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Chicago ward map from 1849

Just how did Chicago wind up with 50 wards and 50 aldermen? Geoffrey Baer does the math in this edition of Ask Geoffrey. And: five fast facts about Chicago mayors past.

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Most Chicago-area expressways are littered with billboards. How did one expressway escape the same fate? Geoffrey Baer drives by with the answer to that and other viewer questions in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

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When walking through Chicago’s older neighborhoods, you can often find hints about the history of their buildings just by looking up. Geoffrey Baer looks back – and up – at some architectural gems.

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Geoffrey Baer has some newspaper history hot off of yesteryear’s presses, and dives deep into the fishy story of storm drain covers in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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(Courtesy of the Glessner House Museum)

A viewer says her uncle used to swipe eggs from a factory in Bronzeville in the 1940s or ‘50s. Chicago history eggs-pert Geoffrey Baer has the surprising answer to that and other questions.

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(Credit: LUNA, University of Chicago, George Stahl Mural Collection)

A viewer remembers helping an artist paint vivid rainbow stripes on the walls of Lower Wacker Drive as a teenager, but she can’t recall the artist’s name.

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For many years, sports fans in Chicago were welcomed to games by clean-cut and friendly Andy Frain ushers. The story of the man behind the house of ushers in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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Geoffrey Baer floats through a bygone colony of houseboats that once populated our city’s favorite Y-shaped waterway in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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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.”

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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?

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Geoffrey Baer takes a peek at a 1930s burlesque-style show and remembers the Chicago Daily News sporting events of yesteryear in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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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.

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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 encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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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 encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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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.”

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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.

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