Monsanto House of the Future

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Monsanto House of the Future
Monsanto Plastics Home of the Future, Disneyland, 1958 (15364290924).jpg
Disneyland
AreaTomorrowland
Coordinates33°48′45″N 117°55′06″W / 33.81250°N 117.91833°W / 33.81250; -117.91833Coordinates: 33°48′45″N 117°55′06″W / 33.81250°N 117.91833°W / 33.81250; -117.91833
StatusClosed
Soft opening dateJune 11, 1957
Opening dateJune 12, 1957
Closing dateDecember 1967
Replaced byAlpine Gardens
General statistics
Attraction typeWalkthrough attraction
DesignerMarvin Goody & Richard Hamilton
ThemeFuturistic House set in 1986
Site area1,280 sq ft (119 m2)
Participants per group60,000 per week
SponsorMonsanto Company
External video
“The Monsanto House of the Future Video Film”, The Disneyland infaMOUSEproject

The Monsanto House of the Future was an attraction at Disneyland's Tomorrowland.[1] in Anaheim, California, USA, from 1957 to 1967.[2]

History[edit]

Sponsored by Monsanto Company, the House of the Future was made possible by Monsanto, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Walt Disney Imagineering.[1] With this project, Monsanto wanted to demonstrate plastics' versatility as a high-quality, engineered material. The design team for this innovative structure included MIT architecture faculty Richard Hamilton and Marvin Goody (founders of Goody Clancy) and MIT civil engineering faculty Albert G. H. Dietz [3] , Frank J. Heger, Jr. (a founder of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger) and Frederick J. McGarry. The MIT faculty worked with the Engineering Department of Monsanto's Plastics Division, including R. P. Whittier and M. F. Gigliotti. The house, featuring four symmetric wings cantilevered off a central core, was fabricated with glass-reinforced plastics.

The attraction offered a tour of a home of the future, featuring household appliances such as microwave ovens, which eventually became commonplace.[4] The house saw over 435,000 visitors within the first six weeks of opening, and ultimately saw over 20 million visitors before being closed.[5]

The house closed in 1967. The building was so sturdy that when demolition crews failed to demolish the house using wrecking balls, torches, chainsaws and jackhammers, the building was ultimately demolished using choker chains to crush it into smaller parts. The plastic structure was so strong that the half-inch steel bolts used to mount it to its foundation broke before the structure itself did.[6]:6

The reinforced concrete foundation was never removed, and remains in its original location, now the Pixie Hollow, where it has been painted green and is used as a planter.[7]

Rebirth[edit]

The House of the Future has had a significant impact on later design at Disney and Epcot.[3][7] In February 2008, Disney announced it would conceptually bring back the attraction with a more modern and accessible interior. The $15 million Innoventions Dream Home was a collaboration of the Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, software maker LifeWare, and homebuilder Taylor Morrison.[8]

In 2010, MIT Museum Architecture Curator Gary Van Zante gave a presentation on campus where he showed archived drawings and photographs of the plastic house. The talk, titled Back to the Future: A 1950s House of the Future, was part of the Cambridge Science Festival.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gross, Daniel A. (2015). "Plastic Town". Distillations Magazine. 1 (3): 26–33. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  2. ^ Phillips, Stephen (2004). "Plastics: Monsanto Home of the Future". In Colomina, Beatriz. Cold War hothouses inventing postwar culture, from cockpit to Playboy. New York, N.Y.: Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 102-. ISBN 9781568983028.
  3. ^ a b Mannheim, Steve (2004). Walt Disney and the quest for community. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-1974-1.
  4. ^ "Inside Monsanto's House of the Future, 1957". Mental_Floss. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Living in the Monsanto House of the Future". Disney Avenue. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Weinstein, Dave. "Plastic Fantastic Living Disneyland's spectacular 'Monsanto House of the Future' combined science, showmanship and dreams". Eichler Network. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Homage to the House of the Future". Yesterland. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  8. ^ Flaccus, Gillian (13 February 2008). "Disney Revives 'House of the Future'". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on 17 February 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ Marcott, Amy (30 April 2010). "Houses: Make Mine Small, Modular, and Made of Plastic". MIT Alumni Association.

External links[edit]