The neighborhood we know today as Pullman was the first industrial planned community in the U.S., explicitly built for the Pullman Palace Car Company employees. George Pullman set out to create a utopia society in Chicago. He wanted the community to attract and retain the most talented workers available and hope to do so by providing such a high standard of living that workers would be happy, productive, and less likely to strike.
Pullman is one of Chicago’s 77 defined community areas and is a neighborhood located on the city's South side, Twelve miles from the Chicago Loop. Situated adjacent to Lake Calumet, the Pullman district has many historic and architecturally significant buildings...some of which have seen better times.
So join me, as we discover the Rise and Fall of Chicago’s Pullman District. Named after George Pullman, the company that built it and owned it for most of its existence, the Pullman district was a planned industrial community for workers.
It was the birthplace of the Pullman car, which transformed American travel. The district contained the world's largest office building at one time. But in 1893, when workers went on strike to protest wage cuts, Pullman officials turned out the lights at night while scabs brought in from outside broke the strike.