The Ray Bradbury Experience in His Carnegie Library

THE LAKE. THE NIGHT. THE CRICKETS. THE RAVINE. THE ATTIC. THE TRAPDOOR. THE NIGHT TRAIN. THE FOG HORN. THE CARNIVAL. THE MIRROR MAZE. THE SKELETON. These lists were the provocations that caused my better stuff to surface.
— Ray Bradbury

Fantasy will come alive at the famed Carnegie Library in downtown Waukegan, home to Ray Bradbury’s Playhouse of the Mind. A native of Waukegan, Ray Bradbury is the author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Waukegan, with its ravines, was the inspiration for Green Town in his novel Dandelion Wine.

I want to show what we all have in us, that it has always been there, and so few of us bother to notice. When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange—we’re so busy looking out… we forget to look in.
— Ray Bradbury
Photo by Alan Light, 1975

Photo by Alan Light, 1975

Visitors will live forever through engaging, interactive experiences in Ray Bradbury’s library—experiences that encourage “hungry imaginations” through a celebration of Bradbury’s works and exciting engagement in his recurring themes of morality, love, time, nostalgia, and individuality.

Bradbury believed that people are like him—curious, creative, and imaginative. He passionately believed that without the right to think freely, we become less than human. His novel and movie Fahrenheit 451 brilliantly brought this theme to the world. This will be part of the Ray Bradbury experience. Visitors will have unforgettable moments that allow them to truly understand their precious right to freedom of thought and expression.

When it opens, Ray Bradbury’s Playhouse of the Mind will welcome the young and the “forever young” from near and far to an immersive and mind-expanding experience.

Designing and installing this interactive Ray Bradbury experience in the architectural treasure of the Carnegie Library presents immense challenges, but the RBWCL and the wider community is committed to making this dream a reality.

Ray Bradbury inspires me daily. ‘Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down,’ he wrote. Today, we are working to determine the cost to establish the Ray Bradbury Experience and anticipate raising up to $5 million. With the help of people everywhere, those wings are growing every day.
— John Harris, VP Marketing, The RBWCL Board, Principal, a5 inc. Chicago.