A historic Pullman workers' home is up for sale. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty

PULLMAN — In Pullman, where residents often know the names of Pullman Company workers who once lived in their homes and architecture is a shared interest, a historical home that’s hit the market is creating a bit of buzz.

Pamela Forsberg, a Realtor for J.W. Reedy Realty of suburban Lombard, is selling a row house at 11348 S. Champlain Avenue in Pullman for $75,000 on behalf of her ill father, who called the place home for more than 30 years, and his investment partner. 

The home was built in 1884 by industrialist and Pullman Company founder George Pullman to house laborers. Forsberg, of Beverly, wants to sell to someone who would respect the history of the home, which still has many original features, she said.

It’s a bit of a “dollhouse,” Forsberg said.

“I want somebody who is going to still keep the art and the culture and the history of the property,” Forsberg said. “That would be my dream — someone who maintains the same vision as” the Pullman House Project.

Former resident Bob Jordan updated the home’s electrical system, switched out some of the windows, repaired the roof and put concrete flooring in the basement. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty
The home at 11348 S. Champlain Avenue still has many of its original wooden features. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty

The fixer-upper property is 1,136 square feet, with three bedrooms on the second floor, a main foyer, living room, a kitchen, basement and two bathrooms. There’s also a backyard and a one-car garage that needs repairs, Forsberg said.

Forsberg’s father, Bob Jordan, grew up in Pullman and used to be an electrician, she said. With a strong interest in architecture and history, Jordan moved back to the neighborhood in his 40s, Forsberg said. 

Over the 30 years he lived in the home, Jordan slowly restored things, his daughter said. He converted and updated the home’s electrical system, switched out some of the windows, tore out and replaced the roof and put concrete flooring in the basement, which previously only had dirt, Forsberg said. 

Jordan is also a “lover of found things” who didn’t always feel the need to buy things new, Forsberg said. He collected and used his neighbors’ tossed-out items that could better reflect the time period of his home, she said. 

“In the backyard, there’s a lamppost that has an electric eye that works — it goes on at dusk. … He had gotten [it] from somebody that couldn’t keep it in their yard anymore,” Forsberg said. “The tub is not original, but he found a claw-foot tub to put up in the bathroom upstairs. Over the years, he’s tried to bring back some more period-specific pieces.”

A bedroom on the home’s second floor features wallpaper from before 1930. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty

The home, which has already had visits from interested buyers since it was listed Tuesday, has its original hardwood floors, trim, window frames, curved wood staircase and built-in cabinetry in some places.

Forsberg said her father also did a lot of the electrical work in older properties throughout Pullman. 

Jordan dedicated himself to restoring his house and intended to do more work on it, but he could not finish the project, Forsberg said. Repairing peeling wallpaper, plaster walls and water damage are just some of the remaining work a potential buyer would need to put into the home, Forsberg said. 

“You definitely probably need a professional to really handle this plaster and this wallpaper and the floors,” Forsberg said. “The price [of the home] is reflected in the age of the home. [My father] lived here until May, and it was fully functional for him.”

Realtor Pamela Forsberg said the home at 11348 S. Champlain is in need of some repair. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty
There is a skylight in the ceiling of the upper floor at 11348 S. Champlain Avenue. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty

Forsberg said the property, just blocks from the Pullman National Monument and State Historic Site, has a charm to it that she wouldn’t want to see lost through a more modern restoration job.

“A lot of these properties don’t have the working frames and windows, and they don’t have the original curved wood stairwells, and it’s just hard to find,” Forsberg said. “What’s really beautiful about this property is that there are still so many of the original trimwork and the original millwork that has really been lost over the years as people have rehabbed.

“This property would suit anybody perfectly, but the truth is, it would be my dream if the person that bought this would be that person that would continue rehabbing it back to its original splendor.”

The brick rowhouse at 11348 S. Champlain Avenue has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and basement. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty
Former resident Bob Jordan updated the home’s electrical system, switched out some of the windows, repaired the roof and put concrete flooring in the basement. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty
The property also has a backyard and one car garage. Credit: J.W. Reedy Realty

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