Left: Goldblatt’s, Chicago. Christmas Windows. (Courtesy of Chicago History Museum). Right: Walnut Room Christmas Tree at Marshall Field & Co., 1945. (Courtesy of Marshall Field & Co. archive, Macy’s, Chicago).

A new exhibit at the Elmhurst History Museum is celebrating department stores that originated in the Chicagoland area.

A small, windowless building on Block 37 is dwarfed by glassy new high-rises. A viewer wonders how it managed to escape the wrecking ball. Geoffrey Baer shares the story behind this unusual building, plus the history of the Marshall Field’s holiday windows and Kermit the Frog’s commercials for milk in this week’s edition of Ask Geoffrey.