Pullman National Monument

Pullman National Monument (Credit NPS Photo - Daniel Pels)

On Labor Day 2021, city, state, and federal officials gathered at the birthplace of the Illinois labor movement where “the struggles for economic and racial justice meet” to celebrate the grand opening of the Pullman National Monument Visitor Center and 12-acre State Factory grounds. The iconic Clock Tower and Administration Building were restored and adapted to become the new Visitor Center, the entryway to the historic site.

The new Visitor Center features exhibits and programs showcasing the development of Pullman as a model town, the history of the Pullman workers who helped give us Labor Day, the 8-hour workday and the Pullman porters who fueled the Great Migration of African Americans and helped realize the Civil Rights victories of the last century.

The new Visitor Center also tells the story of George Pullman and the Pullman Palace Car Co. – the first to hire African Americans from the community for jobs as porters who eventually formed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the nation’s first Black Labor Union which was the doorway through which better wages and many Civil Rights gains during the 20th century were made.

As the only National Monument in Illinois, the National Park Service is anticipating 300,000 visitors annually to the Pullman site and has created dozens of jobs.

OVERVIEW

  • Project: Pullman National Monument
  • Location: 610 E 111th St, Pullman
  • Results: 300,000 visitors annually; dozens of new jobs; showcases Pullman as a model town, Pullman workers who helped create Labor Day and the 8-hour workday, and Pullman porters who fueled the Great Migration and helped achieve Civil Rights victories