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History | Timeline

1879
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.

1880
Construction of the factory shops and the town of Pullman begins.

1881
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.

1882
Population of Pullman is at 3,500.

1885
The population of the town swells to almost 9,000.

1889
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.

1892
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.

1893
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.

1894
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.

1896
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.

1897
George M. Pullman dies.
Robert Todd Lincoln succeeds him as president of the Pullman Company.

1898
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.

1907
All Pullman residential properties were sold and have been privately owned ever since.

1925
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was organized by Asa Philip Randolph as the first all-African-American union in the country.

1960
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.

1969
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.

1971
Entire Pullman district, from 103rd to 115th Streets, receives National Historic Landmark District designation.

1972
South Pullman is designated as one of the first City of Chicago landmark districts.

1973
Historic Pullman Foundation is formed to further the preservation efforts of the District.

1975
The Historic Pullman Foundation purchases the Hotel Florence and begins extensive restoration and viewing by the public.

1991
State of Illinois purchases Hotel Florence and Pullman Factory buildings, establishing the Pullman State Historic Site.

1993
North Pullman receives City of Chicago landmark status, combining both north and south into a single city historic district.

1998
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