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2018 MWFPA Zone Conference Project Awards

Craftsmanship Awards Won at the 2018 Zone Conference

Honorable Mention-Single Family

Traditional style canopy with scalloped valance, 49′ 4″ wide x 12′ 2″ projection (front) and 23′ 5 1/5 ” wide x 6′ projection (left) with corner miter.  Fabric is Sunbrella Awning/Marine, Era Mist, striped and 46″ wide. Four custom fabricated decorative double post supports 2″ x 2″ x .180″ with unique routed design and painted black.

1st Place- Multiple Family-Hello Apartments

Apartment poolside custom circular canopy structure measuring 22 feet in diameter. There are 2 circular frames fabricated in 4 sections each.  Framing is made of round aluminum tubing. Fabric is Regatta Sunbrella Firesist and framing painted Axalta Haze Gray. The outer ring has 4 fabric sections and the inner ring has 1 fabric section. Fabric is designed to be removed for winter months. The water drains to the center of the structure and down the center support post below the patio. The custom bent perforated center post cover contains cutouts for TV’s, speakers and electrical access.

Honorable Mention- Commercial Awnings & Canopies- Under 30 Linear Ft- Meadowbrook Country Club

Custom country club patio canopy, 29’ wide x 19′ projection, material is Sunbrella Taupe. The design includes a 19′ 2 3/4″ slope and 13′ 11 1/2″ gabled section. There are 4 galvanized vertical steel posts measuring 4″ x 4″ plus 2 additional posts 2″ x 2″, mounted to the top of columns at the back of canopy for extra support at the wall. All aluminum frame and steel posts painted a cream color to match the building EFIS.

Honorable Mention-Commercial Awnings & Canopies Over 30 Linear Ft- Boeing Leadership

Rounded style canopy recovers on our original framework from previous year installation. Approximate size is 2,500 square feet and covers the front entrance over the side walkway ending at the rear entrance. Fabric is Sunbrella Charcoal Gray. Many different awning styles fabricated together to form a very unique walkway canopy.

1st Place-Interior Awnings & Design- Missouri History Museum

Custom fabricated and installed seven aluminum framed fabric radius backlit lightboxes 10’ high, 6” deep ranging from 27’ to 39’ wide.  These backlit screen structures displaying the giant panoramas are curved, partly to minimize distortions but also to allow History Museum visitors to immerse themselves in the scenes. The panoramic photos selected from museum archives were printed on backlit knit fabric and attached via aluminum extrusion to the interior perimeter of the light box frame along with LED lighting. All exposed aluminum was painted black. The display explores the city’s history from 1900 to 1950 through panoramic photographs. Seven images are blown up to life-size on backlit screens, depicting broad local history.

2nd Place-New & Unusual- Barnes Jewish Hospital

Custom fabricated radius awning lightbox system for front entrance of a hospital, consisting of 36 aluminum and fabric canopy light panel modules. The panels are various shapes and sizes with a total measurement of 2,800 square feet. Each module includes a welded aluminum tubing frame and aluminum tensioning extrusion with a stretched translucent Ferrari 402 fabric and an internal aluminum composite sheet back, a front edge trim section and a rear aluminum transition trim piece that is attached to an existing wood plank ceiling. All framework was painted.

1st Place-Fabric Graphics- Maggie McFly’s

Vertical signage panels on the outside of the restaurant building with SGS printed graphics. The graphic material is thermal w/8520 and the base material is 46” Alpine Sunbrella. The top is 55’ 3” wide and the bottom is 52’ 11” wide, 13’ deep with a 3’ projection. The graphic type “Be Unique and Eat Drink” printed to match Ginko Green Sunbrella.


Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. Goes ESOP

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. Goes ESOP

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. is now owned by the employees. Lawrence employees have always provided great service and quality to our customers. This EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN will promote continued success and customer satisfaction for many years to come.

Lawrence Canvas Products, started in 1941 by Art & Dorothy Lawrence, was sold to Bob Helmsing in 1977. Jerry Grimaud started working at Lawrence in 1979 as the 9th employee of the company that had sales just over $250,000 per year. In 1984, Grimaud became a minority owner as the company grew from just industrial fabric products to a full service company manufacturing and installing awnings and tents. In 1996, Helmsing & Grimaud changed the name of the company to Lawrence Fabric Structures to better describe the wide range of fabric products that anchored the core business as they moved into a 68,000 sq. ft. plant in West St. Louis County.

As the company continued to grow into the 21st Century with the addition of Exhibits and Architectural Elements, metal products became an essential part of the business. In 2005, Grimaud bought out his partner of 21 years becoming the sole owner of Lawrence Fabric Structures. As metal components and metal awnings became a mainstay part of the business, “Metal” was added to the name, thus becoming Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. in January of 2010.

