Pullman Things to Do

  • Pullman Historic Tour
    Pullman Historic Tour
    by rmdw
  • Hotel Florence Lobby
    Hotel Florence Lobby
    by rmdw
  • Things to Do
    by Dabs

Most Recent Things to Do in Pullman

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    Hotel Florence

    by rmdw Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Hotel Florence is the centerpiece of Pullman. The establishment was namede for George Pullman's daughter, Florence. Originally opened in 1881, it was state of the art at the time, offering such "modern" features as steam heat and an electro-mechanical fire alarm system in each room.

    Hotel Florence Lobby
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    Pullman, IL

    by rmdw Written Oct 12, 2004

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    Pullman is one of my new favourite places in Chicago! When originally built in 1880, it was a separate town, but eventually Chicago enveloped Pullman. Now it's just a small neighbourhood within the city. But what a great little neighbourhood it is!

    Much of it is beautifully restored, supported in no small part by the very vibrant Historic Pullman Foundation.

    Anytime is a good time to see the community but the best time is during the annual house tour, held for a few days every October.

    Pullman Historic Tour
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  • Hotel Florence

    by sambarnett Updated Nov 7, 2003

    The hotel opened on November 1, 1881 and was named after the favorite daughter of the town's founder, railroad industrialist George Pullman. It originally featured sixty-five rooms, a billiard room, a parlor, a dining room and a bar - the only one in town. Drunk workers were not productive workers, and town residents were not allowed entry. That luxury was limited to Pullman, his out of town guests and other Prairie Avenue elite.

    Currently undergoing a mutli-phase renovation, the Hotel Florence is, unfortunately, closed to visitors and will be for some time. The website below has occasional updates on the status of Hotel Florence renovation.

    hotel florence

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    Greenstone Church

    by Dabs Updated Oct 16, 2003

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    This church was intended to be non-denominational but most congregations found the rent too high and instead used rooms in other buildings.

    The Presbyterians were the first tenants until 1907 when the church was sold to the Methodists who are still an active congregation.

    The church has a rare 1882 Steere & Turner Manual Tracker organ that is still used for services.

    Most of the interior is original although the lighting has been converted from gas to electric and the rose stained glass window has been restored.

    Greenstone Church

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    Guided Walking tours

    by Dabs Written Oct 13, 2003

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    Guided walking tours of Pullman are offered on the first Sunday of every month from May-October at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.

    Tours start at the Historic Pullman Visitor Center. The cost is $4 adults, $3.50 seniors (+65), $2.50 students.

    The guided walks are mostly to view the exterior of buildings, the only building we stopped in was the Greenstone Church.

    Our tour, including the video at the Visitor Center, was about 2 hours.

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    Hotel Florence

    by Dabs Updated Oct 13, 2003

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    The Hotel Florence was named for George Pullman's favorite daughter Florence. It was built in 1881 at a cost of $100,000, mostly for use by visitors doing business with the Pullman Company. Most of the workers would not have been welcome here even if they could afford it.

    Pullman had a suite in the hotel for when he visited his town; the Pullman family lived in the fashionable Prairie Avenue District with other prominent Chicagoans such as Marshall Field and Phillip Armour.

    The original main building contains over 23,000 square feet, an Annex was added around 1910. There is current debate as the Hotel is restored whether the Annex should be removed or preserved along with the original structure.

    The Historic Pullman Foundation bought the Hotel Florence in 1976 to save it from demolition. In 1991, it was sold to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It was open as a museum and restaurant from 1975-2000.

    The Hotel is currently closed to the public but we were lucky enough to get a look around the interior as part of the Home Tour.

    Hotel Florence
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    Historic Pullman Visitors Center

    by Dabs Written Oct 13, 2003

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    The visitor center, opened in 1993, is the starting point of any visit to Pullman. Organized tours leave from here or there is a self guided tour booklet available for purchase.

    The center has a collection of Pullman memorabilia including a sideboard from Pullman's Prairie Avenue Mansion. There is also a short 20 minute video about the history of Pullman.

    This site was originally the Arcade Building, a shopping mall, which was demolished in 1927.

    Opening hours are from 11am-3pm Tuesday-Sunday, closed on Monday.

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    Annual Pullman House Tour

    by Dabs Written Oct 13, 2003

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    2003 marked the 30th year that the Pullman House Tour was conducted. This year 8 homes were open for the tour, a nice cross section of the different kinds of homes including several skilled workman's homes, a home on Foreman's row and an executive mansion.

    Also open during the tour was the Greenstone Church, the Historic Pullman Center and a look into the Market Hall.

    We missed the factory tour but caught the tail end of it and got to go inside the Hotel Florence which is currently under renovation.

    Look for this event in October, it was held on October 11-12, 2003.

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  • Greenstone Church

    by sambarnett Updated May 25, 2003

    Even the church, located at 112th and St. Lawerence, was meant to provide Pullman with a 6% return. Originally established as a Unitarian church, "to unite in a union body and get a broad-minded evangelical clergyman," high rents and the desire to worship with ones own kind meant the Greenstone Church sat empty for many years. In 1887 the Presbyterians became the first tenants, followed in 1907 by the Methodists who still own the building to this day.

       The Greenstone Church interior is open to visitation during the monthly walks, the fall open house and community social events. The cherry wood is all original, and be sure to notice the stained glass window: there is no religious imagery. The pipe organ is quite impressive.

    steeple detail

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  • Annual House Tour

    by sambarnett Written Jan 30, 2003

    Pullman's most popular event. Eight residents open there homes to visitors; interior styles range from traditional to, shall I say, quirky. A great way to meet and talk with the friendly locals. Tickets are $15 on the days of the events, $12 in advance. Held in early October.

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  • First Sunday Guided Walking Tours

    by sambarnett Written Jan 30, 2003

    The best way to see and learn about Pullman. From April to October, members of the Historic Pullman Foundation lead engaging walking tours of the South Pullman Historic District. Tours start at the Visitors Center and depart at 12:30 and 1:30, last about 90 minutes and are a bargain at $4.

    executive mansion

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    Plant Manager's House

    by Dabs Written Oct 16, 2003

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    I think the tour guide said this was the plant manager's house, in any event it was an executive mansion.

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    Market Hall-apartment buildings

    by Dabs Written Oct 13, 2003

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    This is one of the four colonnaded two-story brick apartment buildings surrounding the central Market Hall building.

    Apartment near Market Hall

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Pullman Things to Do

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