Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard in Disneyland

Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard in Disneyland

Material Information

Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard in Disneyland
Rowland, Michelle M
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla.]
University of South Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Walt Disney
Urban planning
Frank Lloyd Wright
Henry Ford
World fairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Art History -- Masters -- USF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


ABSTRACT: While political praise and condemnation of Disney is commonplace in the literature, my research will focus instead on the origination of Disney's design plan for Disneyland and the theoretical and physical connections between key historical figures and the finished product. I will not consider what Disneyland means to the world today---that is a subject many others have covered, some even brilliantly; instead, I will consider what social concepts contributed to the initial design in an attempt to see the underlying values at work in this post-modern utopia. In this thesis, I intend to show that Walt Disney's initial design for Disneyland was influenced by Ebenezer Howard's Garden City concept. In addition to Howard's vision, Disney also incorporated concepts from Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and Henry Ford's mass market manufacturing theories.^ I do not intend to claim that these are the only influences on Disney's initial plan for his amusement park, but I will show that the physical layout of the park reflects Howard's Garden City plan, the architecture considers some of Wright's designs, and the way the park is run incorporates some of the ideas of Henry Ford. I have purposely avoided any works that consider the corporate aspects of Disney and the current Disney Corporation. Instead, I have focused my research on the intentions surrounding Disney's initial design plan. My position is that Disney's parks are real, successful, and expanding internationally - not mere fantasy like earlier 19th social reformers whose actual accomplishments are relatively small and have not been not sustainable locally or internationally. Disney realized the importance of a TEMPORARY place rather than a PERMANENT residence.^ ^Disney understood the literal definition of utopia to mean "no where" and therefore did not create a utopia that was a real place. Both Howard and Disney sought to offer a utopia. Howard had hopes of revitalizing the social order with his new cities, and Disney hoped to offer the average family a place where they could have fun and enjoy one another in a safe and entertaining environment.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 89 pages.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michelle M. Rowland.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
001966280 ( ALEPH )
262845126 ( OCLC )
E14-SFE0002225 ( USFLDC DOI )
e14.2225 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam Ka
controlfield tag 001 001966280
003 fts
005 20081020145347.0
006 m||||e|||d||||||||
007 cr mnu|||uuuuu
008 081020s2007 flu sbm 000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0002225
N5300 (ONLINE)
1 100
Rowland, Michelle M.
0 245
Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard in Disneyland
h [electronic resource] /
by Michelle M. Rowland.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
b University of South Florida,
3 520
ABSTRACT: While political praise and condemnation of Disney is commonplace in the literature, my research will focus instead on the origination of Disney's design plan for Disneyland and the theoretical and physical connections between key historical figures and the finished product. I will not consider what Disneyland means to the world today---that is a subject many others have covered, some even brilliantly; instead, I will consider what social concepts contributed to the initial design in an attempt to see the underlying values at work in this post-modern utopia. In this thesis, I intend to show that Walt Disney's initial design for Disneyland was influenced by Ebenezer Howard's Garden City concept. In addition to Howard's vision, Disney also incorporated concepts from Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and Henry Ford's mass market manufacturing theories.^ I do not intend to claim that these are the only influences on Disney's initial plan for his amusement park, but I will show that the physical layout of the park reflects Howard's Garden City plan, the architecture considers some of Wright's designs, and the way the park is run incorporates some of the ideas of Henry Ford. I have purposely avoided any works that consider the corporate aspects of Disney and the current Disney Corporation. Instead, I have focused my research on the intentions surrounding Disney's initial design plan. My position is that Disney's parks are real, successful, and expanding internationally not mere fantasy like earlier 19th social reformers whose actual accomplishments are relatively small and have not been not sustainable locally or internationally. Disney realized the importance of a TEMPORARY place rather than a PERMANENT residence.^ ^Disney understood the literal definition of utopia to mean "no where" and therefore did not create a utopia that was a real place. Both Howard and Disney sought to offer a utopia. Howard had hopes of revitalizing the social order with his new cities, and Disney hoped to offer the average family a place where they could have fun and enjoy one another in a safe and entertaining environment.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 89 pages.
Adviser: Bradley Nickels, Ph.D.
Walt Disney.
Urban planning.
Frank Lloyd Wright.
Henry Ford.
World fairs.
Dissertations, Academic
x Art History
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856


Manifestations Of Ebenezer Howard On Disneyland by Michelle M. Rowland A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Art and Art History College of Fine Arts University of South Florida Major Professor: Brad ley Nickels, Ph.D. Joe Moxley, Ph.D. David Wright, Ph.D. Date of Approval: September 7, 2007 Keywords: Walt Disney, utopia, urban planni ng, Frank Lloyd Wright Henry Ford, world fairs Copyright 2007 Michelle M. Rowland


i Table of Contents List of Figures ii Abstract v CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 My Personal Disney Research 2 My Argument Connections between Howards Garden 5 City and Disneys Disneyland Literary Review 7 Utopia 8 CHAPTER TWO: HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS 11 Parks and Landscapes 11 Garden City 16 Worlds Fairs 21 Amusement Parks 24 Frank Lloyd Wright 25 Henry Ford 27 CHAPTER THREE: PHYSICAL CONNECTIONS 29 The Circular Plan 30 Urban/Garden Town Center 32 People-Oriented Community Architecture and Planning 34 CHAPTER FOUR: THEORETICAL CONNECTIONS 42 Differing Control Consideration 42 Fantasy vs. Reality 45 CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION 52 REFERENCES 56 APPENDICES 58 Appendix A: Illustrations 59


ii List of Figures Figure 1. 1893 Columbian Expo, Administration Building 59 Figure 2. 1893 Columbian Expo, P anoramic View 59 Figure 3. 1893 Columbian Expo, Trans portation Building 60 Figure 4. Beaux Arts Style, White City in 1893 Columb ian Expo 60 Figure 5. Frederick Law Olmst ead, 1822-1903 61 Figure 6. Wooded Isle (now called Os aka Garden) 15 acres 61 Figure 7. Wooded Isle, circled in yellow, 1893 62 Figure 8. Example of Geometric, Fo rmal Landscape Architecture 63 Figure 9. Example of Natural, Land scape Architecture 63 Figure 10. Garden Cities of Tomorrow book cover, 1902 64 Figure 11. Sir Ebenezer Howard, 1850 1928 64 Figure 12. The Three Magnets To wn and Country 65 Figure 13. Images from Garden City of Tomorrow schematic 65 drawings of a Garden City, 1902 Figure 14. Images from Garden City of Tomorrow schematic 66 drawings of a Garden City, 1902 Figure 15. Images from Garden City of Tomorrow schematic 66 drawings of a Garden City, 1902 Figure 16. Arms of Letchworth Urban District Council 67 Figure 17. Hertfordshire, England and Letch worth Garden City 67 Figure 18. Aerial view Letchworth Gar den City, 1903 68


iii Figure 19. Letchworth Garden Cit y Style 68 Figure 20. Norton Way, South Letchwort h postcard posted in 1930 69 Figure 21. Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foun dation (2007) 69 Figure 22. Letchworth Town Center T oday (2007) 70 Figure 23. Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867 1959 70 Figure 24. Ladies Home Journal cover Feb, 1901 71 Figure 25. Frank Lloyd Wright, Prairie Style 72 Figure 26. Frank Lloyd Wright, Unison Style 72 Figure 27. Broadacre City One Square Mile 73 Figure 28. 'Broadacre City' THE LIVING CITY 1958, Frank Lloyd Wright 74 Figure 29. Fallingwater (1934), Bear Run, PA 75 Figure 30. Taliesin West (1937) Scottsdale, Arizona 75 Figure 31. Henry Ford, 1863 1947 76 Figure 32. Ford Technology the Assembly Line 76 Figure 33. Greenfield Village Map 77 Figure 34. Fords Birth Home,Greenf ield Village Map 77 Figure 35. Early modes of tr ansportation are part of Greenf ield Village 77 Figure 36. Walt Disney, 1901 -1965 78 Figure 37. Walt Disney at The Henry Ford Mu seum 79 Figure 38. Disneys Greenfield Village visi t (1940) teaching how to draw 79 Figure 39. Disney and Kimball at Gr eenfield Village, 1948 79 Figure 40. The beginning of Disney films STEAMBOAT WILLIE ,1928 80


iv Figure 41. Disney Influences 1939 Ne w York Worlds Fair 81 (Flushing Meadow) Figure 42. 1939 Golden Gate International Expo, San Francisco 81 Figure 43. Thorne Miniature Ro oms, 1920-40 82 Figure 44. Influences on Disney Railroads 82 Figure 45. Disneys Backyard Train Layout 83 Figure 46. Britains New Town Movement influences Disney 83 Figure 47. Martin Davis, Disneylands Master Architect, 1910-1998 85 Figure 48. Disneyland sc hematic drawings, Herber t Goff, 1951 85 Figure 49. Disneyland tour during Construction, 1954 86 Figure 50. Disneyland, 1955 87 Figure 51. Disneyland, Opening Day, 1955 88 Figure 52. The Connections and Thesis Conclusion 89


Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard on Disneyland Michelle M. Rowland ABSTRACT While political praise and condemnation of Disney is commonplace in the literature, my research will focus instead on the origination of Disneys design plan for Disneyland and the theoretical and physical connections between key historical figures and the finished product. I will not consider what Disneyland means to the world todaythat is a s ubject many others have covered, some even brilliantly; instead, I will consider w hat social concepts contributed to the initial design in an attempt to see the underlying values at work in this postmodern utopia. In this thesis, I intend to show that Walt Disneys initial design for Disneyland was influenced by Ebenezer Howards Garden City concept. In addition to Howards vision, Disney also incorporated concepts from Frank Lloyd Wrights architecture and Henry Fords ma ss market manufacturing theories. I do not intend to claim that these are the onl y influences on Disneys initial plan for his amusement park, but I will show that the physical layout of the park reflects Howards Garden City plan, t he architecture considers so me of Wrights designs, and the way the park is run incorporates some of the ideas of Henry Ford. v


I have purposely avoided any works that consider the corporate aspects of Disney and the current Disney Corporation. Instead, I have focused my research on the intentions surrounding Di sneys initial design plan. My position is that Disneys parks are real, successful, and expanding internationally not me re fantasy like earlier 19th social reformers whose actual accomplishments are relatively small and have not been not sustainable locally or internationally. Disney realized the importance of a TEMPORARY place rather than a PERMANENT residence. Disney understood the literal definition of utopia to mean no where and therefore did not create a utopia that was a real place. Both Howard and Disney sought to offer a utopia. Howard had hopes of revitalizing the social order with his new cities, and Disney hoped to offer the average family a place where they could have fun and enjoy one another in a safe and entertaining environment. v


1 Manifestations of Ebenezer Howard in Disneyland Town and Country must be married and out of this joyous union will spring a new hope, a new life, a new civilization. Ebenezer Howard (1898) CHAPTER ONE Introduction Disneyland is more than just an amus ement park, many Americans would say; it is a magical world beyond the scope of the ordinary that allows visitors to experience life as perhaps it ought to be. This sense of rightness is not an arbitrary result of lucky organization, but rather the carefully planned reaction foreseen by several key visionaries. By combining the urban planning designs of Ebenezer Howard, the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the modern technology of Henry Ford, and the fertile imagination of Marvin Davis, Disneyland is a utopian vision of life. Since the opening of Disneyland in July of 1955, little has been done to reconstruct how the park was first concei ved or better understand its intellectual ancestry. Over the last three years, my research has enabled me to study a variety of issues surrounding the develop ments and cultural or igin of the Disney Corporate machine. Not surprisingly, to better understand the conceptual development of Disneyland, it was nec essary to thoroughly investigate the


2 conceptual understandings of Walt Disney. I have come to the conclusion that it is important not to confus e the many myths surrounding Disney, the man, and his personal quirks with the corporate visi on of Disney, the utopian visionary who blended old and new ideas into a new conc ept that has become an emblem for an entire country. Howard and Disney created similar communities for many of the same reasons. My thesis will show that Disneylands urban design plan is the material realization of Howards intellectual fanta sy as established in his ideal garden city plan. I will focus on three areas created by Ebenezer Howard in his Garden City concept that can be readily linked to Dis neys first amusement park, Disneyland; namely 1) a circular plan, 2) an urban gar den town center and 3) a passion for a people-oriented community with railroad off-shoots and human management control issues. My Personal Disney Research In 2003, I began my Disney research on Walt Disney Company: An Example of a Postmodern Utopia following an original interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement that led me to the genre of utopian literature and social reform movements and eventually to Walt Disney an example of a Post-Modern Utopia. I researched the utopian genre by reading Thomas Mores Utopia Platos Republic Francis Bacons New Atlantis, Tommasso Campanellas City of the Sun several books by H.G. Wells, and Edward Bellamys Looking Backward. While studying the utopian genre, I also researched the Utopian Socialists:


3 Robert Owen (1771--1858), Charles Four ier (1772-1837) and Henri St. Simon (1760-1825). In this period, I read about Ebenezer Ho wards Garden City plans and other social reformers seeking a better plan for the ills of Europe in the early 20th century. While I deeply enjoyed reading so much cultural reform literature, I needed to contrast these social movements with the development of Disneys empire often regarded to as a fascist regime of its own! Therefore, I began reading all of the academically-based lit erature such as Steve Mannheims Quest for Community (1998) or Stev e Fjellmans Vinyl Leaves (1998). Others included Janet Waskos Understanding Disney (2001) and Ada Louise Huxtables Unreal America (1997 ). I wrote several drafts on the cultural impact of Disneys faux icons, imagism and stereotypes in its f ilms, books, and theme parks, taking a critical position on all intellectual dilutions. Over the years, I attended various Disney theme parks 17 times, always taking notes and pictures on influences of the various faux icons or the controlling policies. Last year, 2006, I completely relinquished myself into Disneys control by taking a 7-day Disney Cruise. The non-stop Disney music blaring over the loud speaker, the bombar dment of Disney characters hugging and waving to me at every meal, the perpetual smiles on every employees face, was actually quite. . nice. I felt as if I was part of the re-creation of Disneys


4 original film short Steamboat Willie (1928) 1.However, as the cruise was ending, I began to feel that I could see through the faade of the Disney marketing team. The happy routi ne was boring, and the smiling faces began to seem insincere. I wanted to go back to reality. Overall, I c ontinue to enjoy researching Disney in a critical light, feeling as if I have a voice of my own as a critic not simply as a consumer. In 2006, I decided to rein in my broad-based research and find a specific area of focus to write my thesis. Upon looking back at Disney lands original design concepts, it was not difficult to see the correlation between social reformer Ebenezer Howard and the layout and des ign of Disneys first theme park, Disneyland. Upon detailed research, I quickly saw the correlation between Mr. Disneys original design plans, the utopian genre, and Ebenezer Howards Garden City design plans. 1 Steamboat Willie film short has been the center of some attention r egarding the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act passed in the United States. Steamboat Willie has been close to entering the public domain in the United States several times. Each time, copyright protection in the United States has been extended. Many people have claimed that these ext ensions were a response by the U.S. Congress to extensive lobbying by Disn ey. However, the copyright extensions that Congress has passed in recent decades have follo wed extensions in international copyright conventions to which the United States is a sig natory. The U.S. copyright on Steamboat Willie will be in effect until 2023 unless there is another change of the law. However, it is already in the public domain in Australia, Canada and Russia.


5 My Argument Connections between Howards Garden City and Disneys Disneyland The lines of influence from one individual to the overall scheme that is Disneyland are not hard to see once outlined, but they can seem tangled at first. The connections began in the 19th century, when the Co lumbian Expo 1893 in Chicago IL introduced remarkable classical building structures that came to be identified with the Beaux Arts style. Ar chitects and city planners from around the world were so inspired by the beaut y and planned nature of these temporary Expo structures that the City Beautiful Movement began. Out of the City Beautiful Movement came the New To wn Movement which included Howards first planned Garden City, Letchworth (1903) located in Hertfordshire, outside London. In Washington DC, the beaux arts style can be seen in the Plan that created the Mall in the United States capital. Ma ster architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 -1959) was heavily inspired by Howard and established Midway Gardens in 1914 followed by Broadacre Cit y in 1932. Both projects exemplify Howards connection to nature and the aes thetic benefits of living in harmony with nature. One of th e biggest supporters of Wrights Broadacre City was Automobile Manufacturer, Henry Fo rd (1863 1947) who shared Wrights principles in the benefits of what is co mmonly referred to as organic architecture. Henry Ford was passionate about technology and how to use technology to make the world a better place for everyone not just the rich as exhibited at


6 the GE World of Tomorrow 1939 Worlds Fair in New York. The Worlds Fair was an exciting place for Ford to exhibit his Model T car (1927), the first massproduced, inexpensive automobile. Walt Disney met Henry Ford on numerous occasions, but they became close friends during Disneys 1948 visit to the Fords Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI after a quick trip to the Chicago Railroad Fair. Ford and Disney had similar philosophies about improving the community and utilizing technology to maximize efficient transportation. In 1953, Disney hired Marvin Davis (from 20th Century-Fox), the man who laid out the Disneyland park. Earlier concepts by Disney artist Harper Goff were nothing more or less than backyard train layouts, (Fig 1.1) and Davis started with these. But when the scope of the project expanded, about the time that the Stanford Res earch Institute got involved (August 1953), it was Davis who scaled things up to 60 acres. Herb Ryman started with Da vis' layout when he spent the weekend drawing th e famous aerial view showing the radial layout with a town center. There are two physical a ttributes of Disneyland, t he circular plan and the town center that can be attributed to Ho wards Garden City plan. The circular plan and the town center provided both Howard and Disney control and efficiency in operations. It also pr ovided a sense of community, room for growth, and efficient transportation. The town cent er also served as an easily accessible source for entertainment which comp limented each mans philosophy of putting the inhabitants first. T he needs of the people within the community were of


7 paramount interest to both Howard and Disney, and so the third aspect of the Garden City influence is a combinati on of a people-oriented philosophy with emerging ideas about mass production and entrepreneurial possibilities. Literary Review Typical Disneyland criticism today relates to either intense commercialization nationally and globally, or what the theme parks symbolically mean to the world today. For example, t here are two seminal works that typify this kind of critical approach: Karal Ann Marlings Designing Disneys Theme Parks (1997) and Ada Louise Huxtables Unreal America (1997) These works analyze the impact that Disneys them e parks have had on our culture today. Ms. Huxtable, architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal and previous art critic for the New York Times, argues that the United States has become a country of theme parks, malls, and hist oric restorations of stage sets. She laments that our culture prefers these hyped-up, water ed-down versions of reality to the real thing. Reality will never be as exciting as the Orlando or Las Vegas remakes, she claims, but we must ask our selves: where does society draw the line between the educational versus the entertainment value? Ms. Marling disputes Ms. Huxtables belief that our culture is being educationally diluted with Disneys creativ e reproductions such as fake alligators in the swamps or idealistic country pavilio ns in EPCOT. She argues that Disney is offering its visitors an opportunity of fantasy and new approaches to real world architecture in shopping centers, resorts, and entertainment, and that


8 Disneys contribution to architectura l progress and increased entertainment possibilities is a clear step forward. Furt her, she believes that these international iconic reproductions bring a sense of globalism to the local community. While political praise and condemnati on of Disney is commonplace in the literature, my research will focus instead on the origination of Disneys design plan for Disneyland and the theoretical and physical connections between key historical figures and the finished product. I will not consider what Disneyland means to the world todaythat is a s ubject many others have covered, some even brilliantly; instead, I will consider w hat social concepts contributed to the initial design in an attempt to see the underlying values at work in this postmodern utopia. Utopia Many people dream of a better worl d a utopia; Ebenezer Howard and Walter Elias Disney each went a step fu rther and planned one. The word utopia is often used pejoratively, to refer to a so ciety that is unrealistic and impossible to realize, and it has also been used to describe actual communities founded in attempts to create an ideal soci ety. Since Sir Thomas Mores Utopia (1516), literally nowhere, which describes his visi on of an ideal city, mankind has been debating the best ways to duplicate the i deal. Some claim that the path to perfection requires self-sacrifice, while others posit that only in self-fulfillment can we attain a world without the perils and pitfalls of existing society. In Ebenezer Howards mind, however, utopia required pe ople to get away from the squalor of


9 urban existence into a garden city that would allow residents to regain perspective on life through nature. Walt Dis ney took this concept a step beyond, by actually creating a place where any body could, for the price of a ticket, experience a perfectly scripted utopia, a place where every resident, fictional or real, could be happy, if only for a shor t time. Though Howards designs were intended for permanent residents (i.e Letchworth, 1903) and Disneys amusement park (Disneyland, 1955) is only a temporary respite, both men have delivered their versions of a utopi an community to the publicHoward in Letchworth and Disney in Disneyland. A belief in a new form of community with all the advantages, but none of the disadvantages of town and country evident in an industrializing England in the 19th century led Ebenezer Howard to develop his Garden City ideas. He published his influential book, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Reform in 1898. It was reissued as Garden Cities of Tomorrow in 1902. Ebenezer Howard is recognized as a pioneer of town planni ng throughout the industrial world, and Britain's New Towns, deriving from t he garden cities he founded, are his monument. But Howard was more than a town pl anner. He was first and foremost a social reformer, and his Garden City was intended to be merely the first step towards a new social and industrial order based on the common ownership of land and the combination of town el ements with nature to create a utopian environment. The Garden City connections to Disneyland can be found in Frank


10 Lloyd Wright, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Marvin Davis who chose to carry Howards Garden city concept forward in their respective applications.


