The Monsanto House of the Future opened at Disneyland in 1957 at the entrance to Tomorrowland. The house was designed by Monsanto, MIT and Disney Imagineers to showcase all the future technology that would be available to the modern family of 1987.
Monsanto was, and is, a chemical company (known for creating agent orange for the Vietnam war) that wanted to show that in the future, everything in your home would be made from synthetic materials. So they set out to create the House of the Future.
The house was made of fiberglass and shaped like a plus symbol, elevated on a pedestal. It was advertised that the entire structure would be able to rotate on the pedestal, giving the same room both a sunrise and a sunset view in the same day with the simple touch of a button. The 6 room house boasted a master bedroom with its own bathroom, 2 kids rooms with a shared bathroom, a living room, kitchen and dining room. The design also allowed for several configurations of the modules in order to grow with your family. Having twins? Have that new 2 bedroom module delivered and hooked up over a weekend.
Thanks to the wonders of chemistry, everything in the house was made of synthetic material, down to all the furniture in the house. The living room included a wall mounted big screen screen television. It wasn’t in working order but they actually got that one right. Maybe not for 1987, but we got there eventually.
The kitchen however, held the most technology of the house. Including a dishwasher and a microwave, allowing dinners to be cooked in a matter of a couple minutes. Most of the technological features of the house were designed as space saving and appeared out of the counter top or down from the upper cabinets with the push of a button
The House of the Future saw over 400,000 people in its first 6 weeks of operation and over 20 million in its 10 year run when it closed in 1967. The house became less popular as time went on because the House of the Future started to become the House of Today…a familiar trend we’ve now seen with the Innoventions Dream Home at Disneyland that opened in 2008.
The House of the Future closed in 1967 as Monsanto focused on it’s new attraction, Adventures Through Inner Space. The House of the Future was scheduled for a one night demolition and a wrecking ball was brought in to do the job. The night the house was to be knocked down, the wrecking ball took a swing…and bounced off. The house had been so ruggedly built that after several swings, the crew realized that it could not be knocked apart in the conventional manner. The one night demolition turned into a 2 week job with hacksaws and chainsaws.
Today, the foundation of the House of the Future still exists if you know where you look. It has been painted a dark shade of green and used as a planter in the Pixie Hollow area of the park. I’ve never gone looking for it myself (yet) but I think I might while I’m there for the 24 hour celebration on May 22nd.
Doing these little articles about old attractions that are gone from the landscape at Disneyland really make me wish I hadn’t missed 20 straight years at the park. All the previous articles have been about attractions that I was lucky enough to ride on or see but we’re now starting to get into things that were gone before I was even born. This is one of those attractions that I wish I could have seen. Thanks for reading.