The future – are we there yet?
From 1957 to 1967, the House of the Future floated above the Tomorrowland grounds at Disneyland in Anaheim. The building was home to an imaginary family, and the future was a vision of synthetic marvels (sponsored by plastics giant Monsanto). Back then, the future was 1986. So… 23 years on, why aren't we all living in homes like this?
The House of the Future was the promise of greatness to come, a model of grace and elegance crafted from the new wonder product – plastic. Super clean, super convenient. A white spaceship-like object with four wings and panoramic windows, it featured a living room with a giant wall-mounted TV screen, a stylish family room with plastic furniture, and a kitchen complete with pop-up closets and a microwave rising out of its counter.
There was a master bedroom, a girl's room, a boy's room, and two bathrooms. A wall panel controlled the temperature, but also offered fragrance options, from roses to sea air. All that, and a futuristic push-button phone gave the lady of the house the chance to chat with her friends hands-free while applying her makeup. Ooh, fancy that!
In 1967, the house was demolished – a process which, by all accounts, took a great deal of effort. The wrecking ball apparently bounced off the walls, so it was taken apart by hacksaw. Some of the structure remains – the support pillars, which are still visible in Neptune's Grotto.
The house's landscaping, waterfalls and walkways also remain under the name 'Alpine Gardens', and Disney has resurrected the idea of a futuristic house with the recent Innoventions Dream Home. But it looks nothing like this. Shame. We may have an abundance of microwaves and plasma TVs, but there are still very few plastic houses. RM