Lyman Frank Baum lived in many places throughout his life, but he resided at 1667 North Humboldt
Boulevard in Chicago during the year 1899. That was the year he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It is only fitting, then, that the city named a park in his honor.
Oz Park is located several miles East of the neighborhood where Baum penned his famous novel. While the area is tony now, it was originally established as part of an urban renewal project in the 1970’s. It boasts “Dorothy’s Playlot,” the “Emerald Garden,” fields for soccer and baseball, a basketball court, tennis courts, and a sled hill. It is dog-friendly, contains an ice cream stand, and has been a venue for Movies In The Park.
What makes it unique are the statues of Oz characters around the park’s perimeter. Based on illustrator W.W. Denslow’s original drawings for the book, they captivate and charm everyone who sees them (except some cold-hearted jerks from New York and California who two-starred them on Yelp).
Here are photos of Dorothy and Toto and the Scarecrow, courtesy of the Chicago Park District.
This photo of the park’s official marker is from the Chicago Historical Society.