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February 24, 2000

Ryan's Career Scholarship Proposal Passes House

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today released $10 million in Illinois FIRST funds to continue the stabilization work on the fire-damaged Pullman State Historic Site in Chicago.

"It's important that work continues on these nationally significant historic buildings to make sure they are saved for future generations," Ryan said.

The money was included in the governor's Fiscal Year 2000 budget that passed the Illinois General Assembly last spring. It will help stabilize the late 1800s railroad car factory buildings that were heavily damaged by a December 1998 arson fire. A task force appointed by Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has issued an interim report that recommends this stabilization work.

The Illinois FIRST funds should allow much of the following work to proceed:

  • North Factory Building - Reconstruct the roof-top structures such as skylights; reconstruct the roof structure and roofing over the open bay area; pour a new concrete subfloor; repair masonry and window and door openings; and provide basic electrical service.
  • Administration Building - Reconstruct the Clock Tower; install new roof framing, sheathing and roofing; pour a new concrete subfloor; substantially reconstruct the masonry walls to replicate the original wall configuration; perform masonry, floor, and window and door opening repairs; and provide basic electrical service.
  • Rear Erecting Shops - Perform stabilization work.

The ongoing $3.4 million emergency stabilization project, which began last spring following the fire, should be complete by summer. The Rear Erecting Shops are receiving only minimal stabilization in the current project due to a lack of funds. These buildings will deteriorate rapidly unless further stabilization can be done soon; today's release of the $10 million will be especially helpful in saving them.

The Illinois Capital Development Board, which manages all state construction projects, will let bids on the new work later this year, with construction expected to start in early 2001. The project should be completed in 2002.

The Pullman Factory Task Force was named in June 1999 and will issue its final recommendations regarding the future use of the Pullman factory complex later this year.

The Pullman State Historic Site, which includes the factory buildings and the nearby Hotel Florence, is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The factory was part of a model industrial town built by George M. Pullman, and many of the original late 1800s homes, business and community buildings remain. The entire area is a National Historic Landmark District.


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