A real life snowglobe: Winter comes to the Pullman neigborhood

February 9, 2010


Hotel Florence, 111th just east of Cottage Grove (photo by Lee Bey)

A blanket of snow has fallen on the city. S0 take a drive--better yet, a ride on the Metra Electric commuter rail--to the city's historic Pullman neighborhood on the far South Side.‚  Few places in Chicago are as picturesque after a snowfall.


111th Street Metra Electric platform looking north.
Pullman Clocktower on the left (Photo by Lee Bey)


(Photo by Lee Bey)

The neighborhood was originally a planned industrial town--America's first--built in the late 1880s by railroad car magnate George M. Pullman.‚  The former factory was nearly lost in a spectacular extra alarm fire more than a decade ago,‚  but has been almost rebuilt, down to the functioning clock tower (even if the time isn't quite correct). The town pretty much stands looking‚  the way it did in the 1890s, with its sturdy brick home and rowhouses in remarkably good condition.

This USA Today story gives a pretty good primer on the area.‚  Better still,‚  my pal Geoffrey Baer at WTTW takes a walk through Pullman beginning at the 15:40 mark of his Hidden Chicago 2 documentary. And the neighborhood makes an appearance in the 1990's Harrison Ford film "The Fugitive."‚  Ford's Richard Kimble makes a call from a Pullman row house at 112th and St Lawrence, and the coppers pull up in front of historic Greenstone Church looking for him. No snow, but you get the idea..