Culture for Sale in Solvang, California: A Little Bit of Denmark, Disney, or Something Else?
Danish educators coming from a Danish settlement in the Midwest founded Solvang in 1911. During the first 20 years or so, Solvang looked like an average Pacific Coast American town - but underneath lurked Danish, Grundtvigian values and philosophy. Little by little, the picture changed. After World War II, many original buildings representing these Danish values, such as a Folk High School and an assembly hall, even if not particularly Danish looking, were demolished in order to provide space for new "Danish-style" buildings in the commercial center of town. A Danish-style architecture was introduced and since then, the town became "hyper-Danish" in form and "typically American" in content.