Experience the “RAILROADERS: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography” exhibition, organized by Center for Railroad Photography & Art and Chicago History Museum, opening in the renovated Pullman Exhibit Hall (formerly the shared Visitor Center). The exhibition is a striking visual exploration of the hard work and heroism of railway workers in the yard, on the trains and in the station during World War II and is accompanied by thoughtful biographies and interactive elements.

The RAILROADERS exhibit will run throughout the rest of the year. Please see hours and admission information below. Call Historic Pullman Foundation at 773.785.8901 if you have any questions.

Pullman Exhibit Hall hours

Wednesday through Sunday, 11am – 3pm

Admission cost

$10 for adults

$5 for children under 12

Admission is free for Historic Pullman Foundation members

Historic Pullman Foundation’s May 14-15 celebration will take place at Pullman National Monument

Find the full press release

Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF) is thrilled to host its upcoming event Pullman Railroad Days: People, Progress & Innovation on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 at Pullman National Monument.

In partnership with Metra, visitors will be able to explore four historic Pullman Cars from different eras at the 111th Street/Pullman Metra Electric station over the weekend. Included are the 1923 New York Central 3, the 1914 Francis L. Suter, the 1950 Royal Street Observation car, and the final passenger car built by the Pullman-Standard Company in 1981, Amtrak’s George M. Pullman. Saturday only: HPF will feature a Model A car club.

“We are excited and honored to once again host these historic railroad cars at our station that bears the Pullman name,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “And we’d like to remind everyone that the Metra Electric Line is the fastest and most affordable way to get to Pullman National Monument.”

Attendees will also have first access to the grand opening of “RAILROADERS: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography” exhibition, organized by the Center for Railroad Photography and Art and Chicago History Museum, opening in the renovated Pullman Exhibit Hall (formerly the shared Visitor Center). The exhibition is a striking visual exploration of the hard work and heroism of railway workers in the yards, on the trains and in the station during World War II and is accompanied by thoughtful biographies and interactive elements. Sunday only: join HPF for Bon French’s Speaker Series event exploring Jack Delano’s historic photographs.

Through a virtual reality experience, hosted by Norfolk Southern, visitors will be able to pop on a pair of VR goggles and see how advanced technology fuels America’s freight railroads. Plus, using a locomotive simulator, learn what skills it takes to operate a railroad locomotive.

With guided tours of the historic Factory Site, Hotel Florence, the neighborhood, and food and entertainment, there will be something for everyone at Pullman Railroad Days. 

“The stories of Pullman are the stories of the American experience,” said Joseph C. Szabo, President of Historic Pullman Foundation. “Pullman Railroad Days is a wonderful opportunity to showcase America’s history of railroad innovation and its stories that remind us why Pullman is so special.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has announced that Historic Pullman Foundation (HPF) will receive $300,000 toward the stabilization and rehabilitation of Market Hall, one of the historic structures within Pullman National Monument, National Park Service (PNM).

The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill passed last week by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.
“This appropriations package invests in the future of Illinois,” Durbin said. “The use of Congressionally directed spending provides Members of Congress, who know their states and districts better than federal agency personnel in Washington, with the ability to direct federal funding to priority projects in their communities.” You can read the senator’s press release here.

“We thank Senator Durbin for his partnership and look forward to launching a process for engaging the community as we embark on the stabilization effort and envision how market hall fits the interpretive needs of Pullman National Monument,” said HPF President Joseph C. Szabo.

An essential defining building of the Pullman neighborhood, Market Hall is in critical need of stabilization, preservation, and new construction to return it to productive use by residents and visitors to PNM – Chicago’s only national park. In 2021, HPF became PNM’s official nonprofit partner.

Starting in 1881, Market Hall served as a public market and gathering space at 112th Street and Champlain Avenue for nearly a century. Fire destroyed the original Market Hall structure in 1892. The 3-story replacement building was damaged by two fires – one in 1931 and another in 1973 – leaving it a roofless 1-story structure. HPF purchased it in 1974 to save it from demolition and has maintained the property ever since.

“Action must be taken now to stabilize Market Hall and safeguard it from further deterioration,” said Szabo. “Market Hall is a unique cultural asset and its preservation is essential to enhance PNM visitors’ understanding of its social relevance within the town of #Pullman’s original design.”

The image of a woman in a red headscarf and blue shirt flexing her right arm under the slogan, “We Can Do it” has been a cultural icon in the United States for 80 years. Created in 1942 by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, it was featured on a poster for Westinghouse Electric corporation, then used by the U.S. government during World War II. The image aimed to inspire and celebrate the more than 6 million American women who joined the workforce to replace men who enlisted in the armed forces.

While Miller’s “Rosie” was a fictional rendering, a real “Rosie” worked for the Pullman Company during World War II. Rose Szczerbiak was a Ukrainian-American woman born and raised on Langley Avenue in Pullman.

“I distinctly remember walking to 111th Street and Champlain as a child,” said her niece, Marilyn Gartelmann Quiroz. “We would wait for her to exit the turn styles at the entrance of the plant.” During World War II, Szczerbiak worked in the factory, cleaning out the inside of shells with steel-wool and making artillery for the U.S. Government. At the time, the government contracted with the Pullman Company to create a variety of materials for the defense industry.

Rose Helen Szczerbiak was born on January 5, 1922, in the Pullman Blockhouse at 11315 S. Langley Avenue (then Fulton Avenue) to Ukrainian immigrants Michael Szczerbiak and Mary Opaluch Szczerbiak. She later married Harry Barlog, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II near Okinawa.

Rose retired from the Pullman after the war and the entire family moved to Chicago Heights in 1957. They had three children: Robert, William and Nancy. “She was a wonderful cook and a loving mother,” said her son, Robert Barlog. “She always had a smile on her face.”

Her family recently uncovered two photos of Rose during her time working at the Pullman Company, one standing in her uniform along 112th Street and Langley Avenue and another with her colleagues inside the plant (Rose is middle row, second from the right). Rose Szczerbiak Barlog passed away on October 21, 1993 at age 71.

This “Women’s History Month,” we salute the thousands of women who worked for the Pullman Company during World War II, including our own “Rosie the Riveter.”

Watch Rose’s YouTube story here