Do authors leave a trace of their genius behind in the places where they've written? How about if they lived in a home for more than a half a century? If so, writers take note: Ray Bradbury's Los Angeles home could be yours.
Bradbury, of course, was the visionary author of "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and "Something Wicked this Way Comes," along with plays, other novels and short story collections, and the screenplay for John Houston's "Moby Dick."
"Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories," Bradbury wrote in "Fahrenheit 451." He died in 2012 at the age of 91.
His three-bedroom, 2500-square-foot house, built in 1937, is painted a cheery yellow. It has three bathrooms, hardwood floors, and sits on a generously sized 9,500-square-foot lot. It is loaded with original details, the sort that were part of the texture of the author's daily life.
"I'm surrounded by my metaphors," he explained in a 2001 video shot in the house's converted basement, which was crammed with books and ephemera. "I realized, all this 'junk' here, I couldn't live without."
Around 1960, Bradbury and his wife, Maggie, bought the house in Cheviot Hills for a few reasons: Their family was growing, Bradbury was making more money writing, and it had the kind of space writers crave.
"Ray has saved everything since his first birthday," Maggie told The Times in 1985. "I try to throw out newspapers and magazines and whatever can be thrown out. Ray is a pack rat. He refuses to let anything go. When we bought our house 25 years ago, it had a large basement, and that was the irresistible ingredient, because we needed a place where Ray could store everything he refuses to throw away."
For many years, Bradbury kept an office in Beverly Hills where he wrote (and sometimes napped). When he got older, he used the basement space in Cheviot Hills to write. "I feel very comfortable here," he said in another 2001 video clip.
"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies," he wrote in "Fahrenheit 451." "A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there."