I am excited to report that my dear friend of 42 years and leader of our firm, Pat FitzGerald, was named the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Industry Leadership Award by the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University.
The honor will be bestowed among the festivities at the Institute’s Real Estate Gala on November 9th at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.
I remember meeting Pat in 1975 over a beer in the Student Union at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. We discovered we had a common interest in aviation–I was a new pilot, and Pat and his friends had recently restored a vintage Cessna. From our interest in airplanes and architecture we became close friends, and many years later I was fortunate to join his firm.
I think the thing that has made Pat so successful is his ability to see the big picture, and his understanding of, and vision for, the urban fabric. Under Pat’s guidance, FitzGerald’s designs have included many thoughtfully-designed buildings. More importantly, the firm has remade entire neighborhoods, such as Parkside of Old Town, University Village, and Central Station–reweaving the fabric of this great city. Pat’s vision and ability to identify emerging neighborhoods and leading the charge for design and development in previously untapped neighborhoods has been a hallmark of his career.
Pat has upheld the firm’s tradition of practical innovation with some of the earliest loft conversions in the city, first in Ravenswood, then River North, and on into the West Loop. Local lore even suggests that Pat (with the help of talented engineers) was the first in the city to utilize the ubiquitous hanging balcony. While he’s not one to seek headlines or the spotlight, Pat’s remarkable stewardship of our near-century-old company has cemented the firm’s place in Chicago architectural history with tens of thousands of residences designed and built.
A proud Eagle Scout, Pat’s commitment to community service is regularly at the forefront of his agenda. From the Ravenswood Community Council to the West Central Association and Roosevelt University, Pat’s contributions of time, wisdom, and mentorship are exemplary. His partners and staff benefit greatly from his guidance, and they represent the next generation to carry the FitzGerald flag long into the future.
The scores of architects that have worked with Pat in his 40 years at the firm have grown into talented designers and industry leaders–several of whom are his partners today. In that spirit, his gift to the Roosevelt University FitzGerald Fund for Urban Leadership is a concrete initiative designed to offer hands-on experiences to future leaders of the Chicago real estate community.
Pat’s colleagues and I hope that our industry partners will support Pat’s commitment to the Marshall Bennett Institute and to the FitzGerald Fund for Urban Leadership–an endowment that the firm will make a permanent part of its long-standing community service initiative. We hope readers of this newsletter will join us at the Gala on November 9th to help congratulate Pat for his decades of professional and community service.
If you’d like more information on how you can support the Fund or the Institute beyond the links above, please reach out to me or our Communications Manager Tom Fennell, at (312) 563-9100.
Chief Operating Officer