Green Town Virtual Tour

Ray Bradbury Experience Museum in Waukegan, Illinois

Carnegie Library

This is the Carnegie Library, established in 1902, where Ray Bradbury discovered his love for books. As a young boy growing up in Waukegan, Bradbury came here after school and read to feed his hungry imagination. The building has been referenced in books such as Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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Genesee Theatre

Ray Bradbury was 7 years old when the Genesee Theater opened in downtown Waukegan. The cinema fascinated him as a young child and inspired his love for the arts. This historic theater is still open and is an important part of Bradbury and Waukegan history today.

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Waukegan Public Library (Central School)

In the early 1950s, the Waukegan Public library opened as a children’s learning center in downtown Waukegan. It stands at the original location of Central School, Ray Bradbury’s elementary school. Today, it houses an array of Bradbury works and various pieces from his personal collection. At the entrance to the library is a 12 ft statue of Bradbury, titled “Fantastical Traveler,” by sculptor Zachary Oxman, dedicated in 2019. 

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Ray Bradbury Experience Museum

The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, located in historic downtown Waukegan, is the first interactive museum bringing Ray Bradbury’s stories to life. Explore the world of Bradbury like never before at 13 N. Genesee St. This museum inspires imagination and fosters free-thinking and creativity through engagement in the universal themes and timeless works of Ray Bradbury. 

Halloween Tree

Located in Jack Benny Plaza in downtown Waukegan, this tree is decorated every October to celebrate Ray Bradbury’s novel, The Halloween Tree. Citizens of Waukegan and traveling Bradbury fans are welcome to leave a pumpkin or decoration behind in the spirit of Bradbury’s Halloween season.

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A Cuban Experience

A Cuban Experience recaptures an air of Waukegan history as a traditional cigar lounge located  on 119 North Genesee St. Ray Bradbury references a cigar lounge he once walked by as a young boy in his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes. Mr. Tetley, the cigar shop owner in the story, falls victim to Mr. Dark’s temptations at the Pandemonium Carnival and becomes one of the Autumn People, never to be seen again.

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Waukegan Beach (Train)

When the traveling circus came to town in the 1920s and 30s, it set up camp on the Waukegan Beach. A young Ray Bradbury met inspiring characters here who later appeared in stories such as Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Illustrated Man.  This is where Mr. Electrico told Ray Bradbury to “live forever,” inspiring him to start writing at the age of 12 years old. 

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Bradbury Park / The Ravine

Ray Bradbury Park, dedicated in 1990, became a literary landmark in 2019. Located close to Bradbury’s childhood home, this park features The Ravine, where the Lonely One lurked at night in Bradbury’s novel, Dandelion Wine.

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Childhood Home

Ray Bradbury’s childhood home is located at 11 S. James St. in Waukegan, IL. Here he grew up with his mother, father, and older brother Skip until leaving Waukegan in 1934. This home, and his grandparents’ home around the corner, inspired locations in stories like Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and more.

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