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Stories by Erica Gunderson

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to ‘Chicago’s Most Famous Restaurant’?

What became of the Loop restaurant where Mayor Richard J. Daley had his power breakfasts? Geoffrey Baer has the story in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Ask Geoffrey: The Wild West History of Chicago’s Public Street Signs

Geoffrey Baer brings us the history of the Chicago Motor Club and its bygone penchant for posting traffic signs in the public way in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: How Now, Chicago Cows?

Some 20 years after they stampeded along Michigan Avenue, Chicagoans are still moo-ved by the memory of Cows on Parade. Geoffrey Baer revisits the 1999 art project in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Family Made Tortillas and Pitas Round Out Chicago’s Food Culture

They’re round, flat and hold some of your favorite fillings. We visit the Chicago-area factories where tortillas and pitas are made.

These Commercial Bread Bakeries Set the Stage for Chicago’s Favorite Foods

We have some fun on a bun in commercial bakeries that make the bread for two iconic Chicago foods.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happens to a Church’s Artwork When It Closes?

With its ever-changing demographics, Chicago has seen many churches close in the last 50 years. A viewer wants to know what happens to the art and sculptures inside those churches as they near their last days.

Ask Geoffrey: The Fascinating Story of Antoinette Rich

In this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey, the keys to the story of a symphony orchestra made up of all pianos – and all women. And: The story behind a colonial-inspired park district field house in the Austin community.

Ask Geoffrey: Where Are Those 1950s Giant Stuffed Bears?

A viewer remembers a tall and terrifying bear in the former Marshall Field’s building. Was this just a figment of a child’s imagination?

Chicago-Style Magic Reappears in Andersonville

Chicago has a style of magic? It does. We check out a North Side lounge that aims to recreate the spirit of Chicago-style close-up magic.

Ask Geoffrey: Why Traffic Reports Mention Thorndale

Chicagoans hear about Thorndale Avenue all the time in traffic reports, and a viewer wonders why. Geoffrey Baer speeds by with the story in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Nearly 20 Years Later, ‘Cha-Cha Slide’ Still Gets People Moving

DJ Casper of “Cha-Cha Slide” fame. (Chicago Tonight)

Meet the South Side native whose line dance became a worldwide phenomenon.

Ask Geoffrey: What’s Up With These Mismatched Tower Toppers?

A viewer wants to know why the towers atop an iconic Chicago skyscraper have changed height. Geoffrey Baer proves himself equal to the task in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

Ask Geoffrey: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows

A viewer spots a Blue Island building with an image of three chain links on its facade. Geoffrey Baer has the scoop on the odd fellows behind that insignia in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

Family Made Tortillas and Pitas Round Out Chicago’s Food Culture

They’re round, flat and hold some of your favorite fillings. We visit the Chicago-area factories where tortillas and pitas are made.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to ‘Chicago’s Most Famous Restaurant’?

What became of the Loop restaurant where Mayor Richard J. Daley had his power breakfasts? Geoffrey Baer has the story.

Chicago-Style Magic Reappears in Andersonville

Chicago has a style of magic? It does. We check out a North Side lounge that aims to recreate the spirit of Chicago-style close-up magic.

The Dirty Work of Keeping the Chicago River Clean

(Erica Gunderson / Chicago Tonight)

Keeping the river clean is no easy task, particularly during the summer months when the river is bustling. We spend a morning with one of Chicago’s trash-scooping river skimmers. 

Ask Geoffrey: Did MLB Stop Cubs-White Sox City Series?

Geoffrey Baer hits a triple with three questions about Wrigley Field. 

Christine Lahti Shares ‘True Stories’ From Hollywood

The award-winning actor and director talks about her new book, a collection of personal essays that explore her journey as a feminist.

New WTTW Food Show ‘Dishalicious’ Takes Competition Out of Cooking

Chicago’s status as a restaurant hot spot is undeniable, but not much food television has come out of our city. That’s about to change.

Ask Geoffrey: The Wild West History of Chicago’s Public Street Signs

Geoffrey Baer brings us the history of the Chicago Motor Club and its bygone penchant for posting traffic signs in the public way. 

Ask Geoffrey: How Now, Chicago Cows?

Some 20 years after they stampeded along Michigan Avenue, Chicagoans are still moo-ved by the memory of Cows on Parade. Geoffrey Baer revisits the 1999 art project.

At CPS, Playing Chess About Strategy Both On and Off the Board

The Chicago Public Schools K-8 chess championship is this weekend. We visit two schools whose students hope to capture the prize.

One Year Later, Chicago Jeans Makers Size Up and Keep Humming Along

(Credit: Get it Got)

A year after launching their business making jeans in a Garfield Park factory, things are starting to look a little different at Dearborn Denim. We go for a look.

Niles Tower’s History Mystery

We climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Niles, where centuries-old bronze bells lay quiet – for now.