Electrical Connection teams with lighting designers on first ever ‘Light Up St. Louis’

Picnic Island
Picnic Island – Ben Scherless

IBEW/NECA, celebrating anniversaries, donate talent, resources to illuminate landmarks and structures

The nuances of some of St. Louis’ architecture came alive the evening of Feb. 24 in the inaugural “Light up St. Louis.” The effort, sponsored by the Electrical Connection and other organizations, was orchestrated by the St. Louis Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), St. Louis Chapter.

The Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), donated talent and resources to install special lighting to brighten the built environment. More than 50 professionals from IES and IALD local chapters also contributed services to the effort.

2115 Locust – Debbie Franke photo

The inaugural year of “Light up St. Louis” illuminated four structures that have never been lit before, including:

  • Picnic Island in Forest Park;
  • The Grand Ave. MetroLink Shelter;
  • Pierre Laclede Monument at St. Louis City Hall; and
  • 2115 Locust St. – Broadway Office Interiors


“As IBEW Local 1 celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and the birth of the professional electrical industry, this is a great opportunity to help renew a sense of civic pride in our architectural heritage,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager.

“All successful lighting projects require partnership with highly skilled licensed electrical contractors,” said Rich Fisher of the IALD, St. Louis Chapter and a lighting designer with Randy Burkett Lighting Design. “’Light up St. Louis’ is no different and wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Electrical Connection and its IBEW/NECA members.”

Three NECA electrical contractors are donated installation services and materials for “Light up St. Louis” including Sachs Electric Co., Grasser Electric, and Guarantee Electrical Co.

Grand Ave MetroLink
Grand Avenue Metro Link shelter – Sam Fentress photo


St. Louis Chapter NECA CEO Doug Martin said the sponsorship dovetailed nicely with his association’s 115th anniversary this year.

“NECA contractors and IBEW electricians have teamed up to power and light St. Louis from the beginning, first demonstrating the impact of lighting when NECA member Guarantee Electric illuminated the 1904 World’s Fair,” said Martin. “’Light up St. Louis’ is a great way to remind everyone that we are an active, thriving and safe metropolis, whether by day or night.”

To learn more about the Electrical Connection, visit electricalconnection.org.

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