When President Herbert Hoover asked Congress to enact legislation to establish a central discount bank for home mortgage financing, the task of representing real estate before Congress fell to Lawrence T. Stevenson*. Banking groups frankly opposed the bill. As president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, Mr. Stevenson donated many weeks to bringing before committees of Congress suggestions arising from practical real estate experience as to which direction the measure and amendments might take to be of most practical value to home ownership. The act which emerged created the Home Loan Bank System.
As president Mr. Stevenson urged local vacancy surveys, local conferences of the whole housing industry and rehabilitation of blighted areas.
Mr. Stevenson, developer of a great part of the Mt. Lebanon district of Pittsburgh, served his real estate apprenticeship with Henry Haas, a former president of the Association. He was sales manager for 13 years of Haas’ firm, Freehold Realty Company, Pittsburgh. In 1918 Mr. Stevenson founded his own company, the Stevenson, Williams and Johnston Company, later the Stevenson, Williams Company. Developer of Bailey Field, Mission Hills, Beverly Heights, and Southern Hilands, he initiated the use in his city of the rolled curb and of contour land planning in large-sized lots with all public improvements installed.
As president of the Pittsburgh Real Estate Board, Mr. Stevenson helped secure the completion of Pittsburgh’s Liberty Tubes. He was a member of the Tax Commission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and of its committee which studied short-term municipal bonds.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).