Pullman, Chicago

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Pullman
Community area
Community Area 50 - Pullman
Location within the city of Chicago
Location within the city of Chicago
Coordinates: 41°42.6′N 87°37.2′W / 41.7100°N 87.6200°W / 41.7100; -87.6200Coordinates: 41°42.6′N 87°37.2′W / 41.7100°N 87.6200°W / 41.7100; -87.6200
Country United States
State Illinois
County Cook
City Chicago
Neighborhoods
Area
 • Total 4.86 sq mi (12.58 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,325
 • Density 1,500/sq mi (580/km2)
Demographics 2010[1]
 • White 7.13%
 • Black 83.58%
 • Hispanic 7.8%
 • Asian 0.07%
 • Other 1.43%
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes parts of 60628
Median household income $40,059[2]
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

Pullman, one of Chicago's 77 defined community areas, is a neighborhood located on the city's South Side. Twelve miles from the Chicago Loop, Pullman is situated adjacent to Lake Calumet.

The area known as Pullman encompasses a much wider area than its two historic areas (the older historic area is often referred to as "Pullman" and is a Chicago Landmark district. The northern annex historic area is usually referred to as "North Pullman"). This article deals with all areas. The development built by the Pullman Company is bounded by 103rd Street on the North, 115th Street on the South, the railroad tracks on the East and Cottage Grove on the West.

Since the late 20th century, the Pullman neighborhood has been gentrifying. Many residents are involved in the restoration of their own homes, and projects throughout the district as a whole. Walking tours of Pullman are available.

Pullman has 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. In the adjacent Kensington neighborhood of the nearby Roseland district is the home of one of the many beautiful churches in Chicago built in Polish Cathedral style, the former church of St. Salomea. It is now used by Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.

In a contest sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Pullman was one of seven sites nominated for the Illinois Seven Wonders.

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.

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Historic Pullman was built in the 1880s by George Pullman as workers' housing for employees of his eponymous railroad car company, the Pullman Palace Car Company. He established behavioral standards that workers had to meet to live in the area and charged them rent. Pullman's architect, Solon Spencer Beman, was said to be extremely proud that he had met all the workers' needs within the neighborhood he designed. The distinctive rowhouses were comfortable by standards of the day, and contained such amenities as indoor plumbing, gas, and sewers.[3]

Pullman Strike[edit]

Pullman in the late 19th century

During the depression that followed the Panic of 1893, demand for Pullman cars slackened. The Pullman company laid off hundreds of workers and switched many more to pay-per-piece work. This work, while paying more per hour, reduced total worker income. Despite these cutbacks, the Company did not reduce rents for workers who lived in the town of Pullman. They rejected those conditions.

Workers initiated the Pullman Strike in 1894, and it lasted for 2 months, eventually leading to intervention by the US government and military.[4] The Strike Commission set up in 1894 ruled that the aesthetic features admired by visitors had little monetary value for employees.[5]

Incorporation into Chicago[edit]

After George Pullman died in 1897, the Illinois Supreme Court required the company to sell the town because operating it was outside the company's charter.[6] In 1889, the town and other major portions of the South Side were annexed by the city of Chicago. Within ten years, the city sold the houses to their occupants. After the strike, Pullman gradually was absorbed as a regular Chicago neighborhood, defined by distinguishing Victorian architecture. But the fortunes of the neighborhood continued to rise and fall with the Pullman Company for many years.

Deindustrialization[edit]

With industrial and railroad restructuring beginning in the 1950s, many jobs were lost in the city. The neighborhood gradually declined along with work opportunities and income. People began to move to newer housing in the suburbs. In 1960 the original Town of Pullman, approximately between 103rd and 115th Streets, was threatened with total demolition for an industrial park.[7] Forming the Pullman Civic Organization, the residents lobbied the city and saved their community. It reached its peak of population in 1970.

