Pilsen, on the Lower West Side of the city, was home to working-class European immigrants during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Named after a city in eastern Europe, Pilsen was the heart of the Czech community from the 1870s to the 1950s.
Mexican Pilsen Emerges
In the 1960s Pilsen emerged as the center of Chicago’s Mexican community as Czech residents moved to better quality housing elsewhere. Mexicans had fewer options. Forced out of their long-established communities due to construction projects, many found a home in Pilsen. There they established businesses, hosted community celebrations, and fostered a culture of political activism.