WBEZ | Pullman http://www.wbez.org/tags/pullman Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Manufacturing plant coming to Chicago’s South Side http://www.wbez.org/news/manufacturing-plant-coming-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-108070 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/pullman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A green cleaning company is opening its first U.S. manufacturing facility on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side.</p><p>Method&rsquo;s planet-friendly cleaning products are sold in tens of thousands of stores. And now, the company plans to bring about 100 green-collar jobs to the historic Pullman neighborhood by early 2015. The total project is $33 million, with the city and state contributing a third through tax incentives.</p><p>Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said more jobs will equal less crime in the community, which has suffered from decades of disinvestment.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to work with Method to make sure the community is involved in the construction of the building, make sure the community has opportunity to get the jobs and they&rsquo;re a partner in the community,&rdquo; Beale said.</p><p>Pullman has 21 percent unemployment rate. About the same percentage live below the poverty level. The per capita income is $19,000.</p><p>Method&rsquo;s new facility will be near the intersection of East 111th Street and South Doty Avenue in Pullman Park &mdash; part of a resurgence to the neighborhood. U.S. Bank has donated land for Pullman Park, a mixed-used project. Housing, big-box stores, a park and recreational facility are being planned. It&rsquo;s supposed to bring 1,700 jobs. Wal-Mart is the first tenant.</p><p>San Francisco-based Method wanted to build the plant in an urban area, said company co-founder Adam Lowry.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a facility that we hope will serve as a model of manufacturing and ultimately urban revitalization can look like in the 21st century,&rdquo; Lowry said.</p><p>The American Planning Association has named Pullman one of the country&rsquo;s top 10 great neighborhoods. Named after industrialist George Pullman, who envisioned a model community for his rail workers, the community once had plenty of jobs and a beautiful housing stock. Over time, Pullman fell into disarray as jobs disappeared.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people over the years have written about the rich history of Pullman as a past. I think today we&rsquo;re turning the chapter,&rdquo; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. &ldquo;A lot of people said it couldn&rsquo;t happen on the South Side. It can&rsquo;t happen in Pullman.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Natalie Moore is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/natalieymoore" target="_blank">@natalieymoore</a></em>.</p></p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 14:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/manufacturing-plant-coming-chicago%E2%80%99s-south-side-108070 South Side neighborhoods vie for presidential library http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/south-side-neighborhoods-vie-presidential-library-107926 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/lakeside-kari-lydersen.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>A biting wind blew off the lake. A group of Southeast Side residents pulled their coats tight and gazed north to the downtown skyline. On this raw March day, they stood on the northern edge of the former site of U.S. Steel&rsquo;s South Works mill. The plant closed in 1992, and now all you see is rubble, weeds and mud.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But LaMeise Turner and her neighbors envision a glorious future for this spot. &quot;I would love to see the Obama library here,&quot; Turner said. &quot;I think that would be good, it would give access not just to the neighborhood but to everybody. Because he&rsquo;s the first African American president, the first one from Chicago, so I think this is an ideal place for it.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It&rsquo;s right on the lake and the view is spectacular. Fertile mud from the Illinois River was trucked in to grow native plants and flowers. And if developers have their way, these hundreds of acres will be home to a glistening new neighborhood with tens of thousands of homes and businesses.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dan McCaffery, the developer spearheading the project known as Lakeside, said the Obama library would bolster this development and help revitalize the whole area. McCaffery said, &quot;I noticed in <em>Time</em> magazine September 2008, one quote of his is: &#39;I found my calling to public service in a community devastated by the loss of steel workers.&#39; So I think this would be a very nice way for him to put his imprint permanently in that community. We have a gorgeous site, sits on the lake, looks back at the city. So Dan McCaffery thinks Mr. President, you ought to be there.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There are 13 official presidential libraries spread across the country. President Obama won&rsquo;t formally make the decision about his library until he&rsquo;s out of office. But the courtship has already begun.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There&rsquo;s no guarantee Obama&rsquo;s library will be in Chicago; the University of Hawaii is mulling a bid.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But the top contender appears to be the University of Chicago. Obama was on the law school faculty there for years, and Michelle Obama held administrative positions too. A university spokesman said it is &ldquo;premature&rdquo; to comment, but many people think it&rsquo;s a done deal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This upsets Harold Lucas, who knew Obama in his days as a community organizer. Lucas said, &quot;I remember when he came to Chicago with his big ears sitting off his head, little bitty skinny guy. We went out to the Gardens. That&rsquo;s where I met him.