A comprehensive restoration of the Pullman Clock Tower and Administration Building is finally underway with a target completion date of September 2020. The National Park Service, with financial and strategic support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is investing over $13 million in the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Clock Tower and Administration Building, and it will again be open to the public as the new Pullman Visitor Center. After suffering extensive damage from a fire on December 1, 1998, portions of the building were reconstructed in the years following.
Commissioned by George Pullman to produce his legendary Pullman Palace Car Company sleeping cars, Solon S. Beman designed the first model, planned industrial town in the United States. Built in 1880, the Pullman Clock Tower and Administration Building was one of Beman’s most prominent buildings in Pullman and was the central hub of activity among the extensive manufacturing buildings. Unlike most industrial and manufacturing buildings of that period (and today), the Administration Building and Factory Complex was a beautifully designed, highly ornate collection of buildings designed within a park-like setting.
The Pullman Historic District is architecturally and historically significant, and is one of the most beautiful industrial landscapes in the country. Pullman is one of the most famous company towns and the backdrop for the violent 1894 Pullman labor strike. The Pullman Historic District was designated a National Monument on February 19, 2015 which makes it a part of the National Park system.