Tri Taylor is so named because the shape of this community approximates the shape of a triangle with the eastern boundary of the community, Ogden Avenue, running diagonal to Chicago’s street grid and which also crosses Taylor Street at this eastern boundary. The history of this community parallels that of Little Italy in that it was largely a working class, immigrant community. Much of the residential architecture of Tri Taylor is similar to that in Little Italy, but is more consistent in character, maintenance standards and size giving the community a very nice neighborhood feel. Beginning in about the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, people new to Tri Taylor began slowly moving to the community and renovating its housing stock or building new homes on vacant lots. A local visionary developer, the late Bill Lavicka, founder of Historic Boulevard Services, was an early pioneer in the Tri Taylor community. He moved historic homes to South Oakley Boulevard at Polk Street and built an outdoor Vietnam Survivors Memorial, decades before the City of Chicago had an official memorial to Vietnam Veterans on East Wacker Drive. The name of the firm he founded and ran comes from the Jackson Boulevard Historic District – a block long row of Victorian homes on Jackson Boulevard between Ashland Avenue and Laflin Street – that Mr. Lavicka was instrumental in restoring to its original condition and placing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Taylor Street, the only retail street in Tri Taylor and its main east west thoroughfare, has a different character than it does in Little Italy for a variety of reasons, including its relative isolation at the western edge of our community area, its greater distance from the neighboring institutions and downtown, as well as its smaller residential population relative to that of Little Italy. There are some very nice family owned establishments on Taylor Street in Tri Taylor including the well known Original Ferrara’s Bakery and Bacci Pizzeria.
The Tri Taylor community is increasingly becoming sophisticated, active and organized around important quality of life issues, including parks and schools. A group of residents raised money and worked with the City and the Chicago Park District for the improvement of the Claremont Playlot Park at 2334 W. Flournoy Street. Tri Taylor is also home to Chicago Hope Academy, a very successful private, non denominational Christian high school and also home to its founders, Bob and Tina Muzikowski.