Robert L. Taylor, 73, a former community affairs consultant on the staff of D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington, died Tuesday at Providence Hospital. He had suffered from emphysema.

Mr. Taylor served as a special assistant to the mayor from 1968 unti his retirement in 1977. His responsibilities included liaison with civic and church groups and members of the black press.

He was born in Greenville, N.C., and grew up in Washington. He graduated from the old Miner Teachers College and also studied at Hampton Institute and Howard University. He taught English at Browne Junior High School here until joining the Army in World War II. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and was trained in military administration.

After the war, Mr. Taylor was a reporter and then managing editor of the Washington edition of the Pittsburg Courier. He also worked as a public relations assistant for the old Community Chest.

He was an associate director of the Job Development Project of the Washington Urban League, which worked to persuade businesses to integrate their managerial and sales staffs. Mr. Taylor also worked for the United Planning Agency and for the National Park Service, where the helped start the "Summer in the Parks" program, before joining the mayor's staff.

Mr. Taylor was a founder and past president of the East Hills Civic Association and a former member of the boards of the First Baptist Church and the D.C. chapter of the NAACP. He also was a charter member of the Oldest Inhabitants of D.C. and of the Frontiersmen, a local service organization, historian of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, and the author of a history of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations.

Survivors include his wife, Violet, of the home in Washington, a daughter, Penelope E. Taylor, of Washington, and two brothers, the Rev. Julian A. Taylor, of New Haven, Conn., and Percy E. Taylor, of New York City.