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The Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project

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So they have begun to work on the house? I had read on the kickstarter that it would only be done if they reached their goal by Jan 6th. If that's not the case, hooray! I would hate to see this project not get underway because they didn't reach the goal that quickly. I'm honestly a bit surprised they haven't raised more.

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^Thanks for the kind words! The removal of the aluminum siding on the front of the house was a necessary step for the landmarking process. Completing the restoration is still dependent on raising the funds to do so.


Our good friends at Pixie Vacations have created another incentive to make a pledge to the Kickstarter campaign: they're giving away a Walt Disney World vacation! Check out the (very simple) contest rules and PLEDGE TODAY! http://pixievacations.com/wdw-birthplace/


But the project is moving forward! Here's our latest project update:


Charles Pipal, the project’s preservation architect, and Dan Ruzic, another member of the Restoration Dream Team, spent some more time looking at the newly-exposed front of the home. They are already taking note of meaningful details; in their words:


“The front door likely had a full glass transom and we will be able to determine its exact size. One of the photos [see below] shows clearly the patch material and the scar of a drip cap above the door. The plaster patch inside also indicates this.


“Siding ran down to a skirt board at the foundation line.


“Much of the siding is original and the first color was likely tan or brown.


“The front door frame is original because all coats of paint lap from the siding onto it.


“We also noticed a distinction (quality, uniformity, nailing patterns) in the siding patch pieces from c1930 vs. the original siding.”


They also prepared a photo study to “help verify how much was changed when it was wrapped in aluminum.”


It is thrilling to see, even at the very beginnings of the restoration, how we are discovering more and more about the home’s original condition!







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^^Hey, Bill! Thanks to you as well! I'm sure you can pledge from Canada - we are ready to ship rewards anywhere in the world.


No I can't, Robert. The rules of the Kickstarter state, from "all 50 states and territories" etc. etc.


Any other suggestion is and will be appreciated.

Hope it's getting mucho $$$, all the same.


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^Hey, Bill, this is so weird; I'm not sure where you're running into a roadblock, but I know the project has gotten pledges from all over the world. And just this past summer, Kickstarter even allowed people in Canada to start projects of their own: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-in-canada-0


(On that page, it says: "Backers from anywhere in the world can pledge to any project on Kickstarter.")


Please don't give up! We need all the help we can get! Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays!

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Our latest project update:


“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walter Elias Disney


Seven days to go. Seven days to get an additional $425,000 in pledges. Are the odds in our favor?


“Never tell me the odds.” – Han Solo


This restoration is going to happen, because it should happen. How quickly it happens is still to be determined. We are still hopeful that we can bring in more of the Disney community to support this Kickstarter campaign. As of this moment, we have 630 Backers and we are incredibly grateful to have each and every one of you. Can we double that number? Triple it? Quadruple it?


Walt, Roy, and everyone at the company they built proved again and again that doing the impossible is possible. More accurately, they showed us that what we thought was impossible really wasn’t. Improbable, maybe, but not impossible.


We have already become one of Kickstarter’s highest-pledged art projects. Still, it’s improbable that we will get another $425,000 in pledges in seven days. But not impossible.


Even if we don’t go all the way, getting as high as we can get – in total Backers and the total amount pledged – will be meaningful to our fundraising efforts going forward. So let’s keep this train moving. See if you can get one more friend to support us. Then another. Then another still. And urge them to do the same.


Go nuts on Facebook. Send emails. Make phone calls. Tweet like you’ve never tweeted before.


Let’s dream big and let’s go big!


100K by New Years Day!

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Unfortunately, the project didn't fund. Here's the latest update:


This isn’t the end. This is just the beginning.


There are a lot of possible reasons why this Kickstarter campaign did not reach its goal, and while we will look back and learn from the experience, we are also moving forward. What we know and appreciate is the incredible amount of support we have received in the past 33 days. We are so optimistic about this project that we are going full steam ahead with the restoration. Next week, weather permitting, the meticulous work will reveal even more of the home’s original exterior and more clues to the home’s original state, inside and out.


Kickstarter is a great platform in two ways: one, and most importantly, it is a vehicle for YOU – the fan, the friend, the enthusiast – to get involved and be a part of the process. Two, it gave all of us on the Walt Disney Birthplace Team a motivating goal and deadline. It compelled us to get out there and tell the world about the project, to educate ourselves and our new audience. It compelled us to think about what we can do with the house after it’s restored, and how we can make the Disney Family story relevant to a generation that did not grow up watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color every Sunday night.