11 CHAPTER TWO: HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS We have done a lot of thinking on a model community, and I would like to be a part of building one, a city of tomorrow, as you might say. Walt Disney The Quotable Walt Disney (2001) Introduction In order to understand t he conceptual link between Ebenezer Howard and Walt Disney, it is import ant to consider the histor ical connections over time. Beginning with the influence of parks and landscapes, first privately owned and later public domains, one can see what inspired Ebenezer Howards Garden City concept. From there, considering how the influence of both Worlds Fairs and amusement parks set the stage for Disneys creative impulse, it becomes easy to see how the two creators are intertwined. The addition of Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Ford only add to the creative melt ing pot that would eventually be known as Disneyland. Parks and Landscapes Historically, the idea of a park has undergone severe shifts from the aristocratic landscapes of England found in the 18th century to the more community-oriented public spaces of Americas early 20th century. What was once private land owned by wealthy individuals has been transformed into an


12 icon of American democracyby the time Ebenezer Howard planned his own Garden City, public parks were quite popular in America, a way to escape declining conditions in overcrowded cities. England has a long history of privat e pleasure gardens for those wealthy enough to own the land. Sir Thomas Treshams Rushton Lodge and Preston Tower in Surrey in 1595, both buildings and landscapes deliber ately constructed to resemble picturesque gothic ruins, illustrate the lavish history of aristocratic uses of nature. Even more natural des igns were inspired by the Grand Tour expected of young gentlemen as they toured Italy and Greece, the real ruins of lost civilizations inspiring even more exce sses in their private exploitation of the land. Clearly, the rich have always benefit ed from the open spaces and clean air of the country. The notion that this kind of wealthy enjoyment should be available to those less economically fortunate did not take a lo ng time to arrive in the abstract, but putting these theories into practice took some centuries. Still, the need for public parks was already becoming apparent by 1832, when John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham warned that such par ks should be established as a prime weapon in the new urban war against so cial evils, potential revolution and the threat to private property (P ublic Works, 1833). In other words, fear of unrest in overcrowded cities led the upper classes to find ways to ease the burden of the working classes; because nature had always been a longstanding cure-all for the aristocracy, it made sense to arrange for this curative to be available to those


13 less fortunate. By 1833, the Select Commi ttee on Public Works produced the first report declaring how many public parks we re needed to bring the benefits of exercise, health, a civilizing influence, and meeting places (Public Works, 1833). If people were exposed to the benefits of parks, the logic reasoned, then they would be more content in their everyday lives and less likely to upset the delicate social balance of the Industrial Revoluti on. Parks were slowly becoming a matter of civic status, a sign of just how impor tant the notion of hav ing enough nature in towns had become. Public parks began appearing by 1833 in Preston, Birkenhead, Derby, and Southampton. Finally, common people coul d benefit from the open spaces and clean air of nature without having to reloca te to the country. Perhaps the most popular public park, and the one most likel y to have influenced Howards Garden City and Disneys plans for Disneyland, is Central Park in New York City. Though not part of New Yorks initial government plan in 1811, the need for a public park became apparent by the 1850s. In a city that had nearly quadrupled in population, many city dwelle rs were forced to find nature in the only space availablecemeteries along with ghosts! Clearly, such tracts of land could not satisfy the public need for a park. This was compounded by Emersonian ideals of transcendentalis mthe belief that the path to god is through naturethat were increasing in pop ularity at the time. Nature, according to Emerson, made people better, both ph ysically and spiritually, and a lack of exposure to nature could eventually lead to a nation of weak and faithless


14 individuals. In addition, two important figures spoke up about the issueWilliam Cullen Bryant, famous poet and editor of the Evening Post, and Andrew Jackson Downing, an architectand in 1853, New York City purchased seven hundred acres from 59th Street to 106th Street as a park, for no less than $5 million, and held a contest for the design in 1857. C entral Park was on its way to becoming one of the first influential publ ic parks in America. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert V aux won the design contest with their Greensward Design, an open la yout with room for pathways for pedestrians, horseback riders, and other vehicles. Nature was paramount, and highlighting the feeling that park-goers were alone in the midst of the wilderness was the most important consideration. Pathways were designed to appear both naturally evolved and people-fr iendly, a combination that Disney would utilize in his designs for Disneyland. Even the necessary cross-town traffi c of the city was hidden below ground and screened by trees, recessed into the background so as not to disturb the overall impression of wilderness. According to Olmsted, the park was "of great importance as the first r eal Park made in this centurya democratic development of the highest significance (Burnham, 11). Finally, nature was available to those in the citya free, public offering that anyone could enjoyand an outward symbol of the equality that America had been striving to achieve. In the late 19th century, not everyone was ready to embrace the idea of equal public spaces for the masses, whic h is why the Park is uniquely designed


15 with accommodations for people of differ ent classes carriage trails for the wealthy, horse paths for the middle cl ass and foot paths for the poor. While much of the park looks natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped. It contains several natural-appearing lakes, extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo, a wildlife sanct uary, a summer Shakespeare festival, grassy areas used for informal or team sports or set aside as quiet areas, as well as playground enclosures for children. The park is an oasis for migrating birds, and thus is popular with bird watchers. The 6-miles (10 km) of drives circling the park are popular with joggers, bicyc lists and inline skaters, especially on weekends and in the evenings after 7: 00 p.m., when automobile traffic is banned. Clearly, Central Park offers New Yorkers a chance to reconnect with nature. The idea that nature has a beneficial e ffect on humanity is a concept with a long history in philosophy and literature, and it became especially important in the conditions spawned by the Industrial Revo lution; it is not at all surprising that people would turn to nature as a solution to modern ills. Both Howard and Disney used these ideas in their plans, and each is a crucial part in the overall effect of Disneyland. Garden City With rapid industrialization in the 18th and 19th centuries exerting high unemployment and widespread pov erty in British towns, many utopian socialists,


16 also known as utopian reformers (Mud 2003) sought to wipe the slate clean by looking for ways of creating self-contai ned communities, where urban population of a fixed size could exist in harmony with its surroundings (Warren 3A). The most representative figures of t he time are: Rober t Owen (1771-1858), an English industrialist; Charles F ourier (1771-1837), and Saint-Simon (17601825), French thinkers; among others. Acco rding to Amy Mud, University of Hong Kong, in Lecture Three: Birth of Modern City Planning the settlements experimented by the utopian reformers in early 19th century can be characterized as: a reaction to the congestion and s qualor of urban environments inhabited by working class and urban poor, a social experiment initiated by a fe w philanthropic industrialists who made their fortune through industrial production and commerce and were appalled by the terrible consequences of that social process, a planning concept that was not related to practical diagrams of defense or traffic or the symbolism of the State, but rather intended to create some classless society through founding settlements completely detached from the existing cities and the society they accommodate, a model for industrial production-cent red community design incorporating, a) a factory or plant, b) housing for the employees, c) a set of social welfare facilities, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, library and so on. A few examples include Cadburys Bournville and Lever soaps Port Sunlight (Mud 4) The development of utopian communities was an attempt to correct the ills of modernization by recapturing the innocence and freedom of nature. By locating


17 these communities beyond the scope of the cities, social reformers hoped to rebuild social order as they rebuilt the way ordinary people lived. Ebenezer Howard was inspired by these ideas of social reform, and his Garden City plans were a direct result of his ambitions. Inspired by the utopian novel Looking Backward Ebenezer Howard (1850 1923) published To-morrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform in 1898 (reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow ), organized the Garden City Association in 1899, and founded two cities in England: Letchworth Garden City in 1903, and Welwyn Garden City in 1920. In Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902), Howard stated: My proposal is that there should be an earnest attempt made to organise a migratory movement of population from our overcrowded centres to sparsely-settled rural districts; that the mind of the public should not be confused, or the efforts of organisers wasted in a premature attempt to accomplish this work on a nationa l scale, but that great thought and attention shall be first concentrated on a single movement yet one sufficiently large to be at once attractive and resourceful. (112) Thus did Howard lay out his plans for a new type of living, which he hoped would lead to some social refo rm and a better life for the common worker? According to Fishman, Howard saw himself as one of those dreamers and backyard tinkerers who emerge from obscurity with one great idea, brave neglect and ridicule from the practical world, and finally see the skeptics confounded and the invention become an integral part of a bet ter world (27). Perhaps not all of Howards dream came true, but he cert ainly had an effect on one of the modern worlds most enduring icons: Disneyland.


18 The concept of a Garden City is not entirely new, but one Howard made his own. According to his plan, Ga rden cities are planned, self-contained communities surrounded by greenbelts2, and contain carefully balanced areas of residences, industry, and agriculture. The layout of a Garden City features a circular form, a garden and town center, a central park, a Cr ystal Palace glass arcade, a greenbelt, industr y, a railway-linked tr ansportation system, and a cultural determination to provide an al ternative community to the corrupt, inhumane, inefficient and immoral offe ring currently found in London (Fishman 30). Edinburgh Magazine stated in December of 1848 that "Air and space, wood and water, schools and churches, shr ubberies and gardens, around pretty self contained cottages in a group neither too lar ge to deprive it of country character, nor too small to diminish the probabilities of social intercourse," a description which should be compared to "Tomorrow" in which Howard states "by so laying out a Garden City that, as it grows, the fr ee gifts of Naturefresh air, sunlight, breathing room and playing roomshall be still retained in all needed abundance" (113). Howard built on pre-existing ideas of what an ideal community might require, but his Garden City was the earliest realization of these utopian dreams. In other words, Ebenezer Howard was mo re than a designer of towns; he was a man who aspired to change the social order around him by reorganizing the common layout of communities. Howard hoped that altering the arrangement of 2 Greenbelt was established during the Roosevelt administration as Americas version of Howards Garden City. Greenbelt towns in clude Greenbelt, Maryland, Greenhills, OH and Greendale, WI.


19 elements in a town would affect t he mindset and living conditions of the residents, a rather idealistic vision, but one that guided him towards creating a Garden City, a concept that has long outlived him in many guises, only one of which is the cultural icon that is Disneyland. Developments such as Letchwort h Garden City around 1900 laid the seeds of this new vision. "The idea of the promoters of t he Garden City was not to build an artistic town. We must first see that our citizens are decently housed," so claimed Raymond Unwin, architect at Letchworth. Though social reform was one of the aims of the plan, clearly, t he most important c onsideration was a practical onethe residents of the Garden City must have decent housing.3 Disney would certainly have agreed. Utilizi ng a circular format, these garden Cities reintroduced the benefits of nature and mass transportation to an urban environment. They were also designed as an experiment to try and overcome the problems of overcrowded, unhealthy citi es, depressed rural areas and the poor building standards prevailing in some ar eas by the end of t he Victorian era. Howards Garden City plan was not the simple result of Edward Bellamys Looking Backwards, but rather Howards attempt to correct Bellamys authoritarian bias, and, most importantly, to devise a new community in which social order and individual initiative would be properly balanced (Fishman 35). 3 Greenbelt Architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin were appointed to design a master plan for the first Garden City using Ebenezer Howards design for new communities. Their 1930s layout plan for Letchworth was based upon the prin ciples of land use with defines areas for commercial and industrial development, varied re sidential districts and an agricultural belt. The plan set out the environmental standards for the 20th century.


