More than $100 million of public and private funding has been invested within Pullman National Historical Park.
WHAT IS PULLMAN
The Pullman community is a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s far south side that was once at the center of industry and worker’s rights in America. A planned community built by industrialist George Pullman on landfill from the great Chicago fire, Pullman produced luxury rail cars and housed the workers who built them. Pullman’s history, architecture, and vibrant community remain as a National Park that is accessible to park visitors from across the country.
In 2015, President Obama designated Pullman as Chicago’s first national park in honor of its unique role in the history of American industry, labor, urban planning and African American history.
Shortly after the 2015 designation, a three-day ideas workshop was held with community members, designers, planners, elected officials and other decision makers to layout a ground-breaking blueprint to guide development and improvements for visitors and residents alike.
In 2019, many of the original Positioning Pullman community members and experts gathered again to take stock of how far we had come in achieving our goals and outline the next tier of priority projects.
The historic Pullman factory and grounds, which had been shuttered and fenced off for decades, are now open to the public to explore and enjoy. It serves as a cornerstone for ongoing restoration and community investments that expand out in each direction.
❝The trajectory of this park over the course of just a 7-year period … that does not happen within the National Park Service very often. That unity … that does not happen. I envision the National Park Service potentially using this as a blueprint for how to do it right.❞
Deputy Regional Director of the National Park Service, Rick Clark
Legislation was passed renaming the park as Pullman National Historical Park.
This ground-breaking, community-driven plan has won nine national, regional and local awards for excellence.
New Visitor Center and Site
With significant public and private investments, the National Park Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have partnered to design and renovate the iconic Pullman Administration Building and factory grounds. The top priority in Positioning Pullman, the Administration Building and Grounds opened in fall of 2021 and includes displays that speak to the layers of history found in Pullman as well as classrooms and grounds that are enjoyed by local residents, students and visitors from around the world.
Improving Transit and Access
The Pullman Transportation Plan is completed, providing a comprehensive set of solutions to improve transit, streets, bike and pedestrian access. Metra replaced the old 111th Street station at Pullman’s “front door” with a new structure with a historic design and they also made platform, viaduct and lighting improvements. Metra is now reinvesting in further upgrades specific to Pullman at both the 103rd and 111th street stations while also providing handicap access and other new amenities. The Chicago Department of Transportation has also extended the #4 bus route to 115th street, put in new bike lines, and is redeveloping 111th street and Cottage Grove to make the area safer and easier to explore.
Connecting History and Art
A viaduct public art project was completed at 111th Street, which opens the door to improving viaducts with public art throughout the neighborhood. Opened in late 2019, Artspace is a combination of historic renovation and new construction and includes 38 artist apartments and 2,000 square feet of community space. Community partners also collaborated on an emerging Cultural Trail concept that could highlight the community's unique history through public art and creative interpretation in public spaces throughout the park.
Pullman Cultural Trail: Bringing stories to life throughout Pullman National Historical Park.
This Cultural Trail is an extension of the Positioning Pullman ideas workshops which relied on a combination of community members, design experts, non-profits, elected officials and other decision-makers coming together to generate creative investment opportunities and then see them through to implementation.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, our parks and our monuments, our lands, our waters--these places are the birthright of all Americans.”
President Barack Obama Pullman, National Monument Designation, February 2015
- ASLA National: Honor Award in Analysis and Planning, 2017 Professional Awards
- AIA Chicago: Regional and Urban Design Award Citation of Merit
- City of Chicago: John Baird Award, for Stewardship in Historic Preservation
- ASLA Illinois: Honor Award for Planning and Analysis
- APA Illinois: Chapter Award for Strategic Planning
- AIA Illinois: Daniel Burnham Award for Master Planning
- Metropolitan Planning Council: Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning
- Landmarks Illinois: Richard H. Driehaus Preservation Award
- AIA: 2022 President’s Award for Service
With nearly 1.6 million members, the National Parks Conservation Association is the voice of America’s national parks, working to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for present and future generations. We celebrate the parks — and work tirelessly to defend them — whether on the ground, in the courtroom or on Capitol Hill.
The American Institute of Architects is the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. AIA Chicago is the nation’s second largest chapter and as a resource for its members in service to society, AIA Chicago promotes positive change through the power of design.
To get involved or learn more about Positioning Pullman contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Positioning Pullman supported in part by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, and Alphawood Foundation