Pulling Together for Pullman
Pat Brannon, Chicago, Illinois
In 2012, Pat helped establish the “Pullman Partners,” an alliance of neighborhood organizations that worked diligently to get Pullman National Monument designated. As a 25-year resident of Pullman, this Iowa-born retired music professor is a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate who is always willing to do what it takes — from hosting meetings to lobbying in Washington, D.C. — to help his neighborhood national park.
NPCA’s years-long effort to secure a national park designation for Pullman was realized when President Obama established Pullman National Monument in 2015. Because of the support of more than 200 organizations and businesses and over 15,000 individuals, Pullman’s stories are preserved for generations to come.
Few sites illustrate the history of American labor, industry and the rise of the African American middle class as well as Pullman. America’s first model industrial town has deep ties to the nation’s first major rail strike — the Pullman Strike of 1894 — which led to the creation of our national Labor Day holiday. In the 1920s, black workers employed by the Pullman Company as porters and maids mobilized to create the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, becoming the first African American labor union to secure bargaining rights.
Almost all the original 1890-era buildings at Pullman still stand today, and the neighborhood remains vibrant. With our supporters’ help, NPCA continues to work for better access and improvements that benefit visitors and residents alike. In June 2019, we partnered with transit provider, Metra, and the Park Service to introduce 300 people to this urban national park with guided train tours from the heart of downtown Chicago.
During the event, Metra announced a new multi-million dollar, ADA- accessible station for the Pullman National Monument gateway stop.
These places elevate the stature of our national story.