Since the formation of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area in 2007, the organization and its supporters have made great strides rejuvenating the land and structures of Edsel and Eleanor Ford's former Haven Hill Estate.
The Haven Hill Gate House
The Haven Hill Gate House had set idle for nearly 30 years up until 2009 when FOHRA began to clear away the forest overgrowth that had hidden the entrance to Haven Hill from public view. As with the other structures of Haven Hill, the Gate House was cleared of asbestos before extensive renovations were started. Then in 2012, the rear garage doors were rebuilt to close the structure, new windows were installed, and the interior was meticulously re-plastered by skilled craftsman. In 2014 the House's rear chimney was rebuilt, and the entire Gate House and Garage roofs were repaired and covered with new shingles. The exterior of the buildings were scraped and repainted in the spring and summer of 2014.
The Carriage House
The Carriage House is the last remaining vestige of the once great Haven Hill Lodge complex on Haven Hill. Initial renovation activities by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area have included roof cleaning as well as extensive and costly asbestos removal. The removal of this hazardous substance allows further safe renovation activities to continue. The cedar shingled roof has had moss removed.
The Haven Hill Lodge Site
Unfortunately, the historic Haven Hill Lodge was burned by arson in 1999. FOHRA maintains the grounds of the former Haven Hill Lodge for park visitors to enjoy. The last standing fireplace is slowly deteriorating and has been cordoned off for safety. The MotorCities signs in the footprint of the Lodge provide the public with interesting and special historical aspects of the Fords and Haven Hill.
The Edsel Ford Barn
Since the storm damage of 2008, the Friends of Highland Recreation Area have dedicated thousands of hours of time and manpower to the cleanup and repurposing of the once great Edsel Ford Barn...