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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

An Incandescent Evening

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 31st

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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.

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