Pantano & Sons, Inc.


Family-owned and operated since 1920, Pantano & Sons, Inc. has decades of experience in the demolition business. As one of the Philadelphia area’s oldest demolition companies, we are part of a valued tradition of service that has paralleled our family’s way of life here in America. Since our inception, the Pantano name has represented integrity within the industry and continues to do so today. Four generations of commitment translate to reliability for our clients.


Pantano Wrecking Co., Inc. began as a partnership between Samuel Pantano and Ben Feldman in 1920. Samuel, who had immigrated to the United States from Italy 18 years earlier at the age of 12, had worked a variety of jobs before offering to tear down a friend’s home in their South Philadelphia neighborhood. He approached Ben (who owned a horse-drawn wagon useful for hauling debris) and hired his brother-in-law, Henry Tsoni (a boxer who fought under the name Larry Shannon), for additional labor. The men successfully completed their first demolition project, and a profitable company was born.

Pantano Wrecking Co., Inc. grew quickly, as connections with Philadelphia Electric, GE, and certain local government officials produced larger projects requiring the lease of bigger machines and the employment of greater manpower. Decades later, Ben Feldman’s death ended the partnership but not the company, which reached new heights as Samuel’s oldest son Pat (back from Marine Corp duty) and his younger son Carl, again brought youthful energy and new contacts to the business.


“Big Van” on break at a project in Center City.

As his father Samuel aged, Pat Pantano continued to grow the company by way of his social charm and reputation for flair. They purchased the Bay City crane they had been leasing for years and went on to purchase an even larger one. The 1958 demolition of the Mastbaum Theater at the corner of 20th and Market Streets in Philadelphia highlighted the firm’s association with the city in which it evolved.

Samuel Pantano died a few years later at the age of 72. Pat had moved the family from South Philadelphia to the Main Line where his sons, Pat and Jim, entered the Radnor School District. Pretty soon Samuel’s grandsons were learning the business as their father had before them.

Pat Pantano’s untimely death in 1977 (at the age of 52) was a difficult time for the family. The company was forced to scale back by selling their cranes and taking on fewer large projects. Before long, however, Jim picked up the torch and was joined by his brother Pat and cousin Carl Jr. in leading the corporation under the name Pantano Associates, and more recently Interior Salvage, Inc.

Understanding the tremendous cost involved and the volume of crane work necessary to merit owning and maintaining oversized equipment, Jim Pantano soon recognized a niche in the area of selective and interior demolition where the company is rooted today.

Pat Pantano on the steps of the Mastbaum Theater.

Pat Pantano on the steps of the Mastbaum Theater.

“There are many outfits that can knock an entire building down – some more efficiently than others – but it takes greater care, skill, and attention to detail to demolish various parts of a building without disrupting the structural integrity or aesthetic attributes of the remainder. This is where we distinguish ourselves.” After more than thirty years with that focus at the core of our business, we neatly and safely execute selective demolition on countless renovation and fit-out projects across the Philadelphia region.

It is within that focus that Jason Pantano, Jim’s eldest son and now President of the company known today as Pantano & Sons, Inc., has learned the business since coming on board full-time back in 2004, after first earning a degree in Operations Management and spending many a summer laboring on job sites.  Having successfully steered the business through the Great Recession as Vice President, Jason remains proud to represent the fourth generation of his family in this vital field, and looks to build on the valued tradition of service that has facilitated the very existence of the Pantano family in America since 1920.

Mastbaum Theater, 20th & Market, Philadelphia

Campbell’s Soup plant, Camden, NJ