In late August, the ribbon will be cut to mark the opening of a museum that’s been a long time coming.
The Saroyan House Museum is on Griffith near Ashlan and Hughes in Fresno. It’s where Pulitzer Prize winning author and playwright William Saroyan lived the last 17 years of his life. The house is designated a historic place, and now a foundation based in Armenia is transforming it into a unique museum.
As each nail is driven, excitement is building at this simple house in a quiet Fresno neighborhood.
It’s the place where William Saroyan lived and worked till his passing in 1981, now becoming a place to remember his legacy.
Avag Simonyan with Armenia’s Intellectual Renaissance Foundation is the project director of the Saroyan House Museum. The Foundation bought the home in 2016, and is financing this tribute that will include Saroyan’s belongings, art, books, a research room, even a chance to interact with Saroyan himself in a hologram room. It’s an international effort involving technology and creativity to honor a talented man who was proud of his heritage. “For us it’s very important to do this because it is not only for Armenian people, it is for people all over the world for American people who are our friends,” says Simonyan.
The museum will open with a special ceremony at Fresno State. Barlow Der Mugrdechian with the Armenian Studies Program says while Saroyan wasn’t fond of fanfare, he would likely be pleased with this transformation. “Actually in his original will, he had left the homes to be places where writers from throughout the world could come and work as he did. So in a way, it’s kind of doing his wishes,” says Der Mugrdechian.
The Saroyan House Museum will open on August 31st, on what would have been Saroyan’s 110th birthday. For more information on the opening go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/225596211575768/