Pullman National Monument

On Labor Day 2020, city, state, and federal officials gathered at the birthplace of the Illinois labor movement, the historic Pullman Clock Tower, to celebrate the start of construction on the new $37 million, 12-acre Pullman National Monument campus. Once completed, visitors will learn about the Pullman workers who helped give us Labor Day and the Pullman porters who fueled the Great Migration of African Americans and helped realize the Civil Rights victories of the last century.

The site that was designated the Pullman National Monument by President Obama in 2015 will feature a new Visitor Center. The iconic Clock Tower and Administration building originally designed by architect Solon S. Beaman and built in 1880 is being adapted to serve as the entryway to the historic site.

When completed the new Visitor Center will house exhibits recounting the history of Pullman as a model town, as the place where the 8-hour workday was born, and as the direct antecedent of the Civil Rights and labor movements.  It will also tell 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 and 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 when it opens in the fall of 2021. 

Overview

  • Project: Pullman National Monument ​
  • Location: Visitor Center, 11057 South Cottage Grove Avenue, just off the Bishop Ford Expressway
  • Results: Pullman will be a new destination for 300,000 visitors annually. Scores of new jobs will be created and additional economic opportunities. Raising awareness of the role Pullman has played in American history and as a national model for the ability of urban National Parks to revitalize neighborhoods.
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