Monsanto House of the Future

Monsanto House of the Future

Picture credit:

Picture credit:

Picture credit:

In 1955, Walt Disney opened Tomorrowland, a futuristic-themed section of his Disneyland amusement park in California. This is how the world envisioned the future. Unfortunately, it seems we are living a less futuristic life today, than many would have thought 50 years ago. There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but millions of McMansions without any sense of structure or beauty is an eye sore for all of us who do have an eye for beauty.

The original configuration of Tomorrowland featured attractions such as the "TWA Moonliner," a mock-up of an atomic-powered spaceship that was designed with the help of rocketry pioneer Warner von Braun.

Two years later, Tomorrowland debuted an even more outlandish vision, "Monsanto’s House of the Future," a home in which virtually everything — including the structure itself — was made of plastic and other synthetic materials. The frame of the structure was 100% plastic, nearly 15,000 pounds of it. Interiors favored plastics and fiberglass, but also included textiles, glass, bronze and metals. The interiors were designed with the aid of 12 companies; and included an ultrasonic dishwasher, climate control panel, and visual phone.

Built by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists and the Boston-based architectural firm of Hamilton & Goody, the house had four equally sized wings resting on a central pedestal. While some of its innovations — such as an ultrasonic dishwasher and plastic sinks with adjustable heights — never came to pass, others — such as the microwave oven, speaker phone and big-screen TV — were remarkably prescient. Although the plastic construction never quite caught on, it proved admirably durable. When it came time to tear down the exhibit in 1967, a wrecking ball bounced harmlessly off the structure, and the house ultimately had to be dismantled by hand (which is unfortunate, since it should have been preserved of course).

Construction Pictures:

Picture Credit:

After the Monsanto House of the Future was completed at Disneyland in 1957, architect Marvin Goody (standing) and project manager Robert Whittier '51 (seated) relaxed in the yard. Just out of view in this picture was Disneyland's signature castle, where the towers and turrets contrasted sharply with the house's clean lines and curves:

You can watch the original footage of the House of the Future here:

Part 1:

Part 2:


Make sure to check the website of Daveland Photography for additional pictures of the house of the future: