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At a Glance
This collection primarily consists of data processing and publishing documents related to the study of New York City real estate value and maintenance from the first half of the twentieth century. It includes data sheets on individual properties' maintenance costs, broken down by year, as well as generalized indexes covering half a century of information. The collection also features graphs, computer processed data, and manuscript tables that interpret the data for publication and general readers. Real estate brochures from managing companies provide supplementary information within the self-reported data used in the study. The administrative documents include language used by the Institute to present the project to Columbia University and property managers. However, the collection does not include chapter drafts or data synthesis for public consumption, beyond graphic representations of the data. The final report, Experience in urban real estate investment ; an interim report based on New York City properties, can be found in Avery Library's general collection.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.
Ernest M. Fisher papers for the Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies, Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Columbia University. Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies. Housing market analysis ; a study of theory and methods / by Chester Rapkin, Louis Winnick [and] David M. Blank, research associates. Washington : Housing and Home Finance Agency, Office of the Administrator, Division of Housing Research, 1953.
Related Archival Holdings:
Fisher, Ernest M., 1952, Box 5: Folder 9, Avery Vertical Files, Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest M., Box 7, Columbia Spectator Photograph collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest M., Box 4, Columbia University Faculty Photographs collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest M., Box 42, Historical photograph collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Prof. Ernest M., 10/9/1947, Box 4, Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest Prof.-and Staff, 11/20/1955, Box 4, Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest Prof., 3/27/1962, Box 97, Historical Biographical Files, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Fisher, Ernest M. files, 1946-1959., Box 406: Folder 1 to 3, Central Files (Office of the Presidents records), Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Walker, Samuel R., file, 1948-1949, Box 669: Folder 20, Central Files (Office of the Presidents records), Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
How Columbia Serves Business and Industry by Ernest M. Fisher, 1952, Box 2: Folder 20, Columbia University bicentennial anniversary records, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Prop. 122: Proposal memorandum to Dr. Davis McEntire, Research Director Commission on Race and Housing from Ernest Fisher, Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies and Charles Glock,, September 14, 1955, Box 105, Bureau of Applied Social Research records, Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Institute for Urban Land-Use and Housing Studies, Box 19, Dwight D. Miner papers on the history of Columbia University, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Gift of Ernest M. Fisher. Accession number--1000.067.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
This collection was processed by Nicolay Duque-Robayo (Graduate Student Intern) in 2023.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies:
Established in 1948, the Institute of Urban Land Use and Housing Studies was the first organization in the United States that focused on studying land economics and urban issues. Initially established as a committee of faculty at Columbia University in 1946, the Institute was the brainchild of Land Economics Professor Ernest M. Fischer. Closely affiliated with several schools within Columbia University (principally Business, Law, Economics, Architecture, Public Health and Sociology), the Institute served as an incubator to attract researchers across fields to study and publish research without specific departmental obligations. At a certain point in the early 1950s, the Institute staffed at least five research associates, one research professor (Leo Grebler) and two administrative assistants. Where the early history of the Institute is documented in self-published pamphlets, scarce information remains after 1955 with the departure of Professor Leo Grebler.
Ernest M. Fischer (1893-1981):
Ernest M. Fischer taught urban land economics at Columbia University from 1945 until 1961. He was appointed the first director of the university's Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies in 1948. Already nationally known before joining Columbia, he was widely published in the field of real estate and public policy. After retiring from Columbia, Fisher worked as a consultant for various agencies and organizations. He was appointed Director of Education and Research for the National Association of Real Estate Boards. He also served as an advisor to the Federal Housing Administration. Fisher died on December 26, 1981.
Leo Grebler (1900-1991):
Leo Grebler was born in Berlin on April 25, 1900. After earning his doctorate in economics from the University of Giessen in 1926, Leo was first employed by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (1938-1944), then the National Housing Agency. In 1948, he was appointed as Research Professor in Urban Land Use and Housing at Columbia University, a position he held until 1955. In 1958, he was appointed Professor of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics in the Graduate School of Business Administration at University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught until his retirement in 1966. Grebler died on April 2, 1991.
Columbia University, Institute for Urban Land Use and Housing Studies, Research in Basic Facts of Urban Land Use (1952).
Eugenie Birch, "Making Urban Research Intellectually Respectable: Martin Meyerson and the Joint Center for Urban Studies of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University 1959–1964" Journal of Planning History 10, no. 3 (2011): 219–238.