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There have been several attempts to establish Chicago’s anthem, none have stuck. (Courtesy Chicago Tribune)

A contest meant to inspire civic pride gets knocked off course after accusations of political scheming. But hey, this is Chicago.

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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.

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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.

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At about 59th Street, just north of where the Skyway splits off from the Dan Ryan, motorists pass beneath a bridge that carries the Green Line seemingly way, way up in the air. (WTTW News)

On Chicago’s South Side, there’s a bridge spanning the Dan Ryan expressway that looks more like a Disney World monorail than part of a working CTA train line.

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(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.

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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.

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(Credit: Chicago History Museum)

Chicago’s old passenger railroad stations for decades 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.

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What does a 20th century electricity baron have to do with a spitting llama at a suburban petting zoo? Geoffrey Baer is here with the story of the Hawthorn Mellody dairy farm in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

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(WTTW News)

A collective groan may or may not have been heard around Chicago when the city awoke to find it was snowing — again. Geoffrey Baer explains how this recent blast of snowy weather stacks up against Chicago’s most infamous winter storms.

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(WTTW News)

Bicycle sales in Chicago have surged over the past year as the pandemic has forced more and more people outside for exercise and recreation. But it’s hardly the city’s first “bike boom.” Geoffrey Baer takes us back to when Chicago was called “the Detroit of bicycles.” 

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(WTTW News)

Geoffrey Baer explores the past, present and future of a historic West Side garden in North Lawndale.

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(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. 

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

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(Chicago from the Air / WTTW)

Taking in the city’s expanse via drone, the special explores Chicago’s famous grid system, its industrial legacy, and the natural areas that weave through the dense urban jungle.

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(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.

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(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.