Pullman, Illinois, May 26, 2008

by Brian Cofer June. 17, 2008 4224 views

On the far south side of Chicago lies the historic neighborhood of Pullman. Built in the 1880s by George Pullman of Pullman car fame as a model community for workers in his factory. He believed that the best way to avoid labor unrest was to give his employees pleasant living conditions. But it wasn't enough to avert the infamous Pullman Strike of 1894, one of the milestones in labor history, in which 13 workers were killed and 57 wounded. The neighborhood declined amidst the white flight of 1950s but is making a comeback as a gentrified island among the south side ‘hoods.

Let’s start with the Florence Hotel, above.

Pullman's streets are lined with these Victorian gothic red brick row houses.

Four collonaded buildings like this one wrap around a central square.

In the middle of the square is this ruin, which once was Pullman's central market.

More housing.

This was Pullman's fire station. I could hear a black church service coming out the upstairs window, still going strong at 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon.

And here's the main building of the Pullman Palace Car Co. I was surprised to learn that the company and this factory was cranking out passenger rail cars as recently as 1982.

And here's another firehouse, which lies on the other side of the factory in what is know as North Pullman, a neighborhood with identical architecture, but which has not been gentrifed yet. Altogether, Pullman made a really interesting stop as a rather obscure spot in Chicago.

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