The Town | Market Square
The Market Square is one of the most unique small-scale urban spaces in America. It features four colonnaded two-story brick apartment buildings around the central Market Hall building.
The first Market Hall was built in 1881 in the Queen Anne style as part of the original town layout and contained sixteen stalls that were leased by the Pullman Land Association to private businesses. The Market provided a venue for fresh meats, produce and other market goods. It was destroyed by fire in 1892.
Immediately after, the Pullman Company again commissioned Solon Beman to design a new Market Hall on the existing foundation. The new building featured twelve stores on the first floor and a banquet hall and meeting rooms on the upper two floors. The accompanying circle apartment buildings and homes were built with the new Market Hall to create the Market Square that we see today.
The four colonnaded buildings surrounding the Market Hall were built with the new Market Hall in 1893. Each building contains three apartments, one on the first floor and two on the upper floor. The Pullman Company used these apartments during the Columbian Exposition of 1893 to house guests visiting the fair in nearby Hyde Park.
In 1907, the Pullman Company sold off the town property, including Market Hall and the other buildings in Market Square, to individual owners. In the late 1930s, the building's upper floors were removed, reducing it to a one-story structure and brick walls replaced the original glass side skylights.
In 1996, the City of Chicago authorized a grant of $200,000 to begin the first phase of the renovation of the Market Hall. In 1999 work began on removal of the roof, first floor, interior fire damage and excess debris in the basement. The basement will be saved as well as most of the original brick walls which originally divided the tenant's storage space that are still present.
The Historic Pullman Foundation subsequently received a $1.1 million grant from the state's Illinois First program to assist in the continued restoration of this wonderful Classical/Romanesque style building.
In 2007, the City of Chicago begins an extensive streetscape program to continue the renovation of Market Square. Streets, sidewalks and lighting will be redone in this project, with a design that is sensistive to the historic origins of the space.
Pullman Foundation - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
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