Literary Landmark

Literary Landmark - Ray Bradbury Park

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United for Libraries, in partnership with the Illinois State Library and Illinois Center for the Book, will designate Ray Bradbury Park a Literary Landmark on Saturday, March 16. The unveiling ceremony, set to begin at 4:51 p.m. in honor of Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), will take place in Waukegan, Ill.

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was born and raised in Waukegan before his family moved to Los Angeles in 1934. He was a prolific author best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also an outspoken library advocate. He is the recipient of several awards, including the National Medal of Arts (2004) and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (2007). Ray Bradbury Park, located in Bradbury’s “Green Town” neighborhood, played a major part of his childhood Waukegan upbringing and was referenced in his works "Dandelion Wine," "Something Wicked This Way Comes," and "Farewell Summer."

Attendance will include featured speaker Dr. Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies in Indiana, among others. During the ceremony, Waukegan High School students will put on a special performance of Bradbury’s short play The Whole Town’s Sleeping, and a Literary Landmark plaque will be unveiled. The ceremony is set to follow the Illinois Reads Book Festival, which will honor Ray Bradbury with tributes throughout, including a Pop-up Museum.

Literary Landmark: The bridges of Chicago, Wacker Drive

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Chicago, Ill.
Dedicated: June 22, 1990
Partners: The Friends of the Chicago Public Library

The Friends of the Chicago Public Library designated the Michigan Avenue Bridge a Literary Landmark on June 22nd, 1990. The bridge was designated a landmark in recognition of the use of bridges as a symbol by such authors as Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, and Upton Sinclair. The Michigan Avenue Bridge stands as a landmark for all Chicago bridges and honors the city’s rich literary heritage.

Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, IL. Sandburg worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News where he covered mostly labor issues and later had his own feature. Sandburg was unknown until 1914 when he published his book Chicago Poems and later an analysis of the Chicago race riots. Theodore Dreiser also used Chicago and its bridge architecture as a symbol in his novel Sister Carrie. The protagonist, Sister Carrie, crossed and re-crossed the bridges looking for her place in Chicago. This was a popular theme for the bridges in literature at this time: crossing them marked a passage into the heart of the city.

Literary Landmark - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings house

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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ home in Cross Creek, Florida was designated a Literary Landmark on August 8th, 1996 by the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society and the Florida Center for the Book during a celebration of Rawlings’ 100th birthday.

Cross Creek was the beloved home of Rawlings from 1928 to 1953 and a source of inspiration for her most timeless works including Cross Creek and The Yearling. The virgin Florida territory and near isolation of the Cross Creek farm became the colorful and memorable backdrop for The Yearling, the story of a backwoods Florida boy and his pet deer.

United for Libraries designates Literary Landmark for Alex Haley

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PHILADELPHIA — United for Libraries, in partnership with the Tennessee Historical Commission and the staff and board of the Alex Haley Museum and & Interpretive Center in Henning, Tenn., designated the museum a Literary Landmark during a celebration on Sat., Aug .9.

More than 150 people joined the museum staff and board at the ceremony for Alex Haley (1921-1992), as well as to celebrate what would have been Haley’s 93rd birthday. The program included the unveiling of the official Literary Landmark bronze plaque; proclamations by city, county and state officials; the United States Coast Guard and Color Guard Detail; commissioners and Historic Sites Program Director Martha Akins from the Tennessee Historical Commission; music by trumpeter Joshua Campbell, and vocalist Charlotte Ammons.

Literary Landmark: Windmill at Stony Brook

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The windmill at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University of New York was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983).

The site was selected because playwright Williams spent the summer of 1957 living in the windmill and writing the experimental play “The Day on Which a Man Dies” in response to the death of his friend Jackson Pollock the summer before. 

Literary Landmark: Yorkville Community School

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Yorkville Community School on East 88th Street in New York City was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of children's book author Bernard Waber (1921-2003).

Waber used East 88th Street as a setting for his cherished Lyle the Crocodile picture books, starting with The House on East 88th Street in 1962. Lyle, a lovable and entertaining crocodile, lives in a typical brownstone on East 88th Street with the Primm family, and the Primm children attend a school much like Yorkville Community School.

Literary Landmark: Jones Library

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On Oct. 24, 2009, in celebration of the Jones Library’s special association with Robert Frost, the library was placed on ALTAFF’s Literary Landmark Register. Recognizing Robert Frost’s role in Amherst’s literary heritage and his importance to the nation, the Friends of  the Jones Library System and the Trustees of the Jones Library joined together to support this nomination.   

Literary Landmark: Tahlequah Public Library

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Tahlequah (Okla.) Public Library was designated a Literary Landmark in recognition of the literary contributions of Woodrow Wilson Rawls (1913-1984), author of Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys.

Rawls’ early childhood was spent on his mother’s Cherokee allotment 13 miles northeast of Tahlequah, along the Illinois River in Cherokee County. As a young boy, he was inspired to become a writer by Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. Rawls visited the Carnegie Library in Tahlequah when he was young. He wrote, “The day I discovered libraries was one of the biggest days of my life. Practically all of my spare time was spent there. I read everything I could get my hands on pertaining to creative writing. I didn’t just read those books, I practically memorized them.”