Thursday, July 28, 2011

Disney's Woking Way home - more photos

Here are some more images from Walt Disney's Woking Way home. Some are from the real estate agent who's listed the house for sale, while others come from the collection of my friend Mark Sonntag, the January 1940 edition of Better Homes and Gardens, and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

The first two images show the living room. The 1930s image shows the living room decked out with a Christmas tree. The modern day photo shows the beautiful floor to ceiling stained glass window, which I believe has a view of he swimming pool. This is the window the Christmas tree was placed in front of.

The stained glass window had some gorgeous detailed work. Walt Disney's daughter Diane Disney Miller recalled there was also an insert featuring an image of William Shakespeare.

The next image shows the back side of the house, where the pool would eventually be built. You an see the aforementioned stained glass window on the right side of the image. On the left side is the staircase where the color photo of Walt and Lillian was taken.

The following set of images show Walt Disney in the backyard before the swimming pool was built. In August 1942 Disney participated in a Los Angeles wartime scrap drive by donating two iron deer to the War Production Board's Conservation Division. The Snow White playhouse built for Diane and her sister Sharon is visible in the background.

In The Animated Man, A Life of Walt Disney, author Michael Barrier wrote, "Roy Disney marveled in 1968 at the audacity of the construction: 'He hung this swimming pool up on the corner of this darn thing. It's a granite hill and we were taking bets to see if it would stand. It's thirty-five years and it's still there.'"

As you can see in the second image, the swimming pool and the playhouse are still there to this very day.

On a clear day, this is the view Disney and his family enjoyed.  According to the Better Homes and Gardens article, "When the air [is] clear...he has a 90-degree view. He can see the Pacific and even Santa Catalina Island, about 40 miles away. Below is spread that fascinating checkered panorama of Pasadena, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Beverley Hills...he can see his beloved studio, where inanimate pictures leap magically to life."

The next image shows the beautiful winding staircase that joins the two floors. Regarding the gorgeous painted ceiling, Michael Barrier wrote, "'Everybody gets mad at the rich for owning these big places,' [Walt Disney] told the Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, 'but they forget how many jobs it creates . . . I built a house in Los Feliz during the Depression. Men used to line up there in the morning hoping to get work. I found a graduate of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and had him paint my whole ceiling.'"

The second image in this set shows Walt and Lillian posing on the right side at the base of the staircase. The shot was taken by famed photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull, who took several images of Walt and Lillian throughout the house during that shoot.

The next two images picture Walt and Lillian in the home library. The images were an almost identical pose.

The next two photos show the screening room. The family would often get together to watch first run movies like Gone With the Wind. Diane Disney Miller recalled, "That room was once the den and a guest bedroom. It was furnished differently . . . it had a couch. We saw all the great movies of the time, including Hop-a-long Cassidy and Roy Rogers films, as well as dailies from dad's current live-action films."


The final image shows Walt standing beside what looks like the fireplace visible in the first two images at the start of this post.

Hope you enjoyed this trip back in time!


Snow White Archive said...

Those are just some terrific photos, particularly of Walt and Lillian. What a wonderful find!

Pat and Karen said...

Thanks for showing the THEN and NOW pictures. It makes the set of pictures so much more interesting.