Over the weekend, for the first time ever, Walt Disney’s childhood home and where he was born in Chicago was open to the public.
This was part of the Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago festival, which lets people explore important buildings in the city for free.
Walt Disney’s dad, Elias, bought the land in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago in 1891 and got permission to build a small two-story house for $800 a year later. His wife Flora made the architectural plans.
Elias decided to build a home in Chicago because he had a growing family.
The Disney family moved into the house in 1901 with their two sons, Herbert and Raymond. They had another son named Roy soon after. Walt Disney was born in the house on December 5, 1901, and he lived there until the family moved to Marceline, Missouri in 1906.
The director of the Walt Disney Birthplace Project, Rey Colón, said that Walt Disney came from ordinary beginnings but did extraordinary things. He worked hard and followed his dreams to change the world.
The city of Chicago tried to call the house a historical landmark in 1991, but the owner at the time fought against it and won. This put the house in danger of being torn down.
Now, the current owners are working with the city to protect and restore the house to how it looked in 1901.
Walt Disney, along with his brother Roy, started what we now know as the Walt Disney Company in 1923. He passed away at the age of 65 in 1966 due to problems with blood flow caused by lung cancer.