Friday, September 3, 2021

Urbanize Chgo: Historic Pullman Nat'l Monument ready for Labor Day grand opening #Ward09

The Chicago Neighborhoods

Something to look forward to this weekend the National Monument in the historic Pullman neighborhood in our part of the city will have a grand opening this coming weekend.

This weekend, Chicagoans will get their first opportunity to explore the new visitor center at Pullman National Monument on the city's far south side. The attraction opens within the restored Pullman Clock Tower and Administration building at 11001 S. Cottage Grove Avenue and serves as the focal point for the 12-acre monument campus.
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"We are thrilled to celebrate with our partners and visitors the grand opening of the visitor center, which was restored and renovated in part through the generosity of the National Park Foundation and its donors,” said Pullman National Monument Superintendent Teri Gage in a statement. "As a partnership park, Pullman National Monument benefits from the thriving urban community we call home, including the many partners whose efforts over decades have made it possible to preserve and share this special place in Chicago and American history."

The new center features exhibits exploring Pullman's vision to create the country's first planned industrial community, how the Pullman Porters formed the first black labor union in the country, the aforementioned strike, and how the community came together to preserve the historic district. There's even a replica of a Pullman Palace Car Company sleeper.

The monument's master developer is the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives. The restoration of the Clock Tower and Administration building was overseen by architecture firm Bauer Latoza Studio and included "new plumbing/fire protection, HVAC, telecom, and electrical systems, and exterior building repairs," according to general contractor GMA Construction Group. The visitor center is located on the building's ground floor. Work on the upper floors is ongoing.

Taking place on September 4 and 5, the Labor Day weekend grand opening celebration features guided tours of the visitor center, the nearby historic Hotel Florence, and three historic Pullman-built rail cars at the 111th Street Metra Station. The programs are free but will require tickets (offered on a first-come basis) to ensure manageable crowds for social distancing.

I hope some of you will be available to enjoy these festivities.