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Lucas is president of the Black Metropolis Convention and Tourism Council in Bronzevile. He&rsquo;d like the library to go on the site of the old Michael Reese Hospital. &quot;Knowing that Bronzeville began in 1916, we want to celebrate our centennial in 2016; the cherry on the sundae would be the presidential library,&quot; Lucas said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then there are at least two other Chicago candidates for the library. Like the U.S. Steel site, they are on the Far South Side where Obama cut his teeth in community organizing.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Chicago State University has enlisted former State Senate President Emil Jones to lure the library to its campus.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Others are pushing the historic Pullman neighborhood, near the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex. Tom Shepherd and other local history buffs have been trying for years to create a railroad museum in the old Pullman rail car factory.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The University of Chicago, they already have so many resources,&quot; Shepherd said. &quot;I&rsquo;m sure they&rsquo;re going to make a big push for it, but I just feel that by bringing some of the university resources out to a neighborhood like Pullman would help Pullman, help Roseland, the neighboring communities that are really troubled right now.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ed Gardner, 88, is founder of Soft Sheen products and a long-time proponent of African American empowerment and economic development.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He&rsquo;s been a major Obama supporter and donor. He&rsquo;s also a big backer of Lakeside Development on the U.S. Steel site, and he thinks the Obama library would be the crowning touch.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Downtown or even the University of Chicago, they have their pluses,&quot; Gardner said. &quot;But President Obama came from the people, and they&rsquo;re the ones who put him into office, who worked these streets on the South Side of Chicago and all of the state of Illinois and the whole country. He would want the world to come through this part of the city on their way to see the library.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Chicagoans like Ed Gardner still feel a strong connection to the president. Just as Obama started his career trying to help Chicago communities, now the decision about the library could go a long way toward revitalizing the South Side.</div></p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/south-side-neighborhoods-vie-presidential-library-107926 Will Pullman ever be revitalized? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/will-pullman-ever-be-revitalized-107758 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F97763213&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>We have a lot of shorthand ways to talk about Chicago.</p><p>Boosters call it the &ldquo;city that works&rdquo; (a phrase coined by the late Arlington Heights writer <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/01/obituaries/frank-maier-57-dies-ex-newsweek-reporter.html">Frank Maier</a>, or maybe his <a href="http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090903.php">editor</a>). Detractors gave the city perhaps its most famous &mdash; and its most vexing &mdash; identity as the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/why-they-call-it-the-second-city/Content?oid=882456">&ldquo;second city.&rdquo;</a></p><p>For longtime residents though, I&rsquo;d wager Chicago is most a &ldquo;city of neighborhoods,&rdquo; an <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-how-are-chicago-neighborhoods-formed-103831">identity Curious City has looked into</a>.</p><p>But not every neighborhood gets the same love or foot traffic, and that fact got Hannah Loftus thinking.</p><p>Loftus grew up in Glen Ellyn and is, as of this writing, a newly-minted graduate of the University of Chicago. (Congrats, Hannah!) While earning her anthropology degree, Loftus made field trips to Pullman, a historic neighborhood that hugs the Bishop Ford Expressway south of 95th Street.</p><p>Those visits prompted her to ask Curious City:</p><p><em>Will Pullman ever be revitalized?</em></p><p>Loftus&rsquo; question came from a big discrepancy she observed, one that&rsquo;s dogged Pullman residents for decades: Pullman&rsquo;s history is vast and rich, but today it struggles from a lack of jobs and amenities.</p><p><strong>Visible history</strong></p><p>If you&rsquo;re not familiar with the history Loftus caught on to, here&rsquo;s a brief sketch.</p><p>Starting in 1880, industrialist George Pullman had a whole town built from scratch, to house workers at his Pullman Palace Car Company, which was churning out a new mode of rail travel: luxury sleeping cars. His town of Pullman was an early example of a planned community, one so striking it was voted the most perfect town in the world, at the Prague International Hygienic and Pharmaceutical Exposition of 1896.</p><p>But Pullman&rsquo;s town didn&rsquo;t draw attention just because of its layout and industry &mdash; the workers were notable, too. The nation&rsquo;s first black labor union has its roots here, and a strike started by Pullman workers became one of history&rsquo;s most violent labor contests.</p><p><a name="gallery"></a></p><div align="center" id="PictoBrowser130619183510"><a name="gallery">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</a></div><p><a name="gallery"><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "500", "500", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Curious City: Pullman"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157634199298807"); so.addVariable("titles", "off"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "on"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "72"); so.write("PictoBrowser130619183510"); </script></a></p><p>Today, some of this past is still visible.</p><p>Ninety-eight percent of the town&rsquo;s original housing stock, which ranges from practical row houses to stately mansions, still stands. If you combine that with what&rsquo;s left of a factory complex as well as the historic Hotel Florence, a walk through Pullman can feel like wandering into a 19th century town.