For immediate release
Chicago, IL - November 6, 2023
CHICAGO – November 6, 2023 – WTTW’s award-winning host/writer/producer Geoffrey Baer is back with a sequel, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN CHICAGO 2, premiering Monday, December 4 at 7:00 pm on WTTW and wttw.com/beautifulplaces. Come along to discover the stories behind eye-popping spaces and places around Chicago, from sparkling mosaics and historic homes to public parks and gardens to intricate facades and architectural marvels.
Highlights of the tour include:
- We marvel at the stunning interior of the Chicago Cultural Center with its sparkling mosaic tiles, and the world’s largest Tiffany glass dome.
- From creators Chris Pappan and Debra Yepa-Pappan and The Chicago Public Art Group’s Tracy Van Duinen, we learn about Indian Land Dancing, a shimmering mosaic mural adorning a Lake Shore Drive underpass made in collaboration with Chicago’s Native American community.
- We hear muralist Mauricio Ramirez telling the story of the newest in Pilsen’s vibrant public art collection, an homage to the Aztec Eagle warrior muralists from the past.
- We follow Chicago urban historian Shermann Dilla Thomas into an historic Bronzeville building – the birthplace of Black History Month – to admire a striking mural created by William Edouard Scott in 1936 celebrating the achievements of Black people in the 70 years since emancipation.
- We visit Glessner House, a striking Romanesque mansion (now a museum) on Prairie Avenue with interiors by the nature-inspired textile designer William Morris.
- In Aurora, we talk with the longtime owner of the Ruth and Sam Van Sickle Ford House, a unique “round” home fashioned by self-taught architect Bruce Goff from some highly unusual materials.
- We tour Glasner Studio in Old Town, a stunning “handmade” house full of carved wood, stained glass, and colorful ceramic tiles, created in the 1920s-’30s by artist Edgar Miller.
- From author and architecture critic Lee Bey, we learn about the imposing Art Deco exterior of his alma mater, Chicago Vocational Career Academy.
- We experience some of the Chicago area’s most beautiful gardens and nature preserves by iconic landscape architects Fredrick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, Jens Jensen, and Alfred Caldwell including Jackson Park, Washington Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, Humboldt Park, and the tranquil Caldwell Lily Pool near Lincoln Park Zoo.
- We go birding with ecologist and conservation biologist Deja Perkins in Jackson Park.
- We meet time-lapse aerial photographer Peter Tsai high atop the former Hancock Center and learn how he creates stunning photos of the Chicago skyline poking up above the clouds.
- In Millennium Park, we visit the fanciful Crown Fountain designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensam, Cloud Gate (known as “The Bean”) by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and the swooping steel ribbons of Pritzker Pavilion, created by Frank Gehry.
Visit the companion website (wttw.com/mostbeautiful) to learn about each of the public buildings, homes, schools, landscapes, murals, sacred spaces, and other sights, including the Lavezzorio Community Center in Auburn Gresham, created by famed architect Jeanne Gang; the “twin” Prairie-style Carl Schurz High School and James H. Bowen High School; and the charming Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stephen A. Foster House in the West Pullman neighborhood. Also zoom in on Chicago’s most beautiful birds, with a guide to where you’ll find them with Chicago Bird Alliance Matt Igleski.
“The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago 2 takes us on a journey of discovery across the many diverse neighborhoods of our city,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WTTW. “From hidden parks to places of worship to public art, this program inspires exploration of places we may not have thought to go and reveals inspiring stories we may not have heard.”
“In a quarter-century of telling stories about Chicago, the visual splendor I’ve found in every corner of the city never ceases to amaze me,” said Geoffrey Baer. “As beautiful as the places are, the true beauty in this program is in the people we meet – their warmth and humor – and the stories they tell about the deep meaning of these places not just for them but for all of us.”
Geoffrey Baer is an eight-time Emmy Award-winning writer, and program host for WTTW. Known for feature-length programs about the architecture and history of Chicago including Chicago by ‘L’ and The Chicago River Tour, he also hosted the PBS series 10 that Changed America about the built environment across the country. Geoffrey has been a docent for the Chicago Architecture Center since 1987 and has been honored by the American Institute of Architects Chicago, the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Chicago Headline Club.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN CHICAGO 2 is produced by Bridget Sarno and hosted and written by Geoffrey Baer. Associate Producer: Tim Ferrin. Director of Photography: Oral Berat User. Editor: Jeff Landsman. Executive Producer: Geoffrey Baer. Website content producer: Meredith Francis. Website design/development: Justin Henderson. SVP Marketing & Digital: Anne Gleason.
Lead support for THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN CHICAGO 2 is provided by The Negaunee Foundation. Major support is provided by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation. (As of 11/01/23)
WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions such as Chicago Tonight, Chicago River Tour, Check, Please!, digital-first series Urban Nature and Foodphiles and national productions 10 That Changed America and Nature Cat, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.