Neighborhood Spotlight: Pilsen
Pilsen’s story has always been one of immigrants. Located on the Southwest Side, the neighborhood, which falls in the Lower West Side community area, was first home to German and Irish immigrants in the 1840s. More arrived from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Italy, and other European countries, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. A popular restaurant called “At the City of Plzeň,” named in honor of a Czech city, gave Pilsen its name. As a community with industry, sweatshops, and lumbermills, Pilsen had employment opportunities for many of the residents after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.