</p><p>Still, Pullman is not on everybody&rsquo;s radar.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s good to have this history,&rdquo; says Loftus. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s not quite something you think about when you consider the overall history of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>In addition to its low profile, Loftus notes that Pullman also lacks basic resources, like grocery stores and jobs.</p><p>Now some residents I talked to questioned whether Pullman needs to be revitalized at all (they gave variations of &ldquo;What&rsquo;s wrong with our community the way it is?&rdquo;). But for many years community groups and aldermen have worked hard to develop the neighborhood.</p><p>For them the debate&rsquo;s been more about how &mdash; and not whether &mdash; to revitalize.</p><p><strong>History as resource?</strong></p><p>As ironic as this may sound, some are convinced Pullman&rsquo;s past is the big money maker.</p><p>Take Michael Shymanski. Officially, he&rsquo;s an architect and the President of the <a href="http://www.pullmanil.org/">Historic Pullman Foundation</a>. Unofficially, many call him the mayor of Pullman.</p><p>To get a better idea of Shymanski&rsquo;s vision, I tour the neighborhood with him. Turns out that vision draws from the design elements of the original town.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20%282%29.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 270px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Jesse Jennings Sr. says lack of investment endangers the viability of Pullman and its racial diversity. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee) " />Pullman wanted a worker&rsquo;s utopia that he &mdash; the big boss &mdash; would control. He hired Solon Spencer Beman to design the community and factory complex (other still-existing Chicago structures by Beman include the Blackstone Library and the Fine Arts Building). Nathan F. Barrett developed the town&rsquo;s landscapes.</p><p>Shymanski says everything was oriented toward the railroad and making a grand impression upon train passengers. The main administrative building with its large clock tower was situated directly across from the train station. It was set back and preceded by a curvilinear drive and Lake Vista, a large reflecting pond that happened to fed by condensation collected from the huge Corliss engine that powered the Pullman machinery.</p><p>George Pullman constructed other facilities, too, including a church, a central market, and an arcade that housed a 500-seat theatre, a library, a post office and small shops for tailors and dentists.</p><p>&ldquo;Even today it&rsquo;s a model for pedestrian-scale development,&rdquo; says Shymanski. &ldquo;People could walk to all their normal activities within 10 minutes or so. They could get produce at Market Hall. There were all kinds of recreation activities along the edge of Lake Calumet. They could walk to work and were just a few steps from a train station that would take them downtown.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>The decline</strong></p><p>There&rsquo;s not as much to walk to today.</p><p>Pullman&rsquo;s dream of a model community evaporated, thanks to a crippling recession and the resulting workers strike (Pullman cut the workforce and wages, but kept charging the same rents). In 1898, Pullman was ordered to sell off non-factory property, including all the residential buildings (Chicago had annexed Pullman previously, in 1889). Though the factory <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1028.html">kept manufacturing cars until the late 1970&rsquo;s</a>, the area went through some major changes.</p><p>Through destruction or decay, some of the key infrastructure is gone. The Arcade Building was torn down in 1927, rendered obsolete by newer shopping areas. After multiple fires and a 1930s makeover, Market Hall is mainly a shell of brick and girders, though the original apartment buildings that form the square around the hall remain.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/arcade2.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 242px; width: 270px;" title="The Pullman Arcade Building, as photographed in the late 1880s.(Photo courtesy of Historic Pullman Foundation)" /></p><p>The main administration building and clock tower, damaged by arson in 1998, have undergone some restoration and stabilization, but they&rsquo;re cordoned off behind a chain link fence.</p><p>What&rsquo;s left? In addition to the residences, the Greenstone Church remains sturdy, and there&rsquo;s the Hotel Florence, which is currently <a href="http://www.pullman-museum.org/misc/construction.html">being restored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency</a>.</p><p>That any of this remains has much to do with the various historic designations Pullman has earned over the years.</p><p>In the 1960s there was an effort to raze Pullman and turn it into an industrial park. A civic group formed to fight this move, and since then the neighborhood has been granted local, state and federal landmark status.</p><p><strong>The drive for a park</strong></p><p>Despite its historic designations, Pullman hasn&rsquo;t yet figured out how to cash in on its past.</p><p>The Pullman Historic Foundation runs a visitors center, conducts tours and hosts events. The state offers regular tours and some interpretation of the (largely empty) factory building.</p><p>In the northern part of the district you can also visit the <a href="http://www.aphiliprandolphmuseum.com/">A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum</a>, which tells the story of how Pullman porters, who were all African American, became <a href="http://publications.newberry.org/pullman/">the first black union</a> in the United States. &nbsp;</p><p>But most of this history isn&rsquo;t tied together, and when visitors do come, they don&rsquo;t find much in the way of permanent programming, or even a dedicated gift shop to buy historic Pullman souvenirs.</p><p>So to draw more tourists and help revive Pullman&rsquo;s local economy, many Pullman boosters are trying to turn the area into a national historical park.