Edsel & Eleanor Ford House: Inside The Grounds, Gardens, & Home Tour6:00 AM
For the past year, Brad and I made tentative plans to visit the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House with a couple of friends--and for over a year, those plans stayed tentative--until a few weeks ago! We finally found the perfect day to venture out to Grosse Pointe Shores, where we spent an afternoon wandering the Ford house, grounds, and gardens.
With an hour or so to fill before our tour, our group wandered around the grounds for a bit, starting with the historic garage for a peek at the "Women Who Motor" exhibit. After getting our fill of antique automobiles and vintage clothing, our next stop was the South Cottage, where we enjoyed kicking back inside a 1930s-themed, bachelor-pad-esque studio. The best part? All the furniture and memorabilia was free to use, so we could comfortably sit, hang out, and leave a few typewritten notes.
Frida Kahlo-inspired drawings match the studio's vision to coincide with Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibits at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
After Brad spilled complimentary coffee all over the studio (I didn't realize his predicament until much later), we ventured to our friend's favorite spot on the grounds--Josephine Ford's play cottage. Built for Josephine's seventh birthday in 1930, this three-fourths scale house was a gift from Josephine's grandmother, Clara Ford. Complete with working appliances, plumbing, electricity, heat, you name it--this little house had it all . . . minus the ability to comfortably host tall adults, of course. For this short girl, however (I'm talking about myself), it wasn't too bad.
Well, hello! Welcome to my tiny, little house.
Just shy of five-foot-four, I found myself at eye level with this view.
Loved this adorable wallpaper in Josephine Ford's mini-cottage bedroom!
Upon leaving the life-size dollhouse, we scouted out several other sites--waterfront views, the pool house, and gardens. On a quiet afternoon, any of these non-crowded spots would be the perfect place to relax with a good book for a couple of hours.
Pond and lake view
The rose garden reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. :)
When our tour time rolled around, we entered the main house for a look at extravagant fixtures, antique furniture, and tons of materials that were imported from all over the world. Replicas of famous artwork from the likes of Van Gogh and Diego Rivera graced the walls (many of the originals that used to be in place are now at the DIA), and family snapshots personalized the home as though the Fords had never left.
The Fords' master bedroom was surprisingly quaint in size considering their wealth and the size of the house.
I also thought it was fun that although much of the house was based on a very early-era design, a lot of the upstairs (particularly the sons' bedrooms and music room/playroom) had a more contemporary feel. With just one trip through the Ford home, I felt like we had traveled from 1600s Europe to 1960s U.S. in just under an hour.
Apparently, there are also special behind-the-scenes tours available for areas like the attic, basement, and tunnels. My goal is to make it back for one of those if I can catch the right day!
Have you visited the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House? If so, what's your favorite part of the home?
If you haven't visited, what about the estate would you be most interested in seeing or learning more about? Sound off in the comments!