Street Art in Pilsen: Murals in Chicago’s Mexican Neighborhood

I had one full day to explore Chicago before BlogHouse began, and how did I spend it? About as predictably as possible: biking around the waterfront and scoping out the street art in Pilsen, a Mexican neighborhood in the Lower West Side.

Thanks to an initiative with the Chicago Urban Art Society, murals have been constructed all over Pilsen to jazz up the hood and drive out the gang graffiti. Bordered by 16th Street, Western Ave, and the Chicago River, the streets of Pilsen are rife with brick walls covered in predominantly Catholic-themed murals.

Street Art in Pilsen Chicago

Street Art in Chicago

Pilsen Murals

Street Art in Chicago 

Then there are also non-brick walls covered in more “conventional” street art. Parking lot graffiti? I’m into it.

Street Art in Pilsen Chicago

Street Art in Chicago 

But the best and most highly concentrated street art in Pilsen is on 16th Street, along the train tracks. The variety of the murals here is IN. SANE. Portraits, geometrical patterns, elaborate scenes – in black and white, in rainbow colors, block after block after block. In case I haven’t made it overly clear, if you’re chasing street art in Chicago, this is THE place you want to be!

Street Art in Pilsen Chicago

Street Art in Pilsen Chicago

Divvy Bike Chicago

Street Art in Pilsen Chicago 

Check out my other street art posts: Montreal // Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lindsay Buckley is the photographer and travel blogger behind Frugal Frolicker. She's a New Yorker currently based in Sydney, Australia, documenting outdoor travel experiences Down Under and beyond. Follow along with Lindsay's travel photography on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to sign up for the monthly Frugal Frolicker newsletter!

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  • Nice photos Lins! I really liked the Pilsen street art also! Like that shot you have of the Divvy bike in front of the murals. How long did it take you to bike over there?

    • lindsaypunk

      Thanks, girl! I loved your post on it as well – looks like we hit some of the same spots! ;) I don’t think it took too long to bike there – plus it’s quite close to the waterfront, so you can just bike back up to the city center along the water.

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