McHugh Construction was founded in 1897 by James D. McHugh, and by the 1920s was established as a general contractor recognized for its elaborate masonry work. Through the next few decades and the post-World War II era, the company worked across the country on heavy civil work, including water treatment plants and transportation tunnels as well as public housing, hospitals, government buildings, and university facilities. As the company grew, it refined its specialties to include high-rise concrete construction and complex, large scale projects for both the public and private sectors.

Over the decades, McHugh earned a reputation for leadership and innovation in general contracting. The company was the first in Chicago to utilize a tower crane when it built the iconic Marina City in the 1960s, and it has since constructed what would become the tallest reinforced concrete structures of their time in the world.

McHugh's leadership has always extended beyond the structures it builds. The company was the first in Chicago to bring minorities into the ironworkers' union and the first to enter into a joint venture with a minority contractor. Today, McHugh remains committed to continuing this important tradition by fostering a promote-from-within culture and ensuring nearly every corporate employee spends time working in the field.

"McHugh is a true pioneer. Since our founding, we have consistently refused to settle for what may seem possible. Instead we are driven by an unapologetic pursuit of the extraordinary. That philosophy has served us well and will continue to inform everything we do."