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New Workshop Series: Learn from Fair Lane's Restoration Experts
1-5-2017

Want to know what it takes to restore your favorite old house? Our new workshop series lets you come to Fair Lane to learn from the experts behind the restoration of Henry Ford’s century-old estate.

From fixing drafty old windows to chipping away and repairing crumbling plasters, our team of craftspeople will show you how they are applying their expertise to the Fair Lane estate. You will get hands-on lessons, as well as an opportunity to see the restoration work going on inside the house.

Space in each class is limited, and we ask that you register in advance online here. Cost is $45/person for each class. Classes will be from 1-4 p.m. at the Henry Ford Estate-Fair Lane, 1 Fair Lane Drive, in Dearborn.

For questions, reach out to Ann Loshaw, Vice President of Education and Visitor Experience, at 313-453-2049, or aloshaw@fordhouse.org.

You can purchase your tickets and view a full schedule below:

Saving Your Stonework

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See how stonework at Fair Lane has been cleaned and restored and try your own hand at tuck pointing! Join us for a special, hands-on workshop and behind-the-scenes access as we restore the historic home of Clara and Henry Ford, Fair Lane, in Dearborn, Mich. See how the pros research, study and make the calls on what to do and how to do it! John Fletcher, President of National Restoration is a Journeyman in 5 masonry trades with more than 30 years of experience and is often a speaker at trade lectures. The Michigan Historical Museum sought out his expertise to create a historical masonry exhibit.

REGISTER


Perfect Paint and Plaster

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Join us as our expert in painting and plastering shares the work he’s been doing at Fair Lane. Get a chance to learn about basic plaster repairs and paint techniques. Tony Kartsonas, owner of Historic Surfaces, is a professional with more than 20 years of experience and involvement with over 80 significant projects listed on the National register or as National Landmarks. An expert in consulting on projects involving the restoration and conservation of painted surfaces, wood finishes, plaster and murals, his skills include gilding, glazing, poly-chroming, stenciling, trompe l’oeil, faux marbleizing, Venetian plaster and wood finishing.

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No Dust, No Fuss Wood Floor Finishing

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Discover how to identify types of wood flooring and their suitability for an amazing Passive Refinishing® technique that doesn’t require any sanding! Michael Purser, owner of The Rosebud Company, first worked in older, urban neighborhoods. This exposure to working with floors that had reached a point where conventional sanding was not an option led him to think about refinishing in a different way. This has resulted in The Rosebud Company being called upon for the restoration of some of our nation’s most historic homes such as James and Dollie Madison’s Montpelier.


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Make the Most of Your Metal

1-4 p.m. April 29, 2017

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Learn how to correctly identify different types of metals in your home’s fixtures and how to clean and protect them. Henry Ford Estate’s own Mark Gervasi is a conservator with more than 34 years of experience working with and conserving historical objects. He will be joined by Tamsen Brown, Conservation Fellow with the Americana Foundation, received her Master’s degree in Conservation Studies from West Dean College in the United Kingdom as they both share their experiences and expertise working on Fair Lane.

REGISTER


Windows of Opportunity

1-4 p.m. May 20, 2017

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See how the original wood windows of Fair Lane were completely removed, repaired, re-glazed and re-installed and get a chance to practice a few techniques. Sam Ruegsegger, Project Executive at the Christman Company, has been in the construction industry for 19 years and has worked on a variety of building projects, giving him a multifaceted understanding of the industry. Sam has a wide variety of project experience, including Chelsea Community Hospital Bed Replacement Program, General Services Administration Vance Federal Court Building Renovation, and Lansing Board of Water and Light REO Town Plant.


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Help Restore Clara and Henry Ford's Garden!

Clara and Henry Ford's Early Rose Garden is one of the most enchanting spaces on the estate and a favorite stop for visitors! Beyond its wrought-iron gate, the garden is a gentle-yet-vibrant mix of flowers in Clara’s favorite color palette – blues, pinks and creams.

Now, we are working to preserve two important, iconic features of the garden: the Tea House and the Lily Pond. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, turn your thoughts to the beauty of our natural environment and make a donation on Giving Tuesday to restore Clara Ford’s gardens! Every time you come to visit, you will feel the pleasure of knowing that you played an important role in restoring this extraordinary place! You can make your tax-deductible donation here.


Donate


While the house is closed for restoration, the grounds are open for visitors. Come to the Estate to stroll the gardens, explore the special features, and absorb the beauty of Fair Lane – no matter what the season!


The Lily Pond

The charming Lily Pond is a beloved feature of the garden. It was added in the 1930s, and in 1968, well after the Fords’ time at Fair Lane, the Marshall Frederick sculpture of a ram was placed in the center. Weather and wear-and-tear have taken a toll on the charming water feature, and now we must completely repair the interior and exterior of the pond.

