After 35 years, however, the endowment that supported "Pullman Tech," as it was called, could no longer sustain the rising costs of the school's operation as it grew to a student enrollment of 600. By Pullman's will, the school was prohibited from charging tuition. Also, by this time vocational training had increasingly become part of the offerings of the Chicago public school system. In the late 1940's, after careful consideration of the options, the Board decided that the only practicable means of carrying out Pullman's intention was to close the school and create an educational foundation. Such a step required approval by the Superior Court of Cook County, which granted the request.
The Pullman Free School building, however, has since remained in almost constant operation as a high school, continuing to serve the Pullman and Roseland communities. Chartered in 1951, Mendel Catholic High School (an all-male institution named in 1979 as one of the top ten schools in the U.S.) was housed in the original building for 37 years, making way for a co-ed Catholic school in the 1980's. After millions of dollars in renovations, the historic Pullman Tech building is now the home of Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep High School, one of the Chicago Public Schools, named in honor of Illinois' Poet Laureate..
Very proud to list my dad as one of the best all around athletes to attend Pullman Tech, graduating in 1932 with one of the few " monogramed blankets" awarded to its outstanding student-athletes. His name, Joe Bonior.
Here is some trivia that I picked up while doing the above piece. George Pullman retired shortly after the 1892 labor strikes that required the first federal intervention using US troops. He turned the reins over to his then Vice-President, Robert Todd Lincoln, who then became president. Robert Todd was the sole surviving son of Abraham Lincoln.
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