Funnin' the suckers in a sick way

by Joe Zekas on 3/14/06

The Chicago Neighborhood Boundaries Directory, co-published by the Chicago Association of Realtors and Big Stick Inc., bills itself as the “most thorough and comprehensive work ever done on Chicago’s 222 neighborhood boundaries in the city’s history.”

One of the neighborhoods it identifies is “Tally’s Corner,” which it locates in the Mount Greenwood area, from Pulaski Rd east to Springfield Ave (3900 W), from 103rd St on the south to 101st St on the north.

The book notwithstanding, there’s no such place as Tally’s Corner in Chicago, to the best of this writer’s rather considerable knowledge.

What there appears to be in all of this is a rather twisted and, some might say, very ugly joke.

Click for larger image

The area in question, just south of Brother Rice and Mother McAauley High Schools, and just west of Saint Xavier University, is even more racially segregated than the nearly all-white Mount Greenwood community, which was less than 4% African-American in the 2000 census.

And Tally’s Corner, of course, is a sociological classic first published 3 decades ago by a noted anthropologist describing an area in Washington, DC. Its subtitle says it all: “A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men.”

If the Chicago Association of Realtors and Big Stick ever resolve their current litigation, will the next edition of their book still include Tally’s Corner? And how will they justify it?

In the meantime, Google Tally’s Corner Chicago and see who’s been suckered into calling this a Chicago neighborhood.

  • Facebook
  • Google Buzz
  • Digg
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Live
  • Posterous
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • email

No related posts.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 12:32 PM

While I wouldn’t call “Talley’s Corner” a neighborhood it is the name of the subdivision that exists there. It was built around 1980 by Hartz Construction from land purchased from a Catholic religious order.

I think the name “Talley” comes from one of the prior owners there. On that I may be wrong. I do remember the building of the subdivision when I lived out there.


Joe Zekas March 14, 2006 at 2:33 PM

The only “Jack MacMeehan” I can find on the Web is a screen name with the real name of “Arrgh Matie” and hobbies, in his (?) Yahoo! profile of “Skullduggery. Piracy……..the normal stuff!”

Until Jack steps up to the plate with a real identity, I’ll assume his comment is more of his normal stuff.


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 3:26 PM


Joe you got me. I am not really a pirate. But the part on Talley’s Corner is true. If you go on the MLS and look at the pics for any of those streets you will see suburban looking homes around 25 years old. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the listings mention “Talley’s Corner” as the subdivision.

Take a look at this listing off the MLS…… states the home was built in 1986 and mentions the subdivision name. My memory may be fading but I thought that whole area was built up earlier than that by a few years.

Detached Single Status: CLSD MLS #: 05232829
Address: 3912 W 101 ST, CHICAGO
Bedrooms: 4 Price: $399,900
Baths: 2
Total Rms: 8 Area: 8074
Master Bedroom Bath: N HO Assessments:
# Fireplaces: 0 Frequency: Not Applicable
PIN: 24113050120000 Taxes: $3,598
Special Assessment/Service Area: U Tax Year: 03
Type Ownership: Fee Simple Tax Exemptions: Homeowner
Agent Owned/Interest: N Year Built: 1986
Basement: Y Built Before 1978: N
Parking Type: Off Street # Cars: 2
Subdivision: TALLEY’S CORNER
Type: Split Level, Split Level w/ Sub Contract Date: 10/20/2005
Style: Bi-Level, Quad Level, Tri-Level Closed Date: 11/18/2005
Approx SF: Sold Price: $364,000
Exterior: Brick (BR)
Age: 11-25 Years


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 3:28 PM

If after checking the MLS directly you are not satisfied Joe well then I will have to cry in my green beer. My name and email are made up but the general facts I gave are true………..might be off on the years.


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 3:46 PM

Here is a story outta the Sun Times that mentions the area……….read it and weep Joseph. I will be drinking green beer and singing sea shanties.


Joe Zekas March 14, 2006 at 4:09 PM

OK. So far you have two sources: an MLS listing and a Sun-Times story, both of which reference a slightly different spelling than the one in the book – Talley vs Tally.

Both of these references post-date the usage in the book, and neither of them is auhtoritative in any way. I can easily find hundreds of non-existent neighborhood names in the MLS and in the Sun-Times.

