Thursday, February 09, 2017

Tomorrowland Construction

Here are two more scans from a series of construction photos taken by my friend "Mr. X" way back in 1966!

Wow, Disneyland really IS magical. Just look at that dirt! Just mix in some random broken pieces of pipe, concrete, and pixie dust, and churn it all up with some Caterpillar treads, and you can practically hear the Disney chorus from the 1950's singing in perfect harmony.

I am assuming that we are looking at the back of the "Circlevision" building (to the left), and that the Matterhorn would be more or less behind us?


This second photo gives more clues as to where Mr. X was in relation to other attractions, such as the Skyway and the Monorail. The "Carousel of Progress" building would be located more toward the Tomorrowland Skyway terminal, hidden in the distance.


I thought I would zoom in a bit so that you could see the work progressing on the Peoplemover track.


We're getting down to the last of this series!

9 comments:

walterworld said...

Is that torn up plumbing from the 1955 Tomorrowland in the first photo?

Those sure look like dinosaur remains to the left...

Thanks for the 'zoom-in' Major

Alonzo P Hawk said...

These are interesting and not your typical "smile" portraits from the park. Whenever I see shots like these I am amazed how even larger buildings had wood frame construction. We take it for granted today as everthing is prefab steel and tilt-up concrete walls, "boom" theres another "Wal-Mart". I might not be too surprised to find out some of the older early park day one buildings (ie:castle, mainstreet) are a bit of a maintenance challange due to dryrot and hungry termites.

Nice behind the barrier shots today. Thanks for posting.

Patrick Devlin said...

Lovely, delicious construction. Mmm, good.

I got a kick out of a post on a Facebook group about how the "concrete" on Sleeping Beauty Castle had been repainted. Aside from the foundation and footings there ain't no concrete in that thing. Lots of wood, metal lath and stucco, though. I had a chat with my brother regarding maintaining 60 year old wooden core buildings in the face of termite damage. The answer was constant and comprehensive preventative maintenance.

I think some of the previous shots of Tomorrowland showed the beginnings of metal stud usage (maybe CoP?) and it sure seems like a good idea in hindsight for this area.

And how'd you know, Major, to include my favorite Monorail, the Gold Mk. II? It's just eerie how you can do that time after time. Now excuse me while I go listen to some Cyndi Lauper.

K. Martinez said...

I'd like to see this messy scene once again in real life. It would mean we'd be getting a truly new Tomorrowland. Sine Star Wars Land isn't going to open until 2019, I won't hold my breath on that new future. I've really enjoyed Mr. X's Tomorrowland construction series. Thanks, Major. And thanks to Mr. X too!

Patrick Devlin, it's definitely Monorail Gold Mark II as you said.

Anonymous said...

Major, I agree with your location/angle assessments 100%. Thanks for the zoom on the PM track. I'm still amazed that was cast-in-place. Great pics today.

@Alonzo, I agree, very surprised to see so much wood frame construction. Codes were laxer then and most, if not all, of the Park buildings were fire sprinklered, so that helps. Metal framing seems to go together faster than wood today. Those theater walls are very tall to be framed in wood, for sure.

@Patrick Devlin, yes, I think the CoP photos showed metal studs. There is probably metal framing in the Pirates of the Caribbean in the below-grade areas. That area must be a nightmare of waterproofing. Constant vigilance is the key for termites and leaks.

@Walterworld, those pipes look to me like water mains, either domestic or fire lines, or both. The soil looks like the same nice sandy loam we saw in the earlier pics. Easy to dig and probably also to compact.

JG

Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, I’m guessing that we’re seeing some kind of drain pipes. I think I see a trilobite fossil too!

Alonzo, I have wondered the same thing about the potential for decay and pests for some of those 60+ year old buildings. What in the world could they do if the castle ever became dangerously termite-ridden??

Patrick Devlin, I am not sure, but does stucco contain Portland cement? I suppose it’s possible that the person on Facebook was referring to that when they wrote “concrete”. Who knows. I’m glad to hear from Joe about the constant maintenance - if only they had done that with Cascade Peak. And I know that you like gold, because EVERYBODY likes gold. Even when applied to Monorails.

K. Martinez, I know our Tomorrowland needs some serious work - maybe we need a “Tron” coaster like the one in Shanghai. But I sure don’t want Tomorrowland to become all Star Wars, and Disney doesn’t seem to have any other ideas. Even “The Black Hole” could make for the basis of a good ride, even if the movie is very flawed.

JG, another thing that amazes me is just how quickly everything was built back in those days. Less than a year for massive changes that would almost certainly take 3 or 4 years nowadays. I have one photo showing the big hole in the ground for “Pirates”, and there does appear to be a lot of structural steel, along with reinforced concrete.

Nanook said...

@ Major-

"What would they do if The SBC became termite-ridden"-?? Don't even think about that. Not for the obvious reason, but it would merely be an excuse for the powers-that-be to "re-configure'" or completely remove the thing, calling it "an eyesore". Hey - it's not big a stretch.

Peter Naegele said...

Wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hello Major, yes plaster or "stucco" contains cement, lime and sand in varying proportions. There are also new acrylic-modified synthetic mixes using artificial lime substitutes which are popular because they eliminate the hazards of handling lime.

It isn't surprising that someone might confuse plaster and concrete. The stone "masonry" trim on the castle might be a veneer material similar to tile. A lot of the Main Street and NOS brick is a very thin veneer tile.

One of the reasons I love Disneyland is that it is a laboratory of innovative construction materials and design. It's like a candy store for me.

JG