Pullman would be one of the more unusual sites for a national park and among the easiest to reach. The Metra Electric Line has two stops in the community of about 8,900 residents. It also would be one of the least bucolic.
Two residents said they’re pushing for the park because the increased tourist traffic would help sustain retail businesses that otherwise can’t survive in the neighborhood. A massive Wal-Mart is scheduled to open nearby this summer, but the area has been barren of dry cleaners, salons, restaurants and coffee shops for years…
At the request of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and the state’s two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, the National Park Service is in the midst of studying the neighborhood’s suitability as a national park site, said Mike Reynolds, the park service’s Midwest regional director. The study should be complete by May.
“Pullman’s significance is of no question,” Reynolds said when asked what the study would conclude. “Then we have to ask is there another one like it already out there in our (parks) system? In this case, I doubt there is. … Finally, we come to feasibility — the how, what, where. That’s the challenging issue in this case.”
The neighborhood is indeed historic and I’m sure the neighborhood and the city of Chicago love the idea of more tourists. I imagine there is a lot of potential here, particularly for school groups who could visit and to highlight Chicago’s important industrial past.
I don’t know the particulars of the National Park System but I am in favor of more urban sites. We need to preserve nature as well as notable urban locations that have heavily influenced American history.