Construction crews are preparing to install the final steel beam to complete the structure of the new Administration Building and Visitor Center later this month.
In honor of the upcoming milestone, members of the Ford House board of trustees signed the final steel beam to be installed.
Both buildings are projected to open in 2020.
“Completing the steel structure for the new buildings is the next major step toward our vision for the estate,” said Lynn Ford Alandt, board chair of the Ford House board of trustees. “It really helps build anticipation to see them taking shape and to imagine the new experiences that the staff are busy developing for guests to enjoy.”
Ford House broke ground on the new facilities in 2017 as part of a long-term master plan to preserve the historic core of the National Historic Landmark estate, while vastly improving and expanding the visitor experience and amenities. The new buildings are the first major construction on the historic estate in more than 25 years, and the largest new construction since the home was built in the late 1920s.
“The expansion is part of our Ford House Forward initiative,” said Mark Heppner, president and CEO of Ford House. “We are making upgrades to the estate in alignment with the stewardship and sustainability values that were important to the Ford family and driving it forward to enrich the visitor experience and strengthen the Ford family legacy.”
Frank Rewold & Son Inc., the project’s construction manager, dedicated much of 2018 working to prepare the site for construction. To set the foundation for its net-zero goals, 16 geothermal wells were dug for an energy-saving closed-circuit geothermal system that will heat and cool the new Administration Building.
“The system uses the ground as a natural reservoir for energy. Geothermal heat pumps help moderate the heating and cooling needs by tapping into the earth’s energy,” said Gene Ferrera, senior project manager for Frank Rewold & Son Inc. “The geothermal system is just one element of the project, which was designed by architectural firm SmithGroup, that will help Ford House meet its sustainability goals.”