Name: Elizabeth Wood
Date of Birth / Location: April 9, 1899 / Nara, Japan
Date of Death / Location: January 16, 1993 / Atlanta, Georgia
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Rhetoric, Illinois Wesleyan University, n.d. Master's Degree in Rhetoric, University of Michigan, n.d. University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, ca. 1932-1934.
Firms and Partnerships Chicago Housing Authority (Executive Director), 1937- 1954. As Executive Director, Elizabeth pushed an agenda to provide high-quality, low-to-mid rise, racially integrated housing of architectural excellence, which would be equally distributed throughout the city. She worked closely with the Chicago Park District to assure tenants had adequate recreation space and advocated for the construction of community and cultural facilities as part of the housing development.
Professional Organizations & Activities: Elizabeth taught English between 1928 and 1932 before moving to Chicago where she briefly worked for the Home Modernizing Bureau, a trade organization. She then worked as a caseworker for the United Charities (now Family Service Bureau) between ca. 1932-1934. In 1934, she was appointed the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Council, and the following year as the Executive Director of the Illinois State Housing Board. Elizabeth would go on to work for the City Housing Authority and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council in New York City and serve as an advisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Johnson and Nixon Administrations from 1965-1972.
Primary Field: Developer
- Those developments, regarded as her greatest accomplishments while at the Chicago Housing Authority, include the Jane Addams, Julia C. Lathrop, and Trumbull Park Homes. Looking deeper at the development of a dozen other housing projects during Elizabeth’s tenure, its clear she had a hand in so many more projects including the Ida. B. Wells Homes, Cabrini-Green Homes, and Altgeld Gardens.