In recent decades, its has been a familiar story for many Chicago neighborhoods: a poor neighborhood with attractive but run down housing stock is "discovered" by artists, musicians and the like, gradually rehabbed, and ultimately overrun by young professionals and new construction development. Pilsen is currently one of these discoveries.
Pilsen, also known as the Lower West Side, was originally settled by Czechs, Poles and Bohemians. In fact, the neighborhood takes its name from a neighborhood a city in Bohemia. Today, most of the new development in Pilsen is happening in the area east of Morgan Street. On Halsted Street, one-time stores and factories have become artists' and musicians' studios. Although the rents are still cheap, they have been rising steadily in the past few years. Eighteenth Street, the main east-west artery through the neighborhood, is hopping at all hours. There are restaurants aplenty, bars galore and numerous neighborhood grocery stores.
Pilsen is a neighborhood for those who want a decidedly urban edge, spectacular views of the Loop and cheap rents. There is also a new construction boom taking place providing new construction single family homes, condominiums and lofts.