Monday, November 06, 2017

Men at Work, October 1963

Today's first photo shows a bunch of construction workers toiling away on a very ripped up Main Street! Did the original 1955 asphalt become so cracked and awful that it needed to be replaced after 8 years? Was it full of broken heels from all of the ladies' shoes that sank into it on opening day? Did they find the fossilized remains of mastodons, giant sloths, and saber-toothed cats? 

Let's zoom in, shall we? This was some fairly substantial construction that was happening right out in the open, which seems to go against Walt's "bad show" ethos. Maybe he decided that it was better to get it done as fast as possible, even if it meant a less-than-perfect park for a few days or weeks. 

I've seen photos from this 1963 construction (without the Matterhorn, admittedly) on Facebook, listed as "Main Street, 1955". How I chortled as I nibbled my caviar on toast points!

Here's a second shot, much closer to the Matterhorn, but from more or less the same angle. Somehow the Monsanto House of the Future has completely vanished. Witchcraft?! The paving shows evidence of earth-moving vehicles coming and going. Perhaps the park's "slurrification" was in progress.


Nanook said...


Disneyland was just keeping-up with the times. They were simply removing the streetcar rails to make way for the future in transportation: The individual automobile. In reality, wasn't this part of a repaving project for Main Street-?

As far as the disappearing act for The House of the Future is concerned - hmmm... Actually as you say, the second shot was taken much closer to The Matterhorn, placing the HotF just off to the right/slightly behind the camera. Pretty clever vanishing work, however.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, clearly today's photos have electrified the Disneyland fan community like no other! ;-) I wonder if one of the Disneyland employee magazines or newsletters addressed the construction on Main Street? I don't ever recall reading about it, though of course I may have just forgotten. And I didn't really think that the Monsanto house had vanished as a result of witchcraft! I blame David Copperfield.

The Magic Ears Dudebro said...

Now I'm curious as to what happens when Disney does need to do repaving on Main Street. I don't think they can shut off the whole section of the park, what with it being the entrance. Do they just do a rush job at night when the park is closed? So many question.

Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for the great photos! I did wonder about those rails...

Hey, they have Seven little chaps who tend to whistle while they work. ;-)
I would imagine that they could do a rush job like no other, although I'm not sure if they work with tar...

TokyoMagic! said...

"But Main Street's all cracked and broken....."

Maybe they were tired of the asphalt softening every year under the July heat. That is amazing that we can see guests walking around in front of the entrance to Tomorrowland and there isn't any kind of construction wall to keep kids (or adults) from falling onto a piece of wood or into the dirt. Maybe people were better behaved and had more common sense back then?

K. Martinez said...

I like the Matterhorn pic. Thank you, Major.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
Do you doubt the veracity of your own comment-??!! OF COURSE people had more 'common sense' back then, and [evidently] realized responsibility for one's safety resided with the individual. As I keep saying - the further and further-away our society has come from being a primarily agrarian nation, we employ less common sense and awareness of the world around us. That's not really a good thing.

Matthew said...

Couldn't agree more Nanook. As for my humble guess on this one... The park used to be closed Monday and Tuesday in the fall/winter months. Could this be one of those days... and the "guests" in the background be Cast Members working in management? Humble guess.

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

PS - Main Street was torn up in the early 80's I believe to install sensors along the street to assist with the blending of the music from parade float to float as it moved down the street through each zone. That I do remember... and they walled off one portion of the street at a time until completed. Could not find reference for my assertion.

Melissa said...

"Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!"

Monorail, monorail, monorail!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I feel so foolish now, to have doubted the veracity of my own comment!

Melissa, "The ring came off my pudding can!"

Chuck said...

TM!, use my penknife, my good man!

I had the exact same mental soundtrack when I saw these photos.

Anonymous said...

Always lots to love about construction photos. Speculation is part of the fun.

I remember that not too long ago, 2008 maybe, part of Main Street was torn up around the streetcar rails where the cars pass each other. I recall that this was just barricaded off with fairly standard construction barricades, no huge walls or scrims. You could see the compacted rock and reinforcing quite easily.

There was no signage or description of what was going on, just the "watch your step" kinds of signs.

No workers or materials in sight, all the work must have gone on during the night.


Melissa said...

That's in the elves' union contract.