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Monsanto House of the Future

Architects: Richard Hamilton and Marvin Goody
Year of completion: 1957
Location: Tomorrowland (Disneyland) Anaheim, CA, USA

Demolished in 1967
Latest update 25 February 2021

  • Monsanto House, photo Ralph Crane/the Life Picture Collection/Getty Images.
  • Monsanto House floor plan, courtesy of the Disney Corporation.
  • Monsanto House. Photo source unknown.
  • Publicity photo Disneyland. Source: disneyavenue.wordpress.com.
  • Monsanto’s House of the Future attraction was on display at Disneyland from 1957 to 1967. Photograph: Ralph Crane/Getty Images.
  • Photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine.
  • Interior view of the kitchen in the House of the Future attraction. Photo: Ralph Crane/Getty Images.
  • Architect Marvin Goody outside the house. Photo source Alamy.
  • Demolotion of the Monsanto House in 1967. Photo source unknown.
  • Demolotion of the Monsanto House in 1967. Photo source unknown.
  • Monsanto House, photo Ralph Crane/the Life Picture Collection/Getty Images.
  • Monsanto House floor plan, courtesy of the Disney Corporation.
  • Monsanto House. Photo source unknown.
  • Publicity photo Disneyland. Source: disneyavenue.wordpress.com.
  • Monsanto’s House of the Future attraction was on display at Disneyland from 1957 to 1967. Photograph: Ralph Crane/Getty Images.
  • Photo courtesy of LIFE Magazine.
  • Interior view of the kitchen in the House of the Future attraction. Photo: Ralph Crane/Getty Images.
  • Architect Marvin Goody outside the house. Photo source Alamy.
  • Demolotion of the Monsanto House in 1967. Photo source unknown.
  • Demolotion of the Monsanto House in 1967. Photo source unknown.

Monsanto House of the Future

Sponsored by Monsanto Company, the House of the Future was made possible by Monsanto, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Walt Disney Imagineering. With this project, Monsanto wanted to demonstrate plastics' versatility as a high-quality, engineered material. The design team for this innovative structure included MIT architecture faculty Richard Hamilton and Marvin Goody (founders of Goody Clancy) and MIT civil engineering faculty Albert G. H. Dietz, Frank J. Heger, Jr. (a founder of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger) and Frederick J. McGarry. The MIT faculty worked with the Engineering Department of Monsanto's Plastics Division, including R. P. Whittier and M. F. Gigliotti. The house, featuring four symmetric wings cantilevered off a central core, was fabricated with glass-reinforced plastics.

The Attraction

The attraction offered a tour of a home of the future, featuring household appliances such as microwave ovens, which eventually became commonplace. The house saw over 435,000 visitors within the first six weeks of opening, and ultimately saw over 20 million visitors before being closed.

The house closed in 1967. The building was so sturdy that when demolition crews failed to demolish the house using wrecking balls, torches, chainsaws and jackhammers, the building was ultimately demolished using choker chains to crush it into smaller parts. The plastic structure was so strong that the half-inch steel bolts used to mount it to its foundation broke before the structure itself did.

The reinforced concrete foundation was never removed, and remains in its original location, now the Pixie Hollow, where it has been painted green and is used as a planter.

Monsanto's Plastic "Home of the Future" at Disneyland (1957)

Uploaded by Park Ride History, 15 February 2020
Disneyland, Monsanto and a house made of plastic. What could possibly be a better combination? The new PRH series "Opening Days" kicks off with a look at The Monsanto House of the Future. Functioning as a walkthrough attraction, the house was meant to represent the future of home design. Utilizing plastic and other man-made materials as it's primary building components.

Rebirth

The House of the Future has had a significant impact on later design at Disney and Epcot. In February 2008, Disney announced it would conceptually bring back the attraction with a more modern and accessible interior. The $15 million Innoventions Dream Home was a collaboration of the Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, software maker LifeWare, and homebuilder Taylor Morrison.

In 2010, MIT Museum Architecture Curator Gary Van Zante gave a presentation on campus where he showed archived drawings and photographs of the plastic house. The talk, titled Back to the Future: A 1950s House of the Future, was part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

The attraction served as the basis for the The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse episode "House of Tomorrow".

Source: Wikipedia.

Monsanto House of the Future

Richard Hamilton and Marvin Goody

1957, USA

Monsanto House, photo Ralph Crane/the Life Picture Collection/Getty Images.