Walt Disney's onetime residence in Los Feliz, the wonderful world where his daughters grew up, has come on the market at $3.65 million.
The two-story French Normandy-style house, built in 1932, sits behind gates on an acre with views to downtown.
Disney, not one for retaining walls or formal gardens, according to a 1940 interview in Better Homes & Gardens, often picked native plants over imports and created informal terraces using rocks to hold back soil.
The property, then an acre and a half, was home to foxes, quails, possums and rabbits. When World War II started, the Disneys added a victory garden and kept chickens.
Though pieces of land have been sold off over the decades, the rugged heart of the lot that daughter Diane Disney Miller called "the canyon" as a child remains with the house.
Inside, original features include the rotunda foyer, vaulted beamed ceilings, stained leaded-glass windows, two bars and a Juliet balcony overlooking the two-story living room from the second floor hall. It was from this vantage point that Miller would look on Christmas morning at the tree below surrounded by gifts.
During the rest of the year, Disney had a chair in front of the large living room window, where he would sit and read scripts and books, Miller said. "He also loved to sit outside and read in the summertime."
One Christmas, a storybook playhouse appeared in the backyard. Today the miniature cottage sits beside a swimming pool, which was added later near a terrace off the living room. The pool from Disney's day belongs to the house next door.
The house for sale has four bedrooms and five bathrooms in about 6,000 square feet. What is now a billiards room with a sleeping porch over the garage originally was Disney's workout room with a punching bag hanging from the ceiling and pictures of his polo ponies on the walls. Later, it was converted to a nursery.
"My sister and I spent most of our young lives there," said Miller, who was born in 1933. The Disneys remained in the house into her teenage years.
When he got into live action films, Disney decided that he needed a projection room at home to view the daily filming, Miller said. It was part work space and part family film room.
What had been a guest room, bath and charming little library became a screening room, a booth with 35-millimeter projectors and a small bar, Miller said.
"My sister and I saw 'Citizen Kane' and 'Gone With the Wind' there and then current movies," she said. The room had a separate entrance with a bathroom for the projectionists. The small sink still sits behind a wooden door.
Another change to the house during the Disneys' time there: the decorative painting on the ceilings, which are intact.
Disney, who in the 1920s co-founded what would become the Walt Disney Co. with his brother Roy O. Disney, died in 1966 at 65.
Patricia Ruben of Sotheby's International Realty, Los Feliz, is the listing agent.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun