The Lower West Side neighborhood is within MLS area 8031. It is located on the west side of Chicago and is known as Pilsen by Chicago area residents. The Lower West Side is one of the 77 well-defined Chicago communities. The area is bordered on the south and east by the Chicago River, and on the north and west by the Burlington Northern railroad tracks. The Heart of Chicago is a neighborhood located in the southwest corner of the Lower West and Pilsen 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 Plzeň, the fourth largest city in what is now the Czech Republic, but it wasn’t until the 1960’s that there was a great spurt in the numbers of Mexican-Americans into the area. Many of the newest residents to the neighborhood are not Hispanic, but young artists, and it is projected that the neighborhood will continue to become more diversified in the years ahead.
Infill construction in the Lower West Side of condominiums and single family homes is now in full force on the east side of the neighborhood as Pilsen becomes one of the next major development areas for that type of construction. Residents are attracted to the area, as 18th Street is an active commercial corridor, with Mexican bakeries, restaurants, and groceries. 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.