The area known as Pullman encompasses a much wider area than the two historic areas (the older historic area is often referred to as just “Pullman“, a Chicago Landmark district and the northern annex historic area is usually referred to as “North Pullman”). This article deals with all areas, although the area built by the Pullman company is bounded by 106th Street on the North, 115th Street on the South, Cottage Grove on the west, and the railroad tracks on the east.
Today the neighborhood of Pullman is quickly gentrifying with many residents involved in the restoration of the district through their own homes and throughout the district as a whole. Walking tours of Pullman are available.
Pullman is home to many historic and architecturally significant buildings, among these are the Hotel Florence, the Arcade Building which was destroyed in the 1920s, the Clock Tower and Factory, the complex surrounding Market Square and Greenstone Church. Pullman is also home to one of Chicago’s many beautiful ‘Polish Cathedrals’, the former church of St. Salomea, which is now used by Salem Baptist Church of Chicago. Pullman was one of seven sites that were nominated for the Illinois Seven Wonders sites in a contest sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Pullman is served by two Metra Electric Line stations: Kensington (115th Street) and Pullman (111th Street). Most Metra suburban express trains passing through the area stop at the 115th Street station, and only local trains stop at the 111th Street station.
Chicago is a Labor town. Always has been. On the far south side is a utopian community built to house workers and their management in one of the best examples of how corporations thought about their workers around the turn of the last century.
There is still a very elegant hotel, portions of the original office buildings and the construction site still intact. There are homes all around the village square which hark back to the days when workers made the Pullman sleeping cars popular in the early 1900s.
A few years ago my wife and I rode an invitational bicycle ride in this area and were able to hear docents relate the struggles of this particular company and others as they sought to find a way to harmonize relations between labor and management. Much of this history was bloody.
Today America is struggling with how to remain a super power and yet have so very little manufacturing going on within our shores. So revisiting the site of a once proud company is well worth the effort. Afterwards I made a visit to Governors State University and to Frankfort, IL in search of more images. I found a few in Frankfort.