Weren’t able to attend the Pullman National Monument Grand Opening? Watch our highlight video anytime to relive this historic weekend with Historic Pullman Foundation and Pullman National Monument.
It’s that time of year when we pause to reflect on the progress we’ve made in the previous 12 months. Taking stock at the Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF), it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been a jam-packed year!
On February 19, 2021–the six-year anniversary of President Barack Obama designating the Pullman National Monument (PNM)–HPF signed a formal agreement to become the “friends group” to Pullman National Monument-National Park Service. Watch the video of the signing event on Facebook. As part of the festivities, PNM Superintendent Teri Gage presented the first annual Pullman Partner Award to Mike and Pat Shymanski in recognition of their 50-plus years preserving Pullman’s history.
Also in February, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust awarded us a grant to strengthen HPF’s fundraising and communications efforts. The funding enabled us to develop a new brand, including a beautiful logo reminiscent of Pullman’s connections to rail and architecture, designed by All Together studio. We’ve worked hard this year to express the brand’s tagline, “America’s Stories Live Here,” through posts on our Facebook page, our monthly e-newsletter, and of course our new website, developed thanks to major funding from the National Park Foundation as well as support from Morse. We shared the new brand and invited more folks to join us at our first-ever Membership Drive Cookout in July.
As the friends group our first major task was to help plan a memorable Grand Opening Weekend for Pullman National Monument and State Historic Site on Labor Day 2021. Together with numerous local and national Pullman partners including National Park Service, we issued a “save the date” for the big day in June 2021. Meanwhile, our volunteers continued to operate HPF’s popular First Sunday Walking Tours and host visitors to the HPF Shared Visitor Center (eventually renamed the HPF Exhibit Hall, not to be confused with the Pullman National Monument Visitor Center) all summer long. Simultaneously, we worked tirelessly with our partners to prepare for what would ultimately be a four-day “Pullmanpalooza,” including tours, historic rail cars, staged performances, art unveilings, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony simulcast on Facebook, and more to mark the official opening of the park. The weekend’s events attracted more than 6,000 visitors to Pullman, as well as media attention from across the region and around the country.
In early October, there was no rest for the weary, as HPF and Pullman Civic Organization pivoted to host the Annual Historic Pullman House Tour. After a one-year COVID-19 hiatus in 2020, the 2021 House Tour was a great success! That same month, our Board selected Julian Jackson as the new Executive Director of HPF, who will lead strategic efforts to achieve our mission for all people to experience and understand the continuing American story that is Pullman.
We want to thank all of our volunteers, partners, and funders for making this work possible. Yes, 2021 was full of progress, thanks to all of you!
We invite you to join us in 2022 as we continue to preserve and highlight Pullman for current and future generations. Plan to attend new and long-cherished events and exhibits. And support Chicago’s only national park by becoming a member of HPF or donating through our website.
Jackson will focus on fundraising, partnerships, and programs that fulfill the organization’s expanded role as the Friends Group to Pullman National Monument
For immediate release
October 21, 2021
(Chicago) … The Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF) has hired Executive Director Julian Jackson who will lead strategic efforts to achieve the nonprofit organization’s mission to create opportunities for all people to experience and understand the continuing American story that is Pullman.
Jackson will work with the Board, committees, and dedicated volunteers to fulfill the organization’s three primary roles:
- serving as the Friends Group to Pullman National Monument — Chicago’s only national park that officially opened its Visitor Center on Labor Day weekend 2021 — by raising funds to support the Monument’s priorities, manage volunteers, and support the adjacent Pullman State Historic Site;
- coordinating efforts among locally and nationally based park partners; and
- continuing to play the role HPF has served since its establishment in 1973 as an historic preservation, education, and cultural history organization.
Jackson has been leading the creation and management of compelling, effective destination experiences with partners as diverse as NASA, Saturday Night Live, and the Smithsonian for more than 20 years. Most recently he was Executive Director of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, where he executed a $5 million financial turnaround. Prior to that he served as Vice President at the Milwaukee Public Museum where he led an increase in visitorship of 34 percent.
As Historic Pullman Foundation prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2023, the Board is excited to bring Jackson aboard as HPF’s executive director.
“Julian is the right person to lead this organization at this pivotal moment when we are working closely with Pullman National Monument, Pullman State Historic Site, and many partners to make Pullman a Top 10 destination in Chicago,” said Joseph C. Szabo, president of the HPF Board. “He has the knowledge, skills, and experience to help Historic Pullman Foundation build on our nearly five decades of volunteer-led efforts to preserve and share Pullman’s history.”
