Los Angeles

Disney's First LA Studio: Future Unknown

The legend stayed with his aunt and uncle at the Los Feliz bungalow back in the '20s.

If you're a preservation-minded supporter of early Los Angeles abodes, especially those tied to monumental figures in our city's story (and, indeed, the world at large), you can get pretty chuffed when the word "demolished" is replaced with an interesting alternative.

That's just what's happening with the Los Feliz bungalow that once belonged to the aunt and uncle of Walt Disney. Word that the 1914 house would be demolished spread through the conservation community in recent days, and talk of designating it an Historic Cultural Monument soon flowered, reports LA Magazine.

The magazine also revealed that the house's new owners purchased it without knowing its Disney-important history, a history that involves a young Walter Elias Disney and his course-changing stay in LA nearly a century ago (July 1923, to be specific).

Many an aspiring creative person lands on a relative's Southern California couch, and Mr. Disney did, too, long ago. This was the home that held that proverbial couch, and served as a work space for the animator, and Disney fans are eager to see it remain intact, as are preservation-minded advocates and Councilmember David Ryu, too, per the magazine.

Will that mean an historic designation for the house? Or something more Disney-iconic than that: A full-on move?

None other than those hardworking champions of local artifacts, the folks at the Valley Relics Museum, have stepped in to see about possibly transporting the solidly built building. "If the Valley Relics Museum, as a last resort, was willing to move and preserve the original Disney house, what would you say?" asked a Facebook post on the museum's page.

"Disney-iconic," as a way to describe such a move, isn't too fanciful. Consider that a number of notable Disney-related pieces have made major moves over the years.

For one? Ponder the nice fate of Walt's Barn, which once sat near his Holmby Hills house and now resides in Griffith Park. And think of the giant letters spelling "CALIFORNIA," the ones that used to stand before the entrance to Disney California Adventure and now live on at Sacramento's Cal Expo.

And remember the Maleficent dragon head, the one retired from the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Light Parade, rolling down the Golden State Freeway back in 2012, on its way to an exhibit at the Reagan Library?

Clearly moving major Disney artifacts around, from place to place, is part of the larger Disney magic. If that includes the first place the visionary stayed in LA, a sizable bungalow, well... clearly some waving of a wand, fairy godmother-style, will have worked for the fans who want to see the bungalow live on.

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