Robin Kelly introduces bill to redesignate Pullman as National Historical Park

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The former Pullman Clock Tower and Administration Building, now the Pullman National Monument Visitor Center. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Information provided by Rep. Robin Kelly’s Office

WASHINGTON, DC (April 19, 2021) – Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) introduced H.R. 2626, The Pullman National Historical Park Act. This bill would build on President Obama’s intent to preserve and honor the neighborhood as a part of the National Park System.

“In 2015, President Obama designated Pullman as a National Monument, and I want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to preserve the legacy of the Pullman neighborhood as a whole,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “National Historical Park designation will allow us to honor the many complex culturally and historically significant features of Pullman, including its role in the labor movement and in African American culture of Chicago.”

Historical park status will allow for the preservation and protection of Pullman’s significant cultural and historical resources associated with the United States’ labor history, the creation of a national Labor Day holiday, the first planned industrial community in the United States, and the pivotal role of the Pullman porter in the rise of the African American middle class. This bill hopes to ensure that non-Federal historic properties within the boundaries of the historical park are identified and preserved.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a legislative hearing on April 21 on H.R. 2626 and other issues. Congresswoman Kelly and Michael A. Shymanski, AIA Emeritus, Historic Pullman Foundation, Board Member, and Past President Historic Pullman Foundation testified on behalf of the bill.

A video of Kelly’s and Shymanski’s remarks can be viewed below:

The full bill text is available at congress.gov.

The Pullman National Monument is located at 11141 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, IL.