20 Howard was also inspired by Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted's (1822-1903) plan for a suburban community where the layout was informal, with spacious plots for h ouses with landscaped parkways and roads utilizing mass transportation for efficiency and crowding. Like Howard, Olmsteds design emphasized the importance of a connection to nature; inhabitants would be immersed in a natural landscape that wa s in stark contrast to the concrete and steel surroundings of city life. Howards work was critically acclaimed as an intellectual achievement because he concisely and rigorously outlined a new direction for the development of cities and provided advanced practical solutions to a whole range of city planning problems: land use, des ign, transportation, housing and finance. At the same time, he incorporated these i deas into a larger synthesis, a plan for a complete alternative society and a program fo r attaining it. As a result, his work quickly became the seminal book of st udy for students in Urban Planning and Architecture which provides the intellectual basis for the designs for Disneyland. Worlds Fairs The Worlds Columbian Exposition, hel d in 1893 in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus s discovery of America, was a blueprint for the grandeur of Disneylands overall spectacular effect. The Chicago Worlds Fair, as it was commonly called, was the ideal of what Daniel Burnham, the designer, thought a city ought to be. Set over more than 600 acres, the Fair


21 was a model city with state of the art transportation systems, an idea later used by Disney in his plans for Disneylands railroads, contented inhabitants in the form of fair-goers, later transformed into Disneylands imaginary inhabitants, and none of the negative effects of regular city life, where poverty, overpopulation, and pollution are everywhere. The Worlds Fair led to the City B eautiful Movement in North American architecture, where there was a concerted effort to improve the lives of the inner city poor by adding fountains, pools, par ks, wider streets, and public gathering places. Much like the Garden City plan wa s supposed to improve the lives of the working poor by adding more of nature into their everyday experience, the City Beautiful plan aimed to increase positive feelings in the citys poor by adding a little bit of beauty into the world around them. There were plans to redo the City of Chicago after The Great Fire (1871), the city of San Francisco after a devastating earthquake and fire (1906), and t he city of Manila, Philippines after WWII annihilation (1946) but nothing ever came of the plans because they would have been impossibly expensive at all levels. The only result was an attempt to update the plan of Pierre Char les LEnfant for Washington DC which ultimately became the Marshall Plan or the Plan which was only partially realized due to Congressional bureaucracy. Still, the idea of the City Beautiful Plan was quite influential on the minds of the time, if not in actuality. According to a recent article, the history of Worlds Fairs has always involved naysayers who claim that Fairs ar e a dead practice from history. Despite


22 this, the article claims: Worlds fairs are still important They are related to both the Olympics and the United Nations in many ways, but worlds fairs are unique in that the everyday person can experience them firsthand, not just athletes or politicians. Anyone can enter that expo site and feel a part of something new, feel a part of the world communi ty, feel what potential man has for doing good in the world. Perhaps that should be the mission of world expositions now to make us even the slightest bit less cynical about the world and to let us feel we are a part of that worldand you can rarely experience that from your television or computer. (Chappell) After all, if Disney could be inspired by Worlds Fairs in his ideas for Disneyland, then Chapelles commentary hits very close to the mark: Disneyland is an example of how a man can do good in the world by creating a place designed to foster positive feelings and solidify fam ily relationships. If not for the opportunity to showcase various plans and theories, perhaps Disneys ideas would never have consolidated into the utopian vision we can see today. Throughout history, the Worlds Fair was also a place of discovery, where new inventions could be shown to the public and new concepts and theories could be advertised and attempted. Not only was the Fair a place where an ideal city could be tried for six months, as in Chicago, but later Fairs allowed such entrepreneurs as Henry Ford to share their inventions. Henry Fords mass production of the automobile inspired Disney to make his own park a place where


23 mass production could join natural idea ls and the result would be contented people willing to pay for t he price of perfection. Certainly one can see the influence of the Fair atmosphere on Disneyland, as well. Most fairs, not necessarily Worl ds Fairs, have a feeling of good family fun, surrounded by snacks of cotton candy and fried dough, Ferris Wheel riders who laugh with delight as gam ers encourage patrons to join in the fun. Prizes can be won, excitement can be had, and fairgoers are usually entertained. Disneyland has taken this atmosphere of joyful possibility and turned it into a certainty. Prizes can be won, but they can also be purchased. Snacks of all shapes and sizes are available. The ri des are expertly designed, and slightly more trustworthy than the average traveling fairs metal constructions. Visitors of Disneyland are surrounded by a Fair-lik e atmosphere that is guaranteed to satisfy. The element of chance has mo stly been removedvisitors do not have to worry about shady ride operators, questionable food standards, or shaky ride construction when they are at Disneyland. They can rest assured that everything has been designed with their comfort in mind. Amusement Parks There is an old story that Walt Disney created Disneyland because he had nowhere to bring his children, and he decided to create a place suitable for their interests. Disneyland is often referred to today as an amus ement park, but the amusement parks of the early 1900s were not at all like the current incarnations that exist today.


24 Modern ideas of amusement parks invo lve a fun place away from city and sometimes in nature, as in Coney Island or the Jersey Shore. They exist as vacation spots for city dwellers to e scape the drudgery and boredom of city life. This prevents depression and dejection, especially for lower classes, by providing rides, games, contests, funhous es, and all manner of amusements for children and adults alike. Even the most common person can escape his or her life for a brief time in an amusement park, and let the excitem ent of a different way of being relieve some of t he pressures of ordinary life. Disneyland is a modern amusement park in that it was originally intended as a place for families. In contrast to the parks of the time, Disneyland offered structured entertainment that was guaranteed to satisfy children and adults. Unlike the typical day at the park scenar io, Disneyland was filled with activities, shows, rides, and games engineered specifica lly for the enjoyment of patrons. In fact, part of the appeal of this modern park was that parents did not have to create entertainment for their ch ildrenDisneyland provided all the entertainment required. As a bonus, in fa ct, Disneyland actually kept adults occupied as well as children, so a trip to the amusement park became less a way to keep the kids quiet for the day and more of a place where everyone could have a good time. This quality allowed famili es to actually enjoy things together, and is part of the atmosphere that earned Disneyland a place in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere.


25 Frank Lloyd Wright In 1914, Frank Lloyd Wright created Midway Gardens in Chicago. This combination of fine living, artistic splendor, and natural beauty was a brilliant display of both Old and New World sensibilities. Many claim that this was the highlight of Wrights early period, though Midway Gardens was torn down in 1929. While it lasted, however, it represented the joining of the public and the private lifethe same concepts of city and country that Ebenezer Howard sought to balance in his Garden City. Professor Paul Kruty, Art and Architec ture, University of Illinois, argues that "Our understanding of the co mplex building gains much by seeing it as a synthesis of the twin worlds of public and private, a combination rarely seen in architecture of the day. With its paradoxes of lar ge, open spaces and intimate corners, of formal plan and picturesque circulation, and with its simultaneous separation from its surroundi ngs and unity between interior and exterior space, Midway Gardens combines public and pr ivate worlds" (184). Still, many agree that Wrights greatest ac hievement was Broadacre City4, where he combined civilization and nature together just as Howard would have suggested. An integration with nature is a common characteristic of Wrights work, as in his 4 Broadacre City is seen as Frank Lloyd Wright's endu ring legacy. Implicit in Wright's vision of the city is the necessary connection to nature. In many of his works, structures are built into the natural landscape. Two prominent examples of Wright's integration of form with nature are his Fallingwater project and his Taliesin West project. De veloping a city that is connected to nature, with an integration of modern technology, is founded in the influences that Wright derived from the progressivist Muscle Shoals experiment. T he experiment centered on the harnessing of nature, specifically water, to create an industrialized, prosperous city.


26 Fallingwater project and his Taliesin West project, but perhaps Broadacre City is the best modern example of Howard s Garden City plan in action. Much of Frank Lloyd Wright's utopian model was a reaction to the social and economic problems of t he Great Depression. As Fishman points out, the 1929 stock market crash strengthened Wrig ht's belief that "the nation needed a change in its physical and economic organiza tion" (122). The change that Wright suggested was to be brought through a m odel that decentralized the physical and the social power of the modern city, with the inclusive fusion of Jeffersonian democratic ideals with technology. As a result, what came about was Wright's development of a city model that was "designed to give space, air, and beauty to every individual in the community" so as to bring about the "possibility of greater individual development for everyone in our democratic society" (Zygas 45). As Fishman explains, Wright's Broadacre vi sion was one that sought to have "no more distinction(s) between urban and rural lifestyles" as technology served as a mechanism for the promotion of democratic beliefs and citizen connectivity that serves to unite the rural landscape into a viable city. Just as Howard had been inspired by the ills of the Industrial Revolution in England, Wrights proposals were fueled by the problems of the Depression. Possibly Wrights combinat ion of public and private spaces was inspired by Howards ability to combine City and C ountry into one locale. Once he saw the success of such combinations, it is pl ausible that Wright began experimenting with other combinations in architecture.


27 Henry Ford According to Rosenbaum, the Broadacre project was driven by Henry Ford's vision of the factory in t he garden, where energy would be generated by the efficient use of hydroelectricity and where factory workers would devote their leisure time to the cultiv ation of the land (51-62). Disney was clearly influenced by Henry Fords concepts, as he visit ed Greenfield Village on April 12, 1940. The Greenfield Village Journal a daily administrative repor t, described Disneys visit that day: Walt Disney, creator of the world-fa mous movie character, Mickey Mouse, visited the Village and Museum today. He showed great interest in everything mechanical, examining engines and old autos closely. He had a good time with Mr. Tremear while posi ng for a tin-type. In the Museum Theater he spoke for a few moments to the school children. He was accompanied by Mrs. Disney, and by B en Sharpsteen, his chief animator. Wm B. Stout was his host (1). Disney visited Greenfield again in 1948, and by then, his ideas for a themed entertainment park had progressed subst antially. On the train ride back to California, he shared his ideas with Ward Kimball, and then summarized them in a memo dated August 31, 1948. An excerpt of this memo seems to echo aspects of Greenfield Village: The Main Village, which includes the Railroad Station, is built around a village green or informal parkAround the park will be built the town. At one end will be the Railroad Station; at the other end, the Town Hall (1). Clearly, Disney was affected by Fords ideas in Greenfield, and applied these concepts to his design concepts for Disneyland.


28 When Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955, it quickly captured the publics imagination. In th is innovative theme park, Walt Disney drew inspiration from his many intere sts and experiences, along with both old and new theories of architecture and technol ogy, to create an entirely new kind of family entertainment (Henry Ford Museum).


