One of my favorite things to do is visit historic homes – especially the extravagant ones. Metro Detroit has several historic mansions and estates, many owned by the automotive barons of the early 20th century. My favorite, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve spent many dates with my husband, a few birthdays, and even had my wedding photos taken there.
The house was built in 1926 by Edsel and Eleanor Ford, son and daughter-in-law to Henry Ford, and sits on 87 acres on Lake St. Clair. The house itself is 20,000 sq. feet and beautifully furnished with antiques from around the world that once included paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, and Diego Rivera (now donated to the Detroit Institute of Art). The grounds include a giant playhouse, pool house, gate house, and of course – an eight car garage. Frank Sinatra even performed on the patio during a few of their parties. The estate is currently owned by the Ford Family using a very large trust fund set up by the late Eleanor Ford, and is maintained exceptionally well as they keep up on restoration projects all while using the original decor and furniture. Tours are available of the house, and you can also just walk the grounds and enjoy the view on the lake. I’ve been on the tour enough to give it myself, so this past weekend my husband and I spent the day walking around and enjoying the beautiful weather.