Lower West Side

Sub Neighborhoods:

Heart of Chicago, Lower West Side, Pilsen

Community Information:

Pilsen, as it is known by Chicago locals,  is a neighborhood made up of the residential sections of the Lower West Side community area of Chicago. In the late 19th century Pilsen was inhabited by Czech immigrants who named the district after Plze%u0148, the fourth largest city in what is now the Czech Republic.

Many of the immigrants worked in the stockyards and the surrounding factories. As many early 20th Century American urban neighborhoods, however, Pilsen was home to the wealthy as well as the working class and doctors lived next to maids and laborers amongst businessmen with the whole area knitted together based on the ethnicities, mostly of Slavic descent, who were not readily welcome in other areas of the city.

Pilsen’s rich Neo-Bohemian Baroque architectural heritage, as well as its proximity to the Loop and the highway system, continue to strengthen its position as a neighborhood set for revival as reinvestment in formerly forlorn inner city neighborhoods continue to strengthen in Chicago. Development adjacent to Pilsen grew significantly on its northern border over the past decade with new construction as well as restoration of National Historic Register properties such as the 800 unit South Water Market, an old concrete cold storage warehouse.

18th Street is an active commercial corridor, with Mexican bakeries, restaurants, and groceries though the principal district for Mexican shopping is 26th Street in Little Village, Chicago’s other formerly majority Pan-Slavic community, which is currently the main area of successful Mexican immigrant commerce.

The east side of the neighborhood along Halsted Street is one of Chicago’s largest art districts, and the neighborhood is also home to the National Museum of Mexican Art. St Adalbert’s dominates over the skyline with the opulence typical of churches in the Polish Cathedral style. Pilsen is also famous for its murals.

Recent Listings in this Neighborhood: