The Vault: The Story Behind the Baird & Warner Clock

Professionalism and fairness have always been at the forefront for Baird & Warner throughout its 165 years — and at the core of its longevity as Illinois’ largest real estate company. So it follows that the firm had a role in founding the city’s first professional real estate organization, the Chicago Real Estate Board, in 1883.

After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the city saw a boom in the number of people working in real estate. As the city was rebuilding and growing rapidly, some firms banded together to help found the board, including founding president Lyman Baird and his son, Wyllys Baird.

They both took a leading role in establishing the organization (a precursor to the Chicago Association of Realtors) to help discourage dishonest and unethical real estate practices.

Lyman Baird served as president of the Chicago Real Estate Board in 1885, and the board presented him with a clock as appreciation. Today, the clock is featured at Baird & Warner’s home office and serves as a symbol of the company’s role in the rebuilding of the city and advocacy of professionalism and ethics. The inscription reads: “As a testimonial of faithful, efficient, and intelligent administration as President.”