Council Approves Bradbury Square

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on September 18 to designate the intersection of Fifth and Flower, near the Central Library, as Ray Bradbury Square.

Here are Steven Paul Leiva’s remarks:

Good Morning.

Two years ago this council did something rather extraordinary. In order to mark the 90th birthday of literary legend Ray Bradbury, this council declared not just a day in his honor, which is pretty typical of what city councils do, but a week. As the creator of Ray Bradbury Week, I was incredibly grateful to you. For your blessing allowed me to organize a series of events throughout that week of August 22nd to 28th, all of which were free to the public, that celebrated Ray’s life and work. And Ray was able to attend three of those events. Sadly, they were his last public appearances. But what wonderful events they were. Not only for the public, but for Ray, who — if he ever had any doubts — learned that week how much the reading public, his fans, but, most importantly, this city, loved and revered him.

The one thing I wanted to accomplish that week that just couldn’t get done, was to have some great location in this city named after Ray. But I never gave up on the idea. For over a year now, I’ve worked with Councilmember Koretz and his staff, who brought in Councilmember Huizar and his staff, and because of their dedication to this idea and their hard work, we have come to this day.

Now, I know Paul Koretz would have loved to have been here today, but he is observing Rosh Hashanah. He is missed.

Councilmembers, it is absolutely appropriate to name the intersection of Fifth and Flower RAY BRADBURY SQUARE not only because it sits right next to our city’s Central Library, and Ray was libraries greatest champion, but because it is downtown, an area of this city that Ray one lived in, wrote about, and loved.

But it is also appropriate for an intersection to be named after Ray, for, as a writer he worked at the intersection of genre fiction and literary fiction; as a man he lived the intersection of being a public artist people loved so much they wanted him in their families, and being a private man with a wonderful wife and four loving daughters for whom he was husband and Dad; and as an internationally renowned author he stood at the intersection of being a citizen of the world — and a citizen of this municipality, a proud Angeleno who loved this city passionately.

So I thank you for considering to once again pay Ray Bradbury a great honor, and I urge a YES vote on the motion before you.

Thank you.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Update 09/25/2012: Susan Bradbury Nixon, Ray’s daughter, was permitted to address the Council meeting and her remarks appear in Steven Paul Leiva’s comment below. 

2 thoughts on “Council Approves Bradbury Square

  1. Sorry, but you got the wrong remarks for Sue. What you have printed are my remarks to the City Council.

    Here are Sue’s:

    First of all, I’d like to thank the many councilmembers who worked on, and supported, the motion to name the intersection of 5th and Flower, near the Los Angeles Public Library, Ray Bradbury Square. My father would be so proud to be honored in this way.

    My father moved to LA in 1934, with his family, in the middle of the Great Depression. My grandfather was looking for work and they ended up living in Boyle Heights. After my father graduated from LA High School there was no money for college, so Daddy found himself several days a week reading anything and everything he could lay his hands on at the Central LA Public Library. As my father mentioned so many times in his lectures, the library was his university.

    Along with the LA Public Library, the City of Los Angeles molded Ray Bradbury into the man, and writer, he was to become. LA featured in several of his stories, like “The Pedestrian” and “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit”.

    Daddy didn’t just take from Los Angeles, he also gave back to the city that he loved. In 1963 he worked with the Board of Supervisors on a rapid transit monorail system, which, unfortunately, was never approved. He worked as a consultant on the Hollywood and Highland commercial development. My father was always urging more pedestrian-friendly areas and more open-air shopping areas and restaurants with outdoor seating since our weather is so fantastic.

    But I think my dad’s proudest accomplishment was to keep some of LA’s struggling libraries open. He would lecture at the libraries for free, with any admission charges going directly to the library. To him, keeping the libraries open, with their contents available to everyone, was so important. He was concerned that without everyone’s support, the libraries would close.

    I can’t think of a better way to honor my father’s memory and legacy than to name the intersection of 5th and Flower, near the Central Los Angeles Public Library, Ray Bradbury Square.

    Thank you.

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