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posted: 10/1/2013 12:59 PM

Lecture, house tour celebrate Chicago's Pullman district

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  • Naper Settlement is celebrating Chicago's historic Pullman neighborhood with a pair of events this month.

      Naper Settlement is celebrating Chicago's historic Pullman neighborhood with a pair of events this month.
    AP file photo

  • Author Ann Durkin Keating

      Author Ann Durkin Keating

 
By Donna DeFalco
Naper Settlement

The Historic Pullman House Tour is celebrating its 40th anniversary and Naper Settlement is presenting two special programs in honor of the milestone.

The Town of Pullman Lecture will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at Naper Settlement's Pre-Emption House Tavern, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Admission is $10; reservations are recommended.

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The lecture can be enjoyed as a single program or as a companion program when paired with the Historic Pullman Bus Tour on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The bus tour will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will leave from Naper Settlement. The fee includes transportation by motor coach and a Pullman House Tour ticket. Lunch is on your own, with several on-site options. Tickets are $60 and reservations are required.

The combined lecture and bus tour ticket is $65.

Ann Durkin Keating, history professor at North Central College, is a noted author, speaker and historian. During her lecture, she will talk about what continues to fascinate us about George Pullman and his model neighborhood.

"Pullman was larger than life -- he came to Chicago to make his fortune and did," Keating said. "He had a big idea -- to make train travel a pleasure for the middle and upper class in America, and he made his fortune doing it."

She said the Pullman district is a unique place, an entirely planned community for workers.

"There are only a handful of places like this around the world," she said. "It looks like no other neighborhood in Chicago, but it also lets us think about what industrial neighborhoods looked like 100 years ago."

At its peak, the town of Pullman housed upward of 12,000 people in a park-like setting, 12 miles south of downtown Chicago. Today, hundreds of Pullman houses continue to undergo privately funded interior and exterior renovations and restorations that are contributing to the neighborhood revival.

One weekend a year, Pullman residents open their homes to the public for the annual Historic Pullman House Tour, and 2013 is the 40th anniversary of this one-of-a-kind event.

"This is an exceptionally exciting year to visit Pullman as it marks the 40th anniversary of the house tour, and a number of special activities are planned," said Nancy Smith, Naper Settlement's director of learning experiences.

"Preservation is at the core of the Naperville Heritage Society, and Naper Settlement's mission and the Town of Pullman lecture and bus trip celebrate another community that is demonstrating pride and commitment to their district's heritage."

The bus trip is an opportunity to visit 120-year-old landmark homes, ranging from executive mansions to worker's cottages to multi-unit apartments. Proceeds from the Historic Pullman House Tour will help fund restoration and preservation projects in the Historic Pullman District.

For information about the lecture and bus tour and to purchase tickets, call (630) 420-6010 or visit napersettlement.com.

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