Pilsen... Its Art, Immigrant History and Architecture.
What was once home to Chicago's Czech population is now the center of Chicago's Mexican-American and Latino culture.
In addition to its rich immigrant history, Pilsen is a virtual outdoor art museum. It's nearly 400 vibrant unparalleled outdoor murals tell the story of Latin America's political leaders, its religious icons, its ancient Aztecan, Mayan and Olmecan cultures and the present day struggles of the working class.
Pilsen is home to over three hundred resident artists whose works are displayed at some of the area's many art galleries and at the nearby National Museum of Mexican Art, the largest of its kind in America, which serves as a repository of works by local artists and artisans and other Mexican artists of world renown.
The architecture of Pilsen is reminiscent of Eastern Europe and is the oldest housing stock of any of Chicago's neighborhoods surviving the era of Great Fire of 1871. But today, 18th Street, Pilsen's main thoroughfare, looks more like a snapshot of a genuine Mexican village. Ranchero music can be heard emanating from local store fronts and signage is wholly Spanish. Local churches are old world places of worship built in the image and likeness of those in Czech,Polish and Lithuanian villages.
In brief, Pilsen is more than a “hidden gem” attraction found in a travel magazine. Pilsen is an American inspiration to us all. It is a community that gifts visitors with the opportunity to learn an appreciation for a people's very intimate journey. And because so many of us have immigrant roots, and so many of our ancestors once underwent a similar journey , our Pilsen tour will address all that Pilsen can teach us. Showing respect for its residents, its culture, and its traditions is an opportunity that will kindle growth in all of us. So come along, meet Pilsen , and leave knowing that the "American Dream" requires an heroic effort .