History

Aluminum Greenhouses

Albert J. Lauer and Arnold Zachman were probably the first full time commercial fabricators and builders of aluminum greenhouses in the country. The business grew out of a greenhouse and retail floral firm operated by Arnold’s father, Albert Zachman.

The elder Zachman started his greenhouse and florist business at 1247 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, in 1910. By 1938, his son Arnold was in the business and he built a few steel greenhouses. However, when steel was not available during World War II, he turned to aluminum. His second cousin, Albert J. Lauer, an engineering graduate of the University of Minnesota, helped Arnold with his greenhouse design work. In 1947, Lauer took over the greenhouse construction business and Arnold Zachman continued growing and retailing flowers and plants.

In the 1960s, the Zachman site was purchased for construction of a supermarket. Lauer’s son Ed now operates Albert J. Lauer, Inc.

Read more from the University of Minnesota/A History of Minnesota Floriculture