Christman Construction Company. Since 1894.

University of Michigan

Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane

Dearborn, Michigan

  • Designation:
  • Contract Type:
  • Scope of Services:
  • Cost Range:
  • Size:
  • Architect:
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  • National Landmark
  • Construction Management at-Risk
  • Historic Restoration
  • $2,475,000
  • 20,000 s.f.
  • Kessler Associates
  • November 1999

Additional Project: HVAC Renovation         $1,000,000                                                                                                                                                                            Gunn Levine Architects
Completion: October 2007

The roof restoration of the circa 1914 Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane, on the campus of the University of Michigan at Dearborn, was part of a larger comprehensive program to restore and preserve this National Landmark estate. The project consisted of the complete restoration of the roof system of the main residence, the powerhouse and the potting shed.

Specifically, the work included the removal, cleaning and replacement of all salvageable clay roof shingles and replacement of all deteriorated structural members and trim. A new ventilation system was put in place, all copper gutters were installed, flashing and trim were replaced and the pool skylight was restored. Because of its status as a National Landmark structure, compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Preservation were upheld. In addition, the ongoing operation of the restaurant, tour facilities, conference and wedding facilities were able to be maintained at all times during construction.

This mansion, built by automotive pioneer Henry Ford, features exquisite woodwork and eight different intricately designed fireplaces. The pool restaurant, in the mansion’s original swimming pool room, is a unique and beautiful architectural space. Another impressive feature of the property is the powerhouse. Working with Thomas Edison, Ford created a six-level powerhouse that still contains all the equipment that made Fair Lane self-sufficient in power, heat and light.

Christman provided complete construction management services including design-phase cost estimating, trade contract bidding, budget control and reporting, and self-performed all carpentry work with its own skilled tradesmen. To assure maximum sensitivity to the historic fabric of this landmark facility, a detailed orientation program was developed, which every worker was required to attend prior to entering the project site.

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Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane
Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane
Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane