There are several auxiliary or "outer" buildings on the grounds of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House that were built in the same style as or one compatible to the main house. All of these buildings are open to the public as part of a house tour or grounds admission.
The Pool House, also referred to as the "recreation house," is situated near the pool and contains a living room, kitchen, separate changing rooms for men and women and a squash court with a spectator's gallery. A tennis court located just outside the Pool House was eliminated after the children were married. This area was also used as a place where lawn games and activities could be enjoyed near the Pool House.
For the young visitor, the most fascinating building on the grounds is the charming Play House, a 2/3 scale Tudor-like house situated near the south edge of the Meadow. A gift from her grandmother Clara, it was built in 1930 for Josephine's seventh birthday. The house contains miniature furnishings in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. Three sides of the second-story gable ends of the Play House are decorated in high-relief stucco with characters from well-known nursery rhymes, such as Old King Cole, The Cow that Jumper Over the Moon and Little Miss Muffet.
Fashioned in the Cotswold style, the cottage-like appearance of the Power House conceals its utilitarian purpose of providing power and heat. The main house and Power House are today still heated by two of the original boilers installed in 1927. A third boiler was used to heat the pool, but has not been used since Mrs. Ford's death in 1976. The Power House is connected to the main house by a 160-foot underground tunnel.
The Gate Lodge, a familiar landmark on Lake Shore Road, was created with the same Briar Hill sandstone exterior, leaded-glass windows and hand-split stone-shingled roof as the main house. The Gate Lodge contains two generous apartments that were once used for staff members and their families and a small apartment in the archway over the drive. This is also the sight of two popular exhibit spaces - The Garage and the South Cottage.
Different By Design Garage Exhibit
The Historic Gate Lodge Garage exhibit celebrates the styling of Edsel Ford and explores Edsel's legacy and contribution to the design revolution.
At the center are three classic automobiles all owned by the Fords and each customized to Edsel's personal specifications.
· 1934 Brewster Town Car
· 1938 Lincoln K Brunn Brougham
· 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet
Different by Design will captivate your senses in new engaging and entertaining ways:
· Hear the roar of the Lincoln K V12 engine as it revs up
· Listen to stories of life on the estate in the 30s told by the chauffer's son
· Create your own classic car at the computer design station
· View historic home movies, photographs and artifacts
South Cottage Exhibit
The South Cottage, one of the cottages in the Gate Lodge, houses temporary, rotating exhibits throughout the year. Be sure to check the calendar of events for upcoming exhibits.
The Activities Center was opened in 1990 to serve as a welcome and orientation center for guests and to accommodate the increasing number of events hosted by non-profit organizations. Built in the former location of greenhouses, a service building and maintenance garage, the Activities Center was designed by Albert Kahn Associates in the same architectural style as the original buildings. In fact, portions of the building are the original historic structure.
The air conditioned Activities Center is also the site of the Cotswold Cafe, the Gallery Shop and public restrooms. If you are interested in hosting a function in the Activities Center, visit the Site Usage section.