Main Street Book Club

The Great, Big, Beautiful, House Of The Future

If it’s been a minute since you’ve learned something new about Disney, then do I have a book recommendation for you.

The House of the Future by David A. Bossert digs deep into the creation, existence, and demolition of a Disneyland attraction that, in my opinion, optimized the purpose of Walt’s Tomorrowland – a place to optimistically present glimpses of the future.

On June 12, 1957, Disneyland opened The House of the Future near the entrance to Tomorrowland. It was a house like few had seen before – plastic, shaped like a plus sign, and perched in the air. Inside, the house’s furnishings were minimal and modern. Honestly, the structure looks like something out of a Jetsons cartoon (although impossible because the Jetsons weren’t even on television yet).

Not a ride, The House of the Future was a walk-through experience. Guests toured from room to room much like an open house. New technologies were highlighted, like an ultrasonic dishwasher and a climate control panel. The bathrooms were molded plastic with no corners to clean or grout to scrub. Some innovations eventually did become mainstream, like microwaves and push-button phones. Other concepts, like adjustable height bathroom sinks, never really caught on.

At 1,280 square feet, The House of the Future was small. The parent bedroom was a mere 256 square feet with limited space to keep stuff. But all this was on purpose. The minimal foundation requirements meant houses of similar construction could fit onto very small lots or even perched on the side of a cliff. The House of the Future celebrated living with less and family togetherness.

Ironically, the “built to last” House of the Future stood in the park for only a decade, but that wasn’t the fault of its design or construction. In 1967, ideas to reinvent Tomorrowland were in the works and the house’s location was needed for something else. Also, the financial sponsor, Monsanto, was no longer interested in paying for the attraction’s operation.

When the day came to take down The House of the Future, wrecking balls bounced off the plastic exterior, a crane uplifted when pulling the house from its foundation, and steel bolts broke before the fiberglass did. It was as if the house was trying to stay. (Wouldn’t you if you lived in Disneyland?)

This is just a smattering of some of the stories you’ll find in Bossert’s 183-page book about The House of the Future. What I can’t include here are the images Bossert has been authorized to publish – everything from rarely-seen photos of Walt to construction photos and marketing materials. If you are a Disney history buff, you will definitely appreciate all the new information Bossert has uncovered.

The House Of The Future: Walt Disney, MIT, and Monsanto’s Vision of Tomorrow was released in October of 2023. It can be purchased at bookstores or directly from the publisher at

For more book recommendations, check out our Main Street Book Club page.

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