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El Paseo runs through the vibrant Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen, once home to a large Czech population but now the center of the Lower West Side’s Latino community. The neighborhood is filled with various efforts celebrating the area’s rich Mexican heritage, including murals, restaurants serving authentic cuisine and the National Museum of Mexican Art (just to the west in the Heart of Chicago).
The trail, known either as El Paseo or the Sangamon Paseo, was designed both to serve as a community gathering place and to spark reinvestment in nearby buildings. The off-road portion of the trail runs parallel to an out-of-service rail line between Cullerton Street and 21st Street at Alivio Medical Center, although the town square-style area designated as El Paseo continues north along Sangamon Street to 18th Street. The area is being improved with landscaping and the construction of new buildings.
In the future, El Paseo will continue south to Cermak Road and north to 16th Street along a former railroad corridor, with the possibility of a vital connection to the East and South campuses of the University of Illinois at Chicago even farther north.
Parking for El Paseo can be found on neighborhood streets in Pilsen.
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