Haven Hill Gate House Exposed!

Members of Highland State Recreation Area's support group, FOHRA, got together on November 8 and cleared away years of brush in front of the Haven Hill Gate House. The old building can now be seen from the M-59 entrance station as visitors enter the park. Above: Heavy brush blocks the view of the Haven Hill Gate House.

Above: Members clip and pull the years of brush that had obscured the Gate House from view.

Above: FOHRA members Tim Wiles and Jerry McManus review the clearing.

Above: The Haven Hill Gate House, once the entrance to Edsel Ford's Haven Hill Estate, exposed to public view beyond the entrance station turn-around at Highland Recreation Area.

Above: Friends of Highland Recreation Area marvel at the new view.

FOHRA plans to improve these sites within the park. The Haven Hill Gate House may become an informative Visitors Center some day. Come on out and help the effort. Visit www.fohra.org for more info.

Edsel Ford Barn Clean-Up Nearing Completion

The storm-damaged Edsel Ford Barn within the Highland Recreation Area has been given tender loving care just about every two weekends on Sundays this Spring and Summer. The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers, with the help of Oakland County WWAM teams and the MDNR, have cleared of debris over 2/3 of what was the barn's interior concrete pad. The June 8, 2009 storm heavily damaged the barn when 80+ mile per hour winds roared through Oakland County, Michigan. IMG_5180 1280x1024

Great progress has been made through teh efforts of FOHRA, the parks charitable support group. Plans continue forward for a revitalization of the barn into a shared public space for the area's residents. A conceptual drawing can be seen below.

EFB Pavilion Concept 640x480Heavy equipment and heavy-lifting volunteers have made all of the difference... a coordinated effort to rejuvenate an amazing historic structure commissioned by Edsel Ford and his family in what was once his Haven Hill Estate.

IMG_5166 1280x1024Come on out for future workdays and help with the project. The debris is being salvaged as much as possible for re-use. Hand sorting of wood, metal, functional components, etcetera is a tedious business. Work day information can be found at the FOHRA website, www.fohra.org.

Edsel Ford Barn Project: FOHRA Signage In Place

This last weekend at one of the regular 2nd and 4th Sunday FOHRA work sessions, a new sign advertising FOHRA work days was installed on the front of the Edsel Ford Barn inside the Highland Recreation Area. The sign was assembled on the ground and installed using a lift. FOHRA EFB Sign

Great progress has been achieved throughout the spring and into this summer on the green salvage project of the debris field in back of the damaged Edsel Ford Barn. The barn's animal quarters, comprising nearly 3/4 of it's total length, was severely damaged during a June 2008 storm.

Photo by Tom Slaga

As can be seen above, the huge concrete pad beneath the barn is being exposed nicely. Team members expect full clearing of the pad in upcoming weeks. FOHRA members, community volunteers, Oakland Community College students and professors, and WWAM work crews, plus many more folks, have all contributed to the hours worked to save the barn's resources for the rebuild.

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DSC_9662 1280x1024Come on out and join us to help finish up the salvaging of the barn's materials - check the FOHRA website at www.fohra.org for details! Below... a conceptual drawing of the future plan for the barn's rise!

EFB Pavilion Concept Drawing

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are a 501(c)(3) organization.

Barn Preservation/Renovation Goes High Tech!

I'm doing some experiments with PC software that can assist with interior and exterior design projects. Here's a start at re-creating the barn inside of a computer. Edsel Ford Barn PC 1

Edsel Ford Barn Open North End

A Look Inside

Interior Long Shot

Pretty slick. This new way of looking at things really opens up the creative possibilities for the renovation/restoration. The graphics are 100% "fly-by" tourable. You can fly around and through the building!

1000 Points of Light

One look up to the ceiling inside of the barn and you can see how important it is to cover the roof. The tiny points of light are holes with daylight shining through. Roof Holes

Click on the picture and you can see the  image up close.  This last work party included more covering of the ever-important skin of the barn with heavy plastic/vinyl tarps.