Friday, June 28, 2013

Pullman Historic District

Maybe it is just me because I worked for Pullman Standard in the late '70s. I felt in awe today walking through the Pullman Historic District. I felt the memories, the importance, of where we have been. Where I have been.

Originally I was going to visit the district with my friend Dimitrios. Wires got crossed on what Friday. The plan to go to the district was his but not for this Friday. I just could not wait, so I went myself. Be sure D', there is more to see than what I photographed!

The town was built between 1880 to 1884. That probably seems long ago to you, but not to me. I currently work at a company that was founded in 1886. I have seen records, photos, and read what those before me had written, on the very exact product I was responsible for (has slightly changed for today). Having worked at Pullman Standard before this company, today's visit solidified the history laid out behind me, the future that those before me were building for us today. Needless to say, I took some pride as I walked through the Pullman Historic District.

Here are some photos . . .

It was sad to see the burned out building above. It is hard to recall exactly, being so many years ago. I only remember active buildings along 111th street. Not abandoned buildings.

When I first joined Pullman Standard I worked in freight engineering in Chicago. The 200 block of South Michigan Ave. to be exact. They then transferred me to 111th because of space that opened up. I think they were closing the downtown Chicago engineering at the time and just did not tell us. When we ran out of work, or to put it more direct, when the Bessemer Alabama plant ran out of work and directed that our work be turned over to them, we were then transferred to Hammond, IN, to assist in completing the Amtrak passenger cars. I remember writing operation manuals for the lounge cafe car at that time. The reason we were brought in was because the passenger division was closing, and people were leaving, making it difficult to complete projects.

Eventually Pullman Standard let my group go.  (That is another story in itself.)  I found a job at the company I work for today, which at the time I left Pullman, the company I work for now was owned by another company. Strange enough, the company that owned us later bought out Pullman. Full circle, like I could not get away. Ironically, this is the 4th time I am back at the company I am at now. So perhaps there is some truth to not being able to get away.

Pullman Standard was an exciting company to work for.  During those times you could dream, plan, have assurance that tomorrow was coming each day.  Hindsight, we had no idea how false that was.  I am sure that was the dream of those in the late 1800s, to dream, plan and to be with assurance that tomorrow was coming each day.  I do believe if they saw the photo above, and the next photo, they would cry.  For me it is still pride, for they went forward with a vision that allowed me to share it, though ever so brief.

So, I had enough fun that I am going back. For more information on the Pullman Historic District, click here.  For museum information, click here. For a very cool multimedia event at the old US Steel South Works that was around this same time frame, click "here".


Holly Ludlam said...

Please consider coming to a free tour of the Pullman State Historic Site - Factory Complex. Public tours are scheduled at 11:30 am on the first and third Sunday of each month through Nov. 3rd and meet at the large scale photos next to the gate at 610 E 111th St. For more information, visit Thank you for your lovely post about Pullman.

Wesley Bushby said...

Thank you very much, Holly. I am going to plan this coming Sunday. Hopefully I can drag Dimitrios with me. Maybe more.

I put a link to the museum at the bottom of the blog for you.