'Prairie Style' at the Henry Ford Estate

October 25, 2010

The Henry Ford Estate hosted approximately 70 landscape enthusiasts from the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast and Ontario regions for presentations and tours on “Prairie Style Design Legacy in Southeast Michigan and Relevance Today” as part of the 2010 Cultural Landscape Symposium earlier this month.

A century ago, the natural landscape of the Midwest inspired a new American architectural and landscape design expression known as the Prairie Style. The 150th birthday and anniversary of landscape designer Jens Jensen this year offered a timely opportunity to explore the Prairie Style legacy in southeast Michigan.

Landscapes in southeast Michigan originally planned by Jens Jensen’s design studio include the Henry Ford Estate, Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Hospital, the Dearborn Inn, the Ford Rotunda and Haven Hill (now a part of the Highland Recreation Area).

The symposium, which was planned and hosted by the Henry Ford Estate Gardens, showcased seven locations, including the Estate, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, The Henry Ford and Benson Ford Research Center, U-M’s Bentley Historical Library, Nichols Arboretum and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

In the photo above, Estate gardener Pamela Morrison gives symposium attendees a tour of the Blue Garden on the Henry Ford Estate grounds. In the photo below, symposium attendees explore Jens Jensen’s Great Meadow and relax in the sun on the Music Room Terrace of the Estate.

The Cultural Landscape Symposium was made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Michigan Humanities Council.