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Armenian foundation working on plans for Saroyan’s Fresno house-museum

An Armenian-based organization bought William Saroyan’s house in central Fresno last year with plans to turn it into a museum. Few details were released about the project.

Now, the Intellectual Renaissance Foundation, based in Yerevan, is collecting memorabilia for William Saroyan’s House-Museum at 2729 W. Griffith Way.

The group is working on innovative plans for the 1,228-square-foot house, a spokeswoman said by email. That includes recreating the inside of the house, she said.

Saroyan lived in the simple, stucco tract home, just west of Cooper Middle School, for the last 17 years of his life. The house, which is on the local register of historic resources, had three owners since Saroyan’s death in 1981, was a rental home for years and attracted squatters.

The house is slated to become a cultural center for Armenians and others worldwide to learn about the Oscar- and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. It will house Saroyan’s literary works and will host events and performances.