Team Disney Anaheim & Its Connection to the Medal of Freedom Ceremony 2016
Today, President Obama honored the 2016 Medal of Freedom recipients. This particular award is considered the highest civilian honor given by the President of the United States. According to Executive Order 9586, the recipient is someone who has "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The Medal of Freedom was established by President John Kennedy in 1963.
One of the 2016 recipients is Frank Gehry. If you drive by Disneyland on the 5 Freeway, you pass a Frank Gehry building. The Team Disney Anaheim Building was designed by Gehry. The building opened in 1995 and continues to be the home to a variety of Disneyland operations teams including Disneyland Casting.
This photo is of the main entrance of the building. If you have to go for an interview, this is where you would go and enter. The story that I heard about how the building got its yellow color is that Gehry was slow to choose the color for the main entrance of the building. He was being pressed when he saw a construction hat and said "That color. Scan the construction hat for that color." Again, that is just a story that I heard.
The side of this building that faces the freeway is actually an entirely different color. It is kinda of a green metallic and kind of shimmers as you drive by it. It's hard to tell that the other side of the building is a very bright yellow.
If you drive by the freeway side, sometimes you'll see some signs on the windows or decals that Cast Members have placed so they can see their office window when driving by. The inside of the building is full of cubicles to maximize the workspace. Most Cast Members who have an office with a window share that space with another person. I did share an office with someone when I worked in this building. My Disneyland job back in the 1990s was in Documentation and I shared an office on the third floor, yellow side, with an office mate.
On a final note, another Disney building that Gehry designed is the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Next time you pass by the green building near Disneyland on the 5 Freeway, know that it was designed by note only a famous architect, but a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.