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.