Pullman

Chicago, Illinois

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Pullman embodies the extremes of capitalism, good and bad. The neighborhood was built in the 1880s to house workers for George M. Pullman’s Palace Car Company factory, which sprawled north of 111th St. On the surface it was a model community with a full range of amenities for residents, but its underpinnings were the same ferocious belief in profits that Pullman applied to all of his ventures. Every aspect of the admittedly beautiful town was meant to produce a return on investment, even the church. A recession led Pullman to cut his workers’ wages in 1894, but there was no accompanying cut in the town’s rents or the cost of food in the company stores. The workers called a strike, which ended in violent repression, and emotions remained raw for years after. When Pullman died in 1897 he was buried in an armored vault in Graceland Cemetery to prevent desecration of his corpse (see Walk 26). A year later the courts ordered the company to sell off the town. Meanwhile the politics of the area were radicalized and for many years residents regularly voted socialist.

Pullman Professional Review and Guide

"Pullman embodies the extremes of capitalism, good and bad. The neighborhood was built in the 1880s to house workers for George M. Pullman’s Palace Car Company factory, which sprawled north of 111th St. On the surface it was a model community with a full range of amenities for residents, but its underpinnings were the same ferocious belief in profits that Pullman applied to all of his ventures. Every aspect of the admittedly beautiful town was meant to produce a return on investment, even the church. A recession led Pullman to cut his workers’ wages in 1894, but there was no accompanying cut in the town’s rents or the cost of food in the company stores. The workers called a strike, which ended in violent repression, and emotions remained raw for years after. When Pullman died in 1897 he was buried in an armored vault in Graceland Cemetery to prevent desecration of his corpse (see Walk 26). A year later the courts ordered the company to sell off the town. Meanwhile the politics of the area were radicalized and for many years residents regularly voted socialist."

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Chicago
Distance: 2.3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Season: Year-round

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