“The Pilsen neighborhood has been at the center of battles over gentrification. Now the longtime Mexican American community is facing a new twist involving old buildings.
“Architectural preservationists worry that many of the neighborhood’s historic buildings will be threatened by ongoing development in the area. In May, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks recommended that the city designate parts of Pilsen as a landmark district to protect more than 700 structures, many more than 100 years old. It would also safeguard murals in the district.
“It would be the largest landmark district in Chicago,” said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, which worked with the city on the proposal. Miller says that while the designation would require property owners to maintain the historic look of building facades and rooflines, it would not limit changes to the building interiors or parts of the exterior not visible from the street.”