“It is time to pass the proverbial baton”, Grimaud says. “Lawrence has been through a tremendous growth ride and now seems a great time to move forward. The culture of the company suggests that an ESOP is a great transition tool for me as well as a just reward for my many dedicated employees. The leadership team that inherently formed will be able to take Lawrence and our 72 employees to the next level of growth coming into our 75th anniversary in 2016.” Grimaud will be involved with the company assisting Mike Bowman the new President and Dave Bess the new Vice President.

Mike BowmanMike Bowman previously held the positions of Estimating, Project Manager and Vice President. He is an accomplished senior-level executive with a track record of over 25 years of successful strategic and tactical leadership skills within several relatable industries. He is visionary and creative with a positive attitude and steadfast commitment to excellence.

Dave BessDave Bess previously held the positions of Plant Manager and Operations Manager. He has been instrumental in maintaining and improving permanent priorities of safety, quality, service, and people. Dave is known as an innovative and results-driven leader who focuses on building and motivating cross-functional teams that exceeded Company expectations.


2015 MWFPA & CPA Zone Photo Contest – Feb 6th, 2015

Awards Won at The 2015 Zone Conference

1st Place- Bethesda Senior Living- Multi-Family Residential Awnings

For a senior living care and services facility our team designed and installed 22 Dome style awnings on the 4th floor balconies. Each dome awning is 22’ wide x 6’ 8” projection x 5’4” tall and covers 2 unit balconies. Mill finish frames with fabric panels stapled to span two ribs. A center return was required. Fabric is Ferrari 502-2136 Sand with clear beading.

2nd Place- St. Louis Zoo Sea Lion Tunnel- Industrial

Designed and installed 2 custom industrial entry end caps with single self-closing swing doors that conceal a walk thru glass tunnel. Without the doors, the cold weather caused the caulk surrounding the 2” thick aquarium glass in the underground tunnel to contract resulting in leakage. Tunnel openings needed to be closed to minimize cold airflow in the underground sea lion aquarium exhibit tube.

2nd Place- AARP Trade Show Display- Interior Design & Display

Our team created a unique eye catching trade show display to capture the attention of the attendees and entice people to visit this booth to learn about their products. The design included three arch structures, 16’ high x 37’ wide x 6’ deep, made out of 2” CD aluminum tubing with snap button connections.

2nd Place- Washington University- Fabric Structures

The college student parking garage fabric structure consists of twelve mesh fabric panels, ranging from 8’ to 29’ wide x 14’ to 25’ tall, with a total coverage of 6,006 square feet. The panel fabric is Awntex A20 120 Brown Mesh with 90% shade factor. The project was designed and engineered using the FACID profile technology.


We Are Proud To Announce The Acquisition Of Krauss Graphics

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, (September 2011) Jerry Grimaud, Owner & President of Lawrence Fabric, has acquired Krauss Graphics of Highland Heights, Kentucky. The previous owner of Krauss Graphics, Jack McMath has decided to retire. For many years, Krauss Graphics has supplied Lawrence with excellent service and quality for specialty graphics products.

“We have always been impressed with their knowledge of RF welded vinyl letters and SGS Graphics”, explains Grimaud. Krauss offered a wide range of processes for awning graphics including backlit, pressure sensitive and sunbrella graphic systems. Krauss will compliment Lawrence’s ability to print in-house. In an effort to continue the service and traditions of Krauss, Lawrence has acquired their equipment and customer database. Most of Krauss’ customers are serviced using UPS or Federal Express delivery. “With Tri Vantage distributing fabrics in St. Louis, our customers will be able to ship fabric directly to Lawrence for the graphic applications,” Grimaud says. While working through the logistics, Lawrence’s main goal will be to continue to run the company efficiently during this transition period. “We are very excited about this new venture and look forward to serving the needs of our clients now and in the years to come,” added Grimaud.

Our fearless leader, Jerry Grimaud is on the cover of Specialty Fabrics Review, a national trade publication for Industrial Fabrics Association International. Read his article “Game On” and learn how he stays ahead of the game. He shares his strategy ideas on risking product changes and policies based on market trends. Read More…

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, (July, 2011) Bob Helmsing, a leader in the Awning & Canopy Industry, former president and owner of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc., will retire after 34 dedicated years. Bob acquired the company in 1977 and has done an outstanding job at contributing to the growth of the company from 8 employees to currently 50. Over the years, Lawrence has won numerous national and international industry awards. Helmsing, served as chair of PAMA, held the position of President of Zone 8, and is an honored IFAI lifetime member. Bob will stay involved in an advisory capacity, but will step away from day to day operations. We wish him the best of luck in his future of pursuing other lifelong interests.