Pilsen Historic District

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Pilsen Historic District
Pilsen Historic District Chicago IL.jpg
Pilsen Historic District, 21st near Ashland, Chicago IL
Pilsen Historic District is located in Illinois
Pilsen Historic District
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates 41°51′14″N 87°39′28″W / 41.85389°N 87.65778°W / 41.85389; -87.65778Coordinates: 41°51′14″N 87°39′28″W / 41.85389°N 87.65778°W / 41.85389; -87.65778
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 10240018[1]
Added to NRHP February 1, 2006

The Pilsen Historic District is a historic district located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. 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. The population also included in smaller numbers other ethnic groups from the Austro-Hungarian Empire including Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats and Austrians, as well as immigrants of Polish and Lithuanian heritage.

The Czechs had replaced the Germans, who had settled there first with the Irish in the mid-19th century. Although there was an increasing Mexican American presence in the late 1950s, it was not until 1962-63 when there was a great spurt in the numbers of Mexican Americans in Pilsen due to the destruction of the neighborhood west of Halsted between Roosevelt and Taylor Streets to create room for the construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Although this area was predominantly Italian American, it was also an important entry point for Mexican immigrants for several decades. Latinos became the majority in 1970 when they surpassed the Slavic population. The neighborhood continued to serve as port of entry for immigrants, both legal and illegal, mostly of Mexican descent. Many elderly central Europeans, some even without English language skills, also still reside in Pilsen. Pilsen's Mexican population is increasingly dwarfed by what has become the largest Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, Little Village.

Pilsen became a National Historic Register District on February 1, 2006.[2]

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