Stories by Erica Gunderson

Next Grand Plan for Chicago to Start Taking Shape

Would you pay a toll to zoom past traffic in an express lane on the Stevenson? That's one of the big ideas the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has for the Chicago region. Geoffrey Baer has an exclusive look at their newest plan.

Viewer Feedback: 'It's Time to Redraw the District Lines'

Hear what viewers had to say about Toni Preckwinkle's comments on the state budget stalemate and our candidate forums for the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ask Geoffrey: What's the Story with Ebony Films in Logan Square?

An African-American movie studio in Logan Square made silent films that got people talking, but for all the wrong reasons. Geoffrey Baer shares the story of Ebony Films and more from Chicago's past in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

New Book Serves Up Eli’s Cheesecake History, Recipes

The long and delicious history of the company is told in a new book, “The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes from a Chicago Legend.” Maureen Schulman, one of the book’s authors, shares this sweet tale and tips for making the perfect cheesecake.

Viewer Feedback: 'Finance Committee is Burke's Fort Knox'

Hear what viewers had to say about our web-exclusive story about a tent city in the South Loop and Carol Marin's panel of aldermen discussing expanding the inspector general's powers when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ask Geoffrey: The Story Behind an Iconic 1940s Bronzeville Photo

A famous photo taken in 1940s Bronzeville features the faces of five young African-American men, but their identities have remained a mystery for generations. Local history expert Geoffrey Baer is here with the story behind one of Bronzeville's most enduring images in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

New Book ‘In a Different Key’ Tells the History, Politics of Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated one in 68 American children has Autism Spectrum Disorder. A new book tells the story of some of those parents as it takes a look back at autism’s dark history of institutionalization, questionable therapies and plain bad science. 

Viewer Feedback: 'People Don't Like Noise, But Do Like Access'

Hear what viewers had to say about our talk last week with Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans and Friday's "The Week in Review" when we read feedback from the "Chicago Tonight" website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Chicago Tonight Puzzle: February Challenge

Our puzzle pro Sandy Weisz returns with a new video puzzle and photo puzzles. Submit your answer by 10 a.m. Monday for a chance to win our puzzle prize package!

Ask Geoffrey: Which Came First, Eisenhower or Old Main Post Office?

Old Main Post Office (Brianbobcat / Wikimedia Commons)

The Eisenhower Expressway runs underneath the Old Main Post Office, causing one viewer to wonder which came first. Geoffrey Baer delves into the history of these interlinked landmarks and answers other viewer questions in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: Why is there a statue of Richard J. Daley in Springfield?

Chicago's most famous mayor might have a 50-foot Picasso in a plaza named for him, but a statue of Richard J. Daley resides in Springfield. Geoffrey Baer explains why Hizzoner is honored outside of Chicago in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey. 

Ask Geoffrey: What's the History of Asylum Place?

Geoffrey Baer

Geoffrey Baer investigates the history of Asylum Place, the explosive story behind a 1930s death caused by a manhole cover and what happened to magical Chicago restaurant chain. 

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to the Sunken Garden in Jackson Park?

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 in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: Chicago's Crusade Against Air Pollution

Not that long ago, air pollution from burning coal made the Windy City more like the Smoggy City. Geoffrey Baer tells us how Chicago cleaned up its act. He'll also explore the Kentucky Colony that settled in the city and the history of a pediatric hospital on the South Side.

Ask Geoffrey: What's the Story with Montrose Beach 'Pier'?

Geoffrey Baer

In this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey, our local history expert Geoffrey Baer revisits a Streeterville puppet show, examines underground architecture on the Blue Line and digs deep into the history of Montrose Beach.

Ask Geoffrey: The Story Behind the Illinois and Michigan Canal

A little-known waterway built in the 1830s allowed Chicago to grow not once, but twice! Hear the story of the crucial canal that you may never have heard of, and the story behind one of the South Side's best known public works of art in tonight's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Baer Explores 'Chicago's South Side' in New Show

Geoffrey Baer shares his stroll through Chicago's South Side in a show that premieres tonight.

Ask Geoffrey: Nov. 18

Geoffrey Baer

The famously irascible Frank Lloyd Wright estranged two artists on a single short-lived project. Learn the fate of Wright's lost Midway Gardens and play tennis at the Kenwood Country Club as local history expert Geoffrey Baer heads to the South Side.

Ask Geoffrey: Nov. 11

Local history expert Geoffrey Baer visits the towering walls on the south lakeshore and a swampy nature area in the middle of an industrial neighborhood in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: Nov. 4

What happened to The Pickle Barrel Restaurant in Old Town?

Geoffrey Baer

Local history expert Geoffrey Baer gets schooled at Midway Airport, snags a free pickle at a long-lost Old Town favorite and soars with 19 terracotta eagles in Lakeview during this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey, Oct. 28

Geoffrey Baer

Geoffrey Baer cruises by with the history of the Illinois Tollway oases, a Chicago lass on Irish cash and O'Hare's sleek new air traffic control towers in this week's edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey

Geoffrey Baer visits a towering turtle on the Near West Side, a retro motel in River North and a vanishing South Side lake in this week's encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Putting 'Chicago' into the Chicago Architecture Biennial

Amanda Williams, "Color(ed) Theory"

Geoffrey Baer returns with more dispatches from the Chicago Architecture Biennial, including bold proposals for the future of its host city.