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Disney Boyhood Home's Kickstarter Falls Short, but Museum Effort Continues

By Victoria Johnson | February 28, 2014 8:38am | Updated on February 28, 2014 9:33am
 A Los Angeles couple continue to work toward opening a museum in Walt Disney's childhood home.
Walt Disney Childhood Home
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HERMOSA — A Kickstarter campaign to help pay for renovating Walt Disney's boyhood home on Tripp Avenue has fallen short, but the plan to make the moviemaker's house a museum is moving forward, a spokesman for the project said.

"Regarding the funding, our Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful," project spokesman Robert Coker wrote in an email Thursday. "Our goal was to raise $500,000, and our final tally came in at $111,138. But that number did make us one of Kickstarter's most highly pledged art projects."

Dina Benadon and Brent Young of Los Angeles bought the house at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. last June in hopes of converting it into a museum celebrating the life and Chicago beginnings of Disney and his brother, Roy O. Disney.

Coker said they still are working to raise money to renovate Disney's childhood home in Hermosa

Online Disney fan community MiceChat.com, for instance, threw a fundraising event last week in Anaheim, Calif., to help fund restoration work, which the owners hope to start after gaining landmark status from the city.

"We are moving forward with the restoration as part of our work with the Chicago Landmarks Commission," Coker wrote. "The landmark application process required removal of the aluminum siding to determine how much of the original structure still existed, and what condition it was in."

"And we recently started working with the Walt Disney Archives as part of our historical research into the family history," he added.

Meanwhile, Coker said updates will continue to be posted on the project website and Twitter page.

The house was built in 1893 by Disney's father Elias; the family lived there until 1906.

The couple who bought the home, for $173,000, are the owners of Super 78 Studios, which creates animation and exhibits for theme parks. Benadon has said "our dream is that this house becomes a place that inspires creativity."

Neighbors and local politicians have expressed enthusiasm for the project, which is not an official Walt Disney Co. production but does have the approval of Roy P. Disney, a grandson of Roy O. Disney.