In the coming weeks, this Chicago history column will examine the city’s entrance into the real estate industry. After the end of the fur trade boom that lasted 250 years, Chicagoans moved on to the next vital industry, which was real estate. Chicago was changing rapidly, and the population was increasing from about 50 persons in 1830 to 4,470 persons ten years later. Land needed to be acquired, purchased, developed and sold.
This column will relate how the land was obtained through the Northwest Ordinances and five ratified treaties that directly affected real estate in Chicago. These documents outlined the regulations for land development, lot size and governance. They indicated the location of land ceded to the U.S. government by Native Americans.
Individuals, manufacturing companies, harbor and canal companies, land associations, syndicates, real estate companies and real estate corporations were all involved in the land trade. Representative samples of these entities will be featured throughout this series.
The 19th Century was a period of subdivision and expansion. Villages were created by individuals or companies and later annexed to Chicago. This was a period of land booms, money panics and fortunes made and lost.
The 20th Century brought numerous changes to the real estate industry. World Wars, the Great Depression and Mortgage Lending stimulated these changes. New housing programs were developed, and Congress passed legislation affecting the industry. Many of these changes reshaped Chicago as much as the beginning days of subdivision and expansion.
Recent trends in the Chicago real estate industry will also be covered. Development of condominiums, high-rise apartment buildings and townhouses will be examined. The rise of associations and boards will be explained. Important urban renewal projects that aid impoverished areas will be described.
Enlighten your life with history.
Use this link to become an Examiner, http://exm.nr/NDivQU .