About Lester Buildings

What We Build
Lester Buildings is a leading manufacturer and builder of custom pre-engineered, post-frame building systems for farm, livestock, equine, hobby, and commercial purposes. We also sell material-only packages. What sets us apart? Three things: a professional, collaborative planning experience from concept to completion; customization; and value.
Where We Sell
Our buildings are available from the Eastern Seaboard to the Rocky Mountains and as far south as a line running from Oklahoma eastward through Tennessee and North Carolina. See map for details.
Our Distribution System
In general, our buildings are available through a large network of independent, locally owned Lester Building Dealers. In parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, company-employed Territory Managers oversee sales and service. Where you build determines your distributor. Locate your nearest Lester Dealer / Rep.

Original Office/Plant

Gothic-Arch Dairy Barn with Insl-Wall Parlor
Original Lester logo
1947 - 1986
Lester logo
1986 - 2004
Lester Buildings logo

Our History
On April 1, 1947, Lester's of Minnesota, Inc. was formed by 11 men with a working capital of $100,000 and a drive to succeed. Inside a 2,400 square-foot warehouse/office in Lester Prairie, MN, they took over a Stran-Steel (metal quonset huts) franchise owned by Weise and Kuhlmann, Inc., who owned several businesses in the area.

Art Schwichtenberg, general manager, changed course. He purchased the company in 1954 and transitioned to wood structures. Under Art's leadership, Lester's sold glue-laminated Gothic-arch buildings in the agricultural and light commercial markets. Innovation led to Insl-Wall panels and the first Wingspan pole barn in the 1960s. By 1977, the company celebrated its 30,000th building sold. Eager to expand beyond the Upper Midwest, Lester's began selling to independent dealers in 1984. After 32 successful years, with over 49,000 buildings constructed, Art retired and sold the company. 

In 1986, Kansas City, MO based Butler Manufacturing Company bought Lester's. Butler had national distribution for its grain bins and steel buildings and envisioned the same for Lester. Over the next 18 years, the company added three manufacturing facilities and expanded coverage to two-thirds of the U.S. with the help of its far-reaching dealer network. In 1990, Lester acquired Bonanza Buildings and its plant in Charleston, IL. During the 1990s and 2000s, Lester's engineering capabilities evolved, resulting in the construction of larger and more complex buildings.

In 2004, members of the Lester Buildings management group purchased the company. True to its roots, Lester Buildings remains a privately held, locally owned company. Each owner-partner is a hands-on employee who values hard work, loyalty and respect. Our company takes great pride in employing generations of hard-working local citizens. Lester continually re-invests in people, equipment and technologies to remain a market leader.

Lester Building Systems, LLC, and Lester Buildings, LLC, reserve the right to change products and services without prior notice. Products shown in marketing materials may not accurately reflect current product offerings. Product colors are limited by viewing and printing conditions. For better color representation, please ask your Lester Dealer / Rep for product samples.