Landmarks Visited: 1
Landmarks To-Date: 271
Landmarks Remaining: 82
On Sunday morning my friend Nick and I headed south to the Pullman District. Nick is a professional photographer and likes to use architectural images in his work. I would say this has been my favorite landmark so far. Pullman was hugely important to the history of Chicago, for its economic impact, its affect on race relations in the city and beyond, and its impact on the labor movement. Plus the area is really living history. Most of the residential buildings that remain are still occupied. The southern portion of the district appears to be a thriving neighborhood. I don't know if any filming has ever been done in Pullman, but Nick and I both agreed that it would be a great location for a period piece. Or maybe the hotel building could be used in a horror film.
The area makes me think much more of the historic portions of Philadelphia or Boston than it does of the rest of Chicago. Most of the buildings were built with red brick where in other parts of Chicago stone facades are more common. Plus the area has sort of a town square, which is also uncommon elsewhere in the city. But the streets are wider than you would find on the East Coast.
The district also includes crumbling, abandoned buildings and buildings that have been partially preserved but have been boarded up and sealed off. Our trip got cut short by cold rain, or I would have taken even more photos. I think the Pullman District is under-appreciated by Chicagoans and tourist alike. This is probably due in part to the fact that it is so far from the Loop, and because the surrounding area has problems with crime and plight. But I definitely plan to go back...
Here's an interesting factoid that I learned while researching Pullman. Abraham Lincoln's son ran the company at some point after the death of the founder George Pullman.
The exterior of the hotel is well preserved. From a sign in the window the Bronzeville Historical Society gives tours, but it was closed while we were there. From what we could see through the windows, the interior looks to be fairly well preserved too.
This building with the clock tower was probably part of the factory complex as well. It looks as if it had been renovated and used fairly recently. But at least portions of the building have since been sealed off.
A professional photographer in action!
This mural is on the back on the contemporary visitors center building.
This is Nick helping to manufacture a Pullman car.
I'm guessing that this building was a firehouse because of the size of the door, and the tower that could have been used to dry fire houses. I especially like the design of the tower which looks Venetian to me.