American author Kurt Vonnegut wrote about everything from science fiction to the horrific firebombing of Dresden during World War II. But no matter how far afield his stories roamed, Vonnegut himself, at his core, remained a Hoosier from Indianapolis.
"All my jokes are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis," he once said in a lecture in his hometown.
Now the place where Vonnegut's Indianapolis life began, his boyhood home, is back on the market for $674,900.
The four-bedroom home has bounced on and off the market since 2014. Current listing agent Kyle Williams notes that modifications made to the home by a previous owner have made it a challenging sell. That previous owner took out the original master suite in order to raise the ceiling on the home's great room to 25 feet, Williams explains.
The house now features two bedrooms on one level and two on another, so a new owner may want to reconfigure the space to make it more family- friendly, Williams says. The kitchen was last updated about 10 years ago, so a new owner might want to do some work on it as well, Williams adds.
But the three-level house has amazing bones, including rich mahogany woodwork throughout and an impressive great room with that majestic high ceiling.
"You're not going to find a more solid, well-built home in Indianapolis," Williams says.
While the house is not an official historical site, it is "one of the more well-known homes on the north side of Indianapolis," Williams says. It sits in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood near the Butler University campus, amid many other homes built in the 1920s and 1930s.
The 5,907-square-foot home was built by Vonnegut's father and grandfather, who were noted architects in Indianapolis. Vonnegut lived there from 1922, the year he was born, until 1930, when the family lost its business in the Great Depression and was forced to move and take Vonnegut out of private school.
Those events traumatized both of Vonnegut's parents and may have led to the fights he once said he often heard them having in the now-gone master bedroom. Vonnegut once said he was happy that room had been removed because of his unhappy memories of those parental fights there.
He likely would be pleased to know a new owner may soon be making new, happier memories in his boyhood home. Williams says there's been an offer, so he's hopeful he can close on the sale in March.