Saroyan's parents immigrated to the United States from Armenia, and the author was born in Fresno in 1908. Following the death of his father when William was three, Saroyan and his siblings were placed in an orphanage for several years. The family was eventually reunited, but Saroyan continued to contribute to the family by working at a number of jobs.
Saroyan wrote sixteen works of literature while living in the home. He also created a number of paintings while living in the home which were not discovered until after his death.
Following Saroyan's death, the home changed ownership several times. For a time it was a rental property and eventually fell into disrepair and attracted squatters. By 2015, the home was boarded up and in foreclosure. Before it could go to public auction, the home was purchased by the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Fresno. The home is currently being renovated and is scheduled to open as a museum dedicated to Saroyan in 2018.