The old company town of Pullman on Chicago's Far South Side has been named by the American Planning Association as one of the nation's great neighborhoods.
The APA defines such greatness by three broad measurements: "Form and Composition," "Character and Personality," and "Environment and Sustainable Practices." Within these categories, the APA looks for evidence of strong sense of place, social interaction, multi-modal transit service, walkability, and defined boundaries, among others.
Pullman is a residential pocket neighborhood characterized by its master planned colonnade apartments and French-inspired row houses. In the words of the citation, "The mix of land uses, diversity of dwellings, and proximity to schools, shops, parks, and public transportation attract those who appreciate a historic, urban community with a small-town feel — a place voted the world's most perfect town more than a century ago."
Built almost entirely in the 1880s, the railworkers' lodging provided greater amenities than the standard of its day, although Pullman had rent deducted directly from paychecks.
Largely protected by National Historic Landmark designation, there's still a notable stretch of endangered decaying rowhouses north of 111th Street that preservationist groups, such as Preservation Chicago, are drumming up support for. Happily, a home-repair grant program is producing major case-by-case successes.
·Pullman, Chicago: Great Places in America List [APA]
·Pullman Neighborhood Profile [City of Chicago]
·Chicago's 2011 Seven Most Threatened List [Preservation Chicago]