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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for March, 2009

An Incandescent Evening

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 31st

Incandescent Evening 2007 019

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will celebrate the completion of almost $2 million in restoration and improvements to the historic Ford Home at “An Incandescent Evening,” a free admission community celebration event on Saturday, April 18, 2009, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The Estates are a priority project of Save America’s Treasures at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The most recent project completes the $12-million restoration of the riverside historic site that took more than five years to complete. For its work on the project, the nonprofit organization won the highest award this year from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Stewardship Award.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, among the nation’s top most visited historic home sites in the United States, will unveil the completed Ford Home with a free celebration including music, food, tours, antique cars and other historical demonstrations.

The Ford restoration includes a new metal roof which replicates the original roof, exterior painting and restoration, installation of a new state-of-the-art fire suppression system, and interior restoration including painting and floor refinishing. The interior paint was generously donated by Valspar, which offers a palette of over 250 historic colors, all authenticated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The project also includes new view panels at the doorways and windows allowing more of the interior furnishings to be on display.    

The combined riverside estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are restored today to the 1920’s lifestyle of the famous families and include one of the earliest above ground residential swimming pools in Southwest Florida, the award-winning Moonlight Garden, original and replica furnishings of the period, and the historic cultural landscape with many original and research plants.

Through the leadership of the new nonprofit trust, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., a new era of restoration excellence, conservation and program development has emerged. The trust’s collaboration with the Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation and many other public and private entities has resulted in an award-winning project. In addition to the most recent top national award, the Estates is also a National Register Historic Site and a Historic Florida Landmark.  In recognition of its significance, Save America’s Treasures selected it from over a thousand sites across the country as one of the first 24 sites to participate in their multi-million dollar Restore America partnership with HGTV and the National Trust.

“We are improving the Estates every month and want the citizens of Fort Myers and Southwest Florida to celebrate and rediscover the Edison & Ford Winter Estates,” said Estates President & CEO Chris Pendleton. “This is such a special place in the history of Fort Myers, Southwest Florida, and the nation, but it is also a tremendous resource that we encourage the community to enjoy. The Estates has developed new programs to include a wide variety of classes, summer camp, musical performances and a reciprocal membership program. There’s something here for everyone to experience and be proud of.” 

“An Incandescent Evening” will feature some of the popular programs that members enjoy throughout the year such as, botanical printmaking, musical performances, Wild Wizards Lab shows and food. Guests will also have the opportunity to stroll along the Caloosahatchee and explore at leisure the homes and gardens of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and their families.

Free tickets for “An Incandescent Evening” are available at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Galloway Ford in Fort Myers, and Coconut Point Ford in Estero. The evening will feature picnic foods and beverages for sale, music and activities.  “An Incandescent Evening” is sponsored by The News-Press and NBC-2

The event will also recognize the following organizations for their support throughout the restoration and rebirth of the Estates: Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation, Charles Edison Fund, City of Fort Myers, Lee County, State of Florida, HUD Grant for Fire Suppression, HGTV, Sears Weatherbeater Paint, Save America’s Treasures at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Valspar Paints. 

For additional information about the event of the Estates, call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

April Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 25th

April at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, the first Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair, and An Incandescent Evening as well as a variety of special exhibits, children and adult programs, throughout the month of April.  The April schedule of programs and events include:

Black Maria Film Festival: April 3, Edison Ford Winter Estates, 7:30 PM; April 4, Edison State College, 7:30 PM; April 6, BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island, 7 PM, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a third season since the Festival began its national tour in 1981.  The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates as well as indoors in the newly renovated Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College and the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island.  Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on April 3 and Edison State College students are free on April 4.  Seating is limited.

Mimi’s & Mina’s Manners at the Estates: April 4, 11 AM – 1 PM, Mimi’s & Mina’s manners class teaches children proper introduction, handshakes and dining etiquette during a three-course meal.  The classes will be taught by etiquette expert Suzanne Willis who has been teaching similar classes throughout the nation.  Registration is required. Cost:   Estates Members $40; non members $50. 

Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair: April 5, 1 PM – 5 PM, The first Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Ford Estate, southwest Florida’s premier wedding location.  With breathtaking water views, historic gardens and romantic sunsets the Estates is a perfect location for your special day.  Over 40 wedding professionals will be available to assist you as well as a bridal fashion show, dancing demonstrations, catering showcase and much more.  Cost: $5, FREE to brides.  

Check out our Weddings & Events Blog!

New Volunteer Orientation: April 14, 10 AM, Join Estates staff to learn about the history of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates homes, gardens, and inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Interested potential volunteers are welcome.

Home Schoolers:  “Movie Making Magic” April 17, 1 PM – 3 PM, Home schooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  The program follows the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 

Incandescent Evening: April 17, 6 PM – 9 PM, Join the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Board of Trustees, Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation, and Charles Edison Fund for an extraordinary evening of grace and charm as the recently completed Ford Estate will be unveiled. Dine al fresco in the Estates historic gardens, enjoy music performances and dance band as well as a breathtaking sunset along the Caloosahatchee River.  Estates Members $40, non member $50.  For reservations call 239-334-7419.

