A Little History Behind Wilson Railing


There are a couple of common misconceptions about Wilson Railing & Metal Fabricating. First, that we are owned and ran by “The Wilson Family”. Second, that we are just a railing company. Perhaps, rightfully so. A good portion of our clients know us as Wilson Railing, leaving off the ever important “& Metal Fabricating”. But we’ll go over more of that later. Let us go back to the first misconception, “The Wilson Family”.

The name Wilson actually comes from the town Wilson Railing originated from, Wilson, IL. Over the years, the town of Wilson was absorbed by Waukegan and then later split into a new town known as Park City. It’s easy to see where the confusion comes from, but Wilson Railing is actually ran by the Albert Family, and is three generations strong.

Wilson Railing was founded in 1945 by Frank and Helen Albert. The business started out small, and had a nice frontage road off Green Leaf Ave before an on ramp to RT. 120 was built. This left the only entrance to our shop in the back of a sub-division. For about ten years, Frank and Helen ran a mink farm on the property, which they found themselves doing after a client of Wilson Railing offered up a mink when he was unable to pay his balance.

In1962, Frank’s son, Lou Albert, took over for his father. Lou and his wife, Lillian, ran the shop as a family, much like Frank and Helen did the years before. Lillian ran much of the office, and would occasionally lend a helping hand in the shop or out on installations. Their two sons, Steve and Lou Jr, grew up helping out the family business, learning the ins and outs of the fabrication world. It wasn’t until the late 90’s that Wilson Railing began expanding their capabilities into larger, more ornate showcase railings that are popular on the North Shore of Chicago. Their craftsmanship was soon recognized by NOMMA (National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association), winning Wilson Railing multiple awards over the years. In 2002, Wilson Railing began its third generation of the Albert Family when Steve took over for his father. While Steve is the President, the entire family is still very much a part of Wilson Railing, keeping the family owned business alive in a struggling economy.

Now with a little family history under our belts, it is time to tackle the second misconception of Wilson Railing. “& Metal Fabricating” was added to Wilson Railing years later to help spread the word that, while Wilson Railing may specialize in ornate custom railings, they were capable of just about any metal fabrication that comes their way. Everything from garbage cans, dumpsters, staircases, cat walks, tanks, duct work, fencing, gates, counter tops, signs, window well grating, and even flower boxes. You name it, and Wilson Railing can likely fabricate it for you. In addition to their fabrication skills, they are also capable of transporting items with their light crane service. Wilson Railing & Metal Fabricating is one of the oldest companies in the area led by a family devoted to customer service. Next time you’re in the area, stop by the shop and let us know how we can help you.