John Gregory -- Illinois Radio Network

Restoration work has begun on the birthplace of Walt Disney.

Those behind the restoration project on the Chicago home that Disney lived in from 1901 to 1906 had hoped to have the work completed by now. Because of problems with funding and the condition of the building, they’ve only just begun returning the outside of the home to its original appearance, and there’s no timeline for when it will be open to visitors.

“We do hope to get the home itself done very quickly,” said Todd Regan, executive vice president of the Walt Disney Birthplace. “The most important thing is to protect it from the winter, make sure the house is stabilized, and all those are the things that are happening right now.”

Regan expects exterior work to be done by the summer of 2015. The original plans for the interior have changed, as project leaders decided it was too small to house a museum, which is now planned for a nearby visitors’ center.

The home is still seeking protection as a landmark from the city of Chicago. Regan says many don’t know that Disney was born there because Chicago “has not done a very good job of promoting its native son.”

You can learn more about the project and how to donate to the restoration by visiting

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