</p><p>The idea was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2012-01-31/could-citys-pullman-community-become-home-chicagos-first-national-park-95974">proposed in early 2012 </a>by former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. who <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3894">asked the Secretary of the Interior</a> to undertake a &ldquo;reconnaissance study&rdquo; of Pullman.</p><p>The National Park Service agreed. And according to Lynn McClure of the National Parks Conservation Association, the report &mdash; which, they say, should be out any day &mdash; is a &ldquo;high five&rdquo; for making Pullman a national park.</p><p>Now all that&rsquo;s required is congressional approval. Though Congress isn&rsquo;t known for acting swiftly, McClure is confident.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no reason we can&rsquo;t get it done by the end of 2014,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>What would park status bring?</p><p>Pullman currently has some tourism traffic, but not a lot.</p><p>Mike Wagenbach of the State Historic Site says the neighborhood draws between 25,000 and 35,000 visitors each year. That&rsquo;s a drop in the bucket when you consider Chicago saw <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-chicago-draws-near-record-46m-tourists-in-2012-20130610,0,4660651.story">46.2 million visitors last year.</a></p><p>No doubt Pullman&rsquo;s low turnout has something to do with its location; though the neighborhood is just off a major freeway to its east, it&rsquo;s still 10 miles from the Loop. And that means it&rsquo;s far off the tourism industry&rsquo;s beaten path.</p><p>Lynn McClure says &ldquo;nobody is naive enough to think that [a park] would significantly increase tourism,&rdquo; but her office recently undertook an economic study to determine what effect such a designation might have on the area.</p><p>It turns out the idea of using a national park to generate economic activity has precedent.</p><p>In 1978, Lowell Massachusetts, once a significant player in America&rsquo;s historic textile industry, was turned into a park. Thirty years later, a study assessing its impact said the park acted as a catalyst, attracting and even speeding up investment.</p><p>Mike Shymanski says if Pullman were a national park, with lots of interpretation and tourism infrastructure, it <em>would </em>draw more people <em>and </em>give them somewhere to spend their money.</p><p>And that cash &mdash; the theory goes &mdash; could help revitalize Pullman.</p><p>&ldquo;The current purchasing power in the neighborhood can&rsquo;t sustain redevelopment,&rdquo; says Shymanski, &ldquo;But if we had 100,000 or 200,000 visitors coming a year, we could.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Pullman 2.0</strong></p><p>Still, not everyone is banking on Pullman&rsquo;s past.</p><p>&ldquo;Certainly the historic parts are important and we want to be sensitive to that,&rdquo; says David Doig, president of the non-profit Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives. &ldquo;But unless it&rsquo;s a desirable community with all the amenities that people expect, you know people aren&rsquo;t going to want to live there.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20%281%29.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; width: 200px; height: 300px;" title="David Doig, left, says development in Pullman should prioritize improvement in people's everyday living conditions. (WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" />To make a point about Pullman&rsquo;s future, Doig takes me up to the 11th floor of the U.S. Bank Building, his base of operations. There, we have a birds-eye view of a 180-acre construction site and the future home of a development called <a href="http://www.cnigroup.org/economic.html">Pullman Park</a>.</p><p>CNI is doing a lot to revitalize Pullman &mdash; everything from backing <a href="http://community.suntimes.com/swchicago/2012/12/06/pullman-to-become-thriving-art-neighborhood/">an artists space</a> to <a href="http://hpherald.com/2013/03/01/chicago-neighborhood-initiatives-impacting-pullman/">rehabbing historic homes</a> &mdash; but Pullman Park is their biggest and maybe most ambitious effort.</p><p>The mixed-use development underway at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway will sport a Walmart store (slated to open this fall), as well 1,000 units of housing, a recreation facility and park areas. There are also plans for pedestrian-scale retail.</p><p>Put all this together, and you see Doig&rsquo;s creating a Pullman 2.0.</p><p>It may be a scaled-down version of George Pullman&rsquo;s all-encompassing community, but it&rsquo;s one that would provide what locals say the neighborhood now lacks: retail spaces, jobs, affordable housing and community facilities. Fittingly, this new community would sit atop part of Pullman&rsquo;s former factory complex (Ryerson Steel Processing Inc., <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-02-16/business/8701120766_1_george-pullman-metals-industrial">bought part of the plant </a>in the late 1980s, but shut it down in 2006.)</p><p>Doig says his development and other efforts to revitalize historic Pullman are &ldquo;not competing but complementary.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We really view this as kind of a catalyst for what we hope will be other forms of private investment and revitalization in the broader community,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>So what are the prospects for Pullman?</p><p>Mike Shymanski thinks things bode well for a true revitalization, despite all the years of investment that haven&rsquo;t yet made a difference.</p><p>&ldquo;Eventually, good ideas have their celestial order that makes them happen,&rdquo; says Shymanski. &ldquo;And I think we&rsquo;re very close to that.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter. Follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport">Instagram.</a>&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Special thanks to the Historic Pullman Foundation, which gave Alison Cuddy permission to use several images posted here. You can find more at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/historicpullman/photos_albums">the organization&#39;s Facebook page</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.pullmanil.org/">website</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 16:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/will-pullman-ever-be-revitalized-107758 Two films on toxic waste to show for free in Pullman http://www.wbez.org/two-films-toxic-waste-show-free-pullman-107453 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-68de2510-faec-eab6-745f-58bacfb6f942"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Pullman%20film_130531_LW.