Pilsen is a vibrant family neighborhood with lots of character, art, food and reasonable housing. It is located in Chicago’s Lower West Side, 3 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop. Pilsen is known for its thriving art community. The neighborhood is home to the National Museum of Mexican Arts – the largest museum of Mexican art in the nation. The museum is located at 1852 W. 19th St.
In addition, Pilsen is home to Second Fridays. On every second Friday of the month, Pilsen artists open their gallery doors to the public to show off their artwork. Pilsen is also home to a variety of restaurants, mostly consisting of taquerías and featuring a selection of authentic Mexican entrees. The restaurants are authentic, cheap and delicious.
Pilsen has a population of about 43,000 and is primarily Hispanic. Pilsen is a surprisingly affordable neighborhood, which is what allows the neighborhood’s art community to thrive. In 2008, the average rent in Pilsen was $604, compared to $789 citywide in Chicago. The average estimated value of a detached house in 2010 was $182,144, compared to $262,859 in Chicago as a whole.
The average household income in 2008 was $40,752, compared to $43,628 for Chicago as a whole. The zip codes in Pilsen are 60608 and 60616. Service occupations are the largest employers in Pilsen, with 24.5 percent of males there working in these fields. An estimated 26.8 percent of the women residents of Pilsen work in sales.
Pilsen can be reached by the CTA. To get to East Pilsen, take the CTA’s Orange Line to Halsted and walk a few blocks into the area. To reach West Pilson, take the Pink Line to 18th Street.
Pilsen was settled by Irish and German immigrants who came to Chicago to work at the many factories and stockyards. Czech immigrants soon followed to work in those same industries. After the Chicago fire of 1871, Pilsen was defined by its thousands of unskilled jobs at the McCormick Reaper Company, lumber mills, garment sweatshops and railroad yards. The creation of these jobs in the 1870s attracted many Bohemian immigrants, and the city was later named after Pilsen, the second largest city in West Bohemia.
A national railroad strike spread to Pilsen in 1877. The 22nd U.S. Infantry marched into the neighborhood to put down the strikers, killing 30 residents and injuring hundreds. During World War I, labor shortages in area industries brought many immigrant groups to Pilsen, including a large Mexican population. Mexican migrants became predominant in the neighborhood during the 1950s and 1960s due to liberal immigration laws and the forced removal of Mexicans from the Near West Side to expand the University of Illinois at Chicago. This ethnic shift greatly influenced the culture of Pilsen. Mexican artists began decorating the neighborhood with colorful murals and mosaics, which can be seen today.
Pilsen is 2.944 square miles in area. It makes up most of the city’s Lower West Side neighborhood. According to the U.S. Census of 2010, 48.9% of the neighborhood residents are Hispanic, 39.9% are other, 3% are African American and 1.9 percent are Asian.
The population of Pilsen is 2,780. The median age for males is 32.5 years and the median age for females is 33.9 years. Total housing units number 958. Owner-occupied housing units total 254. Renter-occupied housing units number 589. About 46.1 percent of the area residents are high school graduates and 12.4 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Kreisman Law Offices handles Illinois lawsuits for the entire Chicago metropolitan area, including Pilsen. Chicago's Robert D. Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has over 40 years of trial experience and specializes in a wide range of legal services, including Illinois personal injury law, mediations and arbitrations, Illinois product defect/product liability law, Illinois medical malpractice claims, real estate law, commercial litigation and Illinois nursing home abuse cases. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. Our office handles Spanish speakers with our bilingual staff.
Our Chicago loop office is in a convenient location for Pilsen residents. Kreisman Law Offices is located at the corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets. There are many convenient modes of public transportation to Kreisman Law Offices, including the Metra and CTA.