The Ford Foundation has committed a $10 million grant to restore, reinterpret and reopen the Henry Ford Estate — Fair Laine in Dearborn, officials announced today.

The grant is the single largest contribution to the campaign to date, and nearly completes the first phase of a $25 million fundraising goal.

“We are thrilled to support the campaign to restore the estate so that future generations can learn about and discover the history of the Ford family,” Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, said in a news release. “Even as we address issues of inequality in the 21st century as a global organization, it is important to honor the Ford family’s foresight and generosity 80 years ago to seed the origins of our capital in Michigan.”

Henry Ford Estate — Fair Laine is the former home of former home of Clara and Henry Ford.

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After Clara Ford’s death in 1950, Ford Motor Co. acquired the estate from Ford heirs and used it as an archival center and office space. In 1956, the company donated the home and 210 acres of land to the University of Michigan for the development of the Dearborn campus. The home was used for meetings, events, a restaurant and tours until it closed in 2010.

In 2013, the estate became an independent nonprofit when the university transferred ownership of the home and 17 acres of land to the newly established Henry Ford Estate Inc.

“Our goal with this restoration has been to really understand the home that Clara and Henry Ford built. And then to take it back so if they were to walk in the door, they’d say ‘We’re home,’” Kathleen Mullins, president and CEO, Henry Ford Estate, Inc., said. “We have fixed leaky roofs and collapsing foundations, and shored up the riverbank to make the estate secure. We are now investing in restoring the rooms inside the estate to how they looked and felt in 1919.

“We will then create a visitor experience like no other historic estate has done before; one that provides fertile ground for creativity, experimentation, dialog and action.” 

With the Ford Foundation grant, the first phase of the campaign has raised more than $24 million of the $25 million goal. The first 10%of all funds raised will be placed into an endowment to help ensure Fair Lane is operated in a sound and sustainable manner.

Ford Motor Company Fund, the Ford Family, Ford and Lincoln dealers and many individual contributors have also supported this initiative.