The Happiest Home On Earth


The mastermind behind Disneyland and Walt Disney World and the creator of some of the world’s most beloved children’s films, Walt Disney was one of America’s greatest visionaries, animators, movie producers and business innovators. A native of Chicago who got his start as the cartoonist on his high school paper, Walt Disney first moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in animation in 1923, following a stint as a Red Cross ambulance driver in World War I. Together with his brother Roy, he formed the Disney Brothers Studio, which would become the international powerhouse The Walt Disney Company.

The studio’s first major success was with the iconic character Mickey Mouse, originally voiced by Walt himself. In 1932, with the proceeds from his Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony films, Walt purchased a plot of land in LA’s Los Feliz neighbourhood, where he would build a home and raise two daughters with his wife, Disney Studio secretary Lillian. It was in this house where Walt imagined and worked on some of his most important movies, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, and Pinocchio. In fact, the original home theatre where Walt watched the dailies of his famous films, now updated with modern technology, is a major feature of the home.

Currently owned by Kazakh filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, himself a big-time Disney fan, the property where the Disney family lived from 1932 to 1950 is being offered for lease at $40,000 per month. Walt worked with architect Frank Crowhurst to design and build his striking residence, which mixes French Provincial, Country Tudor, and Neo-Gothic styles. Covered in vines, the four-bedroom mansion features a turret, a cobblestone motor court, and stained-glass windows. All the rage in the 1920s and 30s, LA’s storybook homes feature whimsical designs that evoke the aesthetic of fairy tales. Years later in 1955, the architecture of Walt’s Disneyland theme park in Anaheim would follow a complementary style.

The meticulously maintained home boasts a mixture of modern convenience and Old World charm, furnished with carefully chosen antiques. Enter through the rotunda to find a grand two-story living room, with vaulted-wood-beamed ceilings, wood-panelled walls, a brick fireplace, and views of the gardens and LA skyline. The gorgeous kitchen features a centre island, stainless steel appliances, marble counters, custom cabinets, and a walk-in pantry. The formal dining room includes French doors and a muraled ceiling. The spacious primary suite boasts ample closets and a massive bathroom with dual vanities.

Sitting on over an acre, the park-like grounds feature a large pool, landscaped walkways, lush lawns, and a trellised outdoor dining area. An adorable cottage-style playhouse that was the Disney girls’ Christmas gift in 1937 still adorns the yard.

Los Feliz is a hillside LA neighbourhood that abuts Hollywood and the 4,200-acre Griffith Park. Disney’s home is only a short drive from the park, which includes numerous options for entertainment including the Griffith Observatory, The Greek Theatre, The Roosevelt Golf Course and dozens of trails. Celebrities who call the neighbourhood home include Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry and Eva Mendes.

The listing is held by Chase Campen of Compass.

Source: www.compass.com

Image Credit: Joel Danto of TheLuxLevel

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