When the city of Chicago decided to improve the dilapidated Lincoln Park neighborhood, it chose to honor author L. Frank Baum, who lived in the area in the 1890s, by developing the whimsical Oz Park.
Shortly after the city acquired the land in 1974, it decided to name the area Oz Park. Ever since, the city has been slowly transforming every inch of the park into a magical wonderland.
The park features Oz-ified amenities like 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 that stand throughout the space. The story’s beloved characters, as depicted in the 1939 musical adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, are there for visitors to see. Wander around, and you’ll spot the Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, and Toto. Each character was created by local artist John Kearney.
Oz Park has done wonders for its Lincoln Park neighborhood, providing a safe, clean space for both tourists and the resident community alike. In the park, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is working his magic in the real world.