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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Home and Garden of Walt Disney

Here is an article from the Better Homes & Gardens magazine of January 1940. It features photos of Walt's Woking Way home in the Los Feliz/Silverlake district overlooking the Hyperion Avenue studios, where Walt and Lillian lived since they left their Lyric Avenue house in 1932, until February 1st, 1950 when they moved into their Carolwood Drive house in Holmby Hills.

The $50,000 twelve-room French-Norman style house on Woking Way was built in the summer of 1932 in a mere two and a half months, to be in time for a baby that never arrived. The happy occasion finally occurred in December 1933 with the birth of daughter Diane Marie Disney. The text in the article is very general, but I still thought this interesting enough to post here.

By the way, all three houses were built by Walt himself. The 355 North Carolwood Drive mansion was incomprehensibly destroyed quite recently by the new owners, but like the $8,000 house on 2495 Lyric Ave, Walt's 4053 Woking Way house is still there, as seen on the Google Earth grab. Don't go bothering the owners, though!
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9 Comments:

Anonymous George Taylor says...

Hans,

Another great find!

Thanks for sharing with us. It helps to create a deeper understanding of the man, the times and his life.

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jenny Lerew says...

That's wonderful...I spent my high school years living nearby in Los Feliz below the Greek theater. I've never actually seen this Disney home, although I know the street. It must be quite set back. Thanks as always for posting this.

The demolishing of perfectly wonderful older homes(sometimes seriously important ones, such as those by paul Williams or Julia Morgan) is endemic to Bel Air and its environs; it's horrible. I'm SURE it's because the new owners want something "bigger" and more "up to date"--as in 30,000 sq feet of stucco and concrete or something equally absurd. The stupidity is that there's virtually no way a typical large house could be created today that would be as well made as what was done in Walt's time..the materials and craftsmanship aren't around any longer, not on that scale, no matter what's spent.
What a waste!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 4:13:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Mark Sonntag says...

In regards to demolishing Walt's home and probably putting up a concrete eyesore, as my wife often says, "People with money, don't necessarily have taste."

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 12:15:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Indeed! The unofficial story I heard is that Lillian Disney sold her Carolwood house on the condition that the new owners would keep the house intact. Then, when it changed hands, the new owners could not get the bulldozers in fast enough. As I said, this is hear-say, I have no good official source for this...

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 1:19:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Brian Sibley says...

Thanks for giving us this vintage story.

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 9:40:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Here are a few interesting postings for more info on the houses:
Lyric Ave, Woking Way and Carolwood Drive.

Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 3:32:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Michael Berman says...

Thank you for this! I'm reading Neal Gabler's biography of Disney and was curious about the sites in the area associated with him (I live in Glendale). The Better Homes and Gardens article was a nice find.

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Paula says...

Hans, Diane asked me to correct the "unofficial story" about the sale of the Carolwood House you mentioned in your comments. She notes that "Mother didn't specify that whoever bought her home had to live in it. It was sold to pay her estate taxes, and was a home Dad designed for the way he liked to live. It was pretty modest by current standards for that address."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 11:30:00 AM PST  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

Thank you, Paula and Diane! There are lots of rumors around, and it is great to get this one put in the ground from the most reliable source. Now - you can say "why then even mention it?" and you could be right. But truly, the world would not now have known the true story, for which I thank you again!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 11:40:00 AM PST  

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