Ray Bradbury Sculpture: We’re Under Construction!

We’re excited to share that construction will soon begin just outside of our main entrance…as we make way for a new sculpture of Ray Bradbury!

For the past four years, active community arts leaders have campaigned and fundraised to install a new piece of public art in downtown Waukegan: Zachary Oxman’s Fantastical Traveler. The sculpture features an elder Bradbury astride a rocket ship, waving a book as he journeys forth. Oxman, who has created sculptures for a variety of public art commissions, including for the United States Department of State, said that he hoped the sculpture would not only honor Ray’s literary legacy and connection to Waukegan, but inspire new generations of creators who visit the library every day. Oxman’s sculpture will measure nearly 12′ with the base, and was cast in steel. Interested in how Oxman created this work of art? Check out this post on our Facebook page – you’ll get to peek inside his studio!

As part of the sculpture installation, Oxman also designed a small plaza around the statue, so you’ll be seeing hard hats and fencing at the Library’s front entrance very soon. Construction will not impact the Library’s operating hours, and our main entrance should remain easily accessible throughout the process. We do ask you to please use caution when walking past the site. If we do need to temporarily use the side door in our courtyard, we’ll let you know with an announcement on our website and Facebook page, and we’ll have plenty of signs to show you the way. We’ll do our best to give you some insider shots of the construction progress on our Facebook page too, so if you don’t already follow us there, be sure to give us a like so you’ll see all of our updates.

And mark your calendars – our sculpture is set to be unveiled to the public at a special dedication ceremony on Thursday, August 22. That’s Ray’s 99th birthday! We’ll celebrate with family-friendly activities right outside the Library at the corner of County & Clayton Sts. The fun will begin at 6:30pm, and all ages are welcome! You’ll even be treated to a special performance by the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra. The dedication program will begin at 7:30pm, and more details will be announced in the future. You can RSVP on our Facebook event to receive all the latest updates.

We are very grateful to the local contractors who are donating their services as part of the construction effort, as well as all those whose donations have made the sculpture’s arrival in Waukegan a reality! In particular, for this phase of the project the Library would like to express its appreciation and gratitude to the City of Waukegan, Stuckey Construction Co., Meco Steel Erection, and DynaCoil.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have. Drop us a line with this form, and we’ll be sure to get right back to you!