FREE Community Event – An Incandescent Evening: April 18, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM, The Estates celebrates the completion of almost $2 million in restoration and improvements to the historic Ford Home with a FREE admission community celebration. Tickets are limited and may be picked up at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Galloway Ford in Fort Myers and Coconut Point Ford in Estero. 

Wild Wizard’s Lab Show:  “Movie Making Magic,” April 19, 2 PM, From the nickelodeon to the IMAX , join the Estates Wild Wizards and explore movie production and special effects.  Fun for all ages.  Estates Members FREE, non members $12 adults, $6 children. 

Docent Training: April 23, 9AM, Estates volunteers and potential volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Mina Edison Teas: Wednesdays in May, 2 PM seating, Reservations are being taken for teas in the newly restored Edison Gardens and Caretaker’s House.  Groups may schedule other dates and special programs.  Cost:  Estates Members $30, non members $35.

International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23rd

Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival

Friday, April 3, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Saturday, April 4, 7:30 PM, Edison State College

Monday, April 6, 7:00 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a third season since the Festival began its national tour in 1981.  The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates as well as indoors in the newly renovated Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College and the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island

The award winning festival will be held on April 3, 2009 at the Estates, April 4, 2009, at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College, and April 6, 2009 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island.  Festival Director and Founder, John Columbus, will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  There will be more than thirty films shown between the three sites. 

The Black Maria Film Festival, named after Thomas Edison’s first motion picture studio, honors Edison’s pioneering work in cinema.  The Festival is hosted by museums and colleges throughout the country and showcases independent and experimental film and video.  The films include a variety of contemporary works drawn from the annual juried selection of 45 award winning films and videos.  The Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival for short films. 

Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on April 3 and Edison State College students are free on April 4.  Seating is limited.  For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu, BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org and the Black Maria Film Festival at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org

On April 3rd the Estates will host the Festival along the Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Alee at the historic Ford Estate.  Viewers can enjoy popcorn and beverages under the night skies at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford.  Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:

Ichthyopolis – 9 min. by André Silva, Wilmington, NC Creative wizard André Silver has created a techno-animation wonderfully populated with a singing gold fish, an opera diva, claymation characters and watercolor washes in this digitally triumphant work.

Ice Bears of the Beaufort – 9 min. by Arthur C. Smith, Kaktovik, AL This exquisitely picturesque work picks up where “the March of the Penguins” left off.  Magnificent scenery and cinematography capture the lives of endearing and beautiful Polar Bears, parent and cubs in their natural habitat.

Les Chaises – 9 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY Sunlight is projected through wind swept leaves on red vinyl-padded folding chairs, a sleepy day in the country in upstate New York.

7 Days of the Week – 2.5  min. by Sean McBride and David Cowles, Brooklyn and Rochester, NY This wacky animation/music video employs inventive strategies to accompany music by “They Might Be Giants” the Grammy Award winning alternative rock band, also known for their childrens’ music. This spirited video is the second in the festival this year to feature the band.

Bob’s Knee – 4 min by Michael Attie, Menlo Park, CA. “How do we walk?”-  Frustrated by the fallibility or his joints, a home garage inventor employs unconventional methods to understand the mechanics of the human knee.  “Bob’s Knee” is a delightfully offbeat and appealing ditty for all ages. 

Davy Crockett in Outer Space – 2 min. by Ru Kuwahata, Brooklyn, NY Older “Baby Boomers” will remember the 1954 Disney TV mini-series “Davy Crockett” , the related raccoon hat craze, and the theme song which in this irreverent animated film is twisted into a anarchical, post modern send up of  popular culture by  with music by “They Might Be Giants” the Grammy award winning alternative rock band.

Hold the Soup, (Matso Ball Eating Competition) – 12 min. by Faye Lederman, Fort Lee, NJ It’s not the soup but the quality and size of the matzo balls that matters to the home cooks who supply this traditional Jewish staple to the contestants vying to be crowned as the world champion of  an unexpected culinary event.

Horizon Diner – 3 min.by Joseph Crockett, Philadelphia, PA Space and time fold in on each other in the intriguing digital animation in which a everyman character finds himself in a surreal, retro diner where the juke box shape shifts and propels the protagonist into mobius strip realm.

How to Disappear Without a Trace – 3 min. by Jane Steuerwald, Glen Rock, NJ A frolicsome work demonstrating magic feats, tricks, abracadabra, alchemy, and sleight of hand. Light hearted family footage is integrated with stop-frame animation and the staging of a magic show shot in an open field at the filmmaker’s retreat in upstate New York.

The Last Butcher in Little Italy – 5.5 min. by Laura Terruso, NY, This slice of life documentary provides an intimate and rewarding portrait of a true old guard tradesman who takes pride in his work and maintains his presence in his neighborhood despite the sea change in the community he has served for decades.

Film selections are subject to change. 

In 1892 the world’s first motion picture studio was built by Thomas Edison and nicknamed the Black Maria.  The studio has become an emblem of the exploratory spirit in film which the Festival celebrates.  The Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival celebrates Edison’s pioneering contributions to the film industry.