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Pullman Factory, Administration Building. The Pullman State Historic Site includes multiple relics of the area’s former industry. (Flickr/UIC Digital Collections)" />Two new films about toxic waste are coming to Chicago&rsquo;s Pullman district Saturday for a free screening dubbed &ldquo;The Unnatural Natural.&rdquo;</p><p>Sarah Kanouse, an artist and professor at the University of Iowa, says she created the film <a href="http://www.readysubjects.org/aco/index.html" target="_blank">Around Crab Orchard</a> to raise questions.</p><p>&ldquo;What is nature, what is our relationship to nature?&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;How can we wrap our heads around contaminated nature?&rdquo;</p><p>Kanouse&rsquo;s questions aren&rsquo;t idle. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois has been home to munitions manufacturers and other industries since WWII, and the site is now <a href="http://www.fws.gov/midwest/craborchardcleanup/" target="_blank">severely polluted</a> and home to a <a href="http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/mar/" target="_blank">federal prison</a>. It remains a federally-managed site for recreation and for the protection of native species&rsquo;. The image of this toxic wildlife refuge, packed with contradiction, fascinated Kanouse.</p><p>She says sites like these reveal nature as something humans &ldquo;co-create,&rdquo; that is not separate from us.</p><p>&ldquo;We have to do something with the forms of nature that we produce, even if they are damaged,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Damaged natural areas are a familiar sight in the Chicago region, from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-would-chicago-look-if-settlers-hadn%E2%80%99t-changed-it-105902" target="_blank">Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie</a> (a former Superfund cleanup site) to the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-05/calumet-brain-trust-tackles-environmental-issues-across-state-line" target="_blank">Calumet Core</a>, an area of the South Side and Northwest Indiana that&rsquo;s littered with contamination sites from abandoned industries, and with efforts to restore open space. The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/pullman-district-pushing-national-historical-park-status-104220" target="_blank">Pullman State Historic Site</a>&nbsp;is another location of contaminated and abandoned industrial land struggling to remake itself in a new economy. The old factory area is now home to a bird oasis and gardens.</p><p>Kanouse calls her film an &ldquo;essay&rdquo; rather than a documentary, and an essay in the traditional sense of the French essai: an attempt, a raising of questions without clear answers. The process of creating the film, she said, only raised more questions.</p><p>&ldquo;What other kinds of political, social and environmental questions can we start considering if we get beyond this idea that nature is this pristine thing out there, and we realize that it&rsquo;s actually quite intimate?&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The other film, <a href="http://yuccamtntally.com/" target="_blank">Yucca Mtn Tally </a>by Phoebe Brush, calls itself a &ldquo;desert meditation&rdquo; on the storage of nuclear waste.</p><p>Yucca Mtn Tally (2013, 21 min., DVD projection) and Around Crab Orchard (2013, 69 min., DVD projection) are showing at <a href="http://southsideprojections.org/2013/05/the-unnatural-natural-two-films-about-environmental-hazard/" target="_blank">2pm, Saturday, June 1 at the Pullman State Historic Site</a>,11057 S. Cottage Grove Ave. (enter on Cottage Grove). The free screening is a project of <a href="http://southsideprojections.org/" target="_blank">South Side Projections</a>.</p><p><em>Lewis Wallace is a Pritzker Journalism Fellow at WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/lewispants" target="_blank">@lewispants</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 09:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/two-films-toxic-waste-show-free-pullman-107453 The most important meal of the day http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/most-important-meal-day-107300 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/garbageplatefranks.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Garbage Plate at Franks Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin (WBEZ/Louisa Chu(" /></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Our recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/chicago-diners-side-extra-crispy-stories-107167" target="_blank"><u>Curious City diner tour</u></a> focused on their stories and with arguably 151 years of history behind them, we didn&#39;t have nearly enough time to talk about the food, as least as far as I&#39;m concerned.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">And I&#39;m only talking about the specials here. It might take another century and a half to detail full menus. Take the Garbage Plate at <a href="http://franksdinerkenosha.com/" target="_blank"><u>Franks Diner in Kenosha</u></a>, Wisconsin. With five eggs, hash browns, green peppers, onions, optional jalapeños, and a choice of up to five meats (ham, bacon, sausage, SPAM, &quot;scratch-made&quot; corned beef hash, or chorizo), five cheeses (American, Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or mozzarella), plus toast (house baked wheat, white, rye, or cinnamon swirl), any mathmeticians want to calculate the possibilities?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">While the origin of Franks Garbage Plate is lost to history, not so for the Jumpball at <a href="http://moons.homestead.com/"><u>Moon&#39;s Sandwich Shop</u></a> on the Near West Side of Chicago. Owner Jim Radek said he created the dish based on a somewhat similar Italian specialty, in preparation and name, but no one could pronounce it so they just called it Jumpball instead. The cooks griddle an Italian sausage patty then chop it on the flat top, before folding into three eggs, potatoes, cheese, and onions. All served with toast.