The Pullman National Monument, located in, Illinois, was founded by George Pullman, a visionary man who envisioned a utopian town or a planned community for the workers of his company. A community that offered better working-class living conditions and promised a safer, healthier, and more attractive way of life.
This town of Pullman was the first conceptualization of the “planned” urban-living lifestyle that became so popular in the 20th century. The Pullman Company constructed and engineered this beautiful community with urban architecture and design that was a haven to all those who lived here.
Pullman National Monument is also dedicated to the actions of George Pullman who was the first American man to hire members of the African American community for jobs such as porters, waiters, and maids. Slavery at the time was common practice. The thought of an African American man or woman having a job that paid fair wages was beyond the realm of imagination for most African Americans. George Pullman’s actions greatly helped in the civil rights movement of the 20th century that helped abolish slavery.
The Pullman Community was also the birthplace of the first all African-American Union called the Brotherhood Of Sleeping Car Porters and today, this national monument is an example of how urban national parks can help revitalize and reestablish old and historic neighborhoods that were instrumental parts of American history.