Clearspan legacy

Ben Fox saw the light. And if it wasn’t exactly an experience of biblical proportion, it certainly put him on the path to success. “I had purchased a small fabric-covered building for personal usage about 18 years ago and was impressed with the natural light it allowed in and how easy it was to assemble,” the president of Legacy Building Solutions says. “I became a dealer and quickly started installing structures for our customers and other dealers’ customers all over the Midwest. That evolved into traveling all over the world with as many as 12 install crews.”

Located some 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis in South Haven, Minn., Legacy—founded in 2010—designs, manufactures and installs high-quality customized tension-fabric structures. “The superstructure comprises solid-steel rigid frames and tubular purlins [struts],” Fox says. “We offer many options including overhangs, soffits, lean-tos and nonsymmetrical buildings. Our typical customer tends to be demanding large buildings that are clearspan.” The various industries Legacy serves include the military; aviation; industrial and warehouse; mining, oil, and gas; salt and sand storage; waste and recycling; commodity; athletics; cattle/agricultural and equestrian.

Among the unique qualities of Legacy buildings is the ability to expand or relocate them. This works especially well for temporary projects, those built on leased property, or changes in building layout to accommodate changing business demands.

Rapid growth

In its three years, the company has grown about as quickly as its structures can be assembled. “We’ve experienced significant growth since our founding,” Fox says. “We are proud to offer a full range of services to our customers from design and engineering to manufacturing all the way to installing the building and its accessories.” In the 18 years he has been in the fabric structure business, his company has sold or installed more than 3,000 fabric buildings, including more than 30 million square feet of tension fabric.

As the company website proudly proclaims, “We can handle any project.” That includes structures for first-responders in New York City after 9/11, a 191,600-square-foot track stadium and practice facility for Texas A&M University in College Station; and the installation of tension-fabric structures in more than 20 countries on five continents.

The Legacy team pioneered and developed the concept of applying fabric to rigid-frame structures, and it was the first to design and manufacture fabric-covered, rigid-frame buildings. In total, the staff at the company represents some 100 years of industry experience.

Enjoying Minnesota

Legacy membership in IFAI also dates to its start in 2010. “Our membership helps keep us apprised to new technology involving the fabric industry,” Fox says.

True Minnesotans, Fox and his family—including five children ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old—enjoy water sports in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter.

As English Restoration cleric and author Thomas Fuller would have it: “Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.” Ben Fox would likely agree.

Jim Tarbox is editor of Marine Fabricator.