Last year we were able to tour the A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum & wrote about their Museum 44 program. During our visit there, we were first introduced to the attempts through the museum & community to have Pullman designated as a national park. Well, after letter writing & initiatives, that has finally come true.
The Pullman Factory District is to become a national monument. There has been $8 million dollars raised to turn Pullman into a national park. President Obama is in Chicago right now to establish the district as a National Monument within the National Park System. He made a special declaration about the area saying:
The district was established in the 1880s by railroad mogul George Pullman for his workers. The Pullman area was the first American model industrial town. The first resident moved in 1881. It was a major tourist attraction during the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition which took place in Chicago in 1893.
The following year, the Pullman strike occurred because George Pullman would not hear the grievances of the workers. They halted the railroad system and eventually troops were brought in to end it.
In 1925, Asa Philip Randolph organized, “The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters”, which was the first all-African American union in the country.
The Pullman area is home to Hotel Florence, the clock tower & the original Pullman Wheelworks factory, which now has housing for low-income families. The monument site will include a visitors center, exhibits, & programs in the clock tower building.
We would like to thank all involved in making this happen. This is a proud day for Chicago. We would especially like to thank David Peterson whose work through Museum 44 brought us the letter to send to President Obama to assist in getting this national monument. Go to pullmanil.org for more information & be sure to visit the A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum to learn the history.