Pilsen Neighborhood, Chicago

The Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, IL
Pop. 44,301Pilsen is a neighborhood in Chicago’s “Lower West Side,” accessible by the Pink line on the EL train. Czech immigrants founded it and named it after a city of the present-day Czech Republic. One of the few Chicago neighborhoods which retains buildings from the pre-1871 Fire, Pilsen has experienced many changes in its demographics over the years. It was important as a refuge for a number of Slavic ethnic groups in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, with a mix of working class people and wealthy families. The construction of the nearby University of Illinois at Chicago (“Circle Campus”) in the 1960s displaced many Mexican-Americans, who relocated to Pilsen and turned the area into a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.

  • Project Dates: August 7th, 2010
  • Exhibition: Cheap Art for Chicago
  • Collaborating Partners: Yollocalli Arts Reach
  • Notes: During a fundraiser for AREA Chicago these maps were distributed to the audience to encourage discussion about the rich history of the neighborhood where this event was being held and to engage the youth who participate in the Yollocalli arts programs of the National Museum of Mexican Art.

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