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History | Timeline

George M. Pullman purchases 4,000 acres of land south of Chicago - only 600 acres were used for building the factories and the first American model industrial town of Pullman, Illinois.
Solon Spencer Beman, only 27 years old at the time, was hired as the architect for the town and Nathan F. Barrett, the landscape architect.

Construction of the factory shops and the town of Pullman begins.

First resident moves into the town on January 1, 1881.
The Hotel Florence is completed.
Hundreds of visitors, from as far away as Europe, tour the model industrial town.

Population of Pullman is at 3,500.

The population of the town swells to almost 9,000.

Hyde Park Township (which includes Pullman) is annexed into the City of Chicago through popular election. The majority of Pullman residents voted against annexation. The Pullman Land Association continues management and maintenance of town properties.

Original Market Hall building is destroyed by fire. New Market Hall building and surrounding Market Square residential buildings are designed by Solon Beman and erected the same year.

World's Fair Columbian Exposition takes place in Chicago, Pullman is a major tourist attraction.
Nationwide economic depression affects Pullman, resulting in wages being reduced.
Pullman Land Association manages over 1,740 units in Pullman.

Pullman Strike occurs after Pullman refuses to meet with committee of workers to discuss grievances. Eugene Debs's American Railway Union becomes involved by boycotting Pullman cars, refusing to move them on the rails. With rail service interrupted and the U.S.mail disrupted, the situation escalated to a national level as Federal troops were brought in to end the strike.

The town of Pullman is recognized as "The World's Most Perfect Town" at the International Hygienic and Pharmaceutical Exposition, held in Prague.
The Town of Pullman is fifteen years old.

George M. Pullman dies.
Robert Todd Lincoln succeeds him as president of the Pullman Company.

Illinois Supreme Court orders the Pullman Company to sell all property not used for industry, including the residential properties that comprised the town.
Population of Pullman is at 8,000.

All Pullman residential properties were sold and have been privately owned ever since.

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was organized by Asa Philip Randolph as the first all-African-American union in the country.

Pullman is threatened with demolition as the Roseland Chamber of Commerce recommends clearing the area from 111th to 115th Streets for an industrial park. A neighborhood WWII Civil Defense Organization was reactivated to fight the demolition.
Out of this the Pullman Civic Organization was formed.

South Pullman receives State of Illinois landmark status. District includes all original housing from 111th to 115th Street, including factory buildings north of 111th Street to 109th Place along Cottage Grove Avenue.

Entire Pullman district, from 103rd to 115th Streets, receives National Historic Landmark District designation.

South Pullman is designated as one of the first City of Chicago landmark districts.

Historic Pullman Foundation is formed to further the preservation efforts of the District.

The Historic Pullman Foundation purchases the Hotel Florence and begins extensive restoration and viewing by the public.

State of Illinois purchases Hotel Florence and Pullman Factory buildings, establishing the Pullman State Historic Site.

North Pullman receives City of Chicago landmark status, combining both north and south into a single city historic district.

Fire significantly damages the factory site, destroying the majority of the Clock Tower structure. A 1910 factory building on the site was subsequently demolished due to the extensive damage sustained in the fire.

  Historic Pullman Foundation - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
p: 773.785.8901 | e: foundation@pullmanil.org