LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A public memorial gathering is being planned for
builder Paul Matt, whose Santa Fe Springs-based construction firm has had a
hand in construction or restoration projects at such Southern California
cultural landmarks as the Skirball Cultural Center, The Broad, the Petersen
Automotive Museum, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Huntington Library and the
Matt, who lived in Newport Beach for more than 45 years, died on Friday
afternoon, surrounded by his family. He was 85.
His company’s other recent projects include the Annenberg Retreat at
Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing
Arts and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills.
When the Engineering News-Record honored him with its 2015 Southern
California Legacy Award, the engineering and construction industry publication
said Matt’s “lifelong ambition to tackle challenging projects head-on with a
collaborative spirit has led to a career in construction that spans 65 years
and encompasses more than 450 buildings, many of which are among Southern
California’s most iconic structures.”’
Matt set his sights on a career in construction while working as a
welder on the Dalles Dam after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He started out as
a surveyor for the George A. Fuller Co. and, in 1962, was promoted to job
superintendent for the Salk Institute in San Diego, designed by the legendary
architect Louis Kahn.
‘Working on the Salk project — which was stopped by the client, then
completely redesigned for budgetary reasons — Matt “developed innovative
approaches in formwork, concrete and collaborative relationships with the
architect and consultants that provided the basis for his philosophy as a
builder the rest his career,” according to his family.
Matt was a senior executive at C.L. Peck and a member of the company’s
board of directors before co-founding MATT Construction in 1991 with his son
Steve and his brother Al, which has grown into a company that generates more
than $500 million in annual revenue and has 250 employees.
“My father loved his work and the people he collaborated with. During
his recent battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he continued to apply his
amazing passion for building,” said Steve Matt, the company’s CEO. “All of us
at MATT take great solace that he lived to see his dream fully realized …
building a company of great builders and great people. We will proudly carry on
Matt, born June 1, 1932, in Rome, New York, earned a structural
engineering degree from Oregon Institute of Technology. He attended college on
the G.I. Bill.
He is survived by his second wife, Cathy. He was preceded in death by
his first wife Evelyn, mother of his children Steven, Colleen and Neil. He is
also survived by 11 grandchildren, four brothers and a sister.
Funeral services will be private, followed by a public celebration of
his life later in July. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking friends “to
send meaningful memories” of Matt via email to: