More than 100 years ago, the Chicago River was a polluted commercial highway, lined with factories and plied by ships, barges and tugboats. Taking a swim in the river was a serious health hazard (and forget about fishing).
Today, it’s a completely different river. Skyscrapers and restaurants are now the dominant tenants, and it’s become a pedestrian-friendly destination as well as a favorite route for river tour cruises. WTTW producer and host Geoffrey Baer has been giving tours for more than 30 years as a river docent. He’s also been a tour guide for WTTW viewers, and Monday night he brings us a new look at the Chicago River with a new WTTW special. He joins the Morning Shift to talk Chicago River history and his deep personal connection to the meandering waterway.