Pilsen Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Beginning in the 1870s, scores of Bohemian immigrants filled the neighborhood that came to bear the sentimental moniker “Pilsen,” for the city of the Central European homeland. Huge factories consumed the labors of thousands of unskilled workers, and exploitation made Pilsen a hotbed of the labor movement. Meanwhile the mix of immigrants—Poland, Germany and Ireland were also represented here—got busy building some of Chicago’s most dramatic churches. Early Mexican immigrants to Chicago found a home here in the 1930s. They gradually came to dominate the neighborhood, as you’ll see from the myriad striking murals painted on the sides of the sturdy, brick buildings that still emit a Central European air. Today Bohemians are returning to Pilsen, although these are the kind who in cartoons munch brie and don black berets. The mix of artists and Hispanic culture has made Pilsen one of the most vibrant communities in the city."