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The Pullman State Historic Site

Fifteen miles south of the Chicago loop, at the center of the historic planned industrial Pullman community, Pullman State Historic Site uses historic structures and public programs to showcase 19th and 20th Century industrial society. The signature Clock Tower Administration Building and Assembly Shops and the grand four story Hotel Florence give tangible evidence to the national and international influences of Pullman -- on transportation, industrial design, architecture, labor, urban and town planning and landscape design -- in the contemporary context of America's post-industrial economy, where much of the evidence of the industrial age has already disappeared.

The historic factory and hotel buildings long ago outlived their original purposes, casualties of emerging technologies, evolving building standards, shifting consumer demands, large economic shifts from an industrial economy toward a service based economy, ending in divestiture and passing into obsolescence. When the State of Illinois purchased the site in 1991, to memorialize an economic, political, and social giant of the industrial age, few then could imagine the future exodus of industry from our shores and the fundamental societal changes that would be felt around the globe. Today, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, a state agency, is administering the site's transformation during a multi-phased stabilization and restoration effort. Public programs at Pullman State Historic Site serve broad local, regional, national and international audiences with tours, lectures, seminars, special events, field schools, archives, and online resources that appeal to both children and adults.

The web site that you are currently looking at consists of two main parts: the Pullman House History Project and the Pullman Virtual Museum. The House History Project documents information about who lived or worked in the town of Pullman (between 103rd-115th streets in Chicago) in any structure that housed residents or had small businesses. It is using as primary source material city directories, phone books, and U.S. censuses (1900-1930).The Virtual Museum provides a cohesive mechanism for the interpretation of the Pullman story as well as to provide a gallery of digitized images that support and enhance this story. We gladly accept any reader/user contributed stories or digitized materials that relate to Pullman up to about 1945. Our digitizing and metadata standards are in full compliance with both the state of Illinois' own (http://www.idaillinois.org/) and institutions such as the Library of Congress.

In addition, the Pullman State Historic Site has an on-site reading room, the Bertha Ludlam Library. It is named after the librarian who built the Pullman Library into a useful community resource. Hours at the library are by appointment only, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment at (773) 660-2341 or e-mail sleepingcars at sbcglobal.net.

There is no charge for the use of the research and archival collections.


11111 S. Forrestville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60628

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