Revival[edit]

By 1972 the Pullman Historic District had obtained National, State, and City landmark status to protect the original 900 rowhouses and public buildings built by George Pullman. (It was designated a National Landmark Historic District in 1969 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1970 it was designated as a State landmark by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; and in 1972, South Pullman was declared a City of Chicago Landmark).[8] To protect the character of the historic districts, the city has established guidelines for new building and renovation, administered by the City of Chicago. These are explained in the Beman Committee's Homeowner's Guide (the Committee is named after Pullman's original architect, Solon Spencer Beman )[9]

The Pullman Historic District is currently under consideration for inclusion in the National Park System.[10]

Census data[edit]

Administration building in Pullman

1995 Census data of homebuyers: 61% Caucasian, 27% African-American, 12% Other (Hispanic, Asian, etc.)

1999 Census data of homebuyers: 65% Caucasian, 29% African-American, 6% Other (Hispanic, Asian, etc.)

2001 Census date of homebuyers: 75% Caucasian, 19% African-American, 6% Other (Hispanic, Asian, etc.)

The demographic data in the table to the upper right reflect the entire "community area" that is now known as Pullman. The historic areas are generally more diverse than the full community area. For example in 2000, Census Tract 5003.00 was 53.5% White and 26.7% African-American, and 36.1% of Hispanic Origin of any race.[11]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 6,705
1940 6,523 −2.7%
1950 8,899 36.4%
1960 8,412 −5.5%
1970 10,965 30.3%
1980 10,341 −5.7%
1990 9,344 −9.6%
2000 8,921 −4.5%
2010 7,325 −17.9%
[12]

References in media[edit]

Pullman has been featured in several major motion pictures. Road to Perdition (starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman) was filmed in historic Pullman, with scenes featuring the factory and how it "once was" with workers, as well as many other scenes of the neighborhood. The 1993 film The Fugitive had several key scenes in Pullman. Harrison Ford was featured in a local bar, next running down an alley, and over the tops of several Pullman rowhouses. In April 2007, Universal Studios filmed The Express, which also featured several scenes in Pullman.

The Polar Express animated scenes at the North Pole were based on Pullman architecture[citation needed]. Santa Claus emerges from a building based on the Pullman Company Administration Building; other buildings are based on the architectural style in Pullman. Robert Zemeckis, who designed the movie, grew up in the Roseland neighborhood near Pullman.

On November 12, 2006, Historic Pullman was the topic of the HGTV television show National Open House, which featured a Pullman house at 112th Street and Langley.

Education[edit]

Chicago Public Schools operates the public schools in the area.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Demographics Data". Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Census Data". Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Newcomen, T. (1998) "Pullman, Illinois: Changes in community planning from the 1880s to the 1990s", International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 10-29
  4. ^ Lindsey, A. (1964) The Pullman Strike
  5. ^ United States Strike Commission, The Background to the Dispute: United States Strike Commission Report, Senate Executive Document No. 7, 53rd Congress 3d Session (1894), pp. xxi-xxiii, reprinted in Warne, C. E. (ed.)(1955) The Pullman Boycott of 1894: The Problem of Federal Intervention, D.C. Heath & Co., Boston
  6. ^ Lindsey A. (1964) The Pullman Strike
  7. ^ Reiff, J.L. and Hirsch, S.E. (1989) "Pullman and its public: Image and aim in making and interpreting history", The Public Historian, Vol.11, No. 4 (Autumn), pp. 99-112
  8. ^ Newcomen T. (1998) Pullman, Illinois
  9. ^ The Beman Committee of the Pullman Civic Organisation (n.d.), Homeowner's Guide: Pullman Historic District, Available at http://www.pullmancivic.org/beman/homeownersGuide.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.pullmanil.org/FINAL_Pullman%20Historic%20District%20Reconnaissance%20Survey_July%202013%20Small.pdf
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Paral, Rob. "Chicago Community Areas Historical Data". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Buder, Stanley. Pullman: An Experiment in Industrial Order and Community Planning, 1880 - 1930. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.

External links[edit]