Pullman factory before the restoration/rehab

I am a fan of Pullman, which is on the far South Side of Chicago. Everyone should go there, as I've said before.

I also said that I would take the factory tour, and I did. There will only be a few more tours before they close it for restoration. First of all, the tour guide (who's lived there for almost 50 years) did a great job explaining not only elements of the building and the company, but the area's history and the more subtle issues that have arisen, such as the possibility of Section-8 housing, which means dollars for the developer (and alderman?) but headaches for the residents. Right now the neighborhood has a great, relaxing vibe that makes it a jewel within the city limits, and the people who live there want to keep it that way.

What I saw of the factory will not be the same next year, not just because of the restoration but because I reckon they're going to do a lot of publicity to get visitors down there. The place deserves it, but in the meantime, if you want to see the pre-hyped version, go there now.

pullman factory entrance
Entrance to the factory site on 111th street.
I was also lucky to see huge remnants of Acme Steel, which will eventually be moved to a more permanent historic preservation site (I forgot what they said--I'll update if I find out).

pullman factory-acme steel
Pullman building in back, Acme realia in front.

acme steel-pullman
 from Acme Steel
Rebuilt administration building in background.

Though these Acme items might stay.

pullman interior with acme items

steel art pullman
Steel industry art.
Unfortunately and tragically, a literally insane homeless man who was off his meds set fire to the Pullman factory because he said voices told him to. So the current tower and building are essentially reconstructed, and will continue down that path. So it's not really a restoration but a creation that visitors will see in the future. 

clock tower pullman
Rebuilt after the evil arson.
Here's a melted bell that the insane arsonist left behind.


But some original brick and a tiny part of the original factory remain.


original pullman factory

I'm guessing future visitors post-rehab won't be able to wonder in such a space anymore.


pullman roof

pullman windows

original pullman interior

As I was walking along a former carriage path that used to wind its way beside a lake...

pullman factory nature

I thought, "I'm coming back." 

pullman factory chicago

While the factory is being revitalized, I could just hang out at the Pullman cafe.

pullman cafe

1 comment:

Chicagoland said...

Love the photo tour !