Henry Ford Estate closure nears in preparation for ownership transfer and impending restoration projects

November 23, 2010

DEARBORN / Nov. 23, 2010---It has been six months since the U-M Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House approved a Memorandum of Understanding to transfer ownership of the Henry Ford Estate from the University to the governing body that oversees Ford House. Both the University and Ford House have been working diligently on many fronts regarding the transfer, which is expected to occur on July 1, 2011.

The Estate will continue to operate on its regular fall and holiday schedule and the Pool Restaurant will be open through Dec. 17. The University will then close the Estate to prepare for the transfer and impending restoration projects. A complete schedule of holiday tours and events can be found on the Estate’s website. After Dec. 17, the grounds of the Estate will remain open to students, faculty and the community.

During the transition phase (Dec. 18, 2010 – June 30, 2011), and into the renovation and reprogramming phases following transfer, the four staff members who have accepted positions with the new entity that will govern the Estate effective July 1, will continue to work at the Estate. Susan McCabe, curator, will serve as site director and will be the primary contact at the Estate during the transition period. Breon Moriaty will continue to support development initiatives.

Garden volunteers, under the leadership of Karen Marzonie, landscape and grounds manager, and Pamela Morrison, landscape and volunteer coordinator, will continue to maintain the gardens through the transition period and after transfer. Public garden hours are 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Other volunteer services will conclude on Dec. 17. A list of all volunteers will be maintained for provision of ongoing communication and to inform them of opportunities for future involvement. The University is grateful for the many years of dedicated service these faithful volunteers have given to the Estate and its many visitors.

Over the past few months, Ford House representatives have met with Dearborn officials and community groups to introduce them to their organization, share information about the transfer and seek community input and suggestions. If you are part of a community group interested in scheduling a Ford House representative to speak to your organization, please contact Ford House at 313-884-4222 or info@fordhouse.org.

As additional information becomes available, it will be shared with individuals and organizations affected by, or interested in, the Estate’s future.

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About University of Michigan-Dearborn

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.

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