Located 12 miles south of the Loop, the community of Pullman is a fantastic place to visit for any history or architecture aficionado. Created via the might and domineering influence of George Pullman, noted railroad car industrialist, this former company town has a mix of architecture that includes former railroad executive homes, row houses for the common man, and the simply exquisite Hotel Florence, which was named after George's favorite daughter.
The Historic Pullman House Tour is the big event of the season in these parts and it's coming up on October 11 and 12 from 11am to 5pm. As part of these tours, visitors will get to explore worker's cottages, multi-unit apartments, and a selection of the landmark homes that dot the community. The tours are led by expert docents and the proceeds from this two-day festival help fund restoration and preservation projects throughout the district.
Tickets for the tour are available in advance by calling 773-857-8901 and interested parties can also show up on either day from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to purchase tickets. Both days tend to sell out in advance, so it's worth calling ahead to make a reservation, particularly if you're coming down with a larger group.
Since you're visiting a railroad town, you might considering taking Metra to Pullman for the complete experience. Trains run around once every hour from Millennium Station in the Loop on the weekends (give or take) and you can get more information about the Metra station at 111th Street here.
Finally, the truly curious visitor will want to peruse this 1893 pamphlet "The Story of Pullman" for a great perspective on the area's history and background. Also, historic preservationists, planners, and others will enjoy this recent report on the area from the National Park Service.
Oh, did I mention that it might become a National Park Service site? That's in the works as well, so keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, come on down for this big weekend and feel free to wander around to discover more of the area's charms.
Photos Courtesy of: Dwayne Kuan; Adam Alexander