Richard Nickel and the Lost Drawings of the Town of Pullman

Historic preservation advocate Richard Nickel is best known for his life-long work protecting, documenting, and salvaging the works of architect Louis Sullivan. However, a lesser known fact is that Nickel also played an important role in documenting and preserving Pullman's original architectural drawings.

Join us for an exciting discussion about how architect S.S. Beman's drawings for the Model Town of Pullman were discovered after sitting forgotten for nearly a century in a dusty corner of the Pullman Factory Administration "Clock Tower" Building in the late 1960s. Hear from Pullman residents and PNMPS members Charles E. Gregersen and Paul Petraitis how their friend Richard Nickel was chosen to photograph these drawings, what their role was in the process, and where these drawings (and Nickel's photographs) are today.

Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Pullman's Historic Greenstone United Methodist Church, 11211 S. St. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Tickets: $10 Suggested Donation

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Cultural Heritage Preservation

The Pullman National Monument Preservation Society is pleased to present “Cultural Heritage Preservation,” a lecture by Vincent L. Michael, PhD; Senior Director of the Global Heritage Fund.

The cultural heritage preservation process offers a way to identify, commemorate, and conserve sites that might be overlooked by traditional approaches to historic preservation. Traditional approaches tend to emphasize buildings (brick and mor-tar), design (architectural significance), and integrity (how well as a historic structure been preserved). Because of its emphasis on brick and mortar, traditional historic preservation approaches can leave important stories untold, rituals forgotten, and significant sites unprotected. For example, sites valued by vulnerable populations or integral to interpreting the history of social movements are often erased from the landscape. Even though the sites themselves may appear vacant, their design com-monplace, or their integrity degraded; such sites may be significant because of who uses them or has used them or how they are still used by a community. The cultural heritage preservation process offers a framework for the conservation of a complex and diverse global heritage.

Dr. Michael is a long-term champion of global historic preservation. Prior to joining the Global Heritage Fund, he was the John H. Bryan Chair in Historic Preservation at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he also served as Director of the Historic Preservation Program from 1996 to 2010. A professional preservationist since 1983, Dr. Michael is a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as Chair Emeritus of the National Council for Preservation Education. He also serves on the Board of Landmarks Illinois and has served on the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council and the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission. For over two decades Dr. Michael has served as an expert witness in a variety of landmark cases in Chicago, Oak Park, Illinois and San Francisco and has been a consultant on award-winning restorations, community plans, television documentaries and city plans.

Dr. Michael’s recent projects include a decade-long preservation undertaking at the Weishan Heritage Valley in Yunnan, China, together with the Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange at Columbia University. Dr. Michael is a frequent lecturer on historic preservation, architecture, geography, art and history throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His writings include articles in Design Issues, Future Anterior, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Traditional Building, forum journal and The Encyclopedia of Chicago, a book on architect Barry Byrne, and media programs on architecture in Chicago. Dr. Michael also manages a personal blog, Time Tells, which is often referenced by traditional press and media.

Global Heritage Fund (GHF) is an international conservancy whose mission is to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. GHF utilizes its Preservation by Design® methodology of community-based planning, conservation, development and partnerships to enable long-term preservation and sustainability of global heritage sites. Since 2002, GHF has invested over $30 million and secured $25 million in co-funding for 20 global heritage sites to ensure their sustainable preservation and responsible development. www.globalheritagefund.org. The Global Heritage Fund takes the long-view of historic preservation and believes that “heritage has value that’s far beyond monuments.” They explain that they “envision a world where communities are empowered to view their heritage as precious, appreciate it as a fount of inspiration, and protect it as a pillar of the past and an enhancement to the future.”
In 1960, Pullman residents reactivated the Pullman Civic Organization to save the town from an urban renewal plan that would have leveled the entire neighborhood and replaced it with light industrial warehouses. In 2016, Pullman residents formed the Pullman National Monument Preservation Society to preserve the beauty and historic authenticity of the Pullman National Monument. Their purpose is to ensure, as a citizens’ advocacy group, full compliance on the part of all governmental units, most particularly the National Park Service, with all applicable laws and regulations governing the preservation of the Pullman National Monument.

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Historic Preservation and the Pullman National Monument

For well over a century, the cultural landscape that comprises “the world’s most perfect town,” now the Pullman National Monument, has been slowly transformed by human and natural agents.

In some cases, it was the slow march of time and natural forces like fire, wind, and rain that claimed Pullman’s landmark buildings. In other cases, human hands wrought the destruction.

The drumbeat for “progress” that swept across the plains in the 1950s and 60s—and that nearly consumed Pullman—can still be heard today. Without the hue and cry of passionate residents and the public, Pullman may have been reduced to rubble and only exist today in dioramas and museum kiosks.

Learn about the past and future of Pullman’s historic preservation in a talk by Paul Petraitis and Mark Cassello of the Pullman National Monument Preservation Society and David Peterson of the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.



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