Stories by Erica Gunderson

Ask Geoffrey: Sept. 2

Where was Bacon's Arena, the site of Joe Louis' first pro match?

Geoffrey Baer

In this edition of Ask Geoffrey, our local history expert goes ringside at Joe Louis' first professional knockout, rides by the site of long-lost Logan Square mansion, and finds out what's cooking at a former bread-baking palace.

Ask Geoffrey: August 26

Who designed the Marshall Field’s clock?

In this edition of Ask Geoffrey, viewers ask our local history expert about the Marshall Field’s clock, a World War II memorial in Lincoln Park and the Chicago Federal Building’s dome. 

Ask Geoffrey: August 19

What happened to Goldblatt's? Was there a Nazi rally at Soldier Field in the 1930s?

Geoffrey Baer

Geoffrey Baer revisits what was once billed as "America’s Fastest Growing Department Chain" in Back of the Yards, takes us to a 1936 German Day rally at Soldier Field, and finds the location of a star-spangled bridge featured in a photo from the 1960s.

Ask Geoffrey: August 13

How did Andersonville get its name? Was an artist once shot at the MCA?

Geoffrey Baer visits an artist under glass, gets that sinking feeling at a Jackson Park garden, and reveals the hej hej history of the Andersonville neighborhood's name.

Ask Geoffrey

Soldier Field, Dream Lady & Kenwood Branch

Geoffrey Baer answers viewer questions about a dreamy memorial, Soldier Field no-man's land, and railroad ruins on Chicago's South Side in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey

Auto Wash Bowl, Balbo Column & Baldwin Ice Cream

Geoffrey Baer tells a sweet South Side success story, tests the waters at an unusual car wash, and finds the facts behind a fascist monument in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 7/1

Fit Firefighters, Addison's Adventureland, and City Sailors

Geoffrey Baer digs into the history of handball in Chicago firehouses, rides the Cinderella Train at Adventureland, and sails away with the Rainbow Fleet.

Ask Geoffrey: 6/24

Geoffrey Baer Heads to the Pier

It's finally summer! Geoffrey's headed for the lakefront with three questions about the area around Chicago's most popular tourist destination.

Ask Geoffrey: 5/20

Who makes the city's flowery fireworks happen every summer? Geoffrey Baer digs into Chicago's public gardens, plus visits West Englewood's Old Abe and a gate to nowhere in Streeterville.

Ask Geoffrey: 4/29

Gaga for Googie in River North

Geoffrey Baer visits a towering turtle, diamonds in River North, and a vanishing south side lake.

Playing Games in Chicago

Chicagoans are solving mysteries and playing games on date night and loving it! A panel of Chicago's gamers and puzzlers will talk about how geek has become chic -- and how you can get in on the play.

Ask Geoffrey: 3/25

Muralists Who Painted the Town

A Russian-born artist painted the town in the 1930s, but very little of his mural work is left. Where can you see these stunning panels? Geoffrey Baer answers this question and more in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 3/18

Let's Cross That Bridge When It Swings Shut

Geoffrey Baer tours a Miracle House, swings by a bobtail swing bridge, and makes some noise at a silent film studio in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 2/18

Lake Forest & Streetcar Sandboxes

Geoffrey Baer looks into the history of the African-American community in Lake Forest and tells the sandy story of a streetcar secret in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 2/11

Auto Wash Bowl, Balbo Column & Baldwin Ice Cream

Geoffrey Baer tells a sweet South Side success story, tests the waters at an unusual car wash, and finds the facts behind a fascist monument in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 1/28

Trader Vic's & Wrigley Coal

A viewer remembers a gardenia-garnished cocktail from Trader Vic’s, but can’t recall the name. Geoffrey Baer plays drink detective in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Web Exclusive Ask Geoffrey

Buildings, Libraries & Train Stations

Discover Chicago's Ivy League enclave, a no-nastiness library, and a train station namesake on the south side.

Ask Geoffrey: 1/21

Soldier Field, Dream Lady & Kenwood Branch

Geoffrey Baer answers viewer questions about a dreamy memorial, Soldier Field no man's land, and railroad ruins on Chicago's South Side.

Ask Geoffrey: 1/14

Honorary Ways, Silver Skates & Chicago River

Geoffrey Baer gets the cold, hard truth on why the Chicago River doesn't freeze over even during Chicago's bitter winters in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 1/7

Zany ZIP Codes, Teamsters' Chicago Origins, and We <3 the Passing Show

Geoffrey Baer puts Chicago ZIP codes in order, traces the beginnings of the Teamsters union, and tells the story of the show behind a heart of silver in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

First Night Evanston

We learn about a New Year's Eve celebration that's bringing a community together.

Ask Geoffrey: 12/17

Kiosk Sphinx, Downtown Bank, & Hyde Park Church

Why did beautiful bronze reliefs at a Hyde Park church create an artistic controversy? Geoffrey Baer answers this question and more in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Web Exclusive Ask Geoffrey

Free Museum Visits, Camels & Remittance Drive

Geoffrey Baer answers your questions about visiting local museums for free, camels in Chicago, and how to get to Remittance Drive in this web exclusive edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: 11/19

Soldier Field, Dream Lady & Kenwood Branch

Geoffrey Baer answers viewer questions about a dreamy memorial, Soldier Field no man's land, and railroad ruins on Chicago's South Side.

Ask Geoffrey: 11/12

Wicker Park Buildings High & Low, Gage Park's Pioneers

Geoffrey Baer answers your questions about Wicker Park buildings high and low, and Gage Park's pioneers, in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.