29 CHAPTER THREE: PHYSICAL CONNECTIONS After development of Disneyland, Disney seemed to be sold on the radial plan. As Imagineer Marvin Davis recalled, Disney "wanted to solve everything with the radial idea." At Disneyland, Disney believed that the hub and related traffic flow "gave peopl e a sense of orientation they know where they are at all times." This urban design element provides reassurance. Still, Disneyland was a theme park a sanctuary from the outside world. But with features such as the monorail, PeopleMover, and pollution resistant murals, Tomorrowl and could be utilized as a demonstration site for the real world as well as a place for entertainment. Marvin Davis, Imagineer Introduction To understand the strong connection between Walt Disney's planning process in developing Disneyland and Ebenezer Howard's Garden Cities, one must relate the specifics of each plan to a physical attribute found in both. Chapter three will focus on the similariti es between the writings of Howards Garden Cities of To-Morrow and the actual design and strat egic use of natural space in Disneyland. The most successful method displa ying the connection between Ebenezer Howard's Garden City plans and plans for Disneyland in Anaheim, California, extends from matching Howards central principles to Disneyl and structures as they first appeared upon the 1955 opening. Significant changes have occurred to the landscape, urban focus, and the planning of new architecture at


30 Disneyland in recent years; however, Dis neylands initial plan maintained a focus on the Garden City balance between natur e and urban structures using several of Howard's planning components. The most prevalent components of Howard's Garden City plan represented in the early Disneyland planning include the circular plan, the urban town center, and the varied architectu ral designs used to create a personcentered focus. In addition to these three manifestations, transportation issues and control policies will be discussed to exami ne any differences or similarities in trying to maintain a people-oriented society. The Circular Plan Circular design plans were by no means a creation of Ebenezer Howard; in fact, the designer was drawing on a long history of circular architecture. The circle has long been a standard of perfe ction; with its perfectly smooth circumference, a circle is guaranteed to be pleasing to the eye. From early accounts of a circular universe, with the earth holding t he spot of glory in the center, to images of King Arthurs R ound Table, where every man had an equal view, and equal share, and an equal say, circles have long been the sought after standard that architects and designers strive to recapture. Circles reinforce the idea that perfection is possible, that the unattainable is availa ble, and architects and designers typically harness that c onnotation when designing. Though it may not be on a conscious level, the idea that the Garden City is a big circle is somehow comforting to inhabit antseven if everything is not as it should be in


31 their life, at least the community has reached some measure of perfection. Howard probably would have identified mostly with Arthurs Table, since he sought to revitalize the social order th rough his circular designs. By having a central circle, Howard hoped to offer everyo ne in the community equal access to the resources of that communityin this case, a park or landscape that afforded a view and a close connection with the nat ural world. The outlying concentric circles would serve to reinforce the feeling that the community was interconnected, even as inhab itants moved further away from the central hub in the center. It is not surprising to find t he circular structure at the center of Howards Garden City plan. Disney incorporated the circular st ructure described by Howard in Garden Cities of To-morrow as much as a way to effect efficient people management, as the visitors flowed through his park, as to maintain the egalitarian viewpoint intended by the designer. First, Disneys structural developments and planning process linked the structure of Howards circular communities to the circular mapping of the early Disneyland plan. Though Disneyland never realized the kind of circle-within-a-circle format that was a part of Howards utopia, Disneyland did follow a circular format, allowing for a mass transit system that encircled the entire struct ure. (Fig 3.1 Circular map of Disneyland) Howards circular structure includ es a road system that divides the community pie-like into sections around a central park or garden area; however, Disney based the general model for Disney land around a central structurethe


32 plaza within view of the castle. The division of areas in Disneyland and the significant complementary elements that pr ovide a larger view of the community are clearly linked to Howards model. Disneyland is divided into five dist inct areas: Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Adventureland. Guests ent er through Main Street, the area which provides the main spoke of the wheel that makes up Disneylands circular plan. From Main Street, guests can access any of the other four main areas, but the entire park is connected by the center of the wheelthe plaza, from which you can see what Howard w ould have called the crystal palace, in this case, the castle in Fantasyland. Howards circular plan revolved around the notion of a Central Park area in the mi ddle of town, accessible by everyone, and this is plainly visible in the Plaza. Though some of the indi vidual neighborhoods, or wards as Howard called them, were connected to one another by trains, sky rides, and other forms of public transportation, each of the areas shared the common ground of the Plaza as both a cent er of attention and a general meeting point. Figure 3.2 Disneyland layout 1995 (Disneyland Souvenirs: 1957). Urban/Garden Town Center The second element that Disney utiliz ed from Ebenezer Howards Garden City includes the integration of an urban town center element, which provided for the communitys basic needs. Howard de scribed this as the town proper, with its population engaged in various trades callings, and professions, and with a store or depot in each ward, all that provided the people with the most natural


33 market through which individuals could enj oy the use of their options (Howard 56). The town center was the mechanism by which Howard hoped to reinvent the social order, relaying on peoples inherent sense of productivity and pride of ownership to build a community that va lued all members input. Howard hoped that having a central area for the community to gather and trade would stimulate the passive social revolution he longed for. Similar to Howards town center is Disneylands Town Square, which was created after the initial planning process fo r Disneyland. This was an idealized Town Square that: reflected what the designers believ ed to be the essential elements of the true American town cent er of yesteryear. As Richard Francaviglia notes, Significantly, the buildings around the public square represent some of the key institutions in American life, the railroad station, bank, city hall, fire station and emporium. (Mannheim 19) By combining the areas of commerce and everyday living, Disneylands design reinforces the idea that spending as a consumer should be done in the context of everyday life. One should buy snacks next to the railroad station, or buy knickknacks next to the bankit is the cl ose positioning of these familiar symbols in a town center that encourages co mfort and familiarity among the visitors. Without the town center to counterbalance the circular plan, Disneyland would fall short of combining public and private life. These elements illustrate another use of Howards town square planni ng as a factor influencing the shape and design of Disneyland.


34 In addition to the Town Square, one of Disneylands most inspirational areas is Main Street, USA, t he thoroughfare of shops, arcades, and entertainment venues that has charmed guests since 1955. This combination of commerce and small-town amenities s howcases the highlights of American living, and is exactly what Howard would expect of a town center. Guests can peruse shops for anything from the ordinary to the extraordinary while walking down a street that has been designed to ma tch and complement itself in every way. Contrary to most urban centers of the time, Main Street, USA, is a complete image; instead of finding arbi trary architectural desig ns clashing against one another, as one might find on an ordinary street with a moder n clothing store right next to an older grocery store, Disneylands commerce center is an aesthetically pleasing compilation designed fo r an overall effect: to make people comfortable. People-Oriented Community Planning The third major comparative element related to the architecture and planning of Disneyland and Howards Garden Cities is that community planning should be people-oriented (Mannheim 17). On opening day of Disneyland, the people-oriented layout provi ded a powerful critique of the manifested ills of Los Angeles in 1955. Disneyland included pedest rian spaces free from vehicular traffic, a wholesome environment wit h wholesome and helpful employees at every corner (Marling 31). In contrast to the real world, Disneylands environment was a city as it ought to be, a vision of the perfect union between commerce and


35 customer, city and country. After all, residents could wander through shops offering all sorts of curiositiesthe hearts of the city, as it wereand still never lose sight of spectacularly designed landscapes--the best nature has to offer. The fact that all of this could be a ccomplished without the traffic jams or overcrowding so common everywhere el se made Disneyland more than just a walk in the proverbial park, but a pl ace guaranteed to etch a place into every visitors memory as the ideal; that is, the very model of what life should be like in a city. This relates back to Disneys initial conception of the parkhe wanted a place where families could take their children and have fun in a safe environment. Everything in Disneyland, fr om the layout to the conceptual mechanics, is focused on making the guests feel comfortable. This design also reflects Disneys personal feelingsm ethods of public transportation abound. The park is filled with trains, buses, and carriages; there is not a personal vehiclean automobilein sight. Ever ything is communal, designed to both reinforce a sense of safety and to prac tically move guests to their desired locations. This is another way that Disney makes guests believe they really are away from the real world. In the surrounding world, transportation is rarely as simple as waiting for the next train to arrive with more smiling employees. Patrons can compare tranquil train st ations festooned with entertaining distractions to the chaos of public tr ansportation in the surrounding city, where the only entertainment is typically not suited for children. The momentary hassle


36 of having to wait for the next shuttle is forgotten amid the my riad visual pleasures that surround those next in line. Many of the railroad designs in Disneyland spawned from Disneys personal interest in trains. Ever since he was a child, Disney was fascinated by the mechanical wonder of trains, and just as he had filled his back yard with trains, he built them into his park. C onveniently, the comple x network of train tracks that crisscrossed Disneyland wa s more than just a childhood dream comes to fruition; the trains actually pr oved to be the most effective way to move large groups of patrons from one end of t he park to the other. When families and especially children were ti red out by walking from one land to another, there was always a train available to relieve their aching feet as well as revitalize their spirits. It did not hurt matte rs at all that trains are notoriously popular with small children, and the chance to delight youngsters was something Disney never missed out on. Even in later years, Disneyland still maintains the circle design with the railroads, with additions to the transpor tation systems. (Fig 3.4 Disney Map showing 7 different quadrants). In 1963, the legendary community builder James Rouse (1914-1996) made a surprising speech about Disneyland at the Harvard Graduate School of Design: The Disney land plan is a people-oriented design executed with high development standards. The park was far removed from the seedy amusement parks Disney had frequented with his daughters. Still, Disneyland was far removed from t he problems of the 1960s urban ghetto


37 (Rouse18). Such a removal was exactly wh at city dwellers needed in order to reconnect to nature and to their own families. It is true that Disney clearly created a park that met the needs of the community, and he stated in several speeches that he hoped Disneyland would provide a sour ce of entertainment for families but he also wanted his park to be economically viable. Disney desired to create a peaceful community environment, but capitalistic considerations were most assuredly a factor in all of his major decisions (Wasko 28-42). Though financ ial gain may not have been the most important consideration he had, certainly as any businessman, Disney was concerned with making some money. Still, a pr ofit motive is not directly reflected in any of the original designs for Disney in terms of design layout which is the main focus of this argument. What is crucial is the fact that Disneyland was designed to satisfy the needs of the commu nity, and Disney did not skimp when it came to his patrons needs. Yet, while Disney may not have designed Disneyland with a profit in mind, with two young daughters, Disneys financial intentions cannot be ignored. In 1952, with only $10,000 allocated from the successful Walt Disney Film Company, Disney decided to sell his vaca tion home, and borrow against his life insurance policy, enabling him to set up WE D (Walter Elias Disn ey) Enterprises. With so much leveraged against this Disneyland venture, Disney had to think Many consider Ebenezer Howards focu s on social reform to be exclusive of any capitalistic ideas. Especially, gi ven the anti-capitalisti c sentiment of the


38 early 20th century Industrial Revolution that laid many of the social reformers 5 foundation. Yet, Howards Garden City and nearly all of the socialists utopias6 require investors who owned the original parcel of land and agreed to long-term (99 year) leases as payment on their Investment. As Howard explained in his Garden City : The reader is asked to imagine an esta te embracing an area of 6,000 acres, which is at present purely agricultural, and has been obtained by purchase in the open market at a cost of an acre, or ,000. The purchase money is supposed to have been raised on mort gage debentures, bearing interest at an average rate not exceeding per cent. Th e estate is legally vested in the names of four gentlemen of respons ible position and of undoubted probity and honour, who hold it in trust, first, as a security for the debenture-holders, and, secondly, in trust for the people of Gar den City, the Towncountry magnet, which it is intended to build ther eon. One essential f eature of the plan is that all ground rents, which are to be based upon the annual value of the land, shall be paid to the trustees, who, after providing fo r interest and sinking fund, will hand the balance to the Central Council of the new municipality,' to be employed by such Council in the creation and maintenance of all necessary public work--roads, schools, parks, etc. 5 On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened and Disney charged each guest $1 ($7.10 in 2007 dollars) General Admission plus individual ticke ts for the 18 rides cost 10 to 35 cents each which increased to $3.50 in 1971 and jumped to $7.00 only 8 years later in 1979. Individual ticket prices for rides remained unchanged. 6 Robert Owens first cooperative mill town in New Lanark, Scotland in 1799 or the Charles Fourier-inspired Brook Farm in Ne w Roxbury, Massachusetts, 1841-1847.


