Pilsen, located just south and west of downtown Chicago, was originally home to many of the workers at the world-famous Chicago stockyards. Today, although it includes some Chicago-style single-family homes, Pilsen real estate is dominated by multi-story residential buildings and the area is growing in popularity. As new residents move into the community, real estate values are increasing, and new construction and commercial development are on the rise. The neighborhood's world-class restaurants attract patrons from all over the city and suburbs. Pilsen also has strong artistic and cultural roots. It is home to Chicago's Mexican American Fine Arts Center Museum, features some of the city's finest mural art and is the site of the vibrant East Pilsen Artist's Colony. With the University of Illinois at Chicago campus nearby, Pilsen also attracts students seeking affordable housing. Pilsen became a National Historic Register District in 2006.
Just to the south of Pilsen is the thriving community affectionately known as Little Village. As in Pilsen, Little Village residents and merchants exhibit a well-developed sense of community, which is supported by a vital, active Chamber of Commerce. Small businesses, unique retail shops and restaurants are the backbone of the neighborhood. Little Village holds more than 1,000 businesses, making it a favorite shopping destination for people from Chicago and all around Northern Illinois. The community is also the site of one of the country's largest parades, held every September and drawing upwards of a million people each year.