Monday, June 17, 2013

56 Years Ago The House of the Future Was Opening at Disneyland

56 years ago the Monsanto House of the Future was opening at Disneyland and stayed at the entrance of Tomorrowland during ten years. Here is a tribute to the "House of the future" with historical pictures and a real treasure videos!

The attraction offered a tour of a home of the future, set in the year 1986, Built of plastics, a revolutionary material at that time, the four wing"ultra-modern" House of the Future was on display from 1957 to 1967 at the entrance of Tomorrowland.The House of the Future featured the latest in furniture and appliances along with intercoms and other gadgets that were not common in 1957. For instance, it featured household appliances such as microwave ovens, which eventually were invented and became commonplace.

The house survived the introduction of New Tomorrowland in 1967, but closed shortly after, as Monsanto's attention shifted to their new sponsored attraction, Adventure Thru Inner Space. The building was so sturdy, that when demolition crews tried to knock out walls with a wrecking ball, the ball bounced off. Hacksaws were required to take the building apart, piece by piece.

However, it didn't remove all the house. The support pillars were rated for earthquakes, so when the construction reached them, most couldn't be removed. These few remaining pillars are still visible in Neptune's Grotto, the location of the exterior gardens of the house.

A good friend and faithful Disney and more reader also sent to me this rare article that he found in an old issue of Popular Science Magazine. And it's a very interesting one. Not only because it talks of the Monsanto House of the Future, but because the date of the article is April 1956! And so what, you ask? Well, you see, Disneyland's House of the Future didn't opened in 1956 but in 1957, one year later! Which means what? On the cover of this April 1956 issue, the title was "1956 Home Show" and the article was called "Plastic House of the Future" and not the "House of the Future". The good question of course is: Did Walt learned about the Monsanto's house thanks to the article or did he knew about it before? We'll probably never have the answer, but the article is fascinating. Have a look and don't miss the page with the plan of the House of the Future!

A while ago i've found the image below. This one is not related to the House of the Future, but it's from the same era and the picture - which show another kind of "house of the future" is pretty cool, so i add it here. Double-click on it to see it in big size.

This last picture shows the great replica designed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily for Disney fduring Disneyland 50th anniversary!

And now, here is a great document with this two part Monsanto video that will show you how amazing - specially in 1960's - the House of the Future was. Don't miss it, it's just like if you were there, inside the House of the Future, 50 years ago!

Photos: copyright Disney

Video: copyright Monsanto and Disney

All my thanks to Macmouse4 for the great Youtube video


Marco Antonio Garcia said...

The house of the future was really nice as a Theme Park exhibit and it was certainly much nicer than Innovations, but I wouldn't like to live in a plastic house.

Thorsten said...

Thanks for this article and for the videos.

It´s always intereting to see how they thought the future might be.

Compare this to the days now is very funny.

Marco Romanelli said...

There is an almost incredible "version" of House of Future built with reinforced concrete structure and hollow clay bricks masonry walls, in a small city in Brasil. Go to 20.8546831 S lat. and 41.1198228 W long.and watch it with Street View...Designed by an architect as his own home during 1960's, probably from reading Popular Science's article.