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Bob Iger Opens Restored Offices Where Walt Disney Once Worked

The Walt Disney Company opened the newly refurbished offices of the company’s founder on Monday, saying the modest space should serve as inspiration to a new generation of film, television and content creators.

As the media conglomerate celebrates the 75th anniversary of its move to its Burbank headquarters, CEO Bob Iger said the Disney offices remind him, other employees and visitors of the founder’s “devotion to his family, his curiosity and his relentless creative passion.”

The third-floor suite of offices in Disney’s Animation Building in Burbank have been restored to the same condition that they were in at the time of Disney’s death in December of 1966. Scripts that awaited his review are still stacked around his desk and a yellow legal sheet includes handwritten notes on upcoming projects and the name of a promising young actor — Kurt Russell.

Also on view are Disney’s library, with novels, histories and biographies — ranging from artist Salvador Dali to progressive author and politician Upton Sinclair. His formal desk stood in front of Norman Rockwell portraits of his daughters and figurines from his company’s films. A model of the company’s Grumman Gulfstream jet stood atop the desk. In a secondary office, Disney used a lower table for writing a drawing, He sometimes packed creative collaborators inside, until there was only enough room to sit on the floor.

The Disney Archives will maintain the space, known as Suite 3H, making it available to employees, special guests and gold members of Disney’s fan club, D23.

“You could just feel the aura in here, the great man and all that he did,” Dave Smith, the company’s first archivist, said in a video introduction to the offices. Smith was among several guests who attended the unveiling of the restored offices, along with long-time composer Richard Sherman and a handful of Disney’s descendants.

Granddaughter Joanna Miller recalled playing in the offices and around the Disney lot when she was in elementary school. “One thing you take from seeing it now,” Miller said, “it’s a humble place, a cozy place, with things that he loved in it.”

“With this permanent exhibit we are inviting you to take a step back into the past and to gain a greater understanding of an extraordinary and remarkable man,” Iger said. “We put this permanent exhibit together to serve as a source of inspiration to us, a reminder to have greater ambition, to take bold creative risks, to constantly innovate and push the limits of possibility, to relentlessly pursue perfection and to tell fantastic stories that touch people’s hearts. That was Walt Disney.”

Walt Disney’s granddaughters Joanna Miller, Jennifer Goff and Michelle Lund with Richard Sherman and Bob Iger
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock
Dave Smith, Disney chief archivist emeritus, in Walt Disney’s office
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock
A private kitchen in Walt Disney’s office
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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