When the city of Chicago decided to improve the dilapidated Lincoln Park neighborhood, it chose to honor author L. Frank Baum, who used to live in the area in the 1890s, by developing the whimsical Oz Park.
Shortly after the acquisition of the park land in 1974, the decision was made to officially name the facility Oz Park and the city has since been slowly theming every inch of the land after the magical wonderland. The park features such Oz-ified amenities as a playground called Dorothy’s Playlot and a volunteer green-space known as The Emerald Gardens. The main attractions in the park, however, are the character statues built throughout the space. With the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, and Toto represented by permanent metal effigies by local artist John Kearney, the full cast of the 1939 musical adaptation of the Wizard of Oz is there for visitors to see.
Oz Park has done wonders for its Lincoln Park neighborhood, providing a safe, clean space for both tourists and the community alike. In the park, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is working his magic on the real world.