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“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 Seewald, August 5, 2016
1. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Inscription.
Building a New Foundation
When the Powerhouse was constructed in 1914, it was a rare engineering and architectural feat. It included a hydroelectric power plant that provided power to the estate. It also contained sophisticated water filtration and boiler systems. Even with the greatest technology in place, these systems have a lifespan, often accelerated by Mother Nature.

The Garage Courtyard was a bricked area used to accommodate the entering and exiting of automobiles. Constructed of concrete, sand and a top layer of brick pavers, time has witnessed the movement of the sand foundation - resulting in several collapsed areas.

The Lower Courtyard originally contained two storage tanks for automobile fuel. The tanks have been removed and the Courtyard is being reconstructed.

Both Courtyards are being reconstructed to ensure stability, visitor safety and to authentically recreate the appearance of these important service areas.

The Power of Water
Although water played an important role in the original siting of the estate, it has become the estate's worst enemy. Many of the current issues that must be addressed to preserve the buildings and their interiors for future generations have been caused by water infiltration. Many of the original water
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
2. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Powerhouse showing garage entrance and upper courtyard, June 9, 1928
drainage lines have been replaced to ensure proper drainage and water removal.

The flat roof of the Powerhouse has experienced ongoing water infiltration issues and a new roofing system is being installed.

Restoration in Action
In 2014, Quinn Evans Architects, SmithGroupJJR and Henry Ford Estate staff conducted research and developed plans to restore aspects of the Powerhouse area to improve the visitor experience and provide much needed protection from water damage. Major components include:
• Installation of new underground storm water, sanitary and potable water lines
• Replacement of missing or damaged copper gutters and downspouts
• Reconstruction of Powerhouse flat roof and decorative wood trellis
• Rebuilding of failed external stone retaining walls and brick courtyards
• Reconstruction of external stairways and metal safety railing at multiple locations.

Work started in early 2015 and is scheduled to be concluded by the end of 2015.
 
Erected by Henry Ford Estate.
 
Location. 42° 18.806′ N, 83° 13.885′ W. Marker is in Dearborn, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker can be reached from Fair Lane Drive 0.2 miles west of Evergreen Road. Touch for map
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
3. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Powerhouse showing lower courtyard, ca. 1935
. Marker is in this post office area: Dearborn MI 48128, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fair Lane (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Out in the Orchard (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate (about 400 feet away); From Farmland to Great Estate (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate (about 500 feet away); From State Fair to Fair Lane/Peony Garden (about 500 feet away); On the River (about 500 feet away); A Trail Garden (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dearborn.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
4. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Cross section drawing of Powerhouse
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
5. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Rebuilding of failed retaining walls, drains and stairways
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
6. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Installation of new flat roof system
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
7. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Workers inspecting integrity of exterior wood detailing
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
8. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
Repair of historic exterior wood detailing
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 14, 2016
9. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker
View of Lower Courtyard demolition from Powerhouse
Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker and Powerhouse image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 4, 2016
10. Preserving Fair Lane — An Iconic American Estate Marker and Powerhouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 5, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 15, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 16, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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