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Dr. Seuss’ $25 million ‘storybook’ estate on sale for 1st time in 75 years

Screenshot from a promotional video showing Dr. Seuss' opulent home in La Jolla, California.
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Screenshot from a promotional video showing Dr. Seuss' opulent home in La Jolla, California.

Barry Estates

Green Eggs and Ham certainly generated a lot of green for famed children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, as his opulent estate just hit the market with price tag that will make your cat want to hold onto its hat.

For the first time in 75 years, Geisel’s family home is being put up for sale by the University of California (UC) San Diego, which was gifted the home by the Geisel Trust in 2019. The property was listed by Barry Estates for a whopping US$19 million, or C$24.5 million.

The estate, which Geisel purchased with his late wife Helen in 1948, was also home for him and his second wife Audrey. Many of Geisel’s classic works, including The Lorax and Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? , were written at 7301 Encelia Dr. according to the Los Angeles Times.

The property is comprised of four sites spread over four acres of hillside in La Jolla, overlooking the southern California coastline with a 270 degree view of the ocean.

The roughly 5,000 square-foot home topped with red roof tiles features four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

Homebuyers looking to purchase the property can bid for the entire compound or separate lots. The home itself is priced at $15.5 million while three adjoining lots are going for around $5 million apiece.

Interested buyers have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Pacific time to get their bids in, and only cash offers will be considered.

The proceeds from the sale of the home will go towards campus projects at UC San Diego.

“7301 Encelia Drive was the long-time home of Audrey and Theodor Geisel, famously known as Dr. Seuss,” UC San Diego said in a statement, as reported by the Sacramento Bee. “When this property is sold, the net proceeds from the sale will create the Geisel Fund in the UC San Diego Foundation, which will be an endowment. Per the wishes of the donor, the Chancellor will determine the use of the payout from the endowed fund for campus needs.”

Audrey Geisel was a major patron of UC San Diego before she died in 2018. In 1995, she donated US$20 million to the university to expand its main library, leading it to be renamed the Geisel Library.

In the book Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography , authors Judith and Neil Morgan detail how Geisel made 7301 Encelia Dr. his home.

Architect Tom Shepard showed the author an isolated, graffiti-covered tower on the La Jolla hillside to give him a vantage point to look out on the landscape and Geisel loved it immediately.

“All of Southern California seemed in their lap,” the Morgans wrote. “The next morning they bought the tower and two acres around it, eight hundred feet above the center of La Jolla, launching the final step in the dream they had cherished since their first visit (to the area) twenty years earlier.”

Construction began on the house and Geisel and his first wife Helen moved there in the following year.

“In this storybook citadel above this fairy-tale mountain, the Geisels lived and worked for the rest of their lives,” the Morgans wrote.

Since Geisel’s death in 1991, his reputation has come under fire for the use of racist imagery in some of his books including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo. Six of his books have been taken out of circulation by Dr. Seuss Enterprises for this reason.

Some of Geisel’s other famous books include The Cat in the Hat, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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