Text: H.R.3894 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/03/2012)

2d Session
H. R. 3894

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the Pullman Historic Site in Chicago, Illinois, and for other purposes.


February 3, 2012

Mr. Jackson of Illinois introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the Pullman Historic Site in Chicago, Illinois, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Pullman Historic Site National Park Service Study Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds as follows:

(1) The Historic Pullman District, built between the years of 1880 and 1884, was established by George M. Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company. Pullman envisioned an industrial town that provided employees with a model community and suitable living conditions for workers and their families. The town, which consisted of over 1,000 buildings and homes, was awarded “The World's Most Perfect Town” at the International Hygienic and Pharmaceutical Exposition in 1896.

(2) The Pullman factory site is a true symbol of the historic American struggle to achieve fair labor practices for the working class, with the original factory serving as the catalyst for the first industry-wide strike in the United States. In the midst of economic depression in 1894, factory workers there initiated a strike to protest unsafe labor and reductions in pay that when taken up as a cause by the American Railway Union (ARU) crippled the entire rail industry. The Pullman conceived strike continued even in the face of a federal injunction and Federal troops were sent to Chicago by President Grover Cleveland to end the strike. Efforts made by the Pullman workers set a national example for the ability of working Americans to change the existing system in favor of more just practices.

(3) The Pullman Car Company plays an important role in both American, African American and early Civil Rights History through the legacy of the Pullman Porters, all black and many ex-slaves receiving paid work in a heavily discriminatory environment immediately following the Civil War. These men, who served diligently between the 1870s and the 1960s, have been commended for their level of service and attention to detail, as well as their contributions to the development of the black middle class. The information, ideas, and commerce they carried across the country helped to bring education and wealth to the black community, and their role in the historical image of the Pullman car is unmistakable. The struggles of A. Philip Randolph and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first black union established in 1925, against discrimination and in support of just labor practices, helped lay the groundwork for the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.

(4) The preservation of Pullman has been threatened by plans for demolition in 1960 and by a fire in 1998, which damaged the iconic clock-tower and surrounding manufacturing buildings. The restoration and preservation led by the diligent efforts of community organizations, foundations, non-profits, residents and the local and state government, were vital to the protection of the site.

(5) Due to the Pullman's historic and architectural significance, the site is designated as—

(A) a registered National Historic Landmark District;

(B) an Illinois State Landmark; and

(C) a City of Chicago Landmark district.

SEC. 3. Special Resource Study.

(a) Study.—The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct a special resource study of the historic Pullman site in Chicago, Illinois.

(b) Contents.—In conducting the study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—

(1) evaluate the national significance of the site;

(2) determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the site as a unit of the National Park System;

(3) consider other alternatives for preservation, protection, and interpretation of the site by Federal, State, or local governmental entities, or private and nonprofit organizations;

(4) consult with interested Federal, State, or local governmental entities, private and nonprofit organizations, or any other interested individuals;

(5) consider the appropriate management options needed to ensure the protection, preservation, and interpretation of the site; and

(6) identify cost estimates for any Federal acquisition, development, interpretation, operation, and maintenance associated with the alternatives.

(c) Applicable Law.—The study required under subsection (a) shall be conducted in accordance with section 8 of National Park Service General Authorities Act (16 U.S.C. 1a–5).

(d) Report.—Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are first made available for the study under subsection (a), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report containing the results of the study and any conclusions and recommendations of the Secretary.

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