A “Rewarding” Experience


Several of you have asked this question: “If you don’t make it, is there some way I can still get my Reward(s)?”


We are working on that very thing. The T-Shirt, Pin, Posters, and Cedar Shake acrylic blocks are the most commonly requested items and we are figuring out what can be produced in more limited quantities at reasonable cost. We will make our best efforts to offer as many of our Rewards as we can.


House tour tickets, invitations to specific events, and the overnight stay will all still be available, too.


Know this, as well: Every one of our Backers on record at the conclusion of this campaign will have their names inscribed in our “Restoration Dream Team” book, the leather-bound volume that will be on display in the home when it is restored. That is a Reward you have all earned.


And we will include the printed "Charter Member of the Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project" Certificate with every other physical reward we send out.


We’ll keep you posted on the status of our Rewards in the days and weeks ahead.


Thank You!


We have so many people to thank.


We are overwhelmed by the amount of new friends with whom we have connected through this Kickstarter campaign, our Twitter account, our Facebook presence, even our new Instagram account. Thanks to all of you!


We must thank everyone from the City of Chicago who has embraced the Walt Disney Birthplace Project, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Alderman Ray Colón (35th Ward) and his Chief of Staff Martha Ramos: Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward); Illinois State Senator William Delgado; and Betsy Steinberg, Managing Director at The Illinois Film Office.


We are so grateful for all the local community support, including our Hermosa neighbors, the Chicago businesses, and especially all the children from William P. Nixon Elementary, who made Walt’s 112th birthday celebration at the house truly memorable.


To all of you in the Disney online fan community, the podcasters, the bloggers, everyone who was so instrumental in spreading the news about our project: THANKS SO MUCH! We hope you’ll stay with us as we press ahead!


We would also like to list of all the major contributors and team members.


The Super 78 Team


Robert Coker – Robert is spearheading the effort internally. Almost all of the materials generated and updates have come through him.


Michael “Oz” Smith – Our masterful technical director who is working on the video content, graphics and updates for the house.


Christina Henriksen – Development Coordinator of all schedules, meetings and travel, and all-around great internal support.


Derek Dolechek – Artwork and visual concept development, and all-around great internal support


Kate Crandall - Producing and keeping it all together.


Plus all of our interns and support staff, to all of you: thanks again and buckle up; there is a lot of work ahead of us.


Stay Tuned!


Again, this adventure is just getting started. We will continue to broadcast the project’s news and updates through Kickstarter and our website, and our Twitter feed, and more.


We will be adding a PayPal “Donate” button to the site very soon.


We will be opening an online “Gift Shop” very soon.


And we will be continuing to develop our exciting post-restoration plans for the home.


Keep those tuxes and ball gowns at the ready: our Gala Grand Re-Opening Ceremony is going to be epic.


All our best!


Dina & Brent

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  • 9 months later...

Here's the latest update I've found on the project.


CHICAGO — Though a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to renovate the birthplace of Walt Disney fell short earlier this year, things have turned around for the Hermosa home.


The plan is to turn the home at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. into a place that celebrates the filmmaker and inspires young children.


A fundraising campaign for the first phase of renovations on website Start Some Good ends Friday and already has raised almost $6,000 more than its $40,000 goal.


"This is a very exciting week for us," said Todd Regan, executive director of The Walt Disney Birthplace, in an email.


Workers are currently moving through phase one, which includes scraping and painting wood siding. Before the end of the year, re-creations of Victorian-era windows will be installed.


Disney's father, Elias, built the home in 1892, and the family lived in it until 1906, when Walt was 4 years old and they moved to Missouri.


When contemporary siding was removed earlier this year, the group found a hidden window and some nails "hammered by Elias himself," according to the fundraising page.


If the fundraiser hits $50,000, phase two of restoration can begin earlier than planned, Regan said.


Phase two, which is set to begin in the spring, includes installing the rest of the windows, reinstalling the front porch, putting up a picket fence, landscaping the property and putting in Victorian-era hardware and doors in the home.


The second phase "will really make the house look great," Regan said.


Disney would have been 115 years old on Friday, and the group will celebrate with a candle-lighting ceremony at the birthplace after a performance of "Beauty and the Beast" by children at The Miracle Center, 2311 N. Pulaski Road.


Tickets to the performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m., cost $10. The candle-lighting ceremony begins at 9 p.m. at 2156 N. Tripp Ave.


Source: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20141203/hermosa/phase-one-of-disney-house-restoration-nearly-complete

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