CHICAGO

Walt Disney's Chicago Birthplace Will Be Restored, Turned Into Museum By New Buyers

12/03/2013 04:32 pm ET | Updated Dec 04, 2013
AP

The nondescript Chicago two-flat where, according to historians, famed cartoonist Walt Disney was born in 1901 is set to be developed into a museum and kid-focused community resource center.

The home, located at 2156 North Tripp Ave. in the city's Hermosa neighborhood, was sold to Dina Benadon and Brent Young, of the Hollywood-based amusement park firm Super 78, earlier this year, according to Crain's Chicago.

"Their goal is to protect and preserve the location and to open it as a museum to the public," a spokesman for Benadon and Young told Crain's.

The New York Times notes many others have aimed to "get people to care" about the 1893 home for decades, but the home was previously denied landmark status by a city committee due to the home's architectural insignificance and Disney's own controversial past when it came to matters of race and ethnicity.

Then-alderman (and current Cook County Board President) Toni Preckwinkle was one of the committee members who declined to grant the home landmark status in 1997.

"I think we have to be careful of who we choose as our heroes," Preckwinkle previously said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I don't find Walt Disney to be a hero. He was not only a well-known anti-Semite. He was racist and anti-labor."

Ground will be broken on the restoration at the Disney home on Thursday, which would have been the animation legend's 112th birthday, according to ABC Chicago.

Curbed Chicago notes Mayor Rahm Emanuel will also designate Thursday as "Walt Disney Day" in honor of the occasion.

As Yesterland noted in a 2008 article, few of the other places associated with Disney's childhood -- he lived in the city until the age of four and again from the age of 16-18 -- remain, having been replaced or destroyed over the years.

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