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 we have purchased this house and will restore it to its original state, honoring and preserving the home for generations to come.
Our 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, we gain new insights into how and why Walt and Roy became the men they were. We are learning how their childhood, family and parents impacted their lives and laid a foundation that nurtured collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
With our team of project advisors, we are formalizing strategies on how we can empower today’s families to nurture and raise the creative thinkers of tomorrow.
Our 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.
A carpenter with a growing family, 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.
Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901, on the second floor.
And on December 6, 1903, the Disneys welcomed their fifth child, 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.
The Present: 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.
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