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New buildings planned for the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Michelle & Chris Gerard

Earlier this fall, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores was designated a National Historic Landmark. The board has now announced that there will be new buildings added to the lakefront estate.

According to their press release, this is the second phase of the plan to “restore, reconstruct, and rehabilitate the estate.” The Board of Directors recently approved the plan, which will go to the GPS Planning Commission in January.

Plans include:

  • A 40,000-square-foot, two story Visitors Center, with classrooms, exhibition space, event space, and an expansion of the Cotswold Café.
  • A 17,000-square-foot administration building, which will house all admin employees and include a resource library.
  • Eco-friendly parking with rows separated by bio-swales.

SmithGroupJJR has been retained for the project. Both of the new buildings are designed to demonstrate sustainability best practices. The administration building is designed to achieve a “net-zero” or “net-positive” facility and the visitor center will seek LEED Gold designation.

Keeping sustainable design practices in mind, the project plans were developed with consideration to migratory birds, habitat, and safety. Windows in the buildings will be made with glass crafted to prevent bird casualties. In addition, the project offers Ford House the opportunity to express the work of landscape architect, Jens Jensen, by incorporating native species in the planting areas.

Construction could start in Summer 2017. Most estate activities should remain uninterrupted, except visitor arrivals will be diverted to the historic garage. More information can be found here.