Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Robert Taylor Homes
Robert Taylor Homes

Robert Taylor Homes

Neighborhood in the Grand Boulevard Community Area. Upon completion in 1962, Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes became the largest public housing project in the United States. Built along two miles of State Street from 39th to 54th Streets in the Grand Boulevard and Washington Park community areas, the project comprised 28 16-story buildings mostly in U-shaped clusters of three, containing almost 4,300 apartments and 27,000 people.

This massive housing project was ironically named after Robert Taylor, an African American activist and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) board member who in 1950 resigned when the city council refused to endorse potential building locations that would induce racially integrated housing.

Within forty years this neighborhood was being dismantled. Despite the structurally sound exteriors of the buildings and an academic study that found two out of three Taylor residents opposed to the demolition, the CHA had demolished half of the buildings by the year 2000.

Lemann, Nicholas. The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America. 1991.
Venkatesh, Sudhir Alladi. American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto. 2000.