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Culture

New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Mural Unveiled In Humboldt Park

By Colby Smith

New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Mural Unveiled In Humboldt Park

There’s no place like home.

Humboldt Park just unveiled a new mural in its park that pays homage to L. Frank Baum’s iconic story, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. 

While construction of the mural took a year to finish, the true beginnings of this project started over a hundred and twenty years ago. That was back when the Wizard of Oz author lived in on the corner of Wabansia and Humboldt Boulevard, where he wrote his iconic and beloved book.

Credit: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation

His residency and subsequent writing was no coincidence, for the very idea of creating what would be his magnum opus occurred to him in Humbold Park while telling stories to children — something he would often do.

The writer passed away in 1919, and in the 1950s, his townhome in Humboldt was demolished.

In honor of the writer, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation created a mural in his memory and the sentiments of his story that has captured the imagination of millions:

Credit: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation

“To commemorate this world-renowned author, the importance of the story, and its connection to home, Bickerdike installed a yellow brick sidewalk along that corner,” the company wrote in a press release.

“The theme, There’s No Place Like Home, central to Mr. Baum’s story, resonates with the many families and individuals that face housing instability due to rising housing costs,” the park wrote in the release.

“Now, over a century after Mr. Baum called Humboldt Park home, the location at Humboldt & Wabansia is home to nine families, and the rehab of West Town Housing Preservation.”

Credit: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation

Humboldt Park hosted the unveiling of their year-long project with the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation last week in a live broadcast over Facebook and Instagram.

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The mural itself features a tile mosaic designed by muralist, Hector Duarte. In his design and subsequent installation, Duarte collaborated with the Chicago Public Art Group, and had assistance from Edgar Lopez, Gustavo Sanchez, and Christina Macias.

Credit: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation

Like murals? Check out the artist who’s been turning potholes into artwork!

[Featured image: @u/zzzzelda via Reddit]