I’ll take a subdivision plat as evidence, or materials predating the book from the Mount Greenwood Historical Society.

Even then, I’d be left questioning how and why a single subdivision of the many thousands in Chicago rose to neighborhood status in this book, and how it came to be misspelled in a very questionable fashion. Your take on those questions?


Joe Zekas March 14, 2006 at 4:16 PM

For the credibility of the Sun-Times story (and I note that only the reporter rather than the resident is using the neighborhood name) you need look no further than the following quote:

It was a mixed marriage, Irish and Lithuanian. Fred says, “My dad came over in 1913 to evade the draft. Czar Nicholas II was draggin’ everybody into the army for World War I.”

The Czar was drafting people into a war that hadn’t yet started?


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 4:28 PM

I don’t know why it is misspelled. I don’t think it is anything nefarious or racial. I am guessing, and this is what I call a WAG, wild asses guess, that the plat of surveys for that area use the word “Talley”. My memory is that and the “corner” part is easy being that it is at the corner of Pulaski and 103rd.

“Talley” is an Irish name and that little subdivision sold very quickly to mostly city employees. Who not surprisingly were/are heavily Irish in that area. I’m sure it was developed by Hartz Construction and “Talley’s Corner” sounds better from a marketing aspect than “Hartz Corner”. Particularly in that neighborhood.

There used to be and may still be a large sign off Pulaski stating “Talley’s Corner”. When it was being built it was the talk of the area. City employees flocked there because it offered new construction and was almost as suburban an experience you could get and still afford to live in the city limits.

There is plenty of “racial” stupidity that goes on there or for that matter where I now live on the north side, but I don’t think “Talley’s Corner” has anything to do with that. That is Mount Greenwood not Hyde Park………….where you might find one or two people who would recognize the reference.

I don’t know how to find a “plat of survey” for that little section of city, but I will look.

If I find anything I will post it.


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 4:34 PM

The “reporter” and with him I use that term “lightly” is an actor who wrote a weekly column for the Sun Times and now writes for the “Irish American News”….which is a monthly area paper. He used to do TV commercials for the plumbers union talking about “flamjammers”.

I did notice the World War 1 date being wrong, but that may just be some family story. I am sure the Czar was drafting Poles and Lithuanians and everyone else prior to the war. That is what Czar’s did.

The people in the area do call that little section “Talley’s Corner”.


Joe Zekas March 14, 2006 at 5:06 PM

OK. You come to us with a phony screen name, and post under a phony e-mail address and expect us to believe what you have to say.

How do we know that you’re not the person who put “Tally’s Corner” in the book, trying to bail out of what appears to be a bad situation?


Jack MacMeehan March 14, 2006 at 5:17 PM


take the tinfoil off your head………this ain’t a conspiracy.

If you are really that interested call the 19th Ward Alderwomans office or the Mount Greenwood Historical Society……….if there is such a group.

Mike Houlihan, who wrote the column for the Sun Times which I posted, grew up out there and knows what the locals call that section.

Since at least the early 1980′s that is what it has been known as. If you want to do further research have at it.

If you don’t want to……….great. Find a “racist” reason for something with another reason entirely.

As for why I post under a fake name…………I don’t use my main email for anything…………the fake name is a long ago joke based on a drunken girl saying that I looked “Irish” and all Irish guys are named Jack Mack or Jack Meehan……………………etc etc etc

With that I am finished with this thread………..although I will read it to see what “fun” ensues.




NSH August 18, 2006 at 2:41 PM

Mary Talley was the woman the neighborhood was named after. She lived until 2003. She was a founding member of Queen of Martyr’s Parish. She was known by the previous alderman, Michael Sheehan by site alone. She would be the only person in attendance to vote against a zoning change for the the property that would allow for a hi rise housing project. The project got wings in the late 60′s. At first everyone would show up to vote against the zoning change, then the next year a few less, then a few less until it was just her.

As the years progressed and the idealistic view of the housing project lost its vigor, the city scrapped the project, and the subdivision was born, named in her honor.

Since the neighborhood maps drawn up in the early part of the 20th century did not include this plat, that is the most likely reason the new neighborhood map distinguishes Talley’s corner as a seperate neighborhood.

Other subdivisions that have turned into neighborhoods include Maple Park in West Pullman


Leave a Comment

Previous Post:

Next Post: