P Whelan Ltd of Gosforth, Newcastle that was established in 1972 and traded under the name Whelan Construction.
The company had a turnover in the region of £18m last year but orders had dried up and the company was unable to trade solvently.
Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers are seeking a buyer but all 49 employees have already been let go.
PwC director Nick Reed said: "There has been less work available in the market and the company has been unable to replace work with new contracts at appropriate margins.
"We have rapidly assessed the ability of the company to meet outstanding customer orders but unfortunately have concluded that the financial position of the company means that the business is not in a position to do so."
Work included a £2m contract to transform a building in Walker, Newcastle, into an engineering apprenticeship college as part of a joint venture between Newcastle College and Shepherd Offshore.
Last year the company explored overseas expansion in the Middle East. Managing director Tony Whelan said in October 2010sssaid in October 2010: “We have a number of irons in fires and I am confident that in the next few months we will be in position to make an announcement about the first large project and have teams on their way [to the Middle East] to show what British construction is really all about.”
Work building car showrooms in the northeast led Whelan to join with franchised motor dealer group Hodgson Newcastle to set up a company producing car parking and display towers, called Autopod (UK), with Tony Whelan as a director. This is not affected by the collapse of Whelan Construction.
Ever enterprising, Tony Whelan responded to the collapse of Rok but hiring one its managers to set up a maintenance division for Whelan.
Whelan Construction was established in 1972. Tragedy hit in 1990 when the then managing director Pat Whelan and his wife Margaret died in a helicopter crash.