Forest Park Forever Funds Installation of Efficient New Lighting System Above Art Hill

128 new LED lights will further enhance this iconic Forest Park location and improve visitor safety

Contact: Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager |, 314.561.3290

ST. LOUIS, September 10, 2015 – Forest Park Forever has completed a project to bring energy-efficient lighting to one of the most iconic areas of Forest Park. The installation of 128 LED lights along the tree-lined path at the top of Art Hill will create a more aesthetically pleasing vista, as well as make the area brighter and more welcoming in the evenings for the Park’s millions of visitors. This improvement project has been made possible by a generous donation to Forest Park Forever by the Pershing Charitable Trust. 

This evening at approximately 8 p.m., Harris-Stowe State University engineering student Jayleen Gonzalez will officially flip the switch to illuminate Art Hill. Gonzalez, a freshman, will take part in a new partnership between Harris-Stowe and Forest Park Forever that aims to expose the university’s engineering students to Forest Park Forever engineers and engineering careers within public spaces.

Art Hill has been home to remarkable celebrations and gatherings since the Park’s earliest days. From cheering on Charles Lindbergh in 1927 to taking part in present day concerts, films, festivals, winter sledding, summer picnics and family photos, millions have gathered here to enjoy special Park moments. The installation of new lighting will ensure this area remains enjoyable to Park visitors even after the sun goes down.

Lighting had been installed along Art Hill during the Restoring the Glory restoration campaign in the late 1990s, but over time these lights began failing, leaving the area east and west of the Louis IX statue dark. By using modern LED technology not available two decades ago, this new installation will be a sustainable way to improve and brighten Art Hill while saving thousands of dollars in utility and maintenance costs each year.

Key Details of the New Lighting

  • New technology: LED lights will last longer and use less energy than the previous lighting. These LED lights use about 20% of the energy as compared to the old lights and are expected to last about 50,000 hours — compared to the life expectancy of 10,000 hours for the previous lights.
  • Less maintenance: Because of the improved energy usage, there will be less strain on the whole system, resulting in fewer replacements of parts and reduced maintenance costs.
  • Improved structure: LED lights produce little to no heat, allowing the new lights to be sealed and encased in concrete all in one compartment, stopping roots and water from seeping in. This new structure will help the lights stand the test of time.
  • Park context: This new ground-level lighting has been designed to complement that of the Emerson Grand Basin, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the popular statue of Louis IV that overlooks Art Hill.
  • Improved safety: Better lighting means improved safety at one of the most popular Park destinations.

“We are very grateful to the Pershing Charitable Trust for investing in this meaningful Forest Park improvement project,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., Forest Park Forever President & Executive Director. “The St. Louis community loves Art Hill like few other destinations in the region. This new lighting system will make an iconic Forest Park location even safer and more beautiful than it was before.”

About Forest Park Forever

Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s greatest urban public parks.

Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box.

Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Not part of the Zoo-Museum Tax District, Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 7,000 members, 1,100 volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.

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Capital ProjectsKaty Peace