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jumpballmoonssandwich.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Jumpball at Moon's Sandwich Shop in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">One of the most misunderstood notorious breakfast dishes in Chicago has got to be the Slinger at <a href="https://plus.google.com/114677185144883756604/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en"><u>Diner Grill on Irving Park Road</u></a>. Built on a bed of hash browns, made with real potatoes, grilled onions, two cheeseburger patties and two eggs fried to order, the chili is actually housemade. Culinary historians say the dish was invented sometime in the 1970s in St. Louis, where it&#39;s found on menus with so many variations that one blog has so far <a href="http://stlslinger.blogspot.com/"><u>covered 56 Slingers</u></a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/slingerdinergrill.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Slinger at Diner Grill in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Ironically the Deuces Wild at the late <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Ohio-House-Coffee-Shop/155051834659236?fref=ts"><u>Ohio House Coffee Shop</u></a> may have been the most restrained yet precisely prepared of all our diner breakfast specials. Two eggs, two pancakes, two bacon, two sausage &mdash; that&#39;s it and that&#39;s all she wrote.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/deuceswildohio.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Deuces Wild at Ohio House Coffee Shop in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">As I wrote previously, Executive Chef Daniel Traynor researched historic recipes including Pullman bread, plus a relish tray with pickled watermelon rind and Illinois Central salad dressing. For breakfast he serves a signature stuffed French toast, using Pullman bread. The restored Pullman cars first served local test dinners. I for one hope they do them again.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pullmandiningcar.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Dining table on Pullman Sleeping Car Company, Chicago to New Orleans (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Or test breakfast in bed cars, served all day and all night of course.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><em>Follow Louisa Chu on <a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><u>@louisachu</u></a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pullmansleepingcar.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Bed on Pullman Sleeping Car Company, Chicago to New Orleans (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-05/most-important-meal-day-107300 Economic development coming to Southeast Side http://www.wbez.org/story/economic-development-coming-southeast-side-92187 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-19/Pullman Park - View 1 USB.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A neglected former industrial site on the Southeast Side of Chicago is poised to get some needed economic development.</p><p>U.S. Bank is donating land near 111<sup>th</sup> Street and the Bishop Ford Highway for construction of Pullman Park, a mixed-used project. Housing, big-box stores, a park and recreational facility are being planned. It’s supposed to bring 1,700 jobs. Wal-Mart is scheduled to be the first tenant by next year.</p><p>“The main goal here is economic development,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday at U.S. Bank.</p><p>Emanuel said this development would help eliminate the 9<sup>th</sup> Ward’s food-desert status. “This ward does not have any fresh fruits or vegetable grocery stores. It’s okay to drive outside the ward – you don’t need a passport to do that. The fact is that’s about to change.”</p><p>Pullman Park is billed as an anchor for the Pullman and Roseland communities.</p><p>“The biggest thing that can happen out of this development is bringing fresh produce to the 9th Ward. The fact that we do not have a grocery store we can go to in the community is criminal,” said Ald. Anthony Beale.</p></p> Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/economic-development-coming-southeast-side-92187 Union loses close vote at Comcast facility in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/union-loses-close-vote-comcast-facility-chicago-87612 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/Dave_Webster.png" alt="" /><p><p>A union has narrowly lost a closely watched election among some Comcast workers in Chicago. They voted 92-79 against the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21.<br> <br> Two days of balloting, which ended Wednesday, left 189 workers at Comcast’s facility in the Pullman area without collective bargaining. Those employees include installation technicians, maintenance technicians, warehouse workers and payment agents.<br> <br> “Our employees exercised their legal right to vote and decided not to unionize,” Comcast said in a statement. “We respect their decision.”<br> <br> This is IBEW’s third election defeat at the Pullman facility since 2003.<br> <br> Local 21 organizer Dave Webster said Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, ran an effective anti-union campaign. “They scared [the workers] about union dues and they made them think they wouldn’t be part of the big happy family anymore,” Webster said after the balloting.<br> <br> The vote, supervised by the National Labor Relations Board, had significance beyond the Pullman workers.<br> <br> “Comcast is a global employer and the telecommunications industry is growing,” said Robert Bruno, who directs the Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois. “If the IBEW is able to establish a beachhead, it could raise standards at the company. If that rippled through the industry, it would be the same dramatic impact that unions had in the car and steel industries and other manufacturing.”