Jackson has been serving as interim executive director since January 2021, and helped Historic Pullman Foundation support the successful launch of Pullman National Monument and Pullman State Historic Site in September 2021. He is eager to dig into longer-term objectives that will strengthen HPF and the Monument.
“Pullman has a special place in Chicago and American history, and I’m thrilled to take on the role of leading Historic Pullman Foundation at this exciting time,” said Jackson. “I’m eager to grow and strengthen our fundraising, programs, exhibits, and partnerships to create more opportunities for people to experience and understand the continuing American story that is Pullman.”
For more information about Historic Pullman Foundation, visit pullmanil.org. Reporters interested in arranging an interview with Julian Jackson may contact Mandy Burrell Booth at email@example.com or Julian Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo available upon request.
In early 2021 the co-chairs of the Annual Historic Pullman House Tour, Cindy McMahon of Historic Pullman Foundation and Pat Brannon of Pullman Civic Organization, were determined to bring back the House Tour as an important way to “get back to normal” in Pullman during the pandemic. They also wanted to ensure the House Tour would be back as a follow-up event to September’s Grand Opening of the Pullman National Monument and State Historic Site. Together with a dedicated group of Pullman homeowners and volunteers, it happened! Read on for reflections from Cindy on how the House Tour went and why this year’s tour was so special.
We had no choice in 2020 but to cancel the House Tour due to the pandemic. Pat and I decided early this year that we would find a way to bring back the House Tour to show the resiliency of this neighborhood and bring about a sense of normalcy. We hoped to get enough of a crowd to break even in our expenses, but in the end this year’s tour exceeded our expectations.
The weather cooperated, the homes were open, and the crowds came. Seven residential homes were open with six being first-time showings. I don’t recall ever having that many new homes and neighbors on the tour. Also a first for this House Tour, two apartments from the Art Space Lofts were included.
The event started Friday night with the Volunteer Candlelight Tour and culminated on Sunday afternoon. The feeling the entire weekend was electrifying. As we closed the houses on Sunday evening, Pat and I breathed a sigh of relief. We were so proud of our neighbors and neighborhood to pull off this event under such circumstances.
Attendance was well above average for a typical House Tour—and considering this was a pandemic year, plus the Chicago Marathon and a Bears game took place the same weekend, we generated a great turnout!
Special thanks to all the homeowners for their hours of work over this last year to finish the renovations of their homes: the Mendoza Family, Katie McMahon, Margret Kania, Alfonso Quiroz, the Lydon Family, Alexis Willis, Dan Pels, the Bazalude-Pesnell Family, Mike Manika, the Shymanskis, and Pastor Luther Mason for opening the Greenstone United Methodist Church.
Thank also to the volunteers who staffed the doorways and the interiors, welcoming our guests to the neighborhood. Thank you to Carol and Larry Lagadinos who hosted the Homeowners Dinner and to Derrick and Stephanie McLean for hosting the wrap-up party.
Now on to House Tour 2022!
Watch a video (available below in English and Spanish) for a glimpse of homes on this year’s House Tour.
Chicago’s first national park is a testament to the power of partnership and philanthropy
Read this press release, distributed September 2, 2021, below and on National Park Foundation’s website.
WASHINGTON – Pullman National Monument will officially open its visitor center doors and state historic site grounds on Labor Day weekend, September 4 and 5, 2021, thanks in part to the support of the National Park Foundation and its donors. The celebratory weekend will feature tours, interpretive programming, and a host of events and activities organized by a variety of partners throughout the Pullman neighborhood.
“As we celebrate the opening of Pullman National Monument, we also celebrate the power of working together,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “When Pullman National Monument was designated in 2015, the core feature of the site, the historic Clock Tower, and the surrounding grounds required significant restoration. The National Park Foundation, generous donors including a lead gift from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, committed partners, and Pullman community members stepped up to provide critical investment and expertise to the project. The result is that we are together preserving and sharing Pullman’s unique history for generations to come.”
Funded by the National Park Foundation and its donors and combined with NPS Centennial Challenge and Recreation Fee funds, the visitor center will be located at the Historic Administration Clock Tower Building. It will feature exhibits and programs that share two key moments in American Labor History associated with the Pullman company including the 1894 Pullman Strike and Boycott, and the 1937 African-American Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union winning the first successful contract with a major company. Visitors can get a glimpse of almost a century of evolving workforce and rail equipment production, learn about the lasting design and architecture of the 1880 Town of Pullman, and how a community works together to preserve an historic district.
