Most everyone knows Walt Disney was born in Chicago, right? Startlingly, we've never written about Walt's birthplace, even though its status has been a bone of contention for decades and it's been on the market for the better part of five years. According to yesterday's Trib feature, a movement in the 1990s to landmark the humble frame house faltered. There was pushback, and who could fault the argument that Walt was a known anti-Semite and a racist. In the words of Ald. Bernard Stone in the late-90s landmark debate: "Walt Disney was a bigot, and I'm not going to sit here on a panel and create a historical landmark for a bigot." A bit later, the Committee on Historical Landmarks voted down the proposal. The Hermosa home's total renovation to two-flat erased most indications of an 1891 structure and any traces of Walt that may or may not have been there. That was a significant factor in ruling against landmark protection. The owner's opposition was another.
Now, having spent all this time on the market (15 mos. uninterrupted), the historic treasure(?) can be yours for just $179K, $11K less than the sellers paid for it in 2002. As you can see, it ain't in the greatest shape. Nor was it staged in any noticeable way. The two units consist of a 2/1 and a 1/1 . There are no signifiers to its Disney family connection, just a heap of faded aluminum siding. The specifics of Walt's connection are this: his father Elias, a carpenter at the World's Columbian Expo, built the home and Walt was born right into it in 1901 (on the second floor to be precise). Four years later, the family moved to Missouri and Walt was never again associated with Chicago. If that's enough to tickle your fancy, why not buy it just to have it?
·Listing: 2156 N Tripp Ave. [Roman Realty Group]
·Walt Disney's birthplace draws interest but no buyers [Cityscapes]