A life story written in stone, steel and blossom - Fair Lane was Henry and Clara Ford's home for more than 30 years, and it was the culmination of hopes, dreams and hard work. Henry and Clara moved into Fair Lane in Dearborn, Mich., in 1915, after the booming success of the Model T, the assembly line and Ford's $5 workday policy. Fair Lane was a private laboratory space for Henry's tinkering and discoveries, a canvas for Clara's love of gardens, a retreat to discuss ideas with friends like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burrows, a hall for favorite pastimes like music and dance, and a place to gather the grandchildren to share their passions and dreams.
Built on 1,300 acres of farmland, just miles from Henry and Clara's birth places, most of the estate's original structures stand today, including the main residence, the powerhouse that supplied energy to the estate, the greenhouse for Clara's extensive gardens, the boathouse and the stables. The home, one of the first historic sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark, has an eclectic mix of English castle and prairie style, mixing European grandeur and Midwestern charm. The grounds and gardens were designed by esteemed landscape architect Jens Jensen.
The historic structures of the estate, including the main house, are closed during restoration. Visitors, however, may tour the grounds for free Monday-Friday sunrise until 6 p.m.