by Dan Rafter
In honor of the Urban Land Institute holding its fall conference in Chicago for the first time since 2000, here’s a bit of early history, courtesy of the institute, on the organization’s long relationship with this Midwest city.
Dec. 14, 1936: Walter Schmidt serves as the first president of the National Real Estate Foundation for Practical Research and Education, which is chartered on this date in Illinois. That’s important because the foundation is the predecessor to the Urban Land Institute. Members of the foundation envision their organization as a type of real estate college.
1937: The first headquarters of the organization opens at 22. W. Monroe St. in Chicago.
1939: The group changes its name to the Urban Land Institute. It’s first annual budget is just $60,000.
1942: The Urban Land Institute’s headquarters leaves Chicago, setting up shop instead at The Drury Realty Building in Washington, D.C.
1983: The Urban Land Institute creates its regional council system. Chicago, of course, plays a key role, serving as one of the first seven councils along with Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, San Antonio, San Francisco and Seattle. Eventually, the Urban Land Institute program will grow to more than 50 district councils in North America.