(Courtesy: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

When it comes to designing buildings, form may follow function, but that doesn’t mean function has to be without form. Geoffrey Baer joins us with the story of the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant and other ornamented utility buildings. 

Geoffrey Baer has the story of a famous wagon supply company once based in Chicago. 

(WTTW News)

Angles, curves, one ways and dead ends. Chicago’s street system has long been a source of pride for the city’s residents. Geoffrey Baer has more on the history and quirks of the city’s street system.

(WTTW News)

A tucked-away street on the city's South Side is a time capsule from the days before the neighborhood was even part of Chicago. Geoffrey Baer explains.

Austin Town Hall (WTTW News)

Geoffrey Baer takes a look at the redesigned event in the latest Ask Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Baer traces the half-century story that cost at least one preservationist his life, in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Baer has the story of a Chicago nightclub that helped launch the careers of artists like Peter, Paul and Mary, Shel Silverstein, and many more.

Geoffrey Baer on a mysterious lakefront structure in this week's Ask Geoffrey. 

(WTTW News)

Two famous Germans take up permanent residence in Chicago, only to witness the evolution of a West Side neighborhood. Geoffrey Baer goes long on two enduring Humboldt Park statues.

An iconic Chicago building could soon be facing an identity crisis. Geoffrey Baer has the backstory of a prominent – and sometimes underrated – member of Chicago’s skyline.

Geoffrey Baer shares the history of Chicago’s original tiny houses – coach houses – in this installment of Ask Geoffrey. 

For about 70 years, Chicago boys who were chronic school-skippers were sent to a residential facility in a bucolic setting that was once WTTW’s neighbor. Our own history teacher Geoffrey Baer explains.

It’s not so glamorous anymore, but there was a time when people clamored to enjoy the novelty of eating fast food from the comfort of their cars. Geoffrey Baer serves up some fast food history with a side of super signs in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

(WTTW News)

They’re rare now, but rooftop water tanks once stood sentinel atop every large building in the city, keeping them safe from threat of fire.

Geoffrey Baer has the scoop on some Chicago ice cream history.

Geoffrey Baer shares the story of a clash between women’s suffragists and anti-lynching activists.