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Positioning Pullman

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Positioning Pullman

Pullman National Monument is a must-see treasure of Chicago’s south side. The formerly independent industrial town, now a landmark Chicago neighborhood, was entrusted February 2015 to the National Park Service via proclamation by President Barack Obama

There is much to celebrate in the area because of this. Yet, there are also many questions about what’s next for this national monument, and what the new designation means collectively for the Pullman neighborhood, the neighboring Roseland community and the larger Calumet region. On behalf of AIA Chicago and the National Parks Conservation Association, AS+GG was asked to organize and lead a three day community design workshop in Pullman in an effort to start addressing some of these questions.

The purpose of the workshop was to engage the public in discussions with the Chicago design community regarding opportunities for enhancing the park visitor experience, while leveraging the new national designation to advance important community development goals. AS+GG provided community planning and urban design services on a Pro Bono basis.

Although there were no mandated requirements, AS+GG organized a technical team of 40 architects, landscape architects, city planners, economists and engineers that was purposefully diverse and inclusive with more than 50% DBE participation. Core to the values of our firm, AS+GG believes that multiple points of view are needed to assure outcomes that are culturally relevant for people of varied ages, ethnicities and physical capabilities.

The workshop weekend began with a well-attended community meeting at the historic Greenstone Church to introduce the planning process, and have one-on-one discussions with members of the design team. The following day, the team worked at the historic Hotel Florence envisioning design and policy concepts to enhance the function and appearance of Pullman, while addressing business and job growth, environmental stewardship and regional connectivity.

On the last day of the workshop, a public open house in the north wing of the historic Pullman Factory building attracted nearly 400 participants. The open house offered the opportunity for the technical teams to talk through their findings and report out on their recommendations with the community. The conversations then centered on fine tuning the content, aligning goals and priorities, and identifying stakeholders that can help advance implementation.

Based upon public feedback from the open house, AS+GG refined the workshop material and prepared an “Ideas Book” of design and community enhancement recommendations. The book includes an action plan with 35 projects paired with lead entities, order-of-magnitude costs and priority considerations. The book is publicly available via the project website at www.positioningpullman.org.

Pullman is positioning itself to welcome people from around the world as a result of its new national monument status. As one of the premier national urban parks in America, it is an important development for the National Park Service as it approaches its centennial celebration in August 2016. And the lessons learned at Pullman could help shape policy, partnerships, and design over the course of the next 100 years.

7 nov 16  | Chicago Tribune
Planning an ambitious future for Pullman
Possibly in 2018, the Chicago Humanities Festival session on the past, present and future of the freshly minted Pullman National Monument could actually happen in a Pullman Historic District structure... MORE

2 nov 16  | Chicago Reader
Transforming Pullman into a national park
The Positioning Pullman project aims to ease the south-side neighborhood’s transition... MORE

28 oct 15  | Curbed Chicago
Imagining a Future Pullman National Park Campus
Now that the South Side's Pullman Historic District has officially been recognized as a National Monument for eight months, a team of stakeholders led by the National Parks Conservation Association and American Institute of Architects Chicago have released a blue print for what could become a new national park campus... MORE

17 may 16 | Newcity
A Lot You Got to Holler, Episode 5: Pullman's Past, Present, and Future
The neighborhood of Pullman on Chicago’s far South Side is a crucible of architectural, labor, industrial and civil rights history. It’s also a national monument, with big plans for renovation and redevelopment on the horizon... LISTEN

5 may 15  | Newcity
The Pullman Plan: Place-Making a New (and Old) National Monument
Pullman National Monument, the new national park on Chicago’s South Side, tells a compelling story of urban design, industry and labor, and a movement to honor the cultural identity of a community... MORE

1 may 15  | Chicago Architecture
A Pullman Update: The Future Takes Shape With Community Planning Session
For years, the Pullman Historic District was positioned as the next logical addition to the National Park System. It finally happened on Feb. 19 when President Obama visited the site to officially make the designation... MORE

16 apr 15  | Chicago Tribune
Workshop kicks off to plot Pullman monument's future
In the two months since President Barack Obama named the Pullman factory district the city's first national monument, Chicagoans have been left to ponder what that designation will mean... MORE

14 apr 15  | DNA Info
Planners Dreaming Up What's Next for Pullman National Monument
Ever since President Barack Obama designated my neighborhood a national monument, there’s been one monumental unanswered question hovering over the historic district: Now what? ... MORE


Metropolitan Planning Council, Burnham Award, The Transforming Community of Pullman

Architect's Newspaper, Best of Design Awards, Urban Design, Honorable Mention

AIA Chicago, Regional and Urban Design Awards, Citation of Merit, Positioning Pullman

APA-IL Chapter Awards, Strategic Plan, Positioning Pullman

AIA Illinois, 2016 Daniel Burnham Award, Positioning Pullman

The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Urban Planning, Pullman National Monument Redevelopment Plan