While most 19th century manufacturing hubs were known for their poor working conditions, the Pullman District on Chicago’s South Side was the country’s first model industrial town designed to provide a safer and healthier environment for the Pullman sleeping company’s workers. Over a century later, Method, the green cleaning products brand, is now carrying on the District’s progressive legacy with the construction of its new 150,000-square-foot sustainable factory. The company asked William McDonough + Partners to design its sprawling building, spanning roughly five acres on a brownfield site where the original Pullman lumberyard once stood. Prior to construction of its new facility, Method has committed to cleaning up the 22-acre property, and then transforming it into lush parkland for its employees and the surrounding community.
“Chicago was interesting because of its location, transportation, and also its history as part of the Rust Belt. They [Method] wanted to be directly involved with manufacturing for the next generation and job creation,” says William McDonough, who also co-founded the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.