Yellow Brick Sidewalk Installed Outside Home Where ‘Wizard of Oz' Was Written

Follow the yellow brick road – in Chicago.

A yellow brick sidewalk is being installed outside an affordable housing project in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, but the location of the sidewalk holds particular significance, as it sits just outside the site where L. Frank Baum lived when he wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

The sidewalk, which began installation Sunday, comes after a recent rehab of the affordable housing units, according to Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, the not-for-profit behind the rehab. 

A marker from the city noting the site’s history and its connection to iconic story sits outside the complex, but developers “didn’t think it was enough to celebrate L. Frank Baum, his writing and a movie that is probably the most-seen movie ever made,” Joy Aruguete, chief executive officer of Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, told Crain’s Chicago Business.

According to Bickerdike’s website, the first phase of the rental housing units was developed in 1983 and a second phase was developed in 1988. The developments feature a mix of two, three and four bedroom rental units. Bickerdike began rehabbing the units in 2017 and renamed them West Town Housing Preservation.

Aruguete told Crain’s “there’s no place like home” resonates with their mission.

L. Frank Baum moved to Chicago with his family in 1891. He lived at 1667 North Humboldt Boulevard when he wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

A mural titled "There's No Place Like Home" is expected to follow the installation of the sidewalk, developers said. 

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