Timeline

McWaters Timeline

1945

McWaters Founded

Established as an office supply company by A. Hines McWaters in Columbia, SC

Did you know?

Today we have offices in Columbia, Savannah, Augusta, and Charleston. All four showrooms are used by community members for meetings and retreats.

See Our Locations

1947

McWaters becomes a Steelcase dealer and begins to sell furniture

Forming a relationship with Steelcase gave McWaters the opportunity and the resources to offer customers some of the best-designed ergonomic furniture in the world. It also gave McWaters access to the latest workplace well-being research allowing the company to come up with even more sophisticated work space designs.

Did you know?

Steelcase is a international leader in high-quality, ergonomic office furniture.

1950s

Open offices were the norm in the 1950s

Unlike today’s intentionally designed spaces, these were generally large rooms filled with identical, heavy desks. Spaces offer little to no privacy (with the exception of management’s private offices) and meeting spaces were uncommon.

Did you know?

Frank Lloyd Wright was a proponent of the open office plan.

1960s

The cubicle was invented

The trend was originally started as a way to make offices more flexible and customizable. But as the idea got copied it quickly evolved into the cube farm that we envision today.

1968

Offices Become More Flexible

Offices began to offer a wider range of work settings so that employees would have both freedom of movement and privacy - a concern among a growing female workplace.

Did you know?

Steelcase studies show that workers who are more in control of where and how they work feel safer and more engaged.

1976

McWaters hires its first interior designer

In the mid-70’s the Flexible Office trend has made its mark. Offices need to have multiple spaces that are all designed for different tasks, but still are able to work together. McWaters hires its first interior designer to meet this demand. Interior design and space planning added to service lines.

Did you know?

Today we have a whole team of designers. We even offer internships to design students at nearby colleges.

Join our team

1980s

More offices begin to use computers

Before the 80s, most people didn’t work on a computer in their office. Office furniture had to be reimagined to allow for new technology. Today the furniture we sell is designed with ergonomics in mind to ensure an office worker can sit at a computer all day without getting injured.

1981

McWaters moves to its current Columbia location on Shop Road

This is the first time the company was able to have a dedicated showroom. Today we use that space as a “working showroom,” so customers can see our furniture and technology in action and employees can have first-hand experience working with top-of-the-line products.

Did you know?

We have showroom space available to rent for meetings and conferences.

Visit our showroom

1982

McWaters buys its first computer and printer

As computers become more advanced, we need fewer places for file storage. Today we use storage creatively to add seating and define spaces.

1993

Bill Gresham, Jr. buys McWaters

Bill brings with him 30 years of experience working in the flooring industry for Milliken. Thanks to that expertise, we can offer today’s customers everything they need for their space: furniture, flooring, A/V, and relocation.

1996

McWaters acquires Jones and Associates, a healthcare-focused furnishing company in Savannah, GA

This expands McWaters market into a new state, and allows them to focus more heavily on healthcare. Today McWaters prides itself on creating healthcare spaces that make the experience more comfortable for patients, loved ones, and staff.

2000s

Open offices are back!

This time we know that office workers need to balance the openness with privacy, so we make sure to design open offices with plenty of breakout spaces for collaboration or quiet, heads-down work.

2007

McWaters opens a new location in Augusta, GA

McWaters already had a strong background in healthcare, thanks to its Savannah office, and those skills were easily transferable to the Augusta market where the company has flourished in the healthcare community.

2010s

Offices become even more reliant on technology

Technology trends like the Internet of Things, bring your own device (BYOD), and remote work are here to stay. Now offices have a greater need than ever to provide areas to plug in, video conference, and share screens.

2012

McWaters created its audio-visual division

McWaters’ audio-visual division allows the company to consider technology before a space is built, making it truly connected and usable.

2016

McWaters opens a new location in Charleston, SC

Charleston is quickly becoming the largest city in South Carolina with strong growth in the tech and education sectors. McWaters is able to create unique, functional spaces for both of those industries.

2018

The rise of the Resimercial office design

Today’s worker thinks that work can—and should—be able to happen anywhere. They’re seeking an office space that is comfortable and feels more like home than a traditional office.