DEARBORN, Michigan – At a special groundbreaking ceremony today The Henry Ford announced the plans for a new playscape located inside Greenfield Village. Made possible through a generous gift from Don and Mary Kosch, this one-of-a-kind historically themed playground will be a place where children of varying physical, developmental and sensory abilities can play and learn together within the same environment.
Encompassing approximately 25,000 square feet, the playscape will be located adjacent to the carousel and near restrooms and food facilities making it convenient for families. Designed to resemble a 1920s construction site, at the center of the playscape is an interactive steam shovel where children can play with the levers inside or dig in the sand located at the bottom of the steam shovel’s bucket. The fenced-in site will also include a rock climbing wall, a water tower, swings, an interactive boiler feature, a cement mixer and two actual artifacts – a boardable 1931 Ford Model AA truck and a 20-foot-long boiler tunnel that originally sat near the Armington and Sims Machine Shop inside Greenfield Village.
“We at The Henry Ford are excited to announce the plans for the new playscape during the same year we are celebrating the 150th birthday of our founder, Henry Ford,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “It was always very important to Henry to create a place where children could come and be inspired by their surroundings, something that is still very important to us to this day. We hope that this playscape can serve as a model for others to become more aware and more willing to adopt design principles that address the interest and needs of people, especially children, of all abilities.”
With the support of a planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Henry Ford was able to ensure that the design of the playscape met or exceeded all accepted accessibility standards. The site will include multi-level topography with ramp accessibility, bonded and concrete rubber surfaces that are ADA accessible and elements constructed out of natural or authentic materials keeping with the overall aesthetic of Greenfield Village. The playground will undergo construction throughout the year with the goal of opening for guests’ enjoyment during the fall of 2013.
About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination where stories and artifacts from 300 years of America’s history bring to life the accomplishments of ordinary and extraordinary individuals alike. A national historic landmark with five unique venues, unparalleled collections and world-class expertise, The Henry Ford is a force for fueling the spirit of American innovation and inspiring a ‘can-do’ culture. Nearly two million visitors annually experience its attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.