Michigan Historic Preservation Network


27th Annual MHPN Fall Benefit

Hosted on the Property of the

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House at its Stunning New Visitor Center

Sunday, October 3, 2021

5:00 – 8:30 PM 

1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236

Registration deadline extended to Sunday, September 26, midnight!

Registration is $120 per person, $90 for government employees/officials and seniors (60+), $70 for students.

PHOTO - Ford House Main Residence Front - Credit Ford House

Historic Ford House – Main Entrance

Photo by Ford House


New Visitor and Administration Complex

Photo by Ford House

The evening includes light dinner fare with hosted bar for wine and beer,

live and silent auctions, marketplace, awards program, and tours.

Evening dress is business informal.


Those registering for the Fall Benefit may add a complimentary tour of the historic Ford House up to the home’s capacity of 60 guests, or of the Ford House Gardens also with a tour capacity of 60 guests. Guests gather at the Visitor Center at 3:15 PM. For the Home Tour, they are shuttled to-and-from the house for a 1-hour visit that includes 15-member groups touring the first and second floors with a guide. For the Gardens Tour, guests set out on foot from the Visitor Center, also led by a guide in smaller groups. All tour participants will return to the Visitor Center by about 5:00 PM when the Fall Benefit gets underway. If you are booked for either tour but find you cannot make it, please contact Cindy Bruntjens in the MHPN office at cbruntjens@mhpn.org or 517-371-8080. Those going on the tours will receive more information right before the event addressing details about photography, tobacco and e-cigarette use on the grounds, anticipated inclement weather, and the like. 


The Ford House is hosting the MHPN and its guests at its beautifully-designed new Visitor Center.

The Ford House is hosting the MHPN and its guests at its beautifully-designed new Visitor Center. The internationally-recognized Detroit architecture firm, SmithGroup, oversaw the design of an entirely new complex including the Visitor Center and Administrative Building. The new buildings reflect a deep awareness of their proximity to one of Michigan’s National Historic Landmarks with the design team’s choice of massing and orientation, building materials, and a profile evocative of the significant historic home nearby. Much care was taken with this first major alteration to the estate in 25 years, and the largest new construction since the home was built. Our Fall Benefit will be held in the second floor entertainment space of the 40,000-square-foot Visitor Center with its full glass walls overlooking Ford Cove and Lake St. Clair beyond.

Before the start of the Fall Benefit, our host invites guests to tour the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Home or the Ford House Gardens. Edsel had an eye for automobile design but, along with Eleanor, for architecture and landscape architecture as well. Their shared tastes led them to work with architect Albert Kahn. The design they created resembled a cluster of Cotswold village cottages complete with vine-covered sandstone walls, split-stone roofs, and leaded-pane windows. Built between 1927 and 1928, the home features an interior that includes decorative wood paneling, a grand oak staircase, and handsome fireplaces. Landscape architect Jens Jensen created the home’s setting on Lake St. Clair including on its 87-acres formal terraced gardens, a lagoon extending from house to boathouse, a meadow, and an abundance of trees and shrubs.

Ford House reserves the right to cancel any outside group tour on the property of the Ford House due to inclement weather. Any weather that is deemed unsafe, including, but not limited to, rain storms, hail, or heat, will result in a cancellation of the outside tour for both the safety of guests and staff. Guests will be made aware prior to the tour of any changes or cancellations.

The Fall Benefit being held in the Visitor Center is barrier free. If you have accessibility questions concerning going on the tour of the Ford House or the Gardens before the Fall Benefit, please contact Samantha Gruenberg at grouptours@fordhouse.org or at 313-884-4222 and she will help make arrangements.

The clearly marked main entranceway to the Ford House is off Lake Shore Road. At security, identify yourself as attending the MHPN Fall Benefit; if arriving early for a tour, say so. Parking is free and close to the Visitor Center.

If you are using a complimentary ticket, we ask that you use your code and register so we know you are attending. Full refunds for purchased tickets are provided up to the RSVP deadline, but are not sent until 30-45 days after the event. You may give your ticket to another guest but please let us know the new name.

The MHPN is a 501(c)3 organization for which your gifts may be tax deductible. For a $120 ticket, the gift is $50; for a $90 ticket, the gift is $20; student tickets are at-price. If you cannot attend this special evening, please consider making a donation equivalent to the value of a ticket…or more! If you would like to help the organization with a more significant gift, contact Janet Kreger at kregerj1981@att.net or 734-222-9310. Please know that every dollar from the Fall Benefit is needed post-pandemic to help sustain our programs and operations.

The MHPN is following the lead of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House for our event in the new Visitor Center and our tours. As per MIOSHA recommendations, Ford House requires that ALL visitors, ages two-and-above, wear masks indoors and on the shuttles, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required while eating or drinking, or while outdoors. Those instructed not to wear a face covering by a medical provider are invited to enjoy the grounds and visit the indoor spaces at another time when it is deemed safe to do so without a mask. Please stay home if you are feeling ill.

Specifically for our event being held in the Lakeshore Room of the Visitor Center, we have reduced the total number that will be in our event space, secured a second space adjacent to the Lakeshore Room in case guests just want to be further apart, and confirmed that we have access to the outside balcony. Food and drinks will be handled by the catering staff. We will have extra masks on-hand for people who need them, as well as hand-sanitizer. The new Visitor Center was built during Covid-times and thus has state-of-the-art air circulation. Note that the house and garden tours also have reduced numbers.

We will keep this information up-to-date for you to check as the event date comes closer. We thank you for helping us keep this very popular event a safe space for all to enjoy on October 3!

The contact number for the Visitors Center is 313-884-4222. In a true emergency, guests may use the cellphone number of staff member Samantha Gruenberg: 989-213-3301.

For questions before the event, call 517-371-8080 or e-mail info@mhpn.org.

You do not have to be an MHPN member to attend, but we welcome you to join.

Members and friends of the MHPN gather annually to spend an enjoyable Fall evening at a significant historic venue and to raise funds for the organization. Most often we are in stunning Detroit buildings such as the Fisher, Grand Army of the Republic, Guardian, Charles Lang Freer House on the WSU campus, or, Masonic Temple. Other years, we leave the Detroit area to see the Matthaei Botanical Garden at the University of Michigan, Durant Union Station in Durand, Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, or the Pontiac Little Art Theater in Pontiac.

Food, both a silent and live auction, and a chance to network with preservationists from across the state make the event the place to be each fall.

The proceeds from the benefit and the auctions help to support the ongoing operations of our organization and help to facilitate preservation in Michigan.

Please join us!

Pontiac's Little Art Theatre, 2019
Pontiac's Little Art Theatre, 2019
Masonic Temple, Detroit, 2018
Bank Suey, Hamtramck, 2016

MHPN Fall Benefit History