News broke this week that the former Cheviot Hills home of the late Ray Bradbury has been torn down to make way for a new home for the property’s new owner, the architect Thom Mayne. While some mourn the loss of the celebrated Sci-fi writer’s creative lair, others see promise in the changes, among them Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Editor of the Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, at the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis. Both Bradbury and Mayne are known as futurists, and Eller told DnA “an abiding interest in the history of this property will carry on with the new owner.” He wrote the following to the noted architect:
I wanted to thank you for the care you are taking with some of the “bones” of the Bradbury home, which I understand will be reworked into wood projects in the future. I also want to let you know how pleased I am that you are planning a home for your family on this historic lot. I think Mr. Bradbury would be glad to know that an architect owns the property (he was a lay visionary in urban architecture who occasionally worked with Jon Jerde on projects in the 1970s). He also worked with young writers in much the same way that you have taken time in your distinguished career to teach and encourage young architects. It’s sad to see the Old Yellow House go, but there is also great promise in this new beginning.
I think you might like to know that we are re-creating Mr. Bradbury’s basement office here at the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies on Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus (IUPUI). Through a gracious gift of artifacts by the Bradbury family, we now have the papers, working library, office furniture, and many of the awards and mementos from the Cheviot Drive house. It’s a bit of a logistics and funding challenge, but we make a little progress every day.
Since publication of the note, above, DnA received the following addendum from Jonathan Eller, pursuant to further reporting on the demolition of Ray Bradbury’s home.
Listen up for an interview with Jonathan Eller, as well as architect Thom Mayne and his wife and partner Blythe Allison Mayne about what they plan to do with the site, coming soon on DnA. Listen to Linda Dishman, head of the Los Angeles Conservancy, address the demise of the house on this PressPlay with KCRW’s Madeleine Brand.
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