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Campaign for Ray Bradbury museum in his native Waukegan launches this week

The group behind the yearslong effort to open a museum honoring Ray Bradbury in the late author's childhood hometown of Waukegan will launch a fundraising campaign next week.

Organizers hope to raise $2.5 million for the planned Ray Bradbury Experience Museum. It's been proposed for a city-owned building at 13 N. Genesee St.

Plans call for exhibits featuring Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451," as well as his life in Waukegan and his love of books and libraries. An August 2020 opening is targeted to mark the 100th anniversary of Bradbury's birth.

Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said city officials are excited about the museum. Despite moving to California as a teen, Bradbury cared deeply for Waukegan and reflected the city in many of his works.

"Ray's love of the lakefront, downtown theaters, parks and, of course, the library are memorialized in his books, and his fans seek these areas out when they visit," Cunningham said.

An open house to launch the fundraising effort is set to run from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the site. Attendees will be able to review the plans for the museum, including architectural drawings. Admission is free.

After the open house, a sculpture of Bradbury will be unveiled at the nearby Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St. A 6 p.m. reception is planned before the 7:30 p.m. program.

For more information, visit raybradburyexperiencemuseum.org. You can also email sandy@rbemuseum.org or call (847) 372-6183.

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This Jan. 29, 1997 file photo shows author Ray Bradbury t a signing for his book "Quicker Than The Eye" in Cupertino, California. An effort to create a museum honoring Bradbury in his native Waukegan hopes to get a boost from a fundraising campaign that begins Thursday. AP Photo/Steve Castillo, file
Iconic science fiction writer Ray Bradbury looks at a picture that was part of a school project to illustrate characters in one of his dramas in Los Angeles. A fundraising campaign kicks off this week for a Ray Bradbury museum in his childhood hometown Waukegan. AP Photo, file
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