Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0298
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Full Text of SR0298  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The historic community of Pullman on Chicago's far
3southeast side was a company-owned town planned and built in
4the late 19th century by Chicago businessman and industrialist
5George M. Pullman, founder of the Pullman Palace Car Company,
6and includes the area east of Cottage Grove Avenue, from East
7103rd Street to East 115th Street; and
8    WHEREAS, The Pullman community includes scores of restored
9historic homes and buildings, including the Clock Tower
10Administration Building and Factory, where the Pullman luxury
11railroad passenger cars were constructed, and the Hotel
12Florence, which was built as lodging for visiting businessmen
13and dignitaries; both of these sites are now owned by the State
14of Illinois and maintained by the Illinois Historic
15Preservation Agency; and
16    WHEREAS, Pullman's important role in the nation's history
17was recognized by the National Park Service through its
18placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969
19and its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1970;
21    WHEREAS, Pullman is renowned as one of America's first and
22most important model industrial towns and for the seminal role



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1this town played in the nation's urban planning, labor,
2transportation, architectural, and African-American history;
4    WHEREAS, The country's first African-American labor union,
5the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was established and
6led by the legendary labor leader, A. Philip Randolph, and the
7men hired by the Pullman Company to work as porters on his
8sleeping cars; this union was instrumental in the formation and
9advancement of the African-American middle class in America;
11    WHEREAS, On March 13, 2013, the Chicago City Council passed
12a resolution urging Congress to make Pullman a National
13Historical Park or the President to declare it a National
14Monument; and
15    WHEREAS, The Lincoln Home National Historic Site in
16Springfield is currently the only unit of the National Park
17System in Illinois; as a National Historical Park, Pullman
18would be a unique gem to add to the City of Chicago's
19remarkable and noteworthy destination sites for our tourism
20industry; and
21    WHEREAS, The United States House of Representatives
22introduced H.R. 3894 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior



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1to conduct a Special Resource Study of the Pullman Historic
2District to determine the suitability and feasibility of
3designating the site as part of the National Park System; and
4    WHEREAS, A reconnaissance survey is now being undertaken by
5the National Park Service to evaluate Pullman's significance,
6suitability, and feasibility as a potential unit of the
7National Park Service, which would ensure that the historic
8structures are protected and accessible for all people to
9experience; and
10    WHEREAS, More than $26 million in State and federal funds
11have been invested in the Pullman State Historic Site for
12acquisition and stabilization, and a national park designation
13would capitalize on this investment; and
14    WHEREAS, The local community is highly supportive of and
15would benefit from a revitalized and better utilized site, with
16enhanced interpretive and educational programs at the Clock
17Tower Administration Building and Factory and other buildings
18to teach about the significance of Pullman and the numerous
19historic and cultural themes associated with it; and
20    WHEREAS, The Pullman State Historic Site is vital to the
21community's cultural and historical identity, but remains
22underutilized and at risk for deferred maintenance; and



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1    WHEREAS, National parks generate $31 billion for local
2economies each year and are shown to invigorate neighborhood
3historic renovation and spur business growth in urban areas;
5    WHEREAS, The general consensus is that now is the time for
6immediate action to develop the site to realize its full
7potential; therefore, be it
9ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge Congress to
10pass a bill establishing Pullman as a National Historical Park
11or, alternatively, call upon President Barack Obama to exercise
12his authority by executive order to designate Pullman as a
13National Monument; and be it further
14    RESOLVED, That we state our belief that not only should the
15State of Illinois continue to have a presence and role at
16Pullman, but various community and civic organizations and
17institutions, as well as the National Park Service, should play
18a role and establish strong and lasting partnerships in
19redeveloping and reenergizing this site; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
21delivered to Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,



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1U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk, the members of the
2Illinois congressional delegation, National Park Service
3Director Jonathan Jarvis, and President Barack Obama.