Ray Bradbury Statue Revealed at His Childhood Library

A Ray Bradbury statue was unveiled Thursday in the author’s childhood hometown of Waukegan, Ill.

The Ray Bradbury statue outside the Waukegan Public Library.

The Ray Bradbury statue is titled Ray Bradbury: Fantastical Traveler. It depicts the author riding a rocket while holding a book. Artist Zachary Oxman designed the statue.

The Ray Bradbury Statue Committee quotes Oxman as saying about the statue, “Bradbury’s writing was not rooted in the possible world, but rather in a fantastical one. I wanted to evoke that whimsicality.“

The 12-foot-tall, stainless steel statue sits in a small plaza near the main entrance to the Waukegan Public Library. It cost about $125,000 — donations funded most of the project.

Below is a time lapse video of the statue being installed.

Waukegan Library

Bradbury’s the author of books such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles (paid link). Many credit him with bringing science fiction into the mainstream.

Bradbury grew up in Waukegan in the 1930s. There he spent hours in the town library.

Cover of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
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The library in which a young Bradbury wiled away his time opened in 1903. It was a Carnegie library, one of 2,509 libraries built by funds from steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

But the initial Waukegan Public Library closed in 1965. The Ray Bradbury Statue sits outside its replacement.

Bradbury’s family moved to California when he was 13. Still, he set several of his stories in made-up Green Town, Ill., which the author based on Waukegan.

Green Town features in stories such as “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Dandelion Wine.”

Bradbury died in 2012. His estate donated Bradbury’s personal book collection to the Waukegan Public Library.

In addition to the Ray Bradbury statue, Waukegan is soon to be home to the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum. The museum is scheduled to open in August 2020.

Watch the Installation of the Ray Bradbury Statue

Below is a time lapse video of the Ray Bradbury statue being installed outside the Waukegan Public Library.


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