Anselmo John Macchi went from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City to UC Berkeley. While in California, his father died, and he couldn’t afford a ticket home. One of his professors gave him the money for a ticket in exchange for Macchi’s promise that he would return and finish his education. He did, graduating in 1936. Macchi went on to serve as a Seabee in the Navy and then a civil engineer, in which occupation he worked on the San Francisco Bay Bridge as well as bridges in South America. Subsequently, he borrowed $3,000 and started his own successful business, Macchi Engineers.
Macchi Engineers began in 1945 in Hartford, CT
Anselmo, known as “John” to his friends and “Sam” to his nieces and nephews, kept Berkeley dear to his heart throughout his professional years. He never forgot the kindness of the professor who bought his ticket home, and he never lost his fondness for Cal, to which he returned every year to watch the Big Game. He also remembered how, though he grew up poor, hard work and education helped him to accomplish more than he’d dreamed he could. For all of these reasons, when he passed away in 2000, he left a large bequest to support deserving undergraduate and graduate students at Berkeley. To this day, you will see Mr. Macchi’s imprint at Berkeley in the way of these fellowships and in a more visible way in the presence of two “golden bears” which sit proudly outside the engineering building, McLaughlin Hall. Click here for the full story on the Macchi Bears and the 2001 restoration (pdf). Mr. Macchi was quite famous in his life, working with his friend Alexander Lieberman on Calderesque sculptures which you will see through the country (one at the base of the Space Needle in Seattle) as well as countless buildings, bridges, roadways and structures throughout New England and particularly his home state of Connecticut. Active and engaged in his profession and love of engineering until the end, Mr. Macchi received patents in several countries for his pneumatically operated elevator. He received these patents nearly one month after his passing. He will be most famous for his imprint on his family and friends, and his presence and influence is felt to this day.
Macchi Engineers moved to 44 Gillett Street, Hartford, Connecticut in 1959 — just a few blocks from the historic Mark Twain Homestead. In 1986, Macchi passed the reins of the firm to James Brockman. Prior to joining Macchi Engineers, Jim was an engineer with General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut. From 1986 until his passing in 2014, Jim had been the Principal in Charge. Today’s management team consists of Michael Plickys, P.E. and Principal in Charge, John Brochu, P.E., Principal and Douglas Camp, P.E., Principal.
Macchi Engineers is proud of the laurels the firm and its owners and team members have earned throughout the last 77 plus years, and continues to build on and earn those laurels every day.