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Grant number like: BK-50063-07

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Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)
Mary Lynn Heininger (Project Director: September 2006 to April 2008)

Interpreting America's Historic Places Consultation
Public Programs

$12,999 (approved)
$12,999 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2007 – 12/31/2007

The Home the Model T Built: Enhancing Interpretation and Programming at the Henry Ford Estate, Dearborn, Michigan

Consultation to plan historic site tours and public programs about the role of the inexpensive, mass-produced Model T Ford in transforming American life and the relationship of Henry and Clara Ford to significant reform movements of their time.

The Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, MI, was the home of Henry and Clara Ford from 1916 until their deaths at mid-century, operates as a museum, restaurant, and event venue. Current interpretation is largely confined to tours, which are rich in biographical and collection information, but have little overall historical or social context. This project will convene humanities scholars; an expert in historic house interpretation; a programming/cultural tourism expert; and a media expert to 1) develop key humanities themes rising out of the impact of the automotive revolution whose icon is the Model T; 2) draw specific connections of these themes to key tour elements; 3) develop ideas for new public programming and enhanced interpretation, including digital media. The project anticipates the 2008 centennial of the Model T Ford, to be celebrated in greater Detroit by several cultural sites, and will be coordinated and marketed through the MotorCities National Automotive Heritage Area.