Pullman Community Rallies around Public-Private Partnerships Plan for Pullman National Monument

CHICAGO, October 28, 2015—Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s City Design Director, Richard Wilson, is leading the effort for “Positioning Pullman,” a blueprint for development and growth in Chicago’s first national park. Released this week through the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and the American Institute of Architects Chicago (AIA), “Positioning Pullman,” is an action plan that is the product of forty volunteer economists, architects, landscape architects, planners, and engineers, working with Pullman residents and a team of technical advisors with expertise in the neighborhood and the region.

“We are truly indebted to the outstanding talent that gave their time to envision what we needed at Pullman to welcome the projected 300,000 annual visitors and benefit the neighborhood and surrounding areas,” said Richard Wilson. “The ideas,   renderings, and diagrams detailed in the plan are providing an incredible boost to this national park.”

The projects featured in “Positioning Pullman” are the result of a collaborative community workshop hosted by NPCA and AIA earlier this year. The 33 projects are clustered in several areas, including improving the park experience, historic preservation and adaptive reuse, access and connections to the area, and leveraging the national monument for community development. In full, the design workshop focused on four main areas that produced concrete ideas from the intensive design process:

  • Park Experience: Strategies for demarcating and celebrating the boundaries of the district; strategies to enable discovery and/or self-guided park visitation tracts; strategies for conveying stories of factory life and neighborhood life via tactical urbanism; and strategies for linkage to regional trails and waterfronts.
  • Historic Preservation + Adaptive Reuse: Strategies for programming and reuse of historic structures; strategies for commemorating important buildings that have been lost; strategies for interpretive landscape and streetscape enhancements based upon the historic design; and guidelines for the construction of new buildings to support the historic character of the district.
  • Access + Connections: Strategies for arrival by commuter train featuring historic Pullman train cars to create a unique railscape experience; strategies for arrival by car that address parking and wayfinding; and strategies for the development of a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian walking network.
  • Community Development: Strategies to leverage the national monument designation to grow visitation and local business; strategies to grow career paths for local youth; and strategies to physically and economically tie into ongoing Lake Calumet initiatives, while growing environmental stewardship and creating a new southern gateway to the city of Chicago.
  • Based upon public feedback from the open house the technical team then refined the workshop material and prepared the ideas book “Positioning Pullman” with the design and community enhancement recommendations.

“Just eight months after Pullman National Monument was established we have a road map for success. That’s unheard of in the world of national parks,” said Lynn McClure, Midwest director for NPCA.

Although the designation is relatively new, this national park will be an economic powerhouse for Chicago. By its 10th year of full operation, Pullman National Monument is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors each year, create 350 jobs annually, generate $150 million in annual wages, and sustain $40 million in economic activity due to visitor spending.

A copy of the Positioning Pullman ideas book can be viewed at http://www.positioningpullman.org

About Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) is dedicated to the design of high-performance, energy-efficient, and sustainable architecture.  AS+GG approaches each project with an understanding that architecture has the unique power to influence civic life. The firm strives to create designs that aid society, advance modern technology, sustain the environment, and inspire those around us to improve our world. In addition to several cultural and mixed-use projects in the United States, AS+GG is currently designing projects for Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kazakhstan, China, and Canada. The firm was founded in 2006 by partners Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill, and Robert Forest. For more information, please visit https://smithgill.com

About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice for our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit http://www.npca.org

About AIA Chicago
With more than 3,000 members, AIA Chicago is one of the largest chapters of the American Institute of Architects. As the leading professional association for architects in the nation, AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. In addition to organizing education and design awards programs, AIA Chicago produces publications, such as AIA Guide to Chicago Architecture and “Chicago Architect” magazine. For more information visit http://www.aiachicago.org