Recent restoration drives Henry Ford

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DEARBORN, Mich. – From porches to plantations, and from storefronts to spires, Greenfield Village opens June 10 with a newly restored journey into America’s past.

After nearly nine months of construction – and a new infrastructure – the village will bring American experiences and traditions to life with seven new themed districts.

Changes. In addition to the new districts, there have been many changes made to this National Historic Landmark. The first change can be found at the entrance, where a new open, airy entryway will mean shorter ticket lines and less congestion between ticket holders and ticket buyers who are making their way into the outdoor history attraction.

Before entering the village, visitors will step into the new Josephine F. Ford Plaza – a place that brings together America’s past, present and future. The architectural style of the plaza is Neo-Georgian, popular in Henry Ford’s day.

The plaza features a new fountain and a newly remodeled Greenfield Village Store.

Once visitors enter the village proper, they will be guided by new way-finding signage and newly-paved roads and sidewalks. More than 300 historic lampposts, cast from original molds, have been installed to provide much needed visibility for evening programming and events.

New districts. The new seven historic districts better organize the three centuries of America’s traditions presented daily at Greenfield Village. The districts include:

* Working Farms – In this district, the soul of late 19th-century rural America comes alive, with horse-drawn wagons and livestock roaming through fields of ripening fruits and grains.

This district includes Henry Ford’s Soybean Laboratory, Richart Wagon Shop, Firestone Farm and Pastures, William Ford Barn, Henry Ford’s pasture, Martinsville Cider Mill and New Village Carriage Shed.

* Liberty Craftworks – A mill pond acts as a focal point of this landscaped and paved artisan community, where the staff practices authentic-period crafts and trades.

Visitors will be surrounded by the sound and motion of early American manufactories. Newly-relocated buildings in this district include the Loranger Gristmill, Hanks Silk Mill and Plymouth Carding Mill.

The district also has pottery, printing and tinsmith shops, as well as the Stony Creek, Tripp and Spoffard sawmills and the Armington & Sims Machine Shop.

* Main Street – As visitors stroll down Main Street, they’ll encounter the heart of the village – busy streets bustling with automobiles, carriages, shows, parades, food and a carousel.

Themed playscapes, outdoor theater and other attractions also create a unique look at America’s experiences and traditions.

Buildings in this district include Mrs. Cohen’s Millinery, the H.J. Heinz House and the Wright Brothers’ cycle shop and home.

In this district, visitors can take a ride on the Suwanee Steamboat or the Greenfield Village carousel.

* Edison at Work – The stories and inventions of Thomas Edison – the Wizard of Menlo Park – are included in this district.

Visitors will be taken back to the moment when Edison’s development of the light bulb changed the world and will see the actual workplaces in the Menlo Park compound that gave birth to his extraordinary innovations.

* Porches and Parlors – In this district, visitors enter the homes and lives of ordinary people who changed the world. The restored landscape of Jens Jensen’s “Nature’s Rooms” design will let visitors experience the homes in their own context without visual or audio interruption of other exhibits and homes.

* Henry Ford’s Model T – In this district, visitors will get to know Henry Ford, one of America’s greatest industrialists and innovators, from childhood through the founding of the Ford Motor Company.

The district focuses on Ford and the early defining influences that led him to create the Model T, the “universal car” that changed people’s lives and helped bring America into the modern age.

Visitors will be inspired by Henry Ford’s journey as they experience his childhood home, his former schoolhouse, his workshop and the Ford Motor Company building. The experience ends with the opportunity to ride in an authentic Model T.

* Railroad Junction – The industrial muscle of this district, including all of the railroad-related buildings, is reminiscent of the edge of an industrial town, where all roads lead to the depot and to the railroad roundhouse.

It will be the site of a lot of program activity and a place for future development. This district offers the Edison Illuminating Company’s Station A, Smiths Creek Depot, the Detroit, Toledo and Milwaukee Roundhouse, and the Pere Marquette Railroad Turntable.

Learn more. For more information and admission prices visit www.thehenryford.org.

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