As head of the Home Owners Loan Corporation for its first two years, Philip W. Kniskern* undertook the largest reappraisal job in the country's history at the time. The residential appraisal standards employed were developed by the National Association of Real Estate Boards. As one of the founders of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and its president for its first years (July 1932 to December 1934) Mr. Kniskern had a memorable part in the development of those standards. Earlier, in 1929, he served the Association as chairman of its Mortgage Division.
Under Mr. Kniskern's presidency, the Association poured its energy into mobilizing the country's industrial, residential and other real estate resources in the program of national defense. Voluntary stabilization of rents in defense areas and guarding against disorganization in the post-defense period were other programs directed toward the war effort.
A member of the National Advisory council on Real Estate, Mr. Kniskern was named by the War Department to assist in its land acquisition problems. He was president of the First Mortgage Corporation of Philadelphia, chairman of the board of the Quaker City Federal Savings and Loan Association and a director of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of New York.
A practicing civil engineer for many years, Mr. Kniskern was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He worked for one year in a Chile copper refining plant and played an engineer's part in the construction of New York's Equitable Life, Municipal, Woolworth and other large buildings. He was a captain in the United States Army Engineer Officers Reserve Corps.
Mr. Kniskern graduated from the University of Michigan and studied in Japan while his father was a brigadier general there.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).