The restoration of Walt and Roy Disney's Chicago birthplace began this week, officials announced.
Alderman Rey Colon, along with homeowners Brent Young and Dina Benadon, attended a press conference Thursday, the late Walt Disney's 112th birthday, to kick off the project.
As part of the celebration, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaimed it Walt Disney Day in Chicago.
"On behalf of the Disney family, we are so pleased to see Walt Disney's historic birthplace and family home being restored to its humble origins in the city of Chicago," Roy Patrick Disney, grandson to Roy O. Disney and Walt's great nephew, said in a statement.
"The outpouring of support and excitement we've seen from both city officials and Disney fans alike has been simply wonderful, and this is truly a fitting way to honor both Walt and Roy O. Disney, the pioneering brothers who forever changed the face of family entertainment, and, of course, will forever be two of Chicago's most prominent native sons."
"I am honored to work with the Mayor's Office in declaring Dec. 5, 2013 as 'Walt Disney Day' in the city of Chicago," said Colon. "Walt Disney's epic contributions to American entertainment and our personal lives will be memorialized by the historic restoration and designation of Walt Disney's birthplace."
The home was built in 1893 by Walt and Roy's father, Elias, and designed by their mother, Flora. Elias Disney built two other homes on the same block, as well as the St. Paul Congregational Church.
"It's an amazing story that keeps unfolding and every day we learn something new," Benadon said. "Our dream is that the home will serve as a place to inspire creativity in our children for generations to come."
In order to finance the project, Young stated: "Our vision has always been to reach out to the community the Disney brothers have touched and the perfect mechanism for this was through Kickstarter. In addition to crowd funding, we hope to raise financing through the private sector and potential sponsorships."
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