Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Haunted Mansion Exteriors, 1970-ish

Mr. X, my pal, recently gave me an envelope with some great vintage photo prints. I love getting stuff and not paying for it! My thanks to Mr. X for his generosity.

It's always nice to feature the Haunted Mansion, since I have so few HM-related photos of any kind. These are exteriors of course, the old Instamatic probably wouldn't have been able to do much with the low light levels of the interior.

Do you dare to enter the grounds of that stately mansion?! The outward appearance is beautiful (and completely convincing); hard to believe that this is in an "amusement park". The many years that this structure stood before opening allowed the grounds to mature to a point that it feels like it's been there a very long time. I am guestimating that both photos date from around 1970 (in part because Mr. X got himself a 35mm camera by the early 1970's and ditched the Instamatic). Notice that the copper or bronze plaques on the brick columns look like a lightly-tarnished penny at this point. When they were brand new, they shone like... well, like new. Eventually they turned a very patinated coppery green - and in some photos they look practically black. At some point I believe that they had been chemically treated, but in this picture the tarnish appears to be the result of natural oxidation.

Is that a cast member, the young lady in the red vest? Hard to tell, though that does kind of look like a name tag on the vest. I've always loved those wonderful magnolia trees, with their dark glossy leaves and big white blossoms. Perhaps the color is a bit off in these pictures, but the wrought iron doesn't look quite as "celadon green" as they do today. 


Anonymous said...

That's a tour guide in photo #2.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great minds think alike. The first thing I saw (before I read all your commentary) was the bronze/copper plaques. Had to have been before those cali rains got to them. Early 70 would be my guess.

Tell tale sign is the 3 clean cut OC boys out front. Already starting their slide into rebellion with shirts untucked!!
Gearing up for the great hippie rebellion of aug 70'

Katella Gate said...

Mr. A.P. Hawk has anticipated my own comments regarding America's Slide into Slobhood...it all started when we accepted the look of the un-tucked-in shirt.

Melissa said...

Wow, you don't see a lot of pictures of the pre-patina copper plaques!

Tom said...

I always wondered why the mansion stood there for so many years before it opened. Makes sense, letting it age like that, giving it that "un-lived-in look".

K. Martinez said...

You mean those plaques aren't fiberglass?!? So un-Disneyland like.

I guess I'm one of those who are guilty of sliding into rebellion and slobhood at an early age since I rarely tucked in my shirt unless it was for a special occasion.

HBG2 said...

New old Mansion shots are always welcome! And I think your dating is correct. As it happens, I'll be dealing with the gate plaques in an upcoming blog post, and they did indeed go through a short "brown" phase, starting in 1970 and lasting only a few years before the green began to appear. They're made of brass, and gold-brown-green is a normal oxidation progression.

Nanook said...

I'm almost embarrassed to report that at this very moment I'm wearing an untucked shirt. So much for setting a good example-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, yes, she looks very tour-guidey. Only she doesn't appear to be guiding, she is following.

Alonzo, I think I have some slides that show those plaques in an even shinier state, though I would have to dig them out and compare them to be sure.

And Katella, I am afraid I am one of those "untucked shirt" people! I blame society.

Melissa, I only wish that I had LOTS more HM photos to share. No such luck.

Tom, from what I've read, it was not intended to sit there that long… they put out a brochure in 1962 announcing the Mansion's 1963 opening. But the World's Fair and other factors resulted in a delay.

K. Martinez, I'm sure today the plaques would be fiberglass, plated or just painted with metallic paints. In a way, as long as it looks real, it doesn't make any difference, but it is COOL that those are really cast metal.

HBG2, I wonder why they chose brass when bronze is generally used for casting decorations used outdoors? I'm sure there was a perfectly good reason. I'll be interested in seeing your post about the plaques!