Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor Center and Historic District

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The former American Legion building offers a peek of what was once called "the world's most perfect town," with artifacts ranging from photos and posters to Pullman dining car curtains and china. A 20-minute video introduces you to the man, the town and the infamous 1894 strike. A 1998 fire destroyed parts of the old rail car factory with its historic clock tower, and now--at a glacial pace--it's being restored. But you can still see many intact sites from the outside, like the executives homes near Arcade Park and the humble workers' rowhouses lining Champlain Avenue. The area's crown jewel, the Hotel Florence, 11111 S. Forrestville Ave, is undergoing renovation, but visitors can check out the Queen Anne Victorian hotel's exterior, which features stained glass windows, a wraparound porch and olive green-and-red-painted wooden trim. Thanks to $1.2 million from the state, the hotel should reopen in a couple of years as a museum and event space. In the meantime, the Pullman site preservation office grants limited tours, if you call ahead: 773-660-2341.