|Rows of worker housing in the Standard-Pullman Company Town|
In 1917, during World War I, the United States Housing Corporation formed to provide housing near industries supporting the war effort. Standard Steel Car Corporation was one such company and benefited from what became known as “Industrial Housing Project No. 457”. The USHC contracted with architects and planners to establish development designs; Chicago architect J. C. Llewellyn was selected for the Hammond site. The plan began to be implemented in 1918 with build-out of 131 buildings by 1919. The design included single-family homes, duplexes, quadplexes, and a large hotel/boarding house in a large central block.
|Standard duplex design|
In 1919 the Standard Steel Car plant became the scene of a long and violent summer of marches, confrontations, and riots centered around labor issues at the plant. SSC, while recognizing the labor union representing most skilled, native born labor, did not recognize the union representing less skilled and predominantly non-native born laborers. This union was known as the Amalgamated Union. In August of 1919 4,000 rioters manned barricades at the plant’s entrance. A month later a thousand men gathered at Columbia Avenue and Highland Street and began a march toward the SSC plant. The men, gathered behind the American flag, collided with police officers near the end of Highland Street. Four workers were shot and killed and sixty more were injured. The strike ultimately collapsed in October and the Amalgamated Union ceased to function.
|Standard quadplex design|