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.

(WTTW News)

An effort to test whether the city’s affordable housing crisis can be eased by permitting basement, attic and coach house dwellings in five areas of the city will start Saturday, ending a 64-year ban on tiny homes in Chicago.

A team at work on restoring historic rooms in the Chicago Cultural Center to their original glory. (Courtesy of Harboe Architects)

The big reveal is still nearly a year away, but the city has shared teaser images of the work in progress on the Tiffany glass dome and decorative finishes in the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall.

Built in 1954, the innovative Miracle House with its distinctive steel arms was the grand prize in a church raffle. (WTTW News)

With a pair of giant steel arms jutting from its frame and a nearly all-glass exterior, Galewood’s “Miracle House” looks as futuristic in 2021 as it did when it was built in 1954. And it has an origin story as quirky as its appearance.

The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

The ordinance drew fierce opposition from cultural and preservation groups and those working to turn the homes of civil rights icon Emmett Till and blues legend Muddy Waters into museums, who said it could block their efforts. 

The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that a proposal requiring museums to get special permission from city officials before opening in residential neighborhoods is “highly problematic.” Her criticism makes it unlikely that the measure, which has drawn fierce opposition, will advance this week.

(Credit: Chicago History Museum)

For decades, they acted as the city’s front door, where people from all over the country arrived seeking out a better life – or just the thrills of the big city. Geoffrey Baer takes us back to the golden age of rail travel.

A rendering of John Ronan Architects’ plan for the Park District’s new headquarters. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The 17-acre former industrial site in Brighton Park will encompass not only the Park District’s new headquarters, but a field house, nature play space, grand lawn, water features and more. “It’s going to be transformative,” said Park District Board President Avis LaVelle.

South Works. (Eric Allix Rogers / Preservation Chicago)

The lakefront is arguably Chicago’s crown jewel, but that status is threatened, according to Preservation Chicago, which placed the lakefront on its annual endangered list for 2021, citing threats including development of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park and erosion from rising lake levels.

A proposed rendering of a renovated Morton Salt building. (Credit: Chicago Department of Planning and Development)

The metamorphosis of the land along the North Branch of the Chicago River from an industrial powerhouse into Chicago’s newest community area is poised to take another giant step forward at Wednesday’s full City Council meeting.

(WTTW News)

Located roughly 7 miles southwest of the Loop, many of Gage Park’s bungalows were built between 1924 and 1927. 

The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

The red brick two-flat in Woodlawn is now protected from demolition and any significant changes to its exterior. The vision is to transform the home into an international heritage pilgrimage site.

A Portage Park couple transformed their bungalow basement into a tiki bar. (Courtesy of Chicago Bungalow Association)

The Driehaus Bungalow Awards were established in 2005 and honor the best in bungalow restoration and renovation. “COVID Creativity” was added to the association’s annual award categories. Two winners were announced — check out the ingenuity. 

The Thompson Center was named to Preservation Chicago's most endangered list in 2020. (Gabriel X. Michael)

Preservation Chicago has thrown open the nominations for historic buildings that are “too special to lose.” The organization will announce its list of the year’s most endangered buildings on Feb. 24. 

(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. 

(WTTW News)

Aldermen on Tuesday advanced a scaled-back effort to test whether Chicago’s affordable housing crisis could be eased by permitting basement, attic and coach house dwellings in five areas of the city.