Edison and Ford Winter Estates Opens Museum and Botanic Research Laboratory
FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 15, 2020) -- On July 1, Edison and Ford Winter Estates will open the 15,000-square-foot air-conditioned Museum and historic Botanic Research Laboratory. The botanical gardens and riverside of the property previously opened. The site is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Museum will feature a returning exhibit, "DC vs. AC: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify America." The exhibit illuminates the relationship between Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse and explores their contributions to electricity. The curatorial staff are also giving two existing galleries in the museum a makeover, so there will be several new areas for visitors to view. The children's Spark!Lab is currently closed.
"The relationship between Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse has been dramatically explored in books, films, and popular culture,” said Mike Cosden, Executive Vice President. "This exhibit answers a lot of questions about the three men and explores the invention of electricity."
Guided tours will once again be available and limited to groups of 10 people to ensure everyone can adequately practice social distancing. Self-guided tours are also available, and allow visitors to use an app on their personal phones along with a printed map of the site. Guests will learn about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, while strolling more than 20 acres in a park-like setting. The gardens offer large shade trees, a scenic river view and plants and trees from around the world.
Specialty tours, including Inside-the-Homes, Automotive and Garden tours are also available. These guided tours offer visitors the chance to see and explore behind-the-scene areas with a knowledgeable site historian. To ensure that people will have room to stand six feet apart, a maximum of 10 tickets will be sold for each tour. Garden tours (with a horticulturist) are available by appointment only. Visitors will be required to reserve tickets in advance.
With the opening of the Museum and Laboratory, regular-priced admission tickets are in effect. Admission tickets for self-guided tours are as follows: adults, $25; teens (13-19), $20; children (6-12), $15; children 5 years old and younger will be admitted free. Guided tours: adults, $30; teens, $25; children, $18. Members get in free. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online at EdisonFord.org.
The outdoor Garden Shoppe and the Museum Store are also open. The Garden Shoppe offers unique and hard-to-find plants, shrubs and trees, herbs, succulents, fruit trees, and Florida natives. Garden staff are available to answer gardening questions. Members receive a 10 percent discount on all garden and gift items (excludes tickets).
The Museum Store is stocked with unique gift items and souvenirs, including books, clothing, kitchenware, kid’s games and science kits, artwork from local artists, and garden art. There are also many Thomas Edison and Henry Ford signature souvenir items, such as replica light bulbs and model Mustang cars.
Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, all staff are wearing protective masks, and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized daily. Visitors will be required to wear masks during guided tours; masks are recommended for self-guided tours. All visitors should practice social distancing throughout the site. For additional information, visit EdisonFord.org or follow on Facebook @EdisonFordFL.
Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 220,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures," a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.