Ford House renovations to restore historical elements, enhance visitor experience

Numerous renovations are underway at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores in accordance with the Ford family's wishes to care for the environment.

Changes to the estate include major electrical upgrades and a new stormwater management system. The upgrades are the start of a series of improvements that will ensure the estate's historical integrity and enhance the visitor experience.

The family estate-turned-attraction offers public tours of the Albert Kahn-designed home and its grounds. It also serves as a venue for concerts and other special events.

The addition of a bridge to Bird Island, a peninsula created by the Fords and landscape architect Jens Jensen, is the only upgrade to the estate that will be visible to visitors. A piece of land was removed to to allow the water between the cove and the lake to move freely.

The bridge will let visitors step into the seclusion of the island and also learn about the surrounding bioswale.

The public is invited to visit the bridge at a free preview on July 8.

“We invite people to enjoy the estate just as the Fords did,” said Kathleen Mullins, president and CEO of the Ford House. “For our visitors, and for the future of the estate, we are enriching their opportunity to be part of the natural environment when they visit. And, we want to use the work we are doing as a means for understanding and learning about good stewardship. As they see the flow of water that is being naturally cleaned before entering the Cove they will understand how initiatives like this contribute to the health of our waterways. We invite our visitors to explore and discover this extraordinary estate, to spend time, to ask questions, and to take away ideas for how they might become involved with environmental initiatives in southeast Michigan.”

Source: Joe Ferlito, Franco Public Relations Group
Writer: Kim North Shine