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Ray Bradbury’s house of fantastical stories is yours for $1.5 million

By Alison Flood, The Guardian
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 22:00 EDT
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RayBradbury1975 by Alan Light via Wikimedia
 
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Californian home of Fahrenheit 451 author boasts ‘soaring vaulted ceilings, classic brick fireplace and cultural provenance’

The California home where the late Ray Bradbury dreamed up hundreds of much-loved fantastical short stories has been put up for sale for an asking price of $1,495,000 (£885,450).

The house at 10265 Cheviot Drive in Culver City was Bradbury’s home for more than half a century. Pictures by a Los Angeles estate agent show a warm yellow-painted property, surrounded by garden, on a lot of just over 880 sq metres. The price, reported the Los Angeles Times, was “out of the reach of many authors, both struggling and established, but in terms of LA’s real estate market today, actually fairly reasonable”.

The four-bedroom home features “a grand living room with soaring vaulted ceilings, classic brick fireplace, [and a] large bay window allowing soft California light to flood in across original hardwood floors”, said estate agents. It also has a “surprisingly spacious basement where [Bradbury] chose to write daily”.

Maggie Bradbury, the author’s wife, told the Los Angeles Times in 1974 that they actually chose the house because of its large basement, according to a biography of the writer. “The basement was the irresistible ingredient,” she said. “We needed a place where Ray could store everything he refuses to throw away and that could also be an office for his writing.”

“Come see where so many great works of fiction were conceived,” urge the estate agents, describing the sale as “a tremendous opportunity to begin a new chapter in its storied history”.

The Bradburys moved into the property around 1960, according to the Los Angeles Times, which said that the author wrote in a Beverly Hills office for many years, before turning to his Cheviot Hills basement.

However, perhaps his most famous work, Fahrenheit 451, the tale of a dystopian future where books are burned, was written in a local library. In a 2006 letter to the assistant director of Fayetteville public library, the author explained how he discovered that the basement to the UCLA library contained a typing room where typewriters could be rented for 10 cents per half an hour.

“I moved into the typing room along with a bunch of students and my bag of dimes, which totalled $9.80, which I spent and created the 25,000-word version of The Fireman in nine days,” wrote Bradbury. “How could I have written so many words so quickly? It was because of the library. All of my friends, all of my loved ones, were on the shelves above and shouted, yelled and shrieked at me to be creative.”

The author died in 2012, aged 91. His death was marked by figures including Barack Obama, who said Bradbury’s “gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world”.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

 
 
 
 
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