Lower West Side, also known as Pilsen by the local residents of Chicago, is situated on the western part of Chicago. During the latter part of the 19th century Pilsen was primarily inhabited by Czechs who had immigrated to America and named the place Plzeň, after the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic. Many Polish and Lithuanian immigrants also had settled in Pilsen. Pilsen has evolved through generations welcoming Mexican immigrants in the latter half of the 1900’s and more recently welcoming local artists who immigrated from the now-too-trendy and expensive northwest side of the city.
Pilsen is an explorer’s delight as the place boasts of shops, galleries and carts selling murals and tamales. The most prominent landmark of Pilsen is the National Museum of Mexican Art, located in the Harrison Park. The collection traces the evolution of pottery and carvings from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. If one, after spending an eventful day at the museum, decides to step outside and walk up 18th Street, the vibrancy of the people and the murals in the stores would leave the traveller enchanted for a long time.
Many galleries are located on 18th Street, which is the Chicago Arts District. The hours may be erratic and the best option to visit the galleries would be on the second Friday of every month when most of the galleries are open for all. The annual Art Walk is organised by the Pilsen Open studios in the month of October when approximately 60 artists put up their work for display in and around the 18th Street.
Pilsen is also famous for bakeries and restaurants that offer food that has attained legendary status among food lovers across the globe. Nuevo Leon, located on 18th Street and enthralling the taste buds since 1962 is a landmark along with Carnitas Don Pedro and Casa del Pueblo Taquería – all of them making 18th Street the most happening part of Pilsen.
Pilsen is a sought after place amongst realtors and prospective property buyers as the place offers ample opportunities and facilities for one and all to come and settle down. The price varies from location to location and also depending upon the kind of real estate that has been chosen. Normally Pilsen homes for sale are in the price range of $215,000 and $350,000. It is only a few minutes away from the loop by train and is famed for historic architecture and art. The Prospectus art Gallery and the A.P.O Cultural Centers are excellent places to visit when in West Pilsen. Other noteworthy destinations include Antenna, the National Museum of Mexican Art, St. Adalbert Church, St. Procopius Church, and Thalia Hall. In East Pilsen you’ll find the Chicago Art Department, EXP gallery, Logsdon 1909 Gallery, Michelle Litvin Photography, Oculus Gallery, and The Watermark Gallery.