The Pullman State Historic Site

Collection Goals

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The Pullman State Historic Site is pleased to open its new Reading Room to researchers,
students, and others interested in learning about the History of Pullman.


The period of significance for this site covers events leading up to and including the conception, design, construction and occupancy of the site by George Pullman and the Pullman Palace Car Company, or approximately 1867-1899. The Pullman Palace Car Company was formed in Illinois on February 22, 1867. In 1880 Pullman purchased land in the Calumet region, 15 miles south of Chicago which offered both rail and water transportation facilities for his growing business. Construction on the town of Pullman began in 1880 and was the work of architect Solon S. Beman and landscape architect Nathan F. Barrett. The town included not only industrial buildings but a church, bank, hotel, two commercial structures, a variety of housing types, parks, and recreational and cultural facilities. The north boundary was 103rd Street, while the south boundary ended at 115th Street. Cottage Grove Avenue was the western boundary and Lake Calumet formed the eastern limit. These are still the boundaries of the Pullman Historic District today. Currently, the Pullman State Historic Site boundaries are parallel to 108th Place on the north, 111th Place on the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and Champlain Avenue on the east. Structures currently part of the Pullman State Historic Site include the Pullman Factory Administrative Building (Clocktower), the North Factory building, and the East Erecting Shops on the Factory site, and the Hotel Florence, south of 111th Street. To complete interpretive opportunities, the Site would like to acquire other contributing buildings, including but not limited to residential, public, or commercial structures which would further our mission of interpreting and sharing with the public the many overlapping stories that make up the history of the town of Pullman.

A period of secondary importance covers the continuation of the Pullman Palace Car Company operating as the Pullman Company, Pullman Car Works, the Pullman Car & Manufacturing Corporation, and the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company, or approximately 1899-1983. This secondary period of importance would also apply to the Hotel Florence post 1898-1975.


1. Original artifacts, dating from 1867- 1899, related to events leading up to and including the design, construction and fabric of the Pullman Factory site and the Hotel Florence site during the lifetime of George Pullman and as owned by the Pullman Company as well as additional Pullman Family personal and household items that help to relate the story of Pullman shall receive primary consideration for funding and acquisition.
2. Original artifacts, dating from 1899-1983, from the Pullman Palace Car Company and its subsequently titled companies which contribute valuable understanding of the company and its employees as well as artifacts from the Hotel Florence relating to its history post-1898-1975 shall receive second priority in consideration for funding and acquisition.
3. Original artifacts from the town of Pullman covering the design, construction and occupancy of its buildings, residential and commercial, from 1880 through its landmark designation in 1971, that contribute valuable understanding of life in the Town of Pullman shall receive third priority in consideration for funding and acquisition.
4. Artifacts similar in type, style, and period to documented pieces, to be used for exhibition or educational uses, shall receive fourth priority for funding and acquisition; donations rather than purchases of these artifacts will be encouraged wherever possible.


1. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA), Historic Sites' Division (Central Storage facility), Pullman State Historic Site, or other facility appropriate to the preservation/conservation of an object, as so deemed by IHPA, shall be the official repository for the collections.
2. These artifacts may include, but are not limited to, Town of Pullman related artifacts and Pullman railroad related objects including full-size train cars and related portions thereof; objects of wood, metal, leather, textiles, paper, stone, ceramics, glass, and art work (including photography and works of art on paper originally intended for display or viewing.)


The Illinois State Historical Library, the Illinois State Archives or other facility deemed appropriate by IHPA shall be the official repository for documents and manuscripts pertaining to the above-stated themes and periods. Photographic or photostatic copies will be located when useful with the Historic Sites Division, Pullman State Historic Site.

All acquisitions whether by gift or purchase shall be without restrictions, with the sole exception of monetary gifts by foundations, support groups, or cooperative associations to purchase artifacts. All shall be accompanied by a completed IHPA Deed of Gift form. All other conditions applying to acquisitions shall be in compliance with IHPA, Division of Historic sites' collection policy.

The Pullman State Historic Site

11111 S. Forrestville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60628
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