Pullman National Monument will officially open its visitor center doors and state historic site grounds on Labor Day weekend, September 4 and 5, 2021, according to a press release Thursday.
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,” Will Shafroth, National Park Foundation President and CEO, said in the release. “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,” Pritzker Traubert Foundation Trustee Bryan Traubert said. “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.
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.