39 The objects of this land purchase may be stated in various ways, but it is sufficient here to say that some of the ch ief objects are these: To find for our industrial population work at wages of higher purchasing power and to secure healthier surroundings and more regular employment. To enterprising manufacturers, co-operative societie s, architects, engineers, builders, and mechanics of all kinds, as well as to many engaged in various professions, it is intended to offer a means of securing new and better employment for their capital and talents, while to the agriculturists present on the estate as well as to those who may migrate thither, it is designed to open a new market for their produce close to their doors. Its object is, in s hort, to raise the standard of health and comfort of all true workers of whatever grade--the means by which these objects are to be achieved being a healthy, natur al, and economic combination of town and country life, and this on land owned by the municipality. (Howards Garden Cities, p. 138-147). In reality, BOTH Howards Garden City and Disneys Disneyland were Capitalistic ventures. Disney made a return on his investment through Admission fees and the British investors made a return on their investment th rough monthly lease arrangements or long-term interest payments. In addition to their foundations, Howa rd and Disney also felt passionate about a people-oriented community plan even though their perspectives were totally different. Although both Howard and Disney were known to be indefatigable workers with total devotion to promoting their own ideas it was


40 Howard that actually adopted improving soci ety as his lifes mission, traveling the country to speak to any cooperative soci ety that would pay his railroad fare and provide him a nights hospitality (Fishman 25). Believing he had discovered the only peaceful path to reform, Howard exclaimed: Mankind is moving toward a new era of brotherhood, and the Garden City would be the only fitting environment for the humanity of the future (25). Unlike Disney, Howards supporters were not planners, architects and politicians, but rather social reformers, whose own dreams he promised would be realiz ed in the Garden City. He likely never dreamed that his ideas wo uld form the basis for a cultural icon instead of a local community. It is interesting to note that Howards advocation of peaceful change in aesthetically pleasing environment preceded Karl Marx who saw a necessity for bloody revolution as the only path to reform. Like Fourier, Saint-Simon and Owen, Howard would have been labeled a u topian socialist by Marx, a critical label he attached to peaceful reformers. Both Disney and Howard, regardless of their differences in attaining their people-centered communities, believed that through the application of a viable planning process linked to utopian ideal s, they would successfully develop planning to reduce the negative impacts of the external, modernizing world. Both sought to alleviate the pressures of m odern livingfor Howard, the stresses of the Industrial Revolution and for Disney, t he stresses of raising a family in an overcrowded cityand both chose to make nature a key feature of their plan. If


41 Howards intent was to somehow cleanse the social order by making egalitarian community, where the wealth that was evenly distributed was the wealth of landscape and park, then Disneys intent was to ease the minds of parents by offering a safe, appealing, and affor dable break from the everyday. Inextricably linked to this third el ement is the view that people-oriented communities were also defined by indi vidualized perspectives on architecture and design. As a result, the integration of varied architectural design was encouraged in Howards Garden Cities and maintained as a central component of Disneylands planning process. The seven differentiated segments of the Disneyland community demonstrate the diversification of architectural design linked to Howards idealized view of the diversity of architecture in the utopian Garden Cities. Main Street is perhaps the best example of this mixture of architecture in its ideal form. With its bl end of the small town and big city, its quaint shops and wide variety, this portion of Disneyland is what a blend of architecture should deliveran encompassing view that pu lls together the entire shopping experience, not a jumble of differing bui ldings all elbowing one another for the spotlight. By combining architecture wit h a deliberately comprehensive effect in mind, Disneyland accomplishes what arch itecture in the modern community rarely does. Disney used this overall impact to build the people-oriented effect he sought. Once patrons of his park were calmed by the soothing and satisfying prospect of Main Street, Disney could focus on entertaining them in a way


42 geared towards family. He combined arch itecture with Howards Garden city plans design a place specific ally made to please patrons.


43 CHAPTER FOUR: THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS Introduction Now that the historical and physical connections between Ebenezer Howards Garden City and Walt Disneys Disneyland design have been established, it is intriguing to consider more theoretical as pects of this relationship. First, how did issues of control influence Howard and Dis ney in their designs? Was this a crucial consideration in each man's plans, or was it merely the result of coincidence? Next, how does the interplay between fantasy and reality affect both of these utopian designs? Can one truly compare a realis tic garden city design to a fantastic amusement park created for imaginary inhabitants? Differing Control Considerations Though Disney may have valued Howards views of the Garden Cities and used elements of his theoretical perspecti ve in the creation of the Disneyland model, there are factors that differentiate Disney from Howard, both in terms of the theoretical background of their perspecti ves and in the practical application of their views. While Howard believed in a free mark et of goods maintained within the structure of the Garden Cities, Disney bel ieved in fundamental control. Howards planning process integrated a view of t he way in which the community itself would support a free market st ructure. Gradually a pros perous industrial district


44 would grow up, and then, mere self inte rest would induce employers to bring down their main workshops, and even to st art factors in the colony (Howard 122). Howard believed that the Garden City would foster commercial success, at least somewhat by virtue of its very desi gn. He had faith that his ideas of social reform would also affect the economy, and that no formal control was required. On the other hand, Disneys focus on control helped him maintain three objectives: 1) an operational focus, 2) a universal perspective and 3) an edge in the leisure culture market (Wasko 98) By having direct control over the operation, Disney was able to keep the park focused on priorities that he himself controlled. Also, by not leaving things up to others, or to the inhabitants, as Howard suggested, Disneys hands-on ta ctic allowed him to maintain the perspective that has earned Disneyland a place in American culture. This unfailing focus on the directives of those in charge, without any outside interference, is what allowed Disney to have an advantage in the leisure culture marketa niche that he practically created. Essentially, the Disney image and cor porate directive in the 1950s was the early development to create a business structure throu gh which a leisure culture could be secured. In graduate business schools across the United States, Michael D. Eisners book The Disney Wa y (January 2001) extols Corporate Disneys attention to detail and its implement ation of policies and procedures to ensure the precise image and experience fo r all its guests. More than ever, the Disney name and emerging image is an ic on of American perfection, of the


45 capacity to create, maintain, and in tegrate a wholesom e image through the Disney ideals. Disneys control seems paternalis tic and books have been written to admonish Disney for its controlling polic ies and mandates. Historically, leftist critics despise Disneys success because his capitalist controls suppress freedoms. For example, Steve Fjellman, in his book Vinyl Leaves (19) and Byrne and McQuillan, in Deconstructing Disney (42) have argued that the oppressive nature of the Disney identity has resulted in an attempt to control the experiential and environmental elements of the American culture. Throughout the 1990s, Corporate Disney became the focus of many debates regarding control and social freedoms. It was be lieved that Disney exercised too much control through its media subsidiaries, global expansion and subdivision developments. In June 1977, the Southern Baptist Convention, with 2.5 million mem bers, called for a nationwide boycott of Disney and its subsidiaries, in response to Disneys policies on gay unions (Wasko 214). On bot h sides of the control argument, Disney is both embraced and reje cted depending on ones individual philosophies. Ironically today, Disneys control issues seem Mickey Mouse compared to the massive controls that Homel and Security has implemented to spot and deter terrorism since September 11, 2001. Surveillance operations and hand held monitoring devices are more commonplace than ever in the 21st century. In fact, it is easy to forget that this history of Utopian thoug ht is the history of various


46 methods of control to improve citizens life from Platos Republic 360 BC, to Campenellas City of the Sun 1568, to modern socialists paradises claimed by Stalin and Castro, which provide some of the strictest regimes and guidelines for proper human behavior. Where Howard advocated a group control, a community wherein the individual members would c ontrol the society, Disney believed in a more handson approach. By controlling every aspect of visitors experience at Disneyland, from the menu to the music to the color of the walls as patrons waited on line, Disney was able to craft every facet of his utopia, thereby creating the park as perfectly as his imagination could see. Wh ile Howard put his faith in the groups ability to devise rules that would work fo r all, Disney focused on mapping out the Disneyland experience in every detail so that visitors could enjoy the park in the way that he felt was best. Fantasy vs. Reality When the idea of Disneyland arises, and debates ensue, it is sometimes easy to forget the fact that it is a real world built for imaginary characters. Unlike Howards Garden Cities that were created for real people in an attempt to redesign the social order, Disneyland is a place created to give families an entertaining vacation from the very real world. This difference leads to an interesting question: how can one compare a genuine idea in urban planning with an idea in entertainment ? The answer is simple: the aim


47 of both locations is fundamentally the same. Howard tried to make people happy by placing them in garden cities where they could be closer to nature. Disney tried to make people happy by givi ng them a place to take their family and have a good time. Though each idea has been shaped by later interpretations, and altered by modern leaps in evolution, the purpose of both locations was initially the same. It is the similarity in purpose that allows me to compare these two concepts, and it is the connection between the essences of the place, not the eventual applicati on of either idea or location, that is important for this study. In her book, Janet Wasko challenged the notion that Disney was a learned man seeking to create a them e park rivaling the Garden Cities of Howard; this stemmed from her belief that Disney was not responsible for creating a realistic experience for his patrons, but maintaining the illusions necessary for an experience that did not require the kind of urban planning process integrated into working cities. No one ever came to Disneyland to live and work; it was simply a cultural manife station of a leisure process supported by Disney's own childlike ideals (Wasko 117). As a result, the differences between Disneyland's construction and Waskos own belief in the purpose behind Disneyland lead her to question any correspondence with Howard's Garden Cities. Responding to this criticism, it can be argued that both Howard and


