Ford museum exceeds goal

DEARBORN, Mich. – More than $41 million in gifts and grants has pushed the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village over its capital campaign goal by more than $1 million.

The campaign to raise funds to renovate the museum, improve exhibits and build a new library is the largest in the institution’s 70-year history. The museum and village draw more than 1.1 million visitor a year.

Big contributors include Ford Motor Co., Herrick Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, Lear Corp., National Endowment for the Humanities, state of Michigan and Unisys.

Individual contributors include Mr. And Mrs. Paul Alandt and Mr. and Mrs. Benson Ford Jr. and his wife, who together gave $2 million  pledged $10 million toward the planned Benson Ford Research Center.

The new building will house the Henry Ford Academy library, extensive photographic and document archives and reference materials and textiles.

Mrs. Alandt said the contributions help honor the memory of their father, Benson Ford, who took an active role for 36 years in development of the Henry Ford Museum.

The museum and village, spread over 12 acres, displays some of the most unusual artifacts in U.S. history. Exhibits include the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, a Ford Model T from the first production year of 1909, a hands-on Model T open to visitors, an 1896 quadricycle and a spinning wheel that was a gift to Henry Ford from Gandhi.

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