Waukegan celebrates Ray Bradbury centennial with preview of new museum
Colorful exhibits and artifacts related to the life of Ray Bradbury were on display during an event Saturday in downtown Waukegan celebrating the centennial of his birth.
Having a museum in the hometown of the late science fiction author and screenwriter is important, said Sandra Petroshius, chair of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum committee.
"We're very excited," Petroshius said. "People are glad to see something happening for Ray Bradbury."
The group behind the yearslong effort to open a museum honoring Bradbury in the late author's childhood hometown had launched a fundraising campaign a year ago in hopes of opening the museum this month to mark the 100th anniversary of Bradbury's birth. It's being developed in a city-owned building at 13 N. Genesee St., and Saturday's free event offered a preview.
There are exhibits related to Bradbury's books "Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451," as well as some related to his life in Waukegan and his love of books and libraries. Also on display were examples of his short stories, pulp-fiction novels and comic books.
While he moved to California as a teen, Bradbury maintained an attachment to the city of his birth.
"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," Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said a year ago when the fundraising campaign was announed.