Stephen King's home in Bangor, Maine, is a local attraction. But the horror author is looking to turn it into something else.
Even on cloudy days, that resemble the fictional Maine town of "Derry," of which Bangor was the basis, tourists pop in and out of SUVs pulled to the curb outside the red mansion at 47 West Broadway. For decades, it has been the primary residence of King and his wife, Tabitha, who raised their children there.
In recent years, though, the couple have spent much of their time at homes in Florida, in Oxford County, Maine, and on the road.
In a move that reflects less time spent in Bangor, the Kings filed a request with the city to rezone their property, which includes another large white home next door, so it could be used to house a non-profit organization.
According to David Gould, a Bangor planning officer, the buildings would house an archive of King's works that would offer restricted visits by appointment and a retreat where up to five writers could work.
"They did not want the house to become a Dollywood or some kind of tourist attraction," Gould said. "That would bring all sorts of people to the neighborhood, and they have other neighbors that live there."
Tourists spend plenty of time at the King residence.
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"It's a beautiful house," said Truman Atkins of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a fan of King's who stopped by with his wife to take pictures.
For Stu Tinker, a longtime Bangor resident who operates tours of the city to sights in King’s books, the decision not to open the home up completely is just fine.
"I think it's great," Tinker said. "Steve and Tabby are so generous, not only to Bangor but to the whole state, and they do it from the heart and they're not doing it for publicity."
Some critical steps have to happen before the Kings' request is granted.
Bangor's planning board has to approve it, and then the full city council must do the same.
The planning board was expected to take up the matter Tuesday night. The council will discuss the issue later in October.
There is no definite timeline when physical work on the archive or retreat would begin and the Kings have left representation at the city meetings to representatives and attorneys.