Category: Exhibits, Announcements

Every home has unique needs that must be tended to, and the home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford is, and was, no exception.

GROSSE POINTE SHORES, MI (May 8, 2023) – Every home has unique needs that must be tended to, and the home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford is, and was, no exception.

Hundreds of employees worked on the estate during the family’s residency, from when the Fords moved into the home in 1928 until Eleanor’s passing in 1976.

Making It Work - Conceptual DesignNow the lives and labors of that staff are being explored in a new exhibition, “Making It Work,” opening on June 1, 2023, in the Gaukler Pointe Gallery inside the Visitor Center at Ford House. The previous exhibition, “Driven by Design,” has been reinstalled in the now-open historic Garage at the Gate Lodge and includes two additional vehicles: a 1934 Brewster Town Car and a 1952 Lincoln Town Car Limousine, which was custom engineered to allow Eleanor to enter without stooping.

Making It Work - Conceptual Design“Making It Work” invites visitors to meet and learn about several historic staff who had a significant impact on the family and the estate. “Some worked here for decades and lived on the estate,” says Ford House Director of Communications & Engagement Tommy Karr. “The head of security was here until the 1970s, with more than 50 years of service,” says Ford House Director of Material Culture Lisa E. Worley.

Interviews with staff members were recorded in years past, and those, combined with artifacts, news clippings, photos, and more, were carefully curated to present a unified story of the staff experience. Seven former employees, including a butler, chauffeur, and housekeeper, will have their stories shared through oral histories in the exhibit’s video presentation.

Making It Work - Conceptual Design“This is the rare chance to look behind the family, to see and understand the efforts that went into supporting a huge country house estate like this,” says Karr.

“Making It Work” will be on exhibit for two years and is free to all guests. Visitors can go more in-depth with the staff by taking the 55-minute “Making It Work” tour, in which guests will travel to the Main Residence to explore the dedicated staff spaces of the home. And the Director of Material Culture, Lisa E. Worley, will give a talk on June 8, discussing the staff and what it took to run the estate and support the Ford family.

Tickets to the “Making It Work” tour and/or the “Making It Work” lecture talk can be purchased online at or by calling 313-884-4222.


For the high-resolution concept designs of the “Making It Work” exhibition, visit

About Ford House

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and National Historic Landmark dedicated to preserving and sharing the legacy of the Ford Family. Ford House is located at 1100 Lake Shore Rd. in Grosse Pointe Shores. The historic lakeside estate was the family home of Edsel Ford – Henry and Clara Ford’s only son – where he lived with his wife Eleanor and their children beginning in 1928. Since 1978, Ford House has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to share Eleanor Ford’s vision of preserving the estate for future generations through interpretive tours, family activities, lectures, exhibits, gardens, and grounds events. It inspires, educates, and engages visitors through the exploration of its unique connections to art, design, history, and the environment while celebrating family traditions and community relationships. For more information, visit or call (313) 884- 4222, and connect with Ford House on Facebook and Instagram.