CHICAGO — Several dignitaries were on hand Monday to pay tribute to American ingenuity at the new Pullman National Monument.
The tower, named a National Monument in 2015 by President Obama, was built in 1881 and survived all the way until 1998, when it was burnt down.
The former administration building and iconic clock tower are now the first part of the historical site — dedicated to the American labor movement.
Al Quiroz and his brother Ray, who worked side-by-side from 1959 to 1981, were on hand Monday.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Alfonzo Quiroz said. “I got hired, I was 23 years old, I got hired in this building and the buildings still here and so am I.”
In the 1800s, George Pullman built what became a city in itself. A factory town that included housing, schools, libraries and a hotel. The workers built the luxury rail cars and the Pullman porters, who were on board, provided the service.
Sen. Dick Durbin, Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker joined many others for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“This community helped put Chicago and Illinois on the map as an industrial age powerhouse,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
After Labor Day, doors will be open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.