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« Daredevil Circus Spectacular at EPCOT Center | Main | Marc Davis and Disneyland's Rivers of America Rehab »
Sunday
May232010

The Future Was Fantastic in '57

A Look at Disneyland's Monsanto House of the Future

"Is everything of plastic?  Almost.  Dishes, cups, countertops, walls, floors, ceiling, tabletops, shelves, and cabinets.  Plastics in all their colorful, functional, and beautiful versatility have transformed a work area, have stepped it years ahead." 

It stood for a decade.  Ten thousand guests reportedly toured the home daily.  Monsanto presented it as what home living would be in the mid 1980s.  Many hoped to see this innovative home pop up in their own neighborhoods.  Sadly, this never became a common reality.  Nonetheless, we look back fondly at what it was:  An optimistic view of the future of everyday living.

Where was did it stand?  In the space between Matterhorn ('59), Sleeping Beauty Castle's entrance, and Tomorrowland's entrance.  (...where Pixie Hollow now stands and before that, Ariel's Grotto.... don't ask me why either were ever even considered for that spot.) 

"A feeling of space, of smooth, restful areas for living and resting. With your favorite stereophonic recordings on built-in high fidelity equipment."

"Even the scent of roses or salty sea air can be directed individually into every room."

 

As if David Hart's blog, The Invisible Agent wasn't cool enough, he has recently posted a bunch of great Monsanto House of the Future photos and artwork.

Critics of the house say the living space is too small.  I find the rendering below to be fascinating because it shows how you might expand your house.  "Futuristic models sprout wings where you need them."  2,560 square feet of house (on 512 square feet of foundation)  in the "Mansion" model with carport ain't too shabby.

The great Yesterland.com has gotten their hands on a great printed piece from Monsanto, "The Future Won't Wait" about The House of the Future.  They have shared it's contents in this must-read post.

I remember as a boy, my father telling me about learning of newfangled 'microwave ovens' in the house and just how incredible that was.  If given the chance, would I choose to live in a Monsanto House of the Future?  Yep.  If a mid-century ranch style house in the outer rings of the city of Epcot is not an option, I would.  I think motorized cupboards, a monitor in my bathroom showing who's at my front door, and the overall fun shape would be a real fly way to dwell. 

Reader Comments (11)

I think it's amazing how much those desks, table, sofas and benches look like they're straight out of this year's Ikea catalog.

May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Alcorn

Me too, Mitch. The split level rancher would have rocked but I'm a man who likes small spaces. My current habitat is long but tight. It reminds me of living in a submarine and i sleep very well at night. Too much space is great to impress the neighbors but for peace and a tight family unit, overly large houses are proven to destroy that value.

I'd take the house of the future over anything but I'd wish mine was made of plastics that aren't petroleum based:)

May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

The plastic walls and ceilings would never make it past fire codes nowadays, because they melt and drip onto the people below them. Just sayin.

And having pixie hollow right between tomorrowland and fantasyland made sence to me. While dads and sons are making themselves dizzy and sick on that starwars motion ride (I love star wars, but that ride is awfull) moms and daughters get to meet fairies. You just don't like Pixi Hallow because you're a dude! Hahahah

I was never able to see this in person, but I'd definitely take up residence there. Though, I completely agree with you about the ranch - in fact, I just sent my wife this article - http://have2ask.com/node/35 - which would definitely receive preferential treatment.
Great post, Mitch!

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMHR

Ikea wishes it had that furniture. Regardless of materials, the place looks like such a rad place to live. More colorful than I pictured it being.

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnony

I wonder if any of the foundation or original rockwork is still there. I'll be at Disneyland tomorrow so I'll try to see... I'm doubting I'll find anything but it's worth a shot.

May 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSKIPP

That is amazing design work.

May 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterprincess

I remember going in that house when I was a kid. The one thing I remember the most was the toilet that had a foot pedal flusher.

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim 51

The architect working with Monsanto was an MIT professor. If you're coming through Boston, the MIT Museum has a couple original plans and drawings on display as part of its MIT150 exhibition.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Those are very modern houses. Out of the ordinary.
real estate seo

July 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

So cool, I would love that house and the retro furniture is totally back in style and today's youth thinks it's a new thing. Just like the clothes and shoes we wore in high school are back now, platform shoes. I love the sleek lines and simplicity and no clutter. If I had money I would build one!

June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

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