Organizational Snapshot

Estates Organizational Snapshot

Overview

Governing Authority

A non-profit corporation, the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Winter Estates, Inc. governs Edison & Ford Winter Estates, d/b/a Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. The corporation governs and manages both estates for the City of Fort Myers which owns the historic property.

The Mission of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is to provide unique educational experiences based on the artifacts, legacy and lives of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford with emphasis on their Florida history. The purpose is to inspire the public to learn from these experiences. As such, the mission includes the preservation and interpretation of their homes, gardens, laboratory and related objects and artifacts.

The corporation is designated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable educational organization. It is also listed on the National Historic Register, Historic Florida Landmark and an original Save America’s Treasures of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Board of Trustees

Steve Niehaus, Chair
Frank Balogh, Vice Chair
Colleen DePasquale, Secretary
John Cauthen, Treasurer

Frank Aloia, Jr., L.D. Bochette, Sidney Ann Brinson, Kathy Dean, Jeanne Dozier, Suzanne Edwards, Karen Flanders, Dena Geraghty, Helen Hendry, Laura Jibben, Craig McLean, Melvin Morgan, Cole Peacock, Madeleine Plummer, Karen Ryan, Margaret Sirianni

Staff

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
56 Paid Professional Staff and 250 Volunteers

Operating Budget

 $5.5 million from earned revenues, grants, and contributions

Capital & Restoration

Recently completed projects of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., include: $13 million in capital restoration through grants from the City of Fort Myers, Lee County, State of Florida, HUD, and private sources, such as the Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation and other private and corporate grants and donations. Current capital projects $250,000 from earned revenue and new grants.

Fundraising

Through Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation and other partnerships.

Plans

Master Plan completed and being implemented in phases.

Hours of Operation

Open year-round (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Days)
7 days a week 9:00am - 5:30pm
December - open until 9:00pm
Other times for special programs and rentals are available
Museum Store, Garden Shoppe, Cottage Shoppe open daily

Visitors

200,000 visitors onsite and one of the nation’s 10 most visited historic homes. Offsite education program reaches 25,000 annually.

Tours

Tours conducted daily of the historic site include the homes, museum, laboratory and gardens. Tours may be guided or self guided with audio wand and map. Garden and Estates tours on Tuesdays.  Behind the Scenes Tours on Thursdays. Group tours and rental reservations available.

Memberships

Estates Membership includes free admission and discounts to the Estates as well as to hundreds of other museums, gardens, and botanical sites. Currently 2,000 memberships including businesses.

History

The Edison Estate was deeded to the City of Fort Myers by Mrs. Thomas (Mina) Edison in 1947 and opened to the public later that year. The Ford Estate was purchased by the Estates in 1988 and opened to the public in 1990. A non-profit corporation operates both properties, which are owned by the City of Fort Myers.

Awards & Recognitions

2010 top award from National Garden Clubs Inc and 2009 top awards National Register of Historic Places, Save America’s Treasures Project, Restore America, Florida Heritage Landmark, Partner Place for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Award of Merit 2006 Florida Society of Architects, Award of Merit 2006 National Association of Landscape Architects/Florida Division, 2006 Governor’s Hall of Fame Award for Florida Tourism, Alliance of the Arts, 2008 Angel of the Arts Award, 2007 Lee Building Industry Association’s Summit Award for Excellence in Commercial Construction presented to Chris-Tel Construction Company for the historical restoration work completed on the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2011 Summit Award in Historic Restoration for Edison Botanic Research Lab, 2011 Great Floridian Heritage Award.

Historic Buildings, Gardens & Grounds

Nine National Register Historic buildings as well as the botanical and research gardens. The historic research and contemporary gardens consist of approximately 20 acres of lush tropical botanical gardens, 500 unique plants, flowers and trees, including 4 champion trees, federal C.I.T.E.S. orchid program and propagation greenhouse and nursery. The Estates are ADA accessible and wheelchairs are available. Parking for 400 vehicles and buses. Food service and picnic areas available.

Estates Museum

15,000 sqare foot museum and hundreds of Edison and Ford inventions, history, collections, objects, video theaters, and changing exhibitions.

Events & Programs

Holidays Nights, Incandescent Evening Fundraiser, Thomas Edison’s Birthday, Henry Ford’s Birthday, Black Maria Film Festival, Antique Car Shows, Garden Market, Garden Teas, Lectures, Book Signings, Art Shows, Director’s Tours, Wild Wizard Shows, Plant Sales.

Education & Programs

Summer Camp. Year-round educational classes for children and adults, Year-round school programs and group tours, adult tour and other activities, school outreach, college, university internships, projects, etc.

---------

A non-profit corporation, the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Winter Estates, Inc. governs Edison & Ford Winter Estates, d/b/a Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. The corporation governs and manages both estates for the City of Fort Myers which owns the historic property.

The Mission of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is to provide unique educational experiences based on the artifacts, legacy and lives of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford with emphasis on their Florida history. The purpose is to inspire the public to learn from these experiences. As such, the mission includes the preservation and interpretation of their homes, gardens, laboratory and related objects and artifacts.

The corporation is designated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable educational organization. It is also listed on the National Historic Register, Historic Florida Landmark and an original Save America’s Treasures of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.