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by Fred Dunn

Day 7

Monday, June 16

I got up about 7:00 a.m., made a pot of the in-room coffee, and checked my e-mail via the free hotel wireless connection.  I hadn't checked my e-mail for several days, because in Portland the Hotel Mark Spencer wanted $7.95/day for wireless internet access.  My plans for the day were to make a quick visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, and then travel to Pullman, a community built by George M. Pullman for his workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company.  I left the hotel at about 9:30 a.m. and went to the METRA Van Buren St. station, about two blocks from the hotel.  I caught the 10:22 a.m. train to 57th St, from where I walked the two blocks to the Museum of Science and Industry. 

The museum is housed in the only remaining building of the "Great White City" built for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.  The building was the Palace of Fine Arts, and displayed art treasures from around the world.  Because of its valuable contents, the building was constructed with a brick substructure, unlike the other buildings of the exposition which had a wood substructure, covered with plaster. 

I had visited the Museum about 40 years ago, and went through U-505, a German submarine captured by the U.S. Navy during WWII.  The submarine was outside when I visited 40 years ago, but it is now housed inside, protected from the elements.  I was also interested in seeing the Pioneer Zephyr, a new attraction added since my last visit.

(Click on any photo below to see a double-sized copy; Click on BACK in your browser to return to this page.)

Museum of Science and Industry
Pioneer Zephyr

After spending about two hours in the Museum, I headed back to the METRA station, where I caught a train to 111th street and the Historic Pullman District.

The following information is lifted from the Historic Pullman District website

George M. Pullman, founder of the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1867, created the town of Pullman, the first planned model industrial town. In early 1880, George Pullman purchased nearly 4,000 acres just west of Lake Calumet and surrounding the Illinois Central Railroad, to build his model town in 1880.

Most of the town of Pullman was built between 1880-84, by architect Solon Beman and landscape architect Nathan Barrett. The center of town was the railroad car business. A clock tower dominated the large industrial complex. The housing was well constructed with many "modern" conveniences for 1880's standards such as indoor plumbing, sewage, and a gas works. The parks and streets were pleasantly landscaped. The town would not be complete without public facilities such as stores and office buildings. The Arcade building and Market hall filled this need with spaces rented to private business (not company stores as is commonly assumed). A bank, library, theatre, post office, church, parks and recreational facilities were provide as part of the town. Police protection was provided by nearby Kensington.

In 1896, Pullman was presented an award for the "Worlds Most Perfect Town"
. The town prospered for fourteen years until the depression of 1893-94 about the time of the worlds fair. To keep his business open, Pullman reduced wages and hours, which resulted in the famous Pullman Strike of 1894. Pullman died in 1897. In a1898 an Illinois Supreme Court ruling required the company to sell its non-industrial property. The housing was all sold by 1907 and has been privately owned ever since. The City of Chicago annexed the town of Pullman along with Hyde Park Township in 1889. When the non-industrial property was sold, the rest of the parks, streets and the school system was taken over by the City of Chicago allowing Pullman to become just another neighborhood.

In 1960, the town was threatened with total demolition by developers for an industrial park. With the support of the residents, the Pullman Civic Organization was formed and defeated this plan. Through the effort of numerous Pullman residents, Pullman became a State Landmark in 1969, a National Landmark District in 1971, and a City of Chicago Landmark in 1972. Today hundreds of Pullman houses continue to undergo privately funded interior and exterior renovation and restoration.

Clock Tower
Hotel Florence

Greenstone Church

Market Hall
Market Hall

Pullman Stables

George M. Pullman School
Main Entrance

Girl's Entrance
Boy's Entrance

Burned out factory

Clock tower and burned out factory
Factory and clock tower from the North

Having finished my tour of Pullman, I walked back to the METRA station, this time on 115th St.  I caught the 3:31 p.m. train, and was back at Van Buren station at 3:54 p.m.  I walked to LaSalle St. station to check out my train to O'Hare for tomorrow, and then headed back to my hotel.  I ate dinner in a Thai restaurant in my hotel, and then went back to my room.  I spent the evening reading my e-mail and updating this trip report.  I used the hotel's computer and printer to check in for my flight and print out a boarding pass.

Day 8

Tuesday, June 17

I got up about 6:30 a.m., and went for a short walk toward Lake Michigan before checking out of my hotel.

Chicago Skyline
Chicago Skyline

I went back to the hotel, packed up and checked out at 8:30 a.m.  I walked to the LaSalle St. station and caught the Blue Line train to O’Hare Airport , leaving La Salle at 8:55 a.m., and arriving about an hour later at O’Hare.  I went through security, and then enjoyed a beer at the Berghoff restaurant near my gate while I was waiting for my flight.  My United flight left Chicago on time at 12:28 p.m., and I arrived in LA at 2:40 p.m.  I picked up my bag, and went out to the island to wait for the Fly-Away Bus to Union Station.  The bus is supposed to run every half hour, but I had to wait 45 minutes, and almost choked breathing all the bus and car exhaust while waiting on the island.  The bus finally arrived, and I was at LAUPT by about 4:40 p.m.  I caught a Metrolink train to Fullerton leaving at 4:50, and my daughter picked me up at the Fullerton station at 5:25.  I was home by 5:35 p.m.  I enjoyed the trip, except for the busing fiasco in Minneapolis, but was glad to be home. 


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