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The Tea House

The Tea House, with its copper roof, scalloped edge detail, curved wood beams, wrought iron, and flagstone and brick flooring was a favorite place of Mrs. Ford to enjoy afternoon tea, according to oral history. The Tea House roof was most likely painted black in the 1950s. Recently, our staff and volunteers have been cleaning and re-coating the Tea House roof with a paint color matching slightly aged copper. Our goal, however, is to completely restore the copper roof to its original luster.

You Can Help!

To date we have raised more than $30,000 toward these projects, but we need your help! We are $10,000 short of our goal and your tax-deductible donation on Giving Tuesday, November 29, will help to bring these iconic features in Clara Ford’s gardens back to their original shine!

Donate


If you have questions about #GivingTuesday and the Early Rose Garden project, contact Brent Glass at bglass@fordhouse.org or (313) 884-4222 ext. 144.

About the Early Rose Garden

The Early Rose Garden next to Clara and Henry Ford’s residence is a restored interpretation of the first rose garden at Fair Lane which contained over 300 rose plants. Jens Jensen, the renowned Danish-born Chicago area Landscape Architect, designed the first rose garden in 1916. In the late 1920’s, Mrs. Ford decided to build a much larger rose garden with over 10,000 rose plants within a 2.5-acre meadow area that partly parallels the Great Meadow. The roses from the Early Rose Garden are thought to have been relocated to that second rose garden designed in 1926 by Boston, Massachusetts Landscape Architect, Herbert Kellaway and Marblehead, Mass. Rosarian, Harriet Foote.

In 1930, Mrs. Ford hired Ellen Biddle Shipman, a Landscape Architect from New Hampshire, to transform the former Early Rose Garden into an English garden with mixed annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs and trees. The Tea House, stone walls, heavy wood garden door, slate paths, modified raised terrace next to the residence, and lily pond in the center of the garden date to that era. The magnificent wrought iron gate on the north side of the garden is said to have been brought to the Estate from Europe and installed in the late 1920s.

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Fair Lane Music Guild Announces 47th Season
9-28-2016

The Fair Lane Music Guild has announced its upcoming 2016-2017 concert season at the Henry Ford Estate-Fair Lane!

The season's performances will be:

  • October 26, 2016, violinist Gabriel Bolkosky and pianist Michele Cooker with From Bach to Blues, a program of violin and piano music including Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G Minor and other works by Sarasate, Debussy and Ravel.
  • November 16, 2016, the Dearborn Symphony Brass Quintet, presenting a program of light classical and pop selections to usher in the holiday season.
  • February 22, 2017, ragtime and boogie-woogie pianist Bob Milne.
  • April 5, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. Chamber Soloists of Detroit return to the Guild’ stage with a performance entitled Just Between Us.

All Fair Lane Music Guild concerts are held at the Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets are $45.00/person, $40 for senior citizens, and $25 for students. Single concert tickets are $15/$14/$9 per person.

For more information about season tickets or individual concert ticket sales, please call the Fair Lane Music Guild at (313) 593-5330, or go to http://flmg.umd.umich.edu/

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Trick or Treat in the Gardens at the Henry Ford Estate

Bring the kids in costume for this annual tradition of Halloween fun at the historic Henry Ford Estate - Fair Lane in Dearborn, on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016.

Tickets are sold out for this year's event. There will not be tickets at the door. We look forward to seeing all the children in costumes!

The outdoor fun (rain or shine) begins in front of the historic Henry Ford Estate Garage. Children will follow a loop route through the Estate gardens with 10 trick-or-treat stops along the way. Your arrival is at either 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

An adult must accompany children, and adults are free. Babes in arms not collecting treats are also free.

Recommended for children ages 2-9. Children should come dressed in costume and prepared for the weather -- it's rain or shine! Please bring a flashlight and trick or treat bag. No strollers, please.

All proceeds benefit the restoration of the Henry Ford Estate's gardens. The program is put on by the Henry Ford Estate Garden Volunteers.


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Fair Lane Folk Festival 2016
7-30-2016

Join us at the estate for our second Fair Lane Folk Festival on July 30, 2016. The estate comes alive with great music from local and national contemporary folk and Americana bands, great food from a variety of food trucks, plus cold beverages and a chance to enjoy the historic grounds and gardens.

Tickets are on sale now! General admission is $30 in advance, and VIP is $75. Get your tickets and look for the lineup announcement at www.fairlanefolkfest.org.

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Honoring Clara Ford's 150th Anniversary
4-11-2016

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of Clara Ford's birth, and we are celebrating her life and legacy, along with many other historic sites and organizations around the country. Clara was the matriarch of a family that changed the world, and she left behind an important footprint all of her own. Learn more about Clara and the events in her honor at www.claraford150.com