Take a trip by train out of Chicago to America’s first company owned town 'Pullman' and now a National Monument. Built in 1880 by George Pullman - the founder of The Pullman Palace Car Company-, the town was designed to house his workers and the factories that would build his world-famous train carriages.
This walking tour will take you through the heart of the Pullman historic district and is perfect for people who are interested in getting to know more about the rich history of the former Pullman empire. Our amazing local guides will tell you all about the original buildings (one of the largest collections of 19th-century row houses in Chicago), the sad history of the employees and the former outskirts of “Bumtown” where workers secretly planned one of the biggest strikes in history. You will also be able to see the inside of the original Factory Administration building and visit many other attractions such as:
- The Hotel Florence
- Greenstone Church
- Arcade Park and The Arcade
- The Stables
- The Pullman Historic Foundation Visitor Center
- The Market Hall
This tour is designed to give visitors a sense of what it was like back in the 19th century when George Pullman developed his so-called “The World’s Most Perfect Town". The town provided housing, stores, a library, churches, a post office, elm-lined streets, a landscaped park, a lake with a waterfall and an 800-seat theater that presented musical and theatrical productions for its employees. And although this may sound like an idyllic model town - which it was for a while - history proved there was also another side to it.
Everything George Pullman provided for his employees/ tenants had a price, and all charges were docked directly from their paychecks. There was very little money left for workers to buy food for their families. After the stock market crashed, he did not cut their rents or other charges, which led to one of the biggest strikes America had ever seen. Violent clashes between strikers and federal troops occurred, resulting in many deaths but also leading to the establishment of Labor Day as a federal holiday in honor of U.S. workers.
Today, Pullman is home to a vibrant community that’s rich with history and renowned for its architecture, like stunning row houses and restored company buildings. For history buffs, architectural aficionados, or people who like going off the beaten path, Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood is well worth the trip!
Experience the real culture of this interesting area, while taking in its most famous spots. Your guide will even act as your personal photographer for the day and help you to get some great snaps!
For an unforgettable experience of Chicago, book your tour with us today. We can’t wait to show you around one of our favorite places!