Electrical Connection Hosts Fundraising Event for Historic Revitalization for Missouri to Energize Restoration of St. Louis’ Architectural Heritage


Engages Trades & Contractors to Financially Support HRM’s Mission to advance use of Historic Tax Credits

The Henry Mill Museum

The vision of historic redevelopment met with those who build the vision to energize support of historic tax credits that have helped revitalize the St. Louis area’s landmark architecture.  The Electrical Connection hosted the Oct. 22, 2021 fundraiser for Historic Revitalization for Missouri (HRM), engaging developers and the union construction industry in HRM’s mission.  The event was held at the landmark Henry Miller Museum at 2726 Martin Luther King Drive. The museum itself is an example of successful landmark revitalization.  It is the birthplace of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers founded 130 years ago in St. Louis.  IBEW Local 1 partners with St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to form the Electrical Connection. 

Jim Farrell, president, Historic Revitalization for Missouri, Al Purcell, executive committee member of the Hawthorn Foundation, and Vince Schoemehl, former St. Louis mayor and former president of Grand Center, Inc.

The building trades joined the Electrical Connection at the fundraiser to support the developers’ organization which protects historic tax credits.  Jim Farrell, president, HRM, noted that since 1999 historic tax credits have supported more than $6.1 billion in private investment revitalizing 2,500 St. Louis buildings and landmarks to sustain the area’s rich architectural heritage. Farrell and other speakers noted that historic revitalization projects are extraordinarily complex and rely on the highly skilled and safe union construction workforce to deliver with exacting standards required for historic tax credits. 

FIBEW Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs and Steve Smith, CEO, Lawrence Group

Others providing perspective on the value of historic tax credits to breathe new life into St. Louis landmarks were:

  • Steve Smith, CEO, Lawrence Group;
  • Amrit Gill, president and chairman, Restoration St. Louis;
  • Tim Hudwalker, project executive, BSI Constructors, which has revitalized a number of projects in St. Louis;
  • Kevin Bryant, president, Kingsway Development; and
  • Vince Schoemehl, former St. Louis mayor and former president of Grand Center, Inc., who remains active in efforts to revitalize St. Louis
Al Purcell, executive committee member of the Hawthorn Foundation and Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis NECA

Among labor-management leadership attending was Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1, Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis NECA and Tim Green, IBEW/NECA director of government affairs, who set up the networking event connecting the trades and contractors with development leadership.  John Stiffler, executive secretary treasurer, St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, led a contingent of trade union leadership at the meeting including:

  • Steve Straatmann, Operating Engineers Local 513
  • Joe Mueller, Painters District Council Local 58
  • Curt Kimbrell, Glaziers Local 513
  • Jeff Crowe, Ironworkers Local 396
  • Ted Ramsdell, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36
  • James Renick, Cement Masons Local 527
Kevin Bryant, president, Kingsway Development, and Sylvester Taylor, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection

Also attending were Tim Wies, president, TJ Wies Contracting, Inc., Brian Murphy, president, BAM Contracting LLC, Al Purcell, executive committee member of the Hawthorn Foundation, and Joe Schoonover, senior vice president, Bank of Labor, which funds a number of union-built projects.

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

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