Photo: James Corner installs hurricane shutters prior to storm season at Edison and Ford Winter Estates.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 21, 2021) — Each year, Edison and Ford Winter Estates prepares the site for possible hurricanes and other storms that may hit the area. At the beginning of hurricane season, storm shutters are placed on many of the buildings and on windows of the historic homes not used for viewing.
Due to the historic nature of the property, if a hurricane is predicted to hit Fort Myers, additional storm panels are placed on homes and other structures. Fragile, high-priority items are removed from the historic homes and moved to the museum where possible. Antique automobiles that are housed on the riverside of the property may be moved to offsite storage. Porch furniture is moved indoors or to more secure locations and Mina Edison’s piano in the Edison house may be moved to the museum.
Care is also taken to protect the historic gardens. Throughout the year, horticulturists and landscaping specialists trim as needed to minimize damage to trees and shrubs. Photographs and inventory records are documented prior to storms.
During the summer months, thunderstorms are likely. In the event of rain, Edison Ford continues normal operating hours; however, if there is lightning within a 10-mile radius (the site is equipped with a lightning detection system) or severe weather warnings, the riverside of the property will be closed and tours of the grounds will be suspended until the threat has passed. Guests may remain in the museum and lab until weather conditions improve.
Edison Ford is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; however, if a storm is predicted, visitors are advised to check the website at EdisonFord.org or call 239-334-7419 for tour schedules and operating hours.
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.