A Great American Dream Story

The partnership of Arban & Carosi, Inc. began as two separate companies, both founded sometime around 1915. Arban Brothers Cast Stone was a cast stone producer in Alexandria, VA, and was founded by John V. Arban, Sr. Washington Ornamental Plaster was an ornamental plaster shop in Georgetown and founded by Nicholas Carosi, Sr. The companies began working together in the mid-1920’s when Mr. Carosi was hired by Arban Brothers to build plaster models for their cast stone.

Arban & Carosi as a true partnership between the two men, John V. Arban, Sr. and Nicholas Carosi, Sr. was formed sometime in 1937. Its founders were both skilled craftsmen in their trades. Mr. Arban, Sr. was a sculptor, tile setter and cast-stone craftsman. Mr. Carosi, Sr. was a sculptor and ornamental plasterer. Both men were first-generation immigrants from Italy.

Many beautiful examples of the two founders’ workmanship still adorn prestigious buildings on the East Coast, particularly in Washington, DC. Some of their intricate workmanship can still be seen today on buildings, such as, the Library of Congress, US Capital Building, Old Capital Theater Building, Union Station, Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art.

As Arban & Carosi’s reputation grew in the Washington construction community, cast stone, the precursor of modern-day architectural precast concrete, soon becamethe main business operation. The ornamental plasterwork took a “backseat” to the growing demand for cast stone. At their plant in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, business flourished during the 40’s, as Arban & Carosi made thousands of windowsills, heads and jambs for brick office buildings, apartments, and public buildings.

One of their first large stone projects was the Seven Corners Shopping Center in Arlington, Virginia. This project was marketed, estimated, drawn, molded, cast and delivered, all by the hardworking principals of the business, along with the assistance of a small group of valued employees.

As a result of the post-war building boom, Arban & Carosi’s business grew dramatically, and was then expanded to include precast concrete. Joined by the sons, Nicholas Carosi, Jr. in 1946, and John V. Arban, Jr. in 1956, there were now four company principals. With this expanded leadership, Arban & Carosi was able to increase production and quality. Additional production buildings were built to accommodate market demand, along with newly purchased batching equipment and innovative molding methods. All to assure the best quality concrete product to the customer.

The company’s experience with ornamental plaster work allowed Arban & Carosi to develop modeling and molding methods that set accuracy and quality standards for the precast industry. These methods of model and mold development, handed-down from our founders, are still used today. Arban & Carosi is the only architectural precaster in the country to still use these high quality methods. (To see more on these methods see “Our Process”).

Soon Arban & Carosi was recognized as one of the finest cast stone and architectural precast fabricators on the East Coast, being awarded sizeable precast contracts from Boston to North Carolina. Local work, however, was still the major focus of the company’s efforts, and many buildings in the nearby Crystal City, Virginia complex, the K Street corridor of Washington, DC, and downtown Baltimore, Maryland were built.

The Alexandria plant was extremely small by today’s standards, but through good strategic management the company was able to produce very large public projects during this period, including The James Forrestal Building and RFK Stadium in Washington, DC and National Institute of Health in and Memorial Stadium in Maryland.

In 1970, feeling constrained by the physical limits of the Alexandria facility, the company acquired twenty acres of land in Woodbridge, Virginia and built a large modern plant, using the concepts and design of the company’s principles. In subsequent years, additional land was purchased to accommodate increased raw material and product storage. Outbuildings were added to accommodate support functions, such as equipment maintenance and embed fabrication. This new facility made it possible for Arban & Carosi to satisfy its growing base of customers and to easily fabricate increasingly larger projects. Outbuildings were added to accommodate support functions, such as equipment maintenance and embed fabrication. This new facility made it possible for Arban & Carosi to easily fabricate increasingly larger projects and to satisfy its growing base of customers. It is still one of the country’s finest manufacturing facilities for architectural precast concrete.

The current President, Nicholas Carosi III, joined the company in 1969. When the original founders and the second generation retired, Nicholas Carosi III assumed a larger role as the sole principle of the company in 1980. Through his effective management, he has exceeded in developing a work environment that has guided Arban & Carosi to a new quality of production heights. Now Arban & Carosi enjoys the stature of being one of the preeminent architectural precast manufactures in North America.

Arban & Carosi is very proud of its history and very proud of its track record in producing the finest architectural precast concrete, on time and within budget. There is no doubt that the entire family of associates at Arban & Carosi knows very well who their customers are and what is expected of their company.