Sunday, December 9, 2007

Photo Catch-Up: Ford Rouge Factory Tour

Well, if you know anything about me, you know that I'm cheap. :) So, I was quite excited to learn about the Detroit Adventure Pass, available from local libraries, which gives you free admission to local museums.

My friend Carole and I promptly toured the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, which was interesting and elegant. There were some modern rooms designed in the 1940s and the gardens were designed by Jens Jensen! The property is right on Lake St. Clair, but the grounds are laid out, with winding paths and large trees, so you come upon the lake almost surreptitiously, which is some feat. Jensen was one of the first landscape architects to use native plantings, and natural looking layouts, in his designs. I didn't