President Obama will designate Chicago's historic Pullman Park district as a national monument, according to reports.
The president will travel to Chicago on Feb. 19 to designate the monument, a White House official told the Chicago Tribune.
The official said Obama is using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and that the move was part of his effort to protect and promote the nation's diverse history.
The area was built by businessman George Pullman as a factory and company town for his workers who constructed the iconic Pullman railway cars in the late 1800s. It became the birthplace of the country's first African-American union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and was the site of a massive strike.
"Pullman workers fought for fair labor conditions in the late 19th century and the Pullman porters helped advance America’s civil rights movement," Lynn McClure, the Midwest senior director for the National Parks Conservation Association told the Washington Post.
The president's visit could also boost his former chief of staff, current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel faces a Democratic primary on Feb. 24 as he seeks reelection.
The mayor along with Illinois lawmakers from both parties pressed Obama to make the historic site a national park.