Colonial Brass formally opened for business in the spring of 1991 in Southwest Houston. The founder, Thomas (Tom) Marz (1938-2011) enlisted the assistance of his son, Mark Marz shortly afterward. Although Tom had previously operated under the name “The Brass Workshop” in Houston in 1978, the business was sold in 1986. Tom and Mark moved to the Mississippi gulf coast and opened The Brass Workshop in Ocean Springs, Mississippi where they continued to operate until moving back to Houston in 1990. For 22 years, Tom and Mark cultivated Colonial Brass into one of Houston’s largest, most respected metal restoration and custom fabrication shops in the area. Colonial Brass expanded to 11,000 sq. ft. within 2 buildings on a 1 1/2 acre property in Southwest Houston.
Now in 2014, Colonial Brass has begun yet another expansion project that promises a greater presence in Texas with the offering of metal restoration services in the greater Austin area. Recognizing the lack of specialty metal restoration services in Austin, Colonial Brass is preparing to establish what will be Austin’s most dedicated hardware, lighting and antique restoration company. With the experience that has been gained by years of hard work, Colonial Brass will deliver to Austin, the same great professional service that residential and business clients in Houston have come to rely on for the past 22 years.
Tom Marz was a retired US Air Force Msgt. who grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania with 9 siblings, a stay at home Mother and a Father that was continuing the family trade of metal finishing at the Griswold Manufacturing Company. Since 1865 Griswold has been responsible for producing some of the world’s most recognized cast iron cookware much as they do today. One of Tom’s favorite stories is of his experience while in the USAF in 1950’s Germany is being able to sit and meet with direct descendants still plying the metal finishing and restoration trade that has been passed down for over 200 years from generation to generation. Ever since the early 1820’s, there has been a member of the Marz family in America, either producing metal crafts or restoring metal as a trade.
Mark Marz grew up and went to school in Houston and had been working alongside of his father since the age of 8, now 42 years old and married with 2 wonderful children, Mark is continuing the family tradition and teaching his son Jonathan the trade.
With the addition of custom metal railing fabrication, Mark’s influence on the direction and growth of Colonial Brass has earned praise for such projects like the Hand railing restoration at the Historic “Hotel Galvez” in Galveston Texas, The Custom fabrication of a Bronze Sanctuary Gate and Hand railings for “St. Anthony’s Cathedral – Basilica” in Beaumont Texas, The Fountain Railings for “2nd Baptist Church” in Houston Texas and The Super Structure Glass and Brass Railing for “The New Light Christian Center Church” in Greenspoint area of Houston Texas. In 2008 Colonial Brass completed a project for the “Stark Foundation” of Orange Texas installing ADA hand railing for the Lutcher Theater and Stark Museum. This past year of 2011, Colonial Brass completed the first of many, a Custom Brass and Mahogany communion rail for St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA. Currently, Colonial Brass is working with The University of Houston to restore memorial plaques on thier sprawling campus as well as new construction of a Catholic church in Austin Texas.
The Marz family has been synonymous with metal restoration and finishing in the Houston area since 1945.