By Richard Weizel
MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - The former Connecticut home of the late American poet Wallace Stevens is up for sale in Hartford's west end, and devotees of the Pulitzer Prize winner's works hope to buy it.
Wallace, who famously walked from his Hartford home to his job at a local insurance company from the 1930s, often composed poems in his head along the way, said Jim Finnegan, president of The Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens.
Finnegan's group of poets and poetry lovers is trying to raise the nearly $500,000 it will take to buy the three-story, six-bedroom 1920s Colonial, being sold by Christ Church Cathedral, which has owned it since the poet's death in 1955.
Stevens won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1955, just months before he died.
"We would love to raise the money to obtain the home and have a foundation maintain it as the wonderful historic site it is," Finnegan said.
Finnegan said the group does not envision opening it up as a museum but rather as a historic home where tours would be arranged by appointment.
The 3,900-square-foot home, which has a grand staircase, glass doorknobs and a slate roof, is located in one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods, said Paula Ostop of William Raveis real estate in West Hartford, who is handling the sale.
She said the property needed approval from the city's zoning board to be used for anything other than a home.
(Editing by Will Dunham)