<br> <br> Nationwide, unions represent an estimated 2 percent of the Philadelphia-based company’s workforce. That’s apart from the media conglomerate NBCUniversal, in which Comcast acquired a majority stake this January.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/union-loses-close-vote-comcast-facility-chicago-87612 Revision Street: Tom Shepherd (VI) http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-vi/29501 <p><p><em>Right toward the end of our interview, Tom asked me if I ever met Studs Terkel. I did, I said, one time, just a few months before he died. &ldquo;He was a great man,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We really miss having him around.&rdquo; I agreed, sure, but said I thought a few of his questions might baffle contemporary readers. </em></p> <p><em>For example, Studs asked a lot of his interviewees, what do you think would happen if Jesus came back to earth?</em></p> <p>I think I asked somebody that, not too long ago.</p> <p><em>Tom starts thinking. We were wrapping up our talk, preparing to move on with our respective days, but now he&rsquo;s getting into it again. Perhaps it&rsquo;s the setting, the church in Pullman, or maybe, like Studs, Tom just wanted to know the answer.</em></p> <p>You know, what comes to mind is, would people believe that it&rsquo;s him? About 90 percent of the people, they&rsquo;d probably call the police. Hey you better come lock this guy up. I would find Jesus quite fascinating to meet. I&rsquo;m not afraid to talk to hardly anybody, so I would give this guy with long hair and sandals an audience at least, and if he began to preach to me the way that Jesus preached I&rsquo;d say, That&rsquo;s a pretty odd fellow [<em>laughs</em>] with an interesting delivery, speaking in parables. OK, let&rsquo;s see where&rsquo;s he going and where&rsquo;s he coming from. Kind of a cool guy. Hey Jesus, you know, stick around, I&rsquo;m sure we got a lot of things to talk about. You&rsquo;re into social issues, so am I, let me introduce you to some of my immigrant friends over in south Chicago that really need some help. You want to do some volunteer work, Jesus? [<em>laughs</em>]. I&rsquo;ll give you an environmental tour. Maybe you got some ideas for cleaning up some of these sites around here. I think that would be amazing.</p> <p>I tend to move away from thinking of him as God. I think of him as a fellow who came here on Earth like all of us came to be and lived his 33 years, or something like that, and worked for change and worked for the poor and worked for the downtrodden.</p> <p>I have this argument with a good friend, a Lutheran, all the time. I say Ken, You go to church once or twice a week, you subscribe to all these Lutheran things and you consider yourself a Christian. How can you feel that way toward people who are poor? Oh, they don&rsquo;t belong over here. Well where do they belong? Everybody belongs somewhere.</p> <p>I hear some cockamamie ideas from other people who consider themselves Christians. I know people who are nonreligious, Atheist or Agnostics, that are more Christian than you are. They subscribe to things that Jesus taught and believed in. So I just find it fascinating how most of Christianity, like our newspapers and other things that we&rsquo;ve discussed here today, have been co-opted and high-jacked for other means.</p> <p>Yeah if you see him around, tell him to come down here. [<em>Laughs.</em>]</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 15 Jul 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-vi/29501 Revision Street: Tom Shepherd (V) http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-v/29061 <p><p>I worked briefly as a steel worker, but I consider myself more of an honorary member. My dad spent almost 45 years at Wisconsin Steel and he made me promise that I would never go to work in the steel mills. So I embarked in business&mdash;the business of politics and government jobs. I worked as an organizer and opened what we call the Friends of Labor back in the days when the mills were still working and there were a number of strikes back then late &lsquo;70s early &lsquo;80s. I was living in the suburbs at the time and working on a strike assistance committee, and I happened to own a building in downtown Harvey with a partner that was the president of a steel worker local that I had helped support and organize, so we became a strike headquarters.</p> <p><em>Tom&rsquo;s phone keeps ringing, and by this point he&rsquo;s just decided to turn it off. He&rsquo;s a busy man, but excited to talk about the labor history in Chicago.</em></p> <p><em><a rel="attachment wp-att-29065" href="http://blogs.vocalo.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-v/29061%20/tom-shepherd%e2%80%94pullman-6-2">Tom Shepherd&mdash;Pullman 6 2</a></em></p> <p>You can hardly find anybody in this area that works in steel. There&rsquo;s hardly any steel manufacturing being done in the city of Chicago, all the big mills are closed. Finkl Steel is going to be moving out here. They&rsquo;re taking over what formally was Versa-Steel. US Steel still has a plant in Gary, Mittal Steel has a plant in East Chicago. It&rsquo;s owned by an Indian person who I understand lives in England or Holland, I&rsquo;m not sure, so it&rsquo;s foreign owned. Those are the last remaining vestiges of steel. Ironically the Sherwin- Williams plant, which is just to the south of us here, employs about 120 union workers under the steel workers umbrella because they used to be atomic chemical workers.</p> <p>So there&rsquo;s small local of steel workers that produce paint, but there aren&rsquo;t too many union employees here in the neighborhood. The six most active people who came together to fight this Wal-Mart thing and form the nucleus of what we call the Concerned Citizens of the Ninth Ward, more radically known as the Pullman 6 [<em>laughs</em>] are myself and Sherry Williams who is a postal worker and belongs to the postal workers union, Arlene Eckles who is a flight attendant, Jeff Helgeson who is a professor of labor history, and Ellen Garza who formally was a staff member for SEIU or AFSCME*. So there are some former labor union people here who strongly believe in the labor union concept.