The Gap got its name since it was the gap between two housing developments at 31st and 35th streets. While only three-blocks long, it is an investor’s dream due to its convenient location near Lake Michigan and three miles from the Loop. The south sideneighborhood includes affordable housing, public transportation, and a noteworthy past.
During the early 20th century, the area earned an international reputation as being a place to see live jazz performed. Unfortunately when the Great Depression arrived, so did public housing projects, which squelched any dreams of a prosperous community. Today, a development has replaced the housing projects just as new interest via the Planning and Development Commission and the Quad Communities Development Corporation has replaced doubts about the potential of The Gap.
Another small and historic neighborhood three miles from the Loop is Tri-Taylor. Located near Little Italy, the west side community got its start during the 1800s when Italian immigrants moved in and built ornate row houses as well as businesses to sell their wares, services, and food.
Everything was fine until construction on the Illinois Medical Center in the 1940s and the Eisenhower Expressway in the 1960s displaced residents. As a result, the area fell into decline during the 1970s. Luckily the 1980s and 1990s brought new opportunities as developers started rehabbing the historic buildings, which remain relatively affordable today.