brightest up and coming engineers in the area as well as with other experienced professionals who have demonstrated the interest and qualifications to join the Fosdick & Hilmer team. The result is a firm of extraordinary experience, depth, and innovative capability that is advancing the art and science of engineering in our traditional areas of business, and that is creating new ways to use engineering technology to enhance our clients' ability to conduct their businesses. Fosdick & Hilmer enjoys a tradition of providing innovative, cost effective engineering services to the clients we serve. Our future never looked brighter.