“The Pullman National Monument is a community anchor that beautifully honors Pullman’s rich history and serves as an attraction for Chicagoans and people across the nation,” said Pritzker Traubert Foundation Trustee Bryan Traubert. “The Pritzker Traubert Foundation is proud to invest in infrastructure that supports economic and cultural vitality on the South Side, and is excited to help celebrate the official opening of Pullman National Monument.”
In partnership with the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources transformed the state-managed 12-acre grounds that are adjacent to the Historic Administration Clock Tower Building and are collectively known as the Pullman State Historic Site. This transformation included restoration of the landscape and ADA accessible improvements.
“The support of the National Park Foundation and its generous donors was critical to the renovation of the Clock Tower Building that is home to the new visitor center and that stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of the many partners who worked for decades to preserve and share this special place in Chicago and American history,” said Pullman National Monument Superintendent Teri Gage.
To date, the National Park Foundation has provided more than $10 million to support Pullman National Monument, thanks to many generous donors, including a lead gift from former National Park Foundation Board Director Bryan Traubert of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. Major support also came from the Union Pacific Foundation; Fund II Foundation; former National Park Foundation Board Director Brien O’Brien and Mary Hasten; Chapman Hanson Foundation; Chicago Department of Planning and Development; former National Park Foundation Board Director Ellen Alberding and Kelly Welsh; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust; Walmart; National Park Foundation Board Director Barbara M. Neal; and Ms. Karen Jones Squires and Mr. Jim Squires. The National Park Foundation also provided support for the Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF) in its role as the park’s philanthropic partner, enabling HPF to do strategic planning, expand its mission, attract new volunteers and supporters for Pullman National Monument, and develop a new website.
“Fund II Foundation is honored to contribute to the preservation and elevation of the African-American experience at Pullman National Monument,” said Fund II Foundation Founding Director Robert F. Smith. “The story of Pullman Porters and the community they built in Chicago and shared on the rails is the story of progress. Pullman Porters helped shape our American history, giving rise to the labor movement and it is important to honor them now and share their stories with current and future generations. I personally am moved by this story; my father and grandfather, both named William Smith; served on the railroad as waiter and porter. So, this is especially sweet.”
Beyond financial support, the National Park Foundation also collaborated with Union Pacific to create a vintage-style poster celebrating Pullman National Monument, designed by local Chicago artist Joe Nelson. You can learn more about the poster design and the artist’s inspiration on the National Park Foundation’s blog.
“The Pullman National Monument is a tribute to African-American Pullman porters who created the first African American union, and the legacy of George Pullman– providing a quality passenger rail car, and the nation’s first planned community,” said Union Pacific Senior Vice President – Corporate Relations, Chief Administrative Officer and Foundation President Scott Moore. “This poster is a nod to the days gone by as we celebrate a time when Union Pacific trains carried people to destinations they couldn’t explore any other way, and the role Pullman and his porters played in rail history. While our trains no longer carry passengers, we encourage this generation of explorers to visit national parks and experience the wonder and history.”
The National Park Foundation plays a critical role in helping the National Park Service expand people’s understanding of and direct access to American history. As such, in addition to Pullman National Monument, the National Park Foundation has also helped preserve places including Camp Nelson National Monument, César E. Chávez National Monument, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, Stonewall National Monument, and the homes where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born and where he and Coretta Scott King raised their family.
Read, watch and listen to previews and coverage of the grand opening of Pullman National Monument and Pullman State Historic Site, on Labor Day weekend 2021 in Pullman, Chicago.
A Look at the Pullman National Monument Ahead of its Labor Day Weekend Opening
WTTW Chicago Tonight
Visitor Center opens at Pullman National Monument
Pullman National Monument officially opens
CBS Channel 2
How Pullman Porters influenced a generation of Black travelers
Conde Nast Traveler
A Community Celebrates as Pullman National Monument Opens to the Public
Block Club Chicago
The official Pullman National Monument is celebrated today
Long-awaited Pullman National Monument celebrates grand opening
Newly unveiled Pullman National Monument hub of labor, industrial history
The Times of Northwest Indiana
Pullman cars return to their birthplace at weekend open house
Preview: Pullman National Monument Visitor Center Opens
Bloomington plays role in new national monument
Grand Opening of Pullman National Monument is Set for Labor Day Weekend
Citizen Newspaper Group
Pullman National Monument expected to provide an economic boost to Chicago
Chicago Business Journal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 24, 2021
(Chicago) – Three historic rail cars built by the storied Pullman Company will be on display in Pullman, Chicago as part of the Grand Opening celebration for Pullman National Monument and Pullman State Historic Site on Labor Day weekend, September 4 and 5, 2021. An Amtrak 50th anniversary P-42 locomotive will move the three Pullman cars—Northern Dreams, Promontory Point, and New York Central 3— to the 111th Street/Pullman Station on the Metra Electric Line, where they will be stationed for the event.
