Jonathan Eller Responds To Coverage of His Statements on Bradbury House Teardown

Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, has made a statement reconciling his comments in the media about the Bradbury house demolition:

I would like to clarify the reporting of recent days concerning the Bradbury Center’s support of Thom Mayne’s plans for Ray Bradbury’s Cheviot Hills home in Los Angeles. I was never in favor of demolishing the Bradbury home; until last week, I had no idea who the new owner was, or what he planned for the home. When I received pictures of the house being torn down, I found out who the new owner was and I learned all I could about his plans. I was impressed by his decision to preserve the fine details of woodwork for charity donation. I was impressed that he was planning to live in the new house, rather than build and sell it. I later learned that he would be building a low-profile, garden-and-wall home that would prominently honor Ray Bradbury’s legacy on that property. I subsequently supported Thom Mayne’s planning going forward, not because he demolished the Bradbury home, but because I knew he planned to honor Ray Bradbury’s memory in a significant and enduring way.

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies exists on Indiana University’s IUPUI campus to extend the Bradbury legacy, to preserve his writings and books, and to provide extensive research sources and public outreach for scholars, students, and the general public. We are fortunate to have archives and artifacts here at IUPUI in Indianapolis that will allow us to re-create Ray Bradbury’s basement office as it existed for decades in his Cheviot Hills home. It takes the work of many people from all over the country to realize that dream. I’m in the business of building bridges that embrace hope and sadness, loss and recovery, and the celebration of the human imagination. Thom Mayne knows Ray Bradbury’s literary works, and I want the Bradbury Center to be able to help him celebrate and honor the Bradbury legacy in the future. I miss that Old Yellow House more than I care to say publicly, and I never wanted to see it disappear. But it will never be lost, as long as we work together to preserve its memory.

Thank you

Jonathan R. Eller, Chancellor’s Professor of English
Director, Center for Ray Bradbury Studies
Indiana University School of Liberal Arts
902 West New York Street, ES 0010
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Bradbury Center “Supportive” of Bradbury Home Teardown

Jonathan Eller, Director of the Bradbury Center at IUPUI is not quite on the same page as fans who are upset that Ray Bradbury’s house has been demolished.

While Eller was commenting here yesterday

I share the feelings expressed by Donovan, Brian, and all the rest of you who are saddened by the loss of the Bradbury home and his enchanting basement office.

— KCRW reports he was writing this to architect Thom Mayne who owns the property:

I wanted to thank you for the care you are taking with some of the “bones” of the Bradbury home, which I understand will be reworked into wood projects in the future. I also want to let you know how pleased I am that you are planning a home for your family on this historic lot. I think Mr. Bradbury would be glad to know that an architect owns the property (he was a lay visionary in urban architecture who occasionally worked with Jon Jerde on projects in the 1970s). He also worked with young writers in much the same way that you have taken time in your distinguished career to teach and encourage young architects. It’s sad to see the Old Yellow House go, but there is also great promise in this new beginning.

I think you might like to know that we are re-creating Mr. Bradbury’s basement office here at the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies on Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus (IUPUI). Through a gracious gift of artifacts by the Bradbury family, we now have the papers, working library, office furniture, and many of the awards and mementos from the Cheviot Drive house. It’s a bit of a logistics and funding challenge, but we make a little progress every day.

In the station’s post “Ray Bradbury Center Supportive of Mayne’s Changes to Bradbury’s Former Home” Eller is further quoted as telling Design & Architecture (DnA) host Frances Anderton, “an abiding interest in the history of this property will carry on with the new owner.”

DnA says an interview with Jonathan Eller, as well as architect Thom Mayne and his wife and partner Blythe Mayne about what they plan to do with the site, will air soon.