One of the hot movies out in theaters right now is Saving Mr. Banks. Which has Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney as he tries to make the classic movie Mary Poppins, which changed movie history forever! Now, there is a Kickstarter project that wants to restore Walt Disney’s birthplace home in a neighborhood outside of downtown Chicago, IL.
In a quiet residential neighborhood just outside of downtown Chicago, IL, stands a modest family home on the corner of Tripp Avenue and Palmer Street. This house was designed and built by Flora and Elias Disney, Walt and Roy Disney’s mother and father. Both Walt and Roy were born in this home and lived there until Walt was four and Roy was twelve years old. Over the last century, the home has changed hands several times and has been added to and altered significantly. These “renovations” have almost completely covered up the authentic details of the house.
We have already lost too many buildings that were an incredibly important part of Walt Disney’s history. And that is why they have purchased this house and will restore it to its original state, honoring and preserving the home for generations to come.
The project is about more than just a restoration. It is also an opportunity to research this period of the Disney family history which has sparked a larger vision for the home beyond the restoration. Each day, they gain new insights into how and why Walt and Roy became the men they were. They are learning how their childhood, family and parents impacted their lives and laid a foundation that nurtured collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
With their team of project advisers, they are formalizing strategies on how they can empower today’s families to nurture and raise the creative thinkers of tomorrow. Their dream is that The Walt Disney Birthplace becomes a portal to new approaches in early childhood development and helps to inspire future Walts and Roys.
Elias Disney decided to build a home and put down roots in Chicago. He purchased property on the southwest corner of Tripp Avenue on October 31, 1891. On November 23, 1892, Elias obtained a permit to build a two-story, 18 x 28 foot wood cottage for $800. Flora, Elias’ wife, drew up the architectural plans and Elias built the house. In early 1893, the Disney family settled into their new home with their two sons: Herbert and Raymond. Shortly thereafter, their third son, Roy, was born on June 24, 1893.
Eight years later, Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, on the second floor. And two years after that, on December 6, 1903, the Disney’s welcomed their fifth child and first daughter, Ruth. On February 10, 1906, Elias sold the property to Walter Chamberlain, moving his family to Marceline, Missouri. In 1991, Chicago attempted to designate the property as a historical landmark, but the owner fought the designation and won, putting the home at risk of demolition. Today: After years of neglect, the home is purchased with the intent to restore it to its 1901 state. The new owners are working with the City to protect the home forever.
Every backer will have their deepest gratitude, because this restoration is meant to be a collaboration and can only happen with your support. Along with our gratitude, every backer will have their name inscribed in the special leather-bound “Restoration Dream Team Charter Member” book, which will be a permanent addition to the house. There are plenty of great rewards like a certificate, collectable pin, t-shirt, signed books, key to the house, group tours of the completed house, posters, a piece of the house, engraved paver stone, engraved copper plaque, and even a one night stay in the house!
As of December 30th, this Kickstarter project has raised around $74,535 of the $500,000 goal they need to be funded. And as you know in Kickstarter, a project is not funded until the fundraising goal is reached! This project only has 7 days left to reach the $500,000 goal. For a pledge of $5, you will be listed in their “Restoration Dream Team Charter Members” book in the house, on their “Thanks To Our Charter Members” website page and receive the digital “Charter Member of the Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project” certificate! For a pledge of $10, you will get access to their exclusive “Members Only” Project Updates Blog AND The Walt Disney Birthplace Historical Preservation Desktop! Plus everything above!
To learn more about The Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project and to pledge money, go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1697478835/the-walt-disney-birthplace-preservation-project
Visit their website at: http://www.thewaltdisneybirthplace.org/
- Chicago declares ‘Walt Disney Day,’ Disney Birthplace Project to restore home (examiner.com)
- Walt Disney Birthplace Museum? Couple Talks Plans To Turn Chicago Home Into Historical Site (huffingtonpost.com)