Case Studies

M.L. McDonald Sales Co. LLC

92 years as Boston's trusted finishing contractor

Since 1922, M.L. McDonald Sales Co. LLC (MLM) has been leaving a mark on many of Boston’s most iconic properties. From historic Fenway Park to Harvard’s campus, the New England Aquarium to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MLM has completed a number of high-profile, landmark projects in and around the city and New England.

As a diverse finishing contractor and one of Massachusetts’ largest commercial painters, MLM delivers a variety of painting, drywall, spray fireproofing, upholstered wall systems, acoustical panels, window treatments and wood refinishing services for commercial, institutional and industrial customers. Since MLM’s inception 92 years ago, the company’s success has been guided by a few simple ideas: every project is unique; an open and collaborative spirit helps clients and contractors alike and last but not least, the highest level of service isn’t merely a goal; it’s the standard.

Collaborative spirit

While these founding principles have remained constant, MLM has evolved over the years from a specialty painting contractor focusing on restoration work to a full-service finishing contractor with a 200-plus team. “We’ve always believed that teamwork is the key to success,” shares Peter Townsend, president and CEO of MLM.

Townsend joined the firm in 2011 with a degree in civil engineering and a 26-year diverse background in estimating, field supervision and project management with both general contractors, as well as specialty contractors. According to Townsend, MLM’s focus is on cultivating relationships with partners, and success is largely due to the company’s collaborative can-do spirit.

“We’re a team working in tandem to realize and exceed the expectations of each and every project and each and every client,” Townsend adds. “Buying construction isn’t like buying pencils; people really make the difference. The relationships we have established and the long-term employees at MLM truly set us apart.”

Today, MLM mainly serves eastern Massachusetts, specifically the Greater Boston area. “We service everything from hospitals to municipal buildings and office space, also schools and universities, hotels, condos and apartment complexes,” notes Townsend. “MLM operates mainly in Boston, but we’ll travel for the right customer and project. In the past we’ve done work all over New England, as well as places farther away like Atlanta and Philadelphia.”

Full-range finishing

MLM is proud to serve a range of clients, offering the full scope in superlative finishing services, from commercial-grade painting to the ever-popular Stretch Wall series; the company delivers solutions that are as innovative as they are beautiful. “We have four main divisions: painting, drywall, fire proofing and acoustical wall coverings and wood refinishing,” details Townsend

MLM is a regional leader in commercial painting service. The Hancock Tower, Symphony Hall, The Custom House, the Boston Opera House and the TD Banknorth Garden are just a few of the notable buildings in MLM’s extensive commercial painting portfolio. Furthermore, the company’s drywall division, led by Glenn Alexander, has tackled fast-track and complex projects for Microsoft, The Container Store, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Genzyme and Fidelity Investments, among other big names.

The firm has been working with upholstered wall systems for more than 25 years. “That experience means we offer our clients an incredible quality of product, from traditional wood-frame systems to snap-loc systems,” adds Townsend. “Stretchwall is a tested, versatile solution suitable for nearly any interior environment. It provides outstanding sound attenuation along with superior aesthetics.”

MLM’s expert fireproofing specialists offer a full suite of applications, including sprayed cementations fireproofing and intumescent coatings. “Our fireproofing team has worked on projects, such as the new Harvard Art Museum, Bridgewater State College, Woburn High School, Northpoint Parcels S&T and the WGBH campus in Brighton, Mass.”

Skilled craftsmanship at work

The company also employs a skilled team of wood refinishing craftsmen that restore and refinish a variety of wood, including moldings, trim, millwork and even furnishings. “We work with environmentally-friendly, water-based stains and finishes and can complete projects on or off-site,” says Townsend. “Recent projects include the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Boston Medical Center, One Charles, Merck Pharmaceutical and the Boston Harbor Hotel.”

Townsend goes on to note that MLM has been recently completed work at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Boston at the company’s new buildings A and B. “We did the painting and special coatings for building A and fireproofing and insulation for B,” he details.

Furthermore, at the famous Harvard Art Museum, MLM has delivered the spray fire proofing and intumescent coatings, painting and wood refinishing, for the challenging and complicated project that includes a new addition and complete renovation of the existing 100-year-old original museum. The art museum is just one example of the MLM advantage; expertly crafted finishes all under one roof.

“There’s hardly a building in Boston we haven’t touched at one time or another,” says Townsend proudly. After 92 years M.L. McDonald Sales Co. LLC’s collaborative spirit has engaged a range of high-profile clients in the historic East Coast city.

Published on: November 7, 2014

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