Tickets to tour the cars will be available day-of with a suggested donation to Historic Pullman Foundation. Tickets will be available at the event Information Tent, on the southeast corner of 111th and Cottage Grove Avenue. The tent will open at 9 a.m. Tours will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Donations will benefit Historic Pullman Foundation, the nonprofit partner to Pullman National Monument. The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners and volunteer docents will provide the tours. Masks will be required for all tour participants, and Metra-provided masks will be available.
“Amtrak appreciates the invitation to ‘power up’ the railcar display with Unit 161, a locomotive painted in special colors to celebrate our 50th anniversary year,” said Derrick James, Senior Manager, Government Affairs & Corporate Communications, Amtrak. “We have cheered on the progress at the Pullman site and see our role as continuing the legacy of the Pullman Company and the Pullman Porters with our National Network of Amtrak trains providing sleeping car service across the country.”
“Metra is excited and proud to be hosting these historic cars during this noteworthy grand opening,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “With the Metra Electric Line providing direct service to Pullman, we look forward to connecting our riders to this reinvigorated historical area. And we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between our agency and the National Monument and State Historic Site.”
“The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners is pleased to be part of the Pullman grand opening celebration,” said executive director Julie King. “Our members come from all walks of life and share a love of trains and private railcar travel. We’re proud to be able to share these beautiful, historic rail cars with the public.”
“Historic Pullman Foundation is excited to showcase Pullman’s legacy of railway innovation in partnership with Amtrak, Metra, and American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners,” said Joseph C. Szabo, President, Historic Pullman Foundation. “Not only through this event, but also through ongoing programming and exhibits at Pullman National Monument and its partner sites, visitors to Pullman have many opportunities to learn about the continuing American story that is Pullman.”
Visitors to Pullman on Labor Day weekend are encouraged to take public transportation to the event. The Metra Electric Line serves Pullman with stations at 103rd, 107th, 111th, and 115th Streets and Cottage Grove Avenue. On Pullman’s Grand Opening weekend, a shuttle will stop on Cottage Grove at the 107th Street and 111th Street stations and near the 103rd Street station to connect Metra passengers to event activities.
Information about the railcar tours: Historic Pullman Foundation’s website.
The schedule of events for Pullman’s Grand Opening weekend is available at go.nps.gov/pullmangrandopening.
Historic Pullman Foundation
Mandy Burrell Booth
American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners
Historic Pullman Foundation had an enthusiastic turnout for our Membership Drive Cookout Event July 29th. Thanks to all of our Pullman neighbors and friends for coming out and supporting us by becoming new members or renewing your memberships! We raised over $1,600, which will help HPF to continue offering the many programs, exhibits, tours and events that make Pullman such a special place. And sincere thanks to HPF President Joseph Szabo and David and Maria Hibbs, HPF Board member, for generously matching the event’s membership drive totals!
A successful membership drive wouldn’t be possible without our many dedicated volunteers, guest speakers and all around helpers who made it happen. Thanks to Cindy McMahon and Jimmy Badali for leading off the event, purchasing the food, and making sure everything was ready. Thanks to our grill master and servers Fernando Rosiquez and Claudia Flores. And an extra thank you to Claudia for printing our many event flyers!
Thanks to our speakers for a great program: HPF Interim Executive Director Julian Jackson, past HPF President Mike Shymanski, Pullman National Monument Superintendent Teri Gage, and HPF Board President Joseph Szabo. Thanks to HPF Membership Committee Chair Maria Hibbs & committee members Jeanne Schulman, Kathy McDonough, Marsha Adduci & Ruth Lopez. Thanks to Board Member Laura Ruiz-Stephan for assisting our Spanish-speaking neighbors and to her grandchildren Adrian and Fiona for helping out with our raffle drawing.
Thanks to Method Products & Richard’s Super Premium Ice Cream for donating raffle prizes and to our HPF membership committee for donating gift cards from Lexington Betty Smokehouse & Potbelly Sandwich Shop. Congrats to our raffle prize winners Kayla Chase, Mary Mauritz, Lilia Cadena, Regina Hightower and Melinda Moore. It was a fun time for all!
We thank the volunteers whose names we may have missed and all who came out to support us! And if you were unable to attend, you can always become a member or donate to the Historic Pullman Foundation on our website.