Reflections on 533 Diversey

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Bert Cobb

By Bert Cobb, Idaho, USA

Around the turn of the century, circa 1900, in Chicago, Illinois, an empty lot sat on the corner of Diversey Parkway and Hampden Court. It was owned by an investor named Augusta Lehmann. On March 19, 1907, Dr. Sylvan Kunz and his wife Myna purchased the lot from Mr. Lehmann with the understanding that they must improve it by building a two- or three-story flat.

Construction began that year, and sometime before the end of 1908, a large greystone structure had been erected in the style referred to as “Viennese Art Nouveau.” The balconies of this stately new residence commanded a view overlooking Diversey Parkway.

Today, 101 years later, the elegant three-story edifice is much the same as it was then. It has a full basement, and each floor measures 2,600 square feet. The freight elevator serves each level and runs from the basement to the roof.

The quality of the detail work is seen in the hardwood mantles, the wainscoting and banisters, and the stylish light-fixtures and chandeliers of that era. The structure was ahead of its time, using steel beams as the supporting center walls, with rustic, rough-cut 3” x 12” floor joists.

On October 23, 1919, Annie and Charles Richter purchased the property from the Kunz family. The couple owned it for three years. On May 25, 1922, Dr. William S. Sadler and his wife, Dr. Lena K. Sadler, bought the building, in which they lived, and out of which they operated the Chicago Institute of Research and Diagnosis.

However, the true historical significance of this handsome and fashionable building is what transpired beneath its flat roof and behind its greystone walls. In the following years, God’s love swirled around in these spaces, harmonizing with the minds of mortals. For more than thirty years, angels and midwayers were coming and going as an epochal revelation was being born.

It was a time of spiritual wonder, and there is still a presence in this old building of all those who labored there through the years. We can only imagine the dedication and focus of the Forum and the Seventy as they struggled with the Urantia Papers to render them as “the word made book” that we know and that benefits us today. 533 Diversey Parkway is a great address of spiritual significance on the planet for this and all future generations.

On December 3, 1970, a probate court transferred the ownership of 533 Diversey Parkway from Dr. William S. Sadler to Urantia Foundation.

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved