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A car crashed into the historic McConahay Building, which holds the Walt Disney Laugh-O-Gram studio office at 1127 E. 31st St. overnight Friday. The building is currently undergoing a $5.5 million renovation to become a museum.

Car plows into Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram: ‘best days ahead of it’

A car crashed into the historic McConahay Building overnight Friday, knocking over scaffolding and construction equipment on the brick building, said Butch Rigby, chairman of the local nonprofit Thank You Walt Disney Inc., according to The Kansas City Star.

The car ran into a corner on the north side of the building which holds the Walt Disney Laugh-O-Gram studio office. It broke an opening and knocked out bricks. The building was already undergoing renovation.

Walt Disney himself appeared in one of his cartoon shorts, which he called Laugh-O-grams. He was only 20 when he formed his Laugh-O-gram studio in Kansas City. It soon went bankrupt, and Disney headed to California to make his fortune.

The Laugh-O-Gram studio, which is one block east of Troost Avenue, was an animation studio that produced a series of silent short films. It’s also where Walt Disney got his inspiration for Mickey Mouse.

There were no details on what kind of car slammed into the building. It was reported just after 4 a.m. Kansas City police said the driver ran from the scene and the car was towed from the building Saturday morning. The crash also damaged power lines that blocked traffic in the area.

The historic building is currently undergoing a $5.5 million renovation to become a museum and education center for young Kansas Citians. Rigby said they were currently tuckpointing the building, which means they were putting new mortar in between all the bricks as part of the renovations to the face of the building. But now the renovations will be a little delayed, Rigby said.

“We’ll fix it,” Rigby said. “I have a background in building renovation, I’ve done 25 buildings so I’m very familiar with it and this is something that can and will be repaired.”

As Rigby stood by and inspected the damage, construction workers from Dello Eco Industrial picked up the bricks and concrete that were scattered on the street.

“We can’t wait for this building to be serving some of the young people in the area, as it did a young man 100 years ago named Walt Disney,” Rigby said.

J. Rieger & Co. is planning a large, glassed-in atrium space adjacent to the tasting room that can accommodate up to 150 people. It is one of several new outdoor spaces planned for the distillery.

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KCMO indoor mask mandate is in effect now through Aug. 28