By Alex Bahena ’19
Not many people are aware of the history of Hermosa or much of the surrounding neighborhoods. Not many know that a hundred years ago, one of the most innovative persons in history might have been walking where many Hermosa residents, and Pritzker students walk everyday.
Entrepreneur, Walt Disney spent his first few years of life in the Hermosa neighborhood. He lived in 2156 N. Tripp Ave. His parents designed the house when they were living in Chicago. The land was purchased by Disney’s father back in 1891. A few months later the house started the building process. The house was designed Disney’s mother. The children spent the first few years of their life here
After moving when he was four years of age the house changed owners and changed over the years. Around 2011, the house did not look like it looked in the 1900’s. The house was very worn down and got very ugly over the years. The house was likely to get demolished if nothing was done. That’s where the new owners came in. They didn’t want this piece of history to get demolished.
A lot of the history Disney left behind has been demolished like his famous first studio lot, home of the creation of Snow White, is no longer standing. Instead a supermarket stands in that location. The owners did not want the same tragedy to happen to the house so they purchased the home with a group of workers they hoped to restore the house to the original state.
During the rebuilding process, the contractors removed some of the floors and found a small compartment. It would turn out that small compartment will hold a small box with some documents, including drawings, birth certificates, and more things that had important value to Disney.
The house has finished its restoration process and can now is a museum and can be visited all 7 days from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s great to see in such a simple neighborhood in Chicago could have such great historical value. This history of this house could be called a Cinderella story. From being the home of a small person , who would go to do great things, to almost getting demolished, and finally being restored to its original state.
When people usually think about Disney they probably think about California,Florida, or the great animation movies. Now people can add Chicago to the list with his birthplace. There’s many more things left to discover about the history of Disney and the Hermosa neighborhood. The best part about the home is having such a satisfying piece of history. Especially close to a school where kids can grab inspiration from.