Wikipedia says, “Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance.”
These are buildings that have either played a meaningful role or were the home or workplace of someone who contributed to telling the American story. One of those people, who is considered one of our greatest storytellers, is Walt Disney. Along with his older brother, Roy, Walt spent the first years of his life growing up and playing at 1249 Tripp Avenue (currently 2156 Tripp Avenue) in Chicago, Illinois. The address may have changed, as well as the tenants and physical appearance of the house, but the fact remains that Walt and Roy Disney spent part of their childhood in that house.
Even though the house did have a number of owners throughout the years, the one thing the house never did have, for various reasons, was landmark status. Because the house never had landmark status, whenever the house was on the market, there was always the possibility of it being razed. That is until husband and wife Dina Benadon and Brent Young, theme park attraction producers, came along this past June and purchased the former Disney home. (We have an in-depth interview with Dina and Brent up on the blog also).
In an interview with Victoria Johnson from DNAinfo.com, Brent Young said, “Part of our plan is to really bring this house to life so when you visit it and go inside of it you will experience what it was like to be a part of the Disney family.”
Walt Disney’s Birthplace – current view
Image: Super 78
However, to bring this house to life and preserve a building that not only Walt, Roy and his siblings lived in, but also that their mother Flora designed and their father Elias built, it will take money to fund the project. That’s where Disney fans like us can help.
Dina Benadon & Brent Young
Dina and Brent have set up a Kickstarter funding program and hope to raise $500,000 by 5:56pm EST on January 6, 2014 for the restoration of the house. There is no donation that is too small, even one dollar helps. There are also great awards for every level.
For a pledge of $5.00 or more, you will be listed in their “Restoration Dream Team Charter Members” book in the house, inclusion in the “Thanks To Our Charter Members” section of the website, as well as a digital “Charter Member of the Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project” certificate. At a pledge level of $500 or more, there is a limited edition Walt Disney Birthplace Cedar Shake Wood Chip encased in an acrylic block. These are one-of-a-kind chips that came directly from the original cedar shake roof material Elias used to build the house! There is also a level that will give you an engraved paver stone at the house. For a pledge of $10,000 or more, there is a very special, limited package that includes a one-night stay in the home, as well as round-trip airfare. There are also other amazing awards including ticketed tours of the home, posters of the home’s concept art, a limited-edition Victorian-Ear door key (contemporary to the year Elias built the house) and much more.
However, The Walt Disney Birthplace Historic Preservation Project is offering a very special offer to fans of our blog and listeners of the DIS Unplugged Podcast.
Artist Rendering of the restored home by Clara Moon
Image: Walt Disney Birthplace Project
As was mentioned earlier, the project’s Kickstarter campaign is offering, for a $10,000 pledge, an incredibly exclusive one-night stay (for two) at the restored home. (Note that this is a private residence, so this opportunity will only be available to a handful of people).
But, they are also giving away a one-night stay at the home to one lucky backer. Here’s how to enter:
1. Make a Kickstarter pledge in the amount of $5 or more to The Walt Disney Birthplace Historic Preservation Project. This is only available for one week beginning Saturday, December 28, 2013.
2. We will also have an exclusive random-drawing giveaway to one of our readers of a limited-edition Walt Disney Birthplace authentic roofing material (cedar shake) from the home, molded into a 4” x 3” x 1” acrylic block. Each of these one-of-a-kind chips has come directly from the original material Elias used to build the house. For whomever wins this random drawing, the block is yours to keep, whether their funding goal is reached or not.
3. After making your pledge, leave a comment in the “Comments” section telling them that you heard about the project through The DIS Blog! Those are the only requirements and you may enter as many times as you like, but each entry requires a separate pledge! (You only need to leave one comment.)
This truly is a unique and rare chance to be a part of and to immerse yourself in the past of Walt and Roy Disney like never before!
Travel expenses to the home are not included and the overnight stay giveaway will only take place if they reach their funding goal.
The Walt Disney Birthplace is not affiliated in any way with The Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries.