SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Museums are in the final stages of purchasing the childhood home of Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss), located at 74 Fairfield St. in Springfield, through support provided by the Dr. Seuss Foundation.
Geisel was born in 1902 on Howard Street in Springfield’s downtown, and moved at age 4 to the Fairfield Street home in the city’s Forest Park neighborhood, where he lived with his parents and sister Margaretha. It was during this time that Geisel first developed his love for drawing and storytelling, skills he honed while serving on the staff of Springfield’s Central High School newspaper. Later in life, Geisel drew heavily from his formative years spent in Springfield to create books like And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, his first published work of children’s literature. The 74 Fairfield St. home was sold following the death of Geisel’s father in 1968.
“The Springfield Museums are very excited to secure 74 Fairfield St., the childhood home of Dr. Seuss,” said Samuel Hanmer, Springfield Museums board of trustees chairman. “We are just beginning to explore possible next steps, but we’re very pleased to be able to act in this manner to help honor and preserve Theodor Geisel’s legacy here in Springfield. We plan to take time to fully consider the various possible uses for the house, while taking the necessary steps to properly secure the property in the short term. The views of all concerned parties and stakeholders will be paramount, welcomed, and encouraged during those discussions.”
Added Susan Brandt, president of Licensing and Marketing for Dr. Seuss Enterprises, “we are delighted that the Dr. Seuss Foundation is able to underwrite the purchase of Theodor Geisel’s childhood home on behalf of the Springfield Museums and for the benefit of Dr. Seuss fans everywhere. We see the purchase by the Museums as an essential part of their ongoing effort to properly honor and preserve Ted Geisel’s Springfield heritage for generations to come.”