Stories by Quinn Myers

Ask Geoffrey: New Downtown Buildings

The overhauled base of the Willis Tower (Credit EQ Office)

You may have been stuck at home the past 15 months, but Chicago’s ever-growing skyline didn’t skip a beat. New buildings have sprouted up all over downtown Chicago, including some projects that might surprise you.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Downtown Reopens

Nearly 200 previously furloughed staff members returned to the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to prepare for the state’s full reopening Friday. (WTTW News)

The city and state’s full reopening is a double-edged sword for many in the hospitality and entertainment industry. They wonder: the crowds may be coming back, but will the labor force return?

Crain’s Headlines: Medline Faces Massive Private Equity Buyout

(WTTW News)

A massive buyout of a Chicago-area medical supply company. Crain’s Chicago Business editor Ann Dwyer takes us behind the headline of that story and more.

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Launches in Gary, Indiana

A pilot program is launching in Gary, Indiana, where more than a hundred residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500. (WTTW News)

It’s an idea that’s grown increasingly popular in recent years: guaranteed or universal basic income payments. Now, a pilot program is launching just outside Chicago, where more than 100 residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500.

Local Doctors Question Move to Drop Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated People

People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Some local doctors say scrapping mask mandates is premature, and increases the risk of COVID-19 for essential workers, many of whom are Latino.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Humboldt Park

Paseo Boricua has been the heart and soul of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community for decades. But the area has been impacted in recent years by gentrification and displacement of some longtime residents, as rents rise and luxury buildings sprout up on its borders. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Logan Square

Blocks from the Mayor’s house in Unity Park, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and other groups held an action calling for an elected school board. May 20, 2021 (WTTW News)

It’s been two years since Chicago got a new mayor when Lori Lightfoot was sworn into office. For the latest in our community reporting series, we visit Lightfoot’s neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Permit for Southeast Side Metal Shredding Facility Paused After EPA Steps In

This file photo shows the former site of General Iron in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago. (WTTW News)

Southside Recycling has long planned a move to the Southwest Side. But last week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot to conduct an environmental justice assessment in the community before allowing the company to operate.

Ask Geoffrey: Remembering Helmut Jahn

German star-architect Helmut Jahn is best known in Chicago for designing the Thompson Center. (Credit Ingrid Von Kruse)

German architect Helmut Jahn died Saturday after being struck by a car while riding a bicycle in the western suburbs. Geoffrey Baer takes a look at Jahn’s work and his legacy in a special edition of Ask Geoffrey.

What’s Driving the Chicago Area’s Red-Hot Housing Market?

Home sales were up almost 25% in March 2021 compared to March 2020, according to data from the trade group Illinois Realtors. (WTTW News)

The number of local home sales has skyrocketed, driving prices in the Chicago metro area to all-time highs. That’s translated into lightning-fast turnover as people put their homes up for sale — as well as a decline in inventory.

Ask Geoffrey: Logan Square’s Norske Club

Opened in 1917, the Norske Club was a gathering place for events and parties, exhibits, musical and theater performances and dinners celebrating Norwegian heritage. (WTTW News)

What can an apartment building that once hosted royalty tell us about Chicago’s Norwegian American community? Geoffrey Baer has the story of this former social club designed by a pair of famous Chicago architects.

The Secret Behind Some of Illinois’ Most Celebrated Honey

Karen and Jim Belli say the secret ot their honey is the diversity of the local trees and plants in northeastern Illinois, making it in their view one of the best places to raise honeybees in the entire country. (WTTW News)

Illinois is known for growing corn and soybeans, but there’s another local crop some say is ready for its close up: honey. We visit a bee farm just north of Chicago that has become one of the most celebrated in the entire state.  

History Museum Picks Chicago Native Donald Lassere as Next President

The Chicago History Museum (WTTW News)

After helming the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville for many years, the South Side native has returned to the city to lead the Chicago History Museum. Donald Lassere joins us to talk about expanding the museum’s mission to all of Chicago. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Navy Pier

Navy Pier (WTTW News)

Chicago is loosening its pandemic restrictions. As part of our community reporting series, we spend the day reporting in and around Navy Pier as it begins a phased reopening.

City Releases Video of Police Shooting, But Questions Remain

A memorial for Anthony Alvarez, the 22-year-old fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in Portage Park on March 31, 2021, is seen on April 28, the day police body camera video was released of the shooting. (WTTW News)

There are still many unknowns about the fatal police shooting of Anthony Alvarez on March 31, including why he was stopped by law enforcement in the first place.

Dr. Allison Arwady on Chicago’s Declining Virus Cases, Vaccination Rates

Vaccine rollout resumes at Loretto Hospital on West Side

(WTTW News)

Chicago’s top doctor talks about the resumption of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the latest updates on the Loretto Hospital scandal, declining infection rates in Chicago and more.

After Chauvin Verdict, Chicago Activists Renew Push for Police Accountability

Supporters of the Empowering Communities for Public Safety plan call for more police accountability during a rally April 21, 2021. (WTTW News)

In Chicago, some are calling for new limits to the police department’s foot pursuit policy after an officer shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo last month. And a coalition of groups are pushing an ordinance that would establish broad civilian oversight of Chicago police.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Bridgeport

The White Sox home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field was a rainy affair on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (WTTW News)

For the first time since 2019, fans are back at Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the White Sox in person. As part of our community reporting series, we visit the area to see how fans are settling in — and how the area is faring one year into the pandemic.

As Vaccine Eligibility Expands In Illinois, Equity Hurdles Remain

(WTTW News)

In recent months, the percentage of Black and Latino Chicagoans who have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine has increased significantly, in part through the city’s priority zip code program. But hurdles remain in getting shots to every community, especially as COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise.

New COVID-19 Wave Could Threaten Tourism Comeback

(WTTW News)

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can now travel safely, but what does a new COVID-19 surge mean for the summer vacation season? 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Wrigleyville

The Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (WTTW News)

The Cubs may have lost their 2021 home opener, but fans consider it a win. For the first time since 2019, some 10,000 people were able to watch the game inside of Wrigley Field. We have this look at all things opening day as part of our community reporting series.

Box Boom: Record 2020 Leads to Lingering Fallout for Corrugated Packaging Industry

Unlike plastic, corrugated cardboard is highly recyclable. The Fibre Box Association says the industry’s recovery rate hovers around 90%. (WTTW News)

The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for all kinds of shipping materials — especially corrugated boxes, commonly used for e-commerce items and many other goods. We explore how the “box boom” is being felt across the region.

How Chicago’s Faith Communities Are Preparing for Passover and Easter During the Pandemic – Again

St. Columbanus Catholic Church is offering a hybrid option for parishioners this Holy Week and Easter. (WTTW News)

For the second year in a row, Chicago’s Jewish and Christian communities are preparing to celebrate Passover and Easter amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, that means coming together with friends and loved ones over Zoom. For others, it will be a mix of online worship and in-person celebration.

Ask Geoffrey: GAR Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center

(Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum)

A piece of Civil War history is being restored in one of Chicago’s most well-known public buildings. But what was it doing there in the first place? Geoffrey Baer has the answer.

Dr. Allison Arwady on Updated Vaccine Timelines in Chicago and Illinois

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 11, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s top doctor explains what the state’s latest vaccine announcement means for Chicago residents.

Cook County’s Dr. Rachel Rubin on the Vaccine Rollout in Chicago’s Suburbs

The city is expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines. (WTTW News)

Chicago is pushing ahead with plans to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and President Joe Biden has asked states to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1. But local governments say further expansion is entirely dependent on vaccine supply.