“Soon Humboldt Park neighbors will be able to follow the yellow brick road just like Dorothy and Toto near where creator L. Frank Baum dreamed up the classic American fairytale.
“Late last week, nonprofit developer Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation began building an actual yellow brick road at Humboldt Boulevard and Wabansia Avenue to honor Baum, who wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” while living at 1667 N. Humboldt Blvd. in 1899.
“Bickerdike recently finished rehabbing nine units of affordable housing on the corner. One of the units sits on the site of Baum’s former home, which was razed decades ago, said Bickerdike CEO Joy Aruguete.
“Aruguete said one of her staffers came up with the idea of “doing something big” to honor Baum in conjunction with their affordable housing project.The city “had a little commemorative sign there, but we wanted to link the idea to the need for affordable housing,” Aruguete said. Aruguete expects the yellow brick road to be complete by early this week. It’ll span about 70 linear feet, she said.
“Since construction began, delighted neighbors have stopped by to ask about the yellow bricks. The reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive.” (Bloom, 11/4/19)