</p> <p>Together we visited business people, we surveyed them. There are a lot of small businesses. A lot of Korean-owned businesses, Palestinian-owned businesses, a hodgepodge of black mom-and-pops, and those people were some how persuaded to back this Wal-Mart plan. It&rsquo;s not a real strong group&mdash;they don&rsquo;t have regular meetings, they lost their city funding. I&rsquo;ve talked to them and they say, We know this is going to be very damaging. I say, Well, why did you how did you attach your name to it? And they say, The alderman kind of . . . &nbsp;you know. . . . They&rsquo;re insinuating that there was some pressure applied somehow, somewhere.</p> <p>Very early on in this whole campaign for development here in Pullman Park, there was no mention of a Wal-Mart. A lot of us were welcoming any kind of development. Ryerson Steel left a year ago in December, closed over there. The last of the 150 steel worker jobs left the area when Ryerson closed, and the land was just laying there dormant all this time. So, a shopping mall, whatever. We&rsquo;ll have construction jobs and then our kids that grow up in this neighborhood would hopefully be able to do what I did and so many others did, grow up getting summer jobs or Christmastime jobs. We were we kind of bought in on &nbsp;this development, until it was dropped on us in April, just before the May City Council meeting, that it was going to be a Wal-Mart. And it was Wal-Mart or nothing.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t think that one company should dominate the entire retail industry. I don&rsquo;t think that it&rsquo;s good to not have competition. I don&rsquo;t like the fact that probably 85% of their stuff is imported from China. I don&rsquo;t shop at Wal-Mart. I wouldn&rsquo;t buy a box of chewing gum from Wal-Mart. I was in Florida with my sister and her husband visiting them in February and when they went in their to do their shopping, I took a walk through an adjacent orange grove. I found that very pleasant.</p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>*The Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Jul 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-v/29061 Revision Street: Tom Shepherd (IV) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-tom-shepherd-iv <p><p><em><a href="http://blogs.vocalo.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-tom-shepherd-late-60s/28449" target="_blank">Tom Shepherd</a>, local historian and go-getter, has been fighting Wal-Mart&rsquo;s intended move into his historic Pullman neighborhood. To Shepherd, the runs counter to the area&rsquo;s connection to the early days of the American labor movement, but the big box store has a in common with Pullman&rsquo;s idea of a company town.</em></p> <p>This neighborhood of course was built by George Pullman. He came out here with a grand vision in 1882. Most of the homes around here were remarkably built up within a year or two. At that time it was quite an achievement, and was heralded throughout the country, indeed throughout the world, as a real accomplishment that an industrialist was building a model town for his employees.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/125/420665096_1e4fa7331d.jpg"><img width="500" height="333" src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/125/420665096_1e4fa7331d.jpg" alt="" /><br /><em>(photo by Kristi Logan)</em><br /></a> <code> </code> <!--break--></p><p style="text-align: left;">His vision was to build a place that was appealing visually and had some of the grandest amenities for lowly factory workers during his time. But that experiment hardly has ever worked in history, to own the company that people make their wages from and to own the store in the neighborhood. Market Hall was right around here and he had an arcade building just a block from here, which unfortunately no longer stands, but it was like a forerunner to modern day indoor shopping malls.</p> <p>It was really something, but it just didn&rsquo;t work to have your boss having so much control over you. In the 1890s we went through, ah I think it was considered a depression at the time or a severe recession. The orders for railroad cars dropped and people had to be laid off or fired. Mr. Pullman didn&rsquo;t lower the rents on people and didn&rsquo;t lower food prices, so therefore folks just didn&rsquo;t have anywhere else to go for jobs. Finally things turned and he began to put people back to work, but a lot of them still weren&rsquo;t able to keep up because he lowered wages when we took people back. That&rsquo;s what spurred the strike of 1894.</p> <p>That was the first major national strike. The railway strike occurred in 1894, and there were other individual strikes around the country but this was the beginning of the modern labor movement, where we had broad geographical collective bargaining. That&rsquo;s why this community is so significant. A week from Saturday we&rsquo;re hosting a Phillip Randolph Society Institute local chapter here. A number of years ago I began to chair a group that would host annual Labor Day discussions and last year it was really enormous. We had a couple thousand people and the endorsement and participation of the Chicago Federation of Labor and the state AFL-CIO. It was quite an extravaganza. During the heyday of unions, of course there were tens of thousands of steel workers that lived in the Southeast area of the city. I belong to the retired steel workers chapter on the East Side and we still have a good strong group with an activist bent. We jump on the bus if we have to and go down to Springfield, or go down to city hall when need be.</p> <p>Not to mention that today we have a lot of tours coming through here. People from all over&mdash;Japan, China, Germany, England, they know more about labor history in this country than people do in this country. We host tours through the Illinois Labor History Society. So this is a neighborhood that&rsquo;s proud of its history.</p> <p>Comparisons have been drawn between Pullman and Wal-Mart. When we had the Wal-Mart employee here, they talked about how sometimes they&rsquo;re compensated or rewarded with some type of shopping coupons to shop at Wal-Mart. I&rsquo;m sure Wal-Mart would be delighted if their employees all did all of their shopping at Wal-Mart. They are encouraged to do that. I wouldn&rsquo;t be surprised if many of them are forced to do that, in a sense.</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-tom-shepherd-iv