Your Journey Is Our Passion.
Together, We Make Dreams Real
“Together, We Make Dreams Real” — that’s our purpose as a company. We know that we exist to work in concert with each other, owners, design professionals and subcontractors to take the shared vision from concept to spectacular reality and to make the journey as collaborative and stress-free as possible.
Earn each client’s confidence — wherever they are in their journey.
Your project matters. It’s your vision taking shape and transforming your dream into reality. Whether it’s to grow your business, connect your community, or enrich the lives around you, our promise is to support you wherever you are in your journey.
Where others see barriers, we see breakthroughs. And together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve. Before starting any project, we ask ourselves this question: “How should we act (day-in and day-out) to deliver the outstanding construction experience our clients and people deserve?” The members of Team Blue, our employees, had great answers—which came to shape our core values.
We stand by what’s right and see every promise through, no matter the challenge. That’s what it means to lead with honor and honesty.
We take the time to appreciate every client, employee, and partner. No effort or achievement goes unrecognized.
We make your goals our goals — and bring the effort and enthusiasm to match. As your partner, we’re fully committed to your success.
We tackle each project together in trusted collaboration. We encourage the constant exchange of ideas and information. Dreams can’t be built alone; it takes all hands to make a masterpiece.
We embrace new ideas, approaches, and challenges head-on. Every roadblock is an opportunity to see your project from a new angle. We challenge ourselves in the pursuit of excellence and new technologies.
We work hard and play hard. We promote a positive environment and love to celebrate accomplishments.
As an immigrant from Norway, Thor Knutson founded a construction company in 1911—making sure the company was known for an intense work ethic, unwavering business integrity and a profound sense of collaboration with owners, architects and subcontractors. He worked as a dollar-a-day carpenter and his goal was to earn enough money to pay off his father’s farm debt.
In 1914, Thor and three partners established Standard Construction Company. His carpentry expertise, emphasis on accurate estimating, and his team of trusted employees quickly earned them clients. Simmons School Addition was one of the first projects that Standard Construction built. It is now one of the oldest buildings in Minneapolis and one of four historic schools that were converted into housing.
Growth During the Unexpected
During World War I, wartime economic ups and downs crushed many businesses and construction companies. Standard Construction Company, however, was awarded $23 million in government contracts that were used to employ more than 3,000 men. In addition to bringing the project $900,000 under budget, Knutson and his team received high praise from the Army engineers.
Thor Knutson’s successes during that time were attributed to a simple rule of thumb: Honesty. This later became one of our company’s values, something we pride ourselves on.
In 1954, Thor’s son Donald Knutson earned degrees in both architecture and engineering at the age of 33 from the University of Minnesota. That same year, he became president of Standard Construction Company and began to reshape Minneapolis. Don was a visionary and one of the driving forces behind the Gateway urban renewal project.
During this transformative era in 1966, Don chose a new name for his company: Knutson Construction.
Passing the Baton
Knutson opened its Iowa City office in 1982, leaving a permanent mark on the Eastern Iowa Corridor. In 1985, Don Knutson’s son Bruce became the acting president of Knutson Construction. With his true passion being architecture, however, Don put the company up for sale.
In 1985, John Curry and Jim Michael—two close friends with a passion for supporting stronger communities—purchased Knutson Construction from Don upon his retirement. Jim Michael was a successful real estate and property developer across the United States. John Curry had spent most of his professional career with Dayton’s before becoming president of Knutson Construction from 1974 to 1983. Curry was named president and CEO, while Michael became chairman of Michael/Curry Companies.
Another Generation of Success
In 1986, John’s son Steve would join the Knutson Family as Vice President, eventually emerging as President and CEO in 1992. Knutson’s long-standing commitment to family legacy, leadership and culture remain strong to this day. The Curry family has created a culture where suggestions and input are respected and genuinely appreciated—supporting a growing team of passionate and dedicated employees.
Welcome to Rochester
After 40 years of managing Rochester construction projects through its Minneapolis office, Knutson Construction continued its dedication to building southern Minnesota and growing its communities in 1997 with the opening of their Rochester office. From playing a key role in the construction of Mayo Clinic’s landmark Gonda Building to construction of schools, religious institutions, banks, community buildings, parking ramps, healthcare facilities and even the City Hall, Knutson has left a permanent mark on Rochester. The Rochester team has woven itself into the very core of its community, while setting the highest standards for service and excellence—and helping clients realize their dreams.
The Knutson Experience
The term “The Knutson Experience” has grown out of Knutson’s unique journey we provide for each client, employee and partner. Our promise is to earn our clients’ confidence each and every day by understanding their goals, honoring our commitments, protecting their investment and operating with their best interests in mind. We strive to ensure that every owner, subcontractor, architect and employee feels assured, inspired and appreciated. The Knutson Experience fulfills the dreams of every employee, client, partner—wherever they are in their journey.
You can have the construction experience, or you can have The Knutson Experience.
Third Generation Take Over
John Curry, Steve Curry’s son, was named president in late 2021, and focused primarily on building out the company’s strategic plan as well as effectively leading Knutson’s team through the COVID-19 pandemic and hyper-growth.
As the company’s capacities changed, the president and CEO positions were broken into two different roles in an effort to separately focus on day-to-day operations and strategic planning, respectively. John’s forward-thinking approach and innovative ideas led to him being named CEO in June 2022, less than eight months after initially assuming the president position.
The Knutson of Today
More than a century after our founding in 1911, Knutson has grown into a regionally strong company providing preconstruction, general contracting, construction management and design−build services. Utilizing lessons learned from our past experience, we are able to approach complex ideas from new angles to find even better solutions—and create a truly unique construction experience. We’re leading the way in innovative ideas. Where others see roadblocks, we see breakthroughs. We are inspired by you. So where there is empty space, we see—through your eyes—infinite possibilities.
At Knutson, we’re awed by every client we serve. These are the visionaries who nurture our youth, heal our afflicted, and inspire our communities. Their dreams make a real difference in the world—and we play a humble part in bringing those visions to life. Here’s a glimpse of just a few clients Knutson supports:
Your Project is Our Project
Our team is rooted in tradition and community. Not unlike a family, we all play different roles, but we each embody The Knutson Experience. That means taking pride and ownership in your project as if it were our own.
“Knutson Construction has been instrumental to the success of our project as our Construction Manager, from the early planning and design phase into parking ramp construction and now construction of the new facility. They have maintained excellent budget control and transparency throughout all phases with their real-time estimating tools and dedicated preconstruction team members. They have also maintained great communication and interaction with clinic leadership to optimize patient and staff experience on our highly utilized and challenging site. We recently celebrated 300 safe project days on site with all team members, a direct result of their commitment to safety.”
Christopher Liedman, PE
Park Nicollet Health Services
Make Your Mark
At Knutson Construction we empower our employees to shape the communities they live, work, and play in. Regardless of where you are in your career, this is your chance to transform communities and make your dream of a great career a reality.