As the prestressed industry grew in the early 1950s, it became apparent that a central organization was essential to provide a unity of purpose in the industry. PCI was legally chartered as the Prestressed Concrete Institute on June 18, 1954, in Tampa, Fla.

Originally, six companies formed the institute, Cone Brother, R.H. Wright & Co., Dura-Stress, West Coast Shell Corporation, Lakeland Engineering Associates and Lakeland Concrete. Douglas P. Cone served as the first president of PCI.

From the beginning, PCI recognized the importance of developing a body of knowledge as a technical institute. PCI published its first specification, “Specification for Pre-Tensioned Bonded Prestressed Concrete,” in October 1954. This publication was developed by Harry Edwards.

Additionally, the first issue of the PCI Journal was published shortly after PCI’s inception. The issue debuted at PCI’s second annual conference in May 1956. In September of 1957, PCI’s Technical Activities Council (TAC) was formed. TAC continues to oversee the technical work of the institute.

In December 1959, PCI moved its headquarters from Florida to Chicago, where it is based today.