Paulina Barry Community
Paulina Barry Community

Paulina Barry Community

Founded Founded in 1965 in or near Lake View
Founding story

Founded in Lakeview near Paulina and Barry

Affiliations Folk Nation — 1980 – give;
Colors Black and White
Primary ethnicities White
Symbols Skull, Crossbones, and Top Hat
Status Extinct

The Paulina Barry Community, mainly referred to as “P.B.C” was formed in the year 1965 in the Lake View community.  The group was started by 12- and 13-year-olds from Nelson and Paulina in front of a corner store at that corner.  The boys began to refer to themselves as “T.T.” according to a 1971 Rising Up Angry newspaper but the members interviewed did not state why they came up with that name.   The boys got into drinking and Friday and Saturday nights was their party nights.  The boys began associating with a gang member in the neighborhood because this individual was able to buy alcohol legally and this caused the boys to get involved in gang fights because of their association with this gang member.  These original PBCs fought hard and even fought in unfair fights where they were outnumbered.  Eventually gangs in the neighborhood tended to lay off them after awhile because they fought so valiantly.

In the year 1966, the original PBCs started a football team in the area which began their love for football.  The original members loved to play in Hamlin Park and at Burley School which was at Fletcher and Barry.  This team was named “The Fighting Burley Boys,” some of these boys were from Hamlin Park which is how this organization would later have turf toward Hamlin Park in the North Center community.

In the year 1967, the originals began smoking Marijuana and taking pills along with drinking alcohol and this began the original members’ love of drugs and alcohol which made them more of a party group.  This is also about the time when the original members started high school.  Some of the original members Frank Christoldolos on drums, Paul on lead guitar and vocals, Rick as the main vocalist, Butch on lead guitar and vocals then a little later came Hector who played on organ, pipe and bass.  The first name of the band was “Underground Taxi” but was later changed to just “Taxi.”

By 1969, the originals became quite popular in the neighborhood and had mostly avoided gangbanging as they cherished playing in band, football and partying more than anything.  It was in 1969 that the members of the group began gathering at the intersection of Paulina and Barry while holding several parties and events all the way down to Burley School. In the year 1969, the group was now named “Paulina Barry Community.”

1970 was also the year that PBC became real friendly with the Rising Up Angry newspaper and during the early 70s years PBCs were published several times which included almost all of the club’s early history which I found to be beneficial I understanding this lost history.

In the very early 1970s, the original PBC wasn’t known much for gangbanging but instead for fighting political battles and having many quarrels with Chicago Police.  PBC would share with Rising Up Angry their biggest police enemies and would call out individual police officers that had a person grudge against PBC and tried to bust everyone.  In 1970 PBC opposed the South Lake View Neighbors group and Ted Machin who was the leader of the group.  PBC even got attention from Mayor Richard J. Daley who ordered the Paulina and Barry area to be “cleaned up.”  This was enforced through Jim Galvin who was the lead investigator that got police to crack heads of PBC.  Many of these government men involved drank at the tavern at the Paulina and Barry intersection and constantly harassed PBC.  This sparked a series of false arrests that were later thrown out in court, after this PBC was able to take over the tavern.

In the year 1971, PBC would begin having conflicts with youths that hung out in Hamlin Park.  There was rivalry over sports and other issues which led to gangbanging.  This rival group would later become the Insane Deuces.  Despite the rivalry original PBC had many truces with Hamlin Park and even teamed up to play football together, it was a love/hate relationship.

By 1972, PBC became well-known all over the neighborhood and as members grew old enough to drink they began to frequent a local bar at the corner of Paulina Street and Barry Avenue at address 1658 W. Barry Ave which is now known today as Cody’s Public House, the name has existed since 1986.  At first, the tavern and local drinkers clashed with PBC including off duty police and government officials but by 1972 a PBC named Pete began working there and the bar was more referred to as “The People’s Bar” which made this into a PBC friendly tavern for young people.  I do not know what the name was before it was Cody’s but this is the location that PBCs hung out at for decades.

On March 26, 1972 the first member of PBC passed away.  The drummer of Taxi, Frank Christoldolos, an original member, died of a drug overdose.  For at least a few years the original PBC would gather at Burley School and Taxi would play in his memory.


In the year 1972, younger youths from the neighborhood began hanging out with PBC which was not uncommon because several people around this corner hung around PBC but this group was different and wanted membership.  The group’s alpha was “Crazy Tom.”  At this time relations with Hamlin Park was not strong later into the year.  This ignited a rivalry especially since Hamlin Park was evolving into the Insane Deuces.  The Insane Deuces were about gangbanging more than PBC but Crazy Tom’s PBC group was geared to gangbang against the Hamlin Park Insane Deuces just as much or more.  Crazy Tom’s PBC group also fought with the Deuce’s biggest ally the Latin Kings.  These PBCs also developed a strong conflict with Simon City Royals.  Crazy Tom adopted the colors, sweaters, and symbols that even older members could wear.

By the mid-70s years original members were leaving the area more as they grew older and started families leaving their teen years behind.  This was also a time when the Vietnam War was coming to an end and much of the hippie era was dissolving around the world.  The original PBC was more of a hippie group but the second generation headed by Crazy Tom was more of a gang.  In the year 1975 the Latin Kings moved into the Lathrop public housing project which is very close to Hamlin Park.   Insane Deuces invited the Latin Kings to hang out in their territories which of course swelled the animosity the PBC had with Latin Kings.

As the 1970s progressed the PBCs were a force to be reckoned with as they battled ferociously to keep Paulina and Barry as they spread within the vicinity of School Street on the north, Diversey Parkway on the south, Southport Avenue on the east, Damen Avenue on the west.  The PBCs biggest strong spots were Ashland and Barry, Ashland and Belmont and of course Paulina and Barry.  The PBCs grew quite large in numbers.

The PBCs made the tough decision to join the Folk alliance in 1978 while members were incarcerated.  Even though Simon City Royals were Folks too this did not make them become friends, it only meant their war was minimal.  The PBCs joined the Folks under the sponsorship of the Gangster Disciples.  The PBCs now would honor the pitchfork as a new symbol through the 1980s and 1990s.

In the year 1992 when the Insane Deuces joined the Folk alliance, the PBCs rejected this and when the Spanish Cobras brought the Deuces into PBC hood for a peace offering the PBC threatened to shoot down the Deuces.  PBCs would never accept the Deuces.

In 1994, the PBCs joined the “Almighty” alliance and invested in an actual alliance with the Simon City Royals.  PBCs also began hanging out with the Gangster Disciples that had moved in around Wrigleyville in the 90s, then in 1997 PBCs closed their operations.

Older members have still been hanging and living at the intersection of Paulina and Barry which has kept other gangs from settling this corner, there has also been gentrification in the area that has kept all gang activity minimal in the 21st century.

Please send in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!

Known sections of the Paulina & Barry Community from the past

Lake View neighborhood 1965-1997

Sections of Lake View

School to Diversey, Southport to Ravenswood

North Center neighborhood 1972-1997

Sections of North Center

School to Diversey, Ravenswood to Damen