Block Electric Company Timeline

Use the arrows below to learn about the history of Block Electric.

  • 1920s

    Frank Block starts Block Electric. He receives Electrical Contractor license No. 85 in the City of Chicago and begins work converting homes and apartments from gas to electric.

  • John Block1930s

    John Block joins his brother Frank on the journey ahead. They begin to grow the business in the commercial market as more and more buildings convert to electricity. The Block Brothers begin using DC voltage from the railroad tracks.

  • 1940s

    Business is booming! The Block Electric Company begins to achieve great success from an abundance of commercial work and becomes Block Electric Incorporated.

  • 1950s

    Block Electric Incorporated begins to take on a longer list of increasingly complex projects. Block Electric becomes affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and takes on numerous church projects.

  • 1960s

    Block Electric Company Inc. begins to get involved with hospital work - namely, a new building for St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. The team at Block also becomes involved with manufacturing plant work in Joliet, starting with Glidden-Durkee division of SCM corporation. This project was a design/build in which we partnered with Reed Electric.

  • 1970s

    In the 1970's Block Electric's strong presence in hospital, commercial, and industrial work continued to grow at a great pace. Block took on a host of exciting, high profile work including the Old Chicago shopping center & amusement park, Northwestern Hospital, Rush Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and St. Joes & Silver Cross Hospitals in Joliet. Block Electric also established a second office in the Joliet area.

  • 1980s

    Jack Block, son of John Block, becomes President of Block Electric. The company continues to take on increasingly larger projects. Highlights include the American Bar Association (ABA), The University of Chicago – Hyde Park, the Atrium Building at Rush hospital, and the TransUnion building in downtown Chicago.

  • 1990s

    Block delivered a massive range of electrical work for the manufacturing plant Landis Plastics. The company continued our strong presence in the educational sector with the award of exciting new projects at The University of Chicago, including the building of the Law School and the Joseph Regenstein Library. Other work of note included the Crosfield Chemical Plant, and the St. Josephs Medical Center and Nursing Home.

  • photo-3-project2000s

    Block Electric continues to grow and deliver high profile electrical contracting work in the healthcare sector with projects such as the Bollingbrook Hospital and LaGrange Memorial Hospital. The company is also awarded significant high profile commercial projects such as Ikea (Bollingbrook), Dollar Tree Stores. and Harrahs Casino in Joliet.

  • 2010-featured2010's and today

    Today, Block Electric's customer base is the largest it’s ever been with projects such as Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Argonne National Laboratory, Akzo Chemical Plant, Stepan Chemical Plant, Rush University Hospital, and University of Chicago to name a few. Please check out our PROJECTS page for a list of our most recent work. Block Electric remains family owned and operated by the Block family for over 100 years! We are excited to see what the future brings as we continue to add to our long and distinguished list of success stories - built on our core principle of Customer Delight.

The Block Electric Story

Back in 1920, Frank Block, hung up his sign. He became an electrical contractor, license No. 85, in the City of Chicago. The work back then consisted mostly of converting homes and apartments to electricity from gas lamps. The easy ones were the homes that were located alongside the CTA tracks. The CTA sold DC power to anyone who wanted to buy it.

Five years later, John Block, joined his brother just before the great depression. Things got pretty tough for them through the next decade as business after business failed. Very few people had the resources to convert to the luxury of electricity.

Frank and John Block overcame the handicap of having little formal education. They saw an industry in its infancy, as electricity was newly invented. Their small contracting business grew without the advantage of the sophistication we have today. They had one goal in mind: Do the best job possible, keep their costs in line, and make a profit.

Block Electric has remained family owned for over 100 years, with three generations of the Block family working for the Company.

Block Electrical Contractors Since 1920