The Pullman Artspace Lofts, an innovative live/work space designed for artists, welcomed its first residents at the start of 2020. The first new residential development in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood in about 50 years features the historic restoration of two apartment buildings which bookend a newly constructed residence.
Pullman Artspace Lofts, developed by Artspace Projects, Inc., a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization, in partnership with Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and PullmanArts, includes 38 rental apartments and a 2,000-square-foot community and gallery space for art exhibits and cultural programs. Designed by architecture firm Stantec, the units are quickly being occupied by multi-media artists, painters, photographers and musicians.
New residents are already proving to be active parts of the community. “I’m making this space my own. In a way, it has become my current art project. I’m excited to see how the spaces evolve and become part of the fabric of the community as more residents move in,” said Alexis Willis, a Chicago native who recently moved to Pullman and is a multidisciplinary artist who draws, performs music, dances, acts, among many other talents.
Willis moved to the neighborhood with family in late 2019, for what was planned to be a brief stay. But when she learned the new Pullman Artspace Lofts offered an opportunity to live in a roommate-free creative space, that changed.
“I never saw myself living in Pullman, but now I see how much it has to offer. I’m getting involved in neighborhood organizations, helping to plan and develop community projects and activities,” Willis said. “I want to give my new neighborhood my talents. Pullman has a lot of history and, as a young African American woman, I feel it’s important for me to be involved in its growth and long-term success.”
PullmanArts will operate the community and gallery space on the ground floor of the newly-constructed building. PullmanArts board member Stephanie Slaughter looks forward to Artspace’s continued neighborhood partnership. “When the gallery space is activated, it’s going to be such a gift to Pullman,” said Slaughter. “It will be a place that people come from all over to enjoy. And that hasn’t happened in Pullman in a very long time. I’m excited and proud PullmanArts is part of it.”
Alderman Anthony Beale, 9th ward, agrees. “Pullman Artspace Lofts is the latest milestone in the renaissance of Pullman,” said Alderman Beale. “More than $350 million of public and private investment has attracted new businesses and created 1,500 jobs, as well as new affordable housing, educational and recreational amenities—all of which are making Pullman a community of choice.”
“Artspace is inspired by the way that the neighborhood values in Pullman are being integrated into the creative community here,” said Artspace asset manager, Kim Moore. “We’re excited to see how the new tenants will add to that.”
Artspace encourages artists and creatives of all disciplines to apply to this affordable artist housing property. Veterans are also encouraged to apply. Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are available.