Time to take a fresh look at Pilsen

I’ve been a long-time skeptic of the oft-repeated hype that Pilsen is poised to be transformed into a haven dominated by students, artists, hipsters and affluent trend-setters seeking the next hot neighborhood. Pilsen has been, for many years, a port of entry for predominantly Mexican immigrants and continues to serve that role well despite suburban competition and a trickle of gentrification-disclaiming non-Hispanics.

A development that might precipitate more rapid neighborhood change would be the makeover of the historic Thalia Hall contemplated by Bruce Finkelman in today’s Chicago Real Estate Daily. A foray into Pilsen by an entrepreneur with The Empty Bottle and Longman & Eagle on his track record should cause everyone to take a fresh look at Pilsen’s near-term prospects.

For one Pilsen business owner, neighborhood change means that “no one is stealing my flowers.”

In the following video, shot more than six years ago, representatives of the Pilsen Together Chamber of Commerce were predicting a “totally different Pilsen in 5 years.” The Chamber’s website is no longer online, and its phone has been disconnected.

You can see more of YoChicago’s aerial photography at Flickr.

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