48 Disney shared a view of community and a desire to apply urban planning to regional development. While Howard's views were applied to actual urban development and led to the creation of communities like Letchworth, Disney demonstrated the conflicts that occurred when applying this Utopian ideal to the fantastical. It was difficult to maintain the architectural continuity and substance in a theme park setting. Marling st ated this as the underlying reason why Disneyland could not exist in and of itse lf; to create too much reality within the constructs of the theme park would detract from t he illusion (Marling 179). In other words, Disney had to walk a fine line with his creationtoo much reality and visitors would be reminded of their own lives back home; too little reality and the effect is lost to the sk eptics who are bored or unimpressed by the experience. The real trick of designing a utopian theme park is to have enough reality to make the place feel viable characters live in Disneyland, and they actually walk the streets and greet vi sitorsand yet enough fantasy to maintain the illusion that one is really visiting another world, a world perhaps as it ought to be. Ebenezer Howards community focus reflected the development of actual urban planning and fundamental perspectives amidst urban and rural changes. Disneys perspective was maintained by a leisure culture focus, one that clearly challenged the notion of authenticity and the significance of separating entertainment from real life experienc es. "The replacement of reality with selective fantasy is a phenomenon of the most successful and staggeringly


49 profitable American phenomenon, the reinvent ion of the environment as themed entertainment" (Huxtable 15). The development of entertainment that is linked to architecture, history and artistry suggests that ther e is credibility in this kind of entertainment and that there must be an inherent c onnection with reality. Huxt able argues, then, if the creation of this kind of faux reality provides what the public desires, there should be no problem. "But if what we are getti ng, is what we are being given, out of shrewd self-interest, simple greed, master ful marketing, and t he art of the deal-arguable the greatest American art of all--then we are being had" (Huxtable 10). What concerns Huxtable, then, is not w hether or not Disneyland poses a reality; rather, she is concerned with the motiva tion behind that realityis it a genuine invention derived from the real world and re-presented without a complete loss of integrity, or is it a complete fabricat ion created by capitalists intent on making money, and thus without integrity? The answer is the central focus of Huxtables critique, and one of core argument s regarding the Disney legacy. Both Disney and Howard challenged traditional views of community, reality, and how architecture defines rea lity. Leftist critics relied on single distinctions between reality and illusion that revealed the entire Disney experience. Disney set out to create a f antasy world, a world that was exciting and familiar, but did not include all of the problems that were prevalent in the real world. Disney is not believed to be distorting cultural icons, books and films because it remains the responsibility of t he general public to re cognize truth from


50 fantasy. In other words, Marling explains that Disney has always been in the entertainment business and has every right to exercise poetic license in all of its products (179-185). Ever since Disney set out to cr eate the perfect amusement park experience, he has been building his own realityone that must be taken according to its own rules and regulations. Though it exists in the physical world, Disneyland is very much a nowhere; it is a place specifically designed to be nowhere because if it exist ed in reality somewhere, th e perfect illusion would be marred by all of the modern th ings that take up space in the real worldtraffic, overcrowding, angry pedestrians, etc. Disne y managed to make his utopia viable by taking it out of the real world enough to allow it to shine, yet kept the rules familiar enough to reinforce visitors sense of safety. When Howard designed his Garden City, he did so in the belief that the world around him could maintain an ideal so ciety, or at the very least, an ideal architectural design plan. Disney operated under the same parameters; believing that the perfect world he created in Disneyland could be maintained well enough to allow visitors to the world a chance to see what life could be like. Hence, the progression of planning for both Howard and Disney was based in a belief that the physical world, the world that suppor ts the development of communities, can maintain an ideal structure. Wit hin the physical planni ng discipline; the philosophies of integrating new systems, showcasing the concept to visitors through PeopleMover exposure, solving urban problems, meeting the public


51 need, being in a continuous state of c hange, providing for the happiness of residents and visitors, and generating cons umer demand would ultimately all have to be reflected in Disneys plans (Mannheim 7). Mannheim then argues that while Howards process has ended, the continued development of Disney principles has resulted in continued questioning about Disneys role in the modernizing world (7). Whether or not these philosophies would have been compatible remains an open question. Finally, it is interesting to note ho w today the progression of architectural and theoretical elements t hat extended from Howards work, which subsequently influenced Disneys planning, led to a juxtaposition between the real and the imitated. "The real now imitates the imitation. Towns are now remaking themselves, and developments are casting t hemselves in the theme park image, given a stage-set presence from a look to a complete concept carried out to the last 'authentic' touch" (Huxtable 65). While Howards Garden Cities defined a plan for actual, practical and applicable utopian communities, Disneys planning process based on Howards ideals resulted in the creation of faux experiences and faux communities. Either way, whatever the effect of Disneyland may be on modern America, the essence of Disneys design is still an echo of Howards Garden City, and perhaps Howard wasnt so off on his idea of utopia because the experience of Disneyland is still one that pleases an entire family and keeps people contented and smiling, even when lines are long and the day is hot. At the end of the day, it


52 doesnt matter whether Disneyland was designed for Mickey Mouse or John Anderson; the effect of a perfect community is still satisfied adults carrying out exhausted and conten ted children.


53 CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION When considering the architectural desig n of Disneyland, it is difficult not to see the connections with Ebenezer Howards Garden City plans. From the circular design, inclusion of a town c enter, and people-orient ed set-up, the stamp of Howards utopia is plainly visible atop the Disneyland m ap. It was not only Howards design plan that Disney utilized in his own plans, however; for current attitudes about nature and social reform also played a role in the creation of the park. Since public parks were first opened, the notion of the healing power of nature has been popular, not healing in the sense of a physical panacea, but as a spiritual balm to ease the stresses and burdens of city life in the modern era. Such ideas about the importance of nat ure clearly influenced the set-up of Disneyland, as can be seen in the mani cured landscapes that line each street and lane in the park. Ebenezer Howard envisioned his Garden City as a way to revolutionize the social order in which he lived. His hope was to recreate the world around him through his architecture by creating a per fect world away from the clutter and smog of the city. Disney has incorporat ed that utopian vision in Disneyland, a place where visitors are given a precious glimpse of life as it could bea city of happy contented people (cartoon characters they may be, but still inhabitants of this city), a metropolis filled with people an d yet not overcrowded or made filthy, a


54 place where a family could be safe as they were entertained. Though Disneyland may not have reformed the social order of California when it was unveiled, it has certainly had a lasting effect on the Am erican psyche. Such a profound influence would probably have pleased Howard. Disney was not only influenced by Howard, though, as can be seen from other elements of the Disney design. The architectural theories of Frank Lloyd Wright and the mass market potential of He nry Ford also affected the overall picture, as Disney incorpor ated many philosophies into his attempt to capture a perfect experience for American families. When designing Main Street, USA, Disney considered many of Wrights design plans; though Disney personally disliked the man, Wrights organic archit ecture still had a subtle effect on the overall picture. Henry Fords notions of transportation and free market economy also influenced Disney, but almost in the opposite direction. Everything in Disneyland is public transportationthe antithesis of Fords personal transport in cars. Disney used the popularity of Fords mentality to lure visitors into his fantasy world; if personal cars were the norm in the real world, then visitors to Disneyland would rely on friendly and per sonable public transportation, and to their surprise, Disney assured them, people would actually enjoy it! Theoretically, Disney understood t hat utopia is a human fantasy nowhere! It is a place to be VISITED, not a permanent place. Early social reformers tried to create a permanent utopia. Disney is the first individual, followed by structural malls, and later va cation resorts, timeshares, etc., who


55 correctly realized that the destination has to be temporary or a place to visit. .not permanent! Disney went so far as to name various areas Neverland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland to emphasiz e to visitors that they have entered utopia no wherea fantasy. Despite all of the theor etical connections, in terms of a physical thumbprint, the theory that has the most striking physical connection to the original Disneyland design is Ebenezer Howards Garden City design. Still, while a one-to-one correlation can be made, the purpos e of this study is not to say that Howard directly and specifically infl uenced everything that Disney intended for his amusement park. On the other hand, this study has shown that a combination of social ideas and prominent thinkers all contributed to Disneylands setup, though Howard slightly more than some others, and this influence can be seen in the initial set-up of Disneyla nd when it opened in 1955. What is clear from the critics of Disney's urban pl anning process is that not everyone agrees that Disney considered serious or significant architectural elements when creating the illusions of Disney. The wide range between Disney's circular construction and Howard's Garden City underscores the problematic nature of making this comparison. Still, Disney's fantasies and Howard's utopian realities make for an intriguing comparison. It is my hope that my examination of the connections between Howard and Disney has opened alternative lines of reasoning when it co mes to considerations of influence and effect of history on cultural icons.


56 References Cited Burnham, Louis C. and G eorge W. W. Packard. Central Park: A Visit to One of the Worlds Most Treasured Landscapes New York, Crescent Books, 1993. centralparkhistory/cp-history-150yrs/ cphistory1800-1858 Byrne, E and M. McQuillan. Deconstructing Disney London: Pluto Press, 1999. Chappell, Urso S. A. ExpoMuseum/ History Overview 2007. 11 July 2007. <>. Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland): First Report, Abstract of Expenditure, 1832. Vol xvii. Session m eeting, March, 1833. Disneyland: 50 Years of Souvenirs 21 June 2007. 11 July 2007. . Fishman, Robert. Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century New York: Basic Books, Inc, 1977. Fjellman, Steve. Vinyl Leaves : Walt Disney World and America Bounder: Westview Press, 1992. Henry Ford Museum. Explore and Learn: Pic of the Month Sept 2005. 11 July 2007. . Howard, Ebenezer. Garden Cities of To-morrrow Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1965. Huxtable, Ada Louise. Unreal America : New York: Basic Books, Inc, 1998.


57 Kruty, Paul. Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press; 1998. Mannheim, Steve. Walt Disney and the Quest for Community Burlington: Ashgate, 2002. Marling, Karal Ann. Designing Disneys Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1997. Mud, Amy. Birth of moder n city planning, the Moder nist urbanism, and urban design in late-modern time. Urban Design Principles. May 10, 2003. . Rosenbaum, Alvin. Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wrights Design for America. Washington, DC.: The Preservation Press, 1993, 25-62. Rouse, James. Quote from his Ke ynote Speech at the Urban Design Conference. Harvard University, Boston, MA, 1963. Wasko, Janet. Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy London: Polity Press, 2001. Zygas, K. Paul, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: The phoenix Papers Volume One: Broadacre City Tempe Arizona State Univer sity Press, 1995, 17-31.




