At the tip-top perch of north Mount Soledad sits a sprawling property where some of the most iconic children's literature came to life.
Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel lived in the La Jolla home from 1948 until his death in 1991 and it's now up for sale at auction for the first time in more than 70 years by its current owners UC San Diego, which was gifted the property when Geisel's wife, Audrey died in 2018.
Audrey Geisel remodeled the home after his death, it still has touches inspired by the author. The current office recreates Geisel's views as he created "The Cat in the Hat," "The Lorax," and other whimsical tales that have been credited with inspiring generations of children to read.
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Guests are greeted at the front door by a hat tip from the Cat in the Hat himself and the pool's tiles recreate his signature bow tie.
An upstairs observation tower remains, as do the sprawling 270-degree views from Mexico to -- on a clear day -- San Clemente, according to listing agent Jason Barry.
The real estate team gave NBC 7 a tour of the 4.03 acre, four-bedroom, four-bath property -- which is being sold at auction as three separate lots from $3.9 to just under $12 million or all together for nearly $19 million -- before the auction closes on Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. Take a look around in the video above.
The property was gifted to the university in 2019 and proceeds from the sale with go into a newly created Geisel Fund in the UC San Diego Foundation to be used for campus projects to be determined by the university chancellor, a spokesperson said.
In his career, Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated 47 books -- from his first published in 1937, " ... And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" to his last while he was alive, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" published in 1990 -- and was awarded a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to children’s literature. Most seemed fanciful but had meanings beyond their tale. The Lorax, for example, spread a message of environmentalism. It was likely inspired by the Monterey cyprus trees of San Diego and housing expansion at the time.
The La Jolla home's panorama view inspired Geisel in some of his most popular works, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1986. Photos taken in 1957 show the author at an artist's drawing desk in front of a wrap-around window that overlooks the mountainside and the La Jolla shores below. Through the 1950s, he wrote a couple of children’s books a year, capped in 1957 by the publication of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat."