Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dearborn in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate

 
 
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
1. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Inscription.
The Power of Water
Clara and Henry Ford situated their new home along the banks of the Rouge River to take advantage of nature's beauty and power. Construction of a dam and hydroelectric power plant provided the necessary electrical needs for the estate.

The water through the turbine tubes is delivered into the Rouge river fourteen feet below the bed of the river. From a scientific standpoint, and as an engineering development, this building stands unique as a most complete conception not only of the full supplying of every adequate means of power, etc, for the house, but a most practical and complete experimental department for Mr. Ford's private use. - Fair Lane architect William Van Tine, March 1916

The cornerstone of the Powerhouse was laid on October 28, 1914 by Henry Ford's mentor and close friend, Thomas A. Edison.

Thoughful Design
In 1913, the Fords engaged noted Danish-American landscape architect, Jens Jensen. Jensen is best known for his "prairie-style" design and his use of native plants. Jensen's plans, the first submitted in January 1914, were designed for wandering and discovery and included an expansive meadow and naturalistic garden areas. His approach to the to the riverbank included a stone dam with pathway across the top and layered limestone
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
2. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Closeup of "The Power of Water"
walls along the banks.

Jensen did other projects for Henry Ford including the Dearborn Inn, the Henry Ford Hospital, Greenfield Village and the "Ford Pavilion" at the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition.

Reconstruction of Riverbank
In 2011, a 100 foot section of the riverbank, near the Main Residence, collapsed, undermined by years of the Rouge River cutting into the bank. In 2014, architects and engineers at SmithGroupJJR, Ann Arbor, MI, partnered with Henry Ford Estate staff, researched the original construction details and developed a reconstruction plan. In 2014, Faust Construction, Albaugh Masonry and Inland Lakes Landscaping began efforts to reconstruct the wall.

Reconstruction involved laying large irregular limestone rock to form multiple terraces, steps and walkways. A wooden foot bridge was replicated using historic aerial photography. To provide additional structural support, modern hidden sheet piling was utilized.

Reconstruction efforts will conclude by the end of 2015
 
Erected by Henry Ford Estate.
 
Location. 42° 18.853′ N, 83° 13.969′ W. Marker is in Dearborn, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker can be reached from Fair Lane Drive 0.3 miles west of Evergreen Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dearborn MI 48128, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
3. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Closeup of "Thoughtful Design"
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Farmland to Great Estate (within shouting distance of this marker); On the River (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate (within shouting distance of this marker); Rock Garden Masterpiece (within shouting distance of this marker); A Trail Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); The Path of the Setting Sun (within shouting distance of this marker); Fair Lane (within shouting distance of this marker); From State Fair to Fair Lane/Peony Garden (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Dearborn.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
4. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Closeup of "Reconstruction of Riverbank"
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
5. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Closeup of pictures at lower right
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., September 1, 2015
6. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 159 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement