678 W. Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY.
A part of the International L. Frank Baum & All Things Oz Historical Foundation
This is the home where Lyman Frank Baum met his future bride, Maud Gage. Maud is widely credited with encouraging Baum to write down his stories, including his most famous work,
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".
Bronson Pinchot Statement
As a child in southern California, I searched in vain for "Ozcot," the Hollywood home of my hero and adopted father, L. Frank Baum. Official records said it was long gone… But I did not believe it, I COULD not believe it! Anywhere my idol had walked and laughed and thought was sacrosanct.
Its alleged disappearance simply had to be a mistake and I would find it.
50 years on, I cannot say that I have found it; at the same time, I haven't given up. Like the land of Oz itself, it may be there, invisible.
This may, I will admit, present a problem for the tour bus drivers.
But now, in the Baum-Neal house in Syracuse, we have a structure they can readily find, and what's more, they can even make a piece-of-cake 180° turn in its ample grounds.
I have looked at the house; far more importantly, I have touched it.
A house that can't be saved will tell your hands and it will tell your feet. It sags and shimmies and it whispers to you of its infirmities. The Baum-Neal house is solid as a rock despite the somewhat fusty appearance of its surfaces inside and out. But these are mere surfaces...and they will soon line dumpsters while sparkling new surfaces are revealed under flaking paint or come marching smartly in the front door. The body of the building, the brick and timber mass of it--as well as its noble façade--are in remarkably solid condition. The sole exception is the porch, which can be removed without a speck of guilt since it is demonstrably a later addition, as documentary photographs and evidence on the house itself attest. I hasten to add that its unfluted Tuscan columns can be reused as the basis for a pergola, which garden-loving Baum would love.
Hand-in-hand with the affable and impressively focused International L. Frank Baum & All Things Oz Historical Foundation, we are going to save the home where L. Frank Baum met Maude Gage, his future bride and one of the principal people who encouraged him to write down the charming story with which he used to beguile his four sons and their friends…the story of a little girl from Kansas, and a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion. With the urging of Maude and her mother, Baum finally did write down – with a pencil, the stub of which he kept all his life – – a story then called "The Emerald City." This of course became the first truly American fairy tale-- “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”--which, over the next century, took its rightful place as our national epic, our Odyssey.
My 30 years' experience with reviving 19th century houses is a gift I can and will give back to america's greatest storyteller, L. Frank Baum, as well as his early home, Syracuse and environs. Since Father Time has spared the house the sort of depredations that are irreversible and since my skills, experience, and passion are free of charge, as befits the fact that in Oz itself, all services are provided by one neighbor to another for the sheer joy of it… all that remains is to gather funding for the meat-and-potatoes labor of removing late accretions, commissioning professional microanalysis of historic paint, and reviving a structure that is an emotional testament to L. Frank Baum and a concrete testament to the beauty of 19 century American architecture.
Volunteers and donations are now needed as we begin the restoration project. We are in need of Clean up (lots of junk to clean), windows, an HVAC system (heat) or repair, flooring, a large stone or cement step, carpentry work, interior electrical work, plumbing work, and a host of other things!
Companies- want to get GREAT publicity AND a tax write off? Donate your services to us and we will not only publicize your donations, but we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible.
ALL of our volunteers who give 7 hours or more per year get an annual membership to the All Things Oz Museum!
NEXT CLEAN UP DAY - Fall 2016
Handy with tools? Want to help? We need you!
Want to join in on the FUN? Email us at email@example.com
Thank you for your donation of the roll Off Container for phase one of the big clean up project at the Baum-Neal House!
Thank you for helping clean out the Baum-Neal house!