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Real Estate and Neighborhood Information

Pilsen Overview

A vibrant neighborhood situated on the city’s Lower West Side, Pilsen is one of Chicago’s oldest communities. Weathered stone castles, colorful turrets, and ornamental accents harken back to the area’s Bohemian roots. Building on its working-class roots, Pilsen has become a destination for the arts in Chicago—striking murals and vivid mosaics can be found throughout the neighborhood. Pilsen is home to a variety of galleries and museums, such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, one of the most prominent institutions for Mexican art and culture in the United States. Multi-generational mom and pop shops sit side-by-side some of the city’s finest dining. From off the beaten track locales to hip eateries, Pilsen offers a wide variety ideal for all. Vintage shops, independent cafes, and offbeat markets add to the neighborhood’s charm.

128 Pilsen Homes For Sale

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Thanks to its thriving artist and Hispanic community, with its outdoor murals and prolific gallery events, the neighborhood is undergoing a shift in terms of Pilsen real estate.

There has been a lot of debate and discussion of gentrification in the area, with the local alderman working to establish a historic district that would give tax breaks to Pilsen homeowners. At the same time, gut-rehabilitation and some new construction of Pilsen condos has been good for the neighborhood's real estate values. Many of the newly built condos are impressive in size and character, commanding a higher price than neighboring single-family homes with a little more wear and tear.

Pilsen History

Pilsen is a classic Chicago neighborhood story of modern-day gentrification: a flux of immigrants establishes a home, artists move in to take advantage of low-rent and finally, developers (attracted to the 'hipness') tear down the old to make way for condos and newly constructed single-family homes.

Although Pilsen's history originally began as a port of entry for Irish and German immigrants in the 1800s, it wasn't until the second wave of inhabitants immigrated that the area received its name. This fresh group of residents came from Czechoslovakia (present-day Czech Republic) and christened their new Chicago home after Plzen, a major city in their distant homeland. Along with Czechs, other groups hailed from Central and Eastern Europe including those of Polish, Austrian, Slovakian, Croatian, Swedish, Dutch and Lithuanian heritage.

As well as the namesake, the neo-bohemian baroque style architecture that characterizes the area and gives the neighborhood its Old World charm is another stamp we can thank the Czechs for. Those precious gems of the past are being put to good use as the Mexican-American Catholic residents (who now make up a large percentage of Pilsen's population) use the Cathedrals today.

While the evidence of an Eastern European cultural foundation is still present in Pilsen, following the establishment of the University of Illinois at Chicago to the north a sizeable Mexican population drifted south to the neighborhood in the 1960s, dominating the area ever since. Nowadays the myriad grocerias (Mexican grocers), taquerias (taco stands) and bric-a-brac shops will transport visitors 'south of the border.'

Pilsen's proximity to the Loop and access to low-rent housing generated a thick artist community. Now lofts and storefront galleries dominate this row, where hip youth mingle with art-collectors. Additionally, the area just to the north of the 16th and Halsted Street underpass is enjoying an explosion in real estate development of contemporary condominiums and new-construction townhomes, which is sneaking south in spurts, resulting in a hike in real estate values in east Pilsen in recent years.

The Sights of Pilsen

Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo
Pilsen Neighborhood Photo

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Schools In The Pilsen Area

See grade levels, address, and scores for schools in the Pilsen area.

20 schools in area
School Type Level Grade(s) Rating

Spry Elementary Community School

2400 South Marshall Blvd

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Cather Elementary School

2908 West Washington Blvd

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Dett Elementary School

2131 West Monroe St

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Young Magnet High School

211 South Laflin St

Public Middle - High 7-12

Juarez Community Academy High School

2150 South Laflin St

Public High 9-12

Kellman Corporate Community Elementary School

3030 West Arthington St

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Johnson Elementary School

1420 South Albany Ave

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Little Village Elementary School

2620 South Lawndale Ave

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Orozco Elementary Fine Arts & Sciences

1940 West 18th St

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Ruiz Elementary School

2410 South Leavitt St

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

Galileo Elementary Math & Sci Schol Acd

820 South Carpenter St

Public Elementary - Middle K-8

Calhoun North Elementary School

2833 West Adams St

Public Preschool - Middle PK-8

York Alternative High School

2700 South California Ave

Public High 9-12

Rush Day School

2150 West Harrison Street

Private Elementary - Middle 2-8

West Town Academy

2021 West Fulton Street

Private High 9-12

North Lawndale Charter High School

1313 South Sacramento Dr

Charter High 9-12

Chicago Lighthouse

1850 West Roosevelt Road

Private Elementary - High n/a

Suder Montessori Elementary Magnet School

2022 West Washington Blvd

Public Preschool - Elementary PK-8

YCCS Virtual High School

Malcolm X College Room 2416, 1900 W. Van Buren

Charter High 9-12

Reaching Out Career Academy

1950 South Saint Louis Avenue

Private Preschool - High PK-12

School data provided by GreatSchools.School service boundaries are intended to be used as reference only. To verify enrollment eligibility for a property, contact the school directly. GreatSchools Ratings provided by

Dream Town Knows Pilsen

As Chicago neighborhood experts, Dream Town has successfully sold properties in Pilsen. Dream Town holds a well-earned reputation for its impressive sales volume and dedication to personal, attentive service. Benefit from the Dream Town advantage when selling your Pilsen home. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Dream Town drives more sales than any other Chicago brokerage.

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1621 South HALSTED, Chicago IL, 60608 #410
Sold For $225,000
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Sold For $299,000
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1920 South LAFLIN, Chicago IL, 60608 #
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Surrounding Neighborhoods

Neighbor Photo