APPENDIX A (Continued) 59 Figure 1. 1893 Columbian Ex po, Administration Building World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL, 1893 (R: 1891-93) (D. H. Burnham and F.L. Olmsted), Administration Building, R. M. Hunt, architect [UPsl src: ?] Figure 2. 1893 Columbia n Expo, panoramic view (R: 1891-93) (D. H. Burnham and F.L. Olmste d), panoramic photo from behind lagoon, showing train tracks, E. W. Irish, 1893, Panoramic Photograph Collection (pan 6a27057), Library of Congress.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 60 Figure 3. 1893 Columbian Ex po, Transportation Building Figure 4. Beaux Arts Style White City in 1893 Columbian Expo Most of the buildings were based on classical architecture, and the area taken up by the fair around the Court of Honor was known as "T he White City". It became known as the White City for two reasons: 1.The buildings were made of a white stucco, which, in comparison to the tenements of Chicago seemed illuminated. 2. It was the first time street lights were ever used, making the boulevards and buildings walkable at night.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 61 Figure 5. Frederick Law Olmstead, 1822 -1903 His artistic legacy includes some of the world's finest public green spaces: Bostons Emerald Necklace, Hartford's Bushnell Park, Montreal's Mo unt Royal Park, New York Citys Central Park, Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, Niagara Falls and California's Yosemite Valley are only a few of his thousands of works. Figure 6. Wooded Isle (now called Osaka Garden) 15 acres Olmsted brought in 200,000 cubic yards of dirt, scraped down ridges, and planted hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs, low plants, and aquatic plants, many on Wooded Island. Olmsted and the Fair designers respected the scattered stand s of ancient oaks and other trees, keeping the buildings away from these stands where possible, while bringing in many new species of trees, including black willows, to stabilize the edge of Wo oded Island and other lagoon shores. Until that


APPENDIX A (Continued) 62time, The Island was a peninsular sand ridge with an oak savannah. Olmsted intended the Island to be a quiet nature respite, but Daniel Burnham agreed to allow the Japanese government to build at its expense a Phoenix temple (Ho-o-den) and a small Japanese garden. Figure 7. Wooded Isle, circled in Yellow, 1893 Japan spent perhaps as much as $500,000 in its exhibits here, in the hall of Manufactures, and out on the Midway. The main pavilion was profoun dly influential on Frank Lloyd Wright and other Prairie School architects, in part because it was in such contrast to the White City that they despised. It's inside the yellow circle on the left.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 63 Figure 8. Example of Geometric, Formal landscape architecture An extensive Baroque complex built for the Liec htenstein family by renowned architects like C.Tencalla, D.Martinelli, J.B.Fischer von Erlach and J.Ospel. The complex consists of chateau buildings, garden structures and decorative sculpture of various styles, set amidst ponds and woods. The Valtice Chateau is surrounded by a beaut iful natural park dotted with many Romantic structures (follies), rare trees and greenhouses with tropical plants. Figure 9. Example of Natu ral landscape architecture Central Park, New York, NY, 1857-c. 1880 (Frederi ck Law Olmsted with Calvert Vaux), aerial view, 1975.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 64 Figure 10. Garden Cities of Tomorrow, book cover, 1902 Figure 11. Sir Ebenezer Howard 1850 1928


APPENDIX A (Continued) 65 Figure 12. The Three Magnets Town and Country Figure 13. Images from Garden Cities of Tomorrow schematic drawings of a Garden City, 1902


APPENDIX A (Continued) 66 Figure 14. Images from Garden Cities of Tomorrow schematic drawings of a Garden City, 1902 Figure 15. Images from Garden Cities of Tomorrow schematic drawings of a Garden City, 1902


APPENDIX A (Continued) 67 Arms of Letchworth Urban District Council Figure 16. Arms of Letchw orth Urban District Council ENGLAND HERTFORDSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE-LETCHWORTH Figure 17. Hertfordshire, Engla nd and Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire is an inland County in England that is located to the north of Greater London and part of the London commuter belt.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 68 Figure 18. Aerial view Letchworth Garden City, 1903 Figure 19. Letchworth Garden City Style Letchworth, England was an attempt at building Ebenezer Howard's utopian Garden City. It was laid out north of London by Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker in 1904.(Reprinted from Spiro Kostof, A History of Architecture (1995).


APPENDIX A (Continued) 69 Figure 20. Norton Way, South Letc hworth postcard posted in 1930 Figure 21. Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (2007)


APPENDIX A (Continued) 70 Figure 22. Letchworth Town Center Today (2007) Figure 23. Frank Ll oyd Wright, 1867 1959 Wright practiced what is known as organic architec ture, an architecture that evolves naturally out of the context, most importantly for him the re lationship between the site and the building.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 71 Figure 24. Ladies Home J ournal cover Feb, 1901, Prairie Style February 1901 -Published Monthly by The Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia.A Home in a Prairie Town Full page includes seven illustrations. Origi nal cover price 10 cents. 11 x 16.5. (Sweeney 45)


APPENDIX A (Continued) 72 Figure 25. Frank Lloyd Wr ight, Prairie Style Figure 26. Frank Lloyd Wright, Unison Style


APPENDIX A (Continued) 73 Figure 27. Broadacre City One Square Mile


APPENDIX A (Continued) 74 Figure 28. 'Broadacre City' THE LIVING CITY 1958, Frank Lloyd Wright THE DRAWINGS OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT 1962, Arthur Drexler a. Butterfly Bridge, Wisconsin 1947 b. Rogers Lacy Hotel, Dallas 1946 c. Beth Sholom Synagoge, Pensilvania 1953-59 d. Twin Suspension Bridges and Community Center, Pittsburgh 1947 e. Huntington Hartford Play Resort, Hollywood 1947 f. Self Service Garage, Pittsburgh 1947 g. Gordon Strong Automobil Objective, Maryland 1925


APPENDIX A (Continued) 75 Figure 29. Fallingwater (1934), Bear Run, PA Figure 30. Taliesin West ( 1937) Scottsdale, Arizona


APPENDIX A (Continued) 76 Figure 31. Henry Ford, 1863 1947 Ford Motor Company, Founder Ford Assembly line (1913) Figure 32. Ford Technology the Assembly Line Automobiles built by the Ford Motor Co. from 1908 until 1927, were the first widely affordable mass-produced car. Assembly-line production methods introduced by Henry Ford in 1913 enabled the price of this five-seat touring car to drop from $850 in 1908 to $300 in 1925. Over 15 million Model T's were built. The car was offered in several body styles, all mounted on a standard chassis. Various colors were initially av ailable, but after 1913 its sole color was black. It was replaced by the popular Model A in 1928.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 77 Figure 33. Greenfield Village Map Figure 34. Fords Birth Home, Greenfield Village Map Figure 35. Early mo des of transportation are part of Greenfield Village


APPENDIX A (Continued) 78 Figure 36. WALT DISNEY, 1901 1965 DISNEY FILM COMPANY (1923) Disney Animated Films are critically acclaimed for the development of synchronized sound cartoons and humanistic ch aracters. WED ENTERPRISES (December 1952)


APPENDIX A (Continued) 79 Figure 37. Walt Disney at The Figure 38. Disneys Greefield Village Henry Ford Museum visi t (1940) teaching how to draw Figure 39. Disney and Kimb all at Greenfield Village, 1948 Walt Disney visited Greenfield Village twice, in 1940 and 1948, bringing Ward Kimball with him the second time.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 80 Figure 40 The beginning of Disney films STEAMBOAT WILLIE ,1928.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 81 Figure 41 Disney Influences 1939 New York Worlds Fair (Flushing Meadow) Figure 42. 1939 Golden Gate Inte rnational Expo, San Francisco


APPENDIX A (Continued) 82 Figure 43. Thorne Mi niature Rooms 1920-40 Figure 44. Infl uences on Disney Railroads


APPENDIX A (Continued) 83 Figure 45. Disneys B ackyard Train Layout Walt Disney named his working model steam locomotive Lilly Belle after his wife Lillian.The layout of Walt's backyard railroad. The "barn" is the small building at the top left. Figure 46. BRITAINS NEW TOWN MOVEMENT INFLUENCES DISNEY


APPENDIX A (Continued) 84 (Key for Map diagram above) 1. Whitegrove Built in the late 1980s 2. Bullbrook This was the third of the original nei ghbourhoods. Development began in 1957; Lily Hill House and estate were preserved 3. Office Development After industry, offices were built to provide more jobs for New Town residents. The Met Office opened in 1961. 4. Martins Heron Originally the site of a mid 18th C entury mansion, the site was developed in the late 1980s incorporating housing, a railway station and supermarket. 5. Harmans Water This was the last of the origi nal neighbourhoods, the first hous es were occupied in 1961. 6. Forest Park Houses were bui lt on this site in the late 1980s 7. Crown Wood This was the last New Town neighbourhood and was completed in 1984. 8. Birch Hill Located furthest from the town centre, this neighbourhood began in 1974. Houses and shops were situated around the mansion of South Hill Park, now an arts centre. 9. Hanworth This neighbourhood began in 1971 and was situated in a wooded area. 10. Great Hollands This neighbourhood was developed largely to house the employees of Sperrys factory. The first houses were occupied in 1967. 11. Wildridings This was the first dev elopment undertaken after the decision to extend the New Town. Housing was of a higher standard and roads were laid out to separate traffic and pedestrians. 12. Industry Development The development of Industry in the New Town was important to attract people into the area and provide jobs. Industry was situated at Easthampstead and Bullbrook. 13. Priestwood This was the first of the New Town neighbour hoods to be built. The first houses were occupied in 1951. 14. Easthampstead This was the se cond neighbourhood to be built. The first houses were occupied in 1957. The Victorian Church was retained and Point Royal, Brack nells only high rise block of flats was built here. 15. Temple Park Houses were built here in the 1990s 16. Bracknell Town Centre Originally a simple Victorian market village, the town centre developed slowly until the 1970s when it was pedestrianised and most of the original s hops were demolished to make way for new development. 17. Quelm Park Houses were built here in the 1990s


APPENDIX A (Continued) 85 Figure 47. Martin Davis, Disneyla nds Master Architect, 1910 1998 Figure 48. Disneyland schematic drawings, Herbert Goff, 1951


APPENDIX A (Continued) 86 Figure 49. Disneyland tour during construction, 1954


APPENDIX A (Continued) 87 Figure 50. Disneyland, 1955


APPENDIX A (Continued) 88 Figure 51. Disneyland, Opening Day, 1955 DISNEYS RETURN ON INVESTME NT In addition to the LOC/ABC Studios arrangement, Disneys personal investment was repaid by t he $1 admission fee charged on opening day July 17, 1955.


APPENDIX A (Continued) 89 Ebenezer Howard -Frank Ll oyd Wright -Henry Ford Walt Disney -Marvin Davis = GARDEN CITY DISNEYLAND Howards Utopia: Disneys Utopia: Struggling Thrivi ng and Expanding Globally Figure 52. The Connections and Thesis Conclusion 1. DISNEYLAND vs LETCHWORTH INVESTMENT APPROACH : BOTH CAPITALISTIC VENTURES with UTOPIAN SOCIAL IDEALS 2. PERMANENT vs TEMPORARY UTOPIA : DISNEY SHOWS THE BEST APPROACH TO UTOPIA


Download Options

Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.