Thursday, October 7, 2010

the edsel and eleanor ford home

We are back from a trip to Detroit to visit my best friend, and while there, I got to indulge in one of my favorite activities: enviously touring the beautiful homes of the rich (and now dead). The D--thanks to the auto industry's downward spiral--may no longer be the thriving metropolis it once was, but you can still go and see (and tour) some of the homes of its one-time moguls.

Edsel was the son of Henry Ford, and his wife, Eleanor Clay, was the niece of the founder of Hudsons department store. My photos are all outdoors, as photography is not allowed in the home, but you can see some photos on the home's website. The home was designed and built to look like a cluster of homes in a Cotswolds village, and most of the interior is furnished like an ancient English manor home. However, my favorite rooms were the Modern Room and the boys' bedroom, which were both furnished in an art deco style completely at odds with the rest of the house.

The home is set on the shores of Lake St. Clair, and the large property includes a lagoon, swimming pool, and rose garden.

My cute new vintage kiltie oxford pumps from rustlethepetals were excellent tour/walking shoes!

The estate also has a playhouse--yes, that's a photo of a playhouse below--built at 2/3 scale for Ford daughter Josephine in 1930. It cost $13,000 to build, which was over four times the cost of an average family home at the time. And apparently, Josephine was a tomboy, who rarely used it!

Frankly, I could easily live happily in the thing.

Detail of the playhouse's cute wallpaper.

Wonderful bas relief nursery rhyme motifs on the playhouse's gables.

See those cute little duckies? Love!



  1. Gorgeous pictures and gorgeous house. Looks like you had a nice vacation, so glad. But also very glad you're back! :)

  2. Oh me and Kevin were going to go there when it gets colder out, but now knowing you can't take photos indoors maybe we will have to go when it's still nice outside. I wonder if you can take pictures in Henry Fords house, ponder ponder. Glad you had fun here in the D!

    Sparrow & Urchin

  3. I really enjoy your posts on your Detroit and GR outings. You seem to find the interesting and beautiful on your little adventures! Makes me want to explore my Mitten a little more.

  4. It's alwasy been mind blowing to me about the abandoned houses in Detroit. Whenever the hubs is looking for a house we could afford (someday) He always kids about Detroit. "This one is only 3,000! But they won't pick up your garbage, and you'll be surrounded by empty homes." But that house I doubt is anywhere near $3,000, maybe the play house is? Amazing yard.

  5. Oh my gosh I want to live in that playhouse!!!! These pictures are amazing, and I love your new shoes!!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue


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