Arcade Park

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Arcade Park

Nathan Barrett claimed to be the earliest proponent of the formal garden in America. To best accentuate formal gardens, he often juxtaposed them against what he called, "the naturalistic instinct" -- plantings carefully designed, but intended to create a wild or natural appearance.

Arcade Park, ca. 1895
Arcade Park, ca. 1895.

Arcade Park embodied this design penchant. The only formal garden in Pullman, Arcade Park boasted an interior planting scheme that was ultra-formal -- thousands of annuals, all trimmed to the same height (by Pullman company staff) and arranged to form geometric patterns. Surrounding this formal interior was a "naturalistic instinct" enclosure - dense, but not tall (so as not to obstruct the view) plantings of native wildflowers, shrubs and a few small trees.

Arcade Park, ca. 1890
Arcade Park, ca. 1890.

After years of neglect, Arcade Park was built to its current configuration in the 1970's, and is loosely based on the original layout. However the original planting scheme was not replicated, in large part because the upkeep of a large, manicured formal garden was deemed cost ineffective. The center section was hollowed out so that it could be flooded in the winter for ice skating. Unfortunately, the ice skating idea never worked. The flower beds, echoing the original configuration, are now maintained by the all volunteer Historic Pullman Garden Club.

Arcade Park, Sept. 1, 1908
The Pullman Company ceased maintaining
the elaborate landscaping scheme
and installed a stark, simple grass lawn,
as seen in this Sept. 1, 1908 photograph.


11111 S. Forrestville Avenue
Chicago, IL 60628

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More Information About the Town of Pullman

Planning the town

4 blueprints of the Market Hall by Solon Beman

The Hotel Florence

The Hotel Florence, ca. 1892

The Arcade

The Arcade, ca. 1910

Arcade Park

Arcade Park, ca. 1895

The Stables

The Pullman Fire Department in front of the Stables

Market Hall

1st Market Hall, 1881-1892

Area Churches

The "Greenstone" Church

Area Schools

Pullman School

The Freight Depot and the Railway Station

The Pullman Freight Depot

Other Pullman Buildings

The Pullman Gas Works

The Pullman House History Project

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Maps of Pullman

1897 Sanborn Map