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Salvaging old homes is a competitive business. There’s money to be made in old doors, stained glass and brass fixtures.

Just ask Chicago’s Jimmy Nuter. He’s made a career out of it. But what he discovered in one North Side home was a priceless discovery: photographs.

Photographs from another age, taken by a famous artist.

In this piece from Backstory, Larry Potash learns how, like a detective, Nuter pieced together the evidence and discovered the backstory of the famous people who lived in the house a century ago. If you’re a fan of the saga of nanny/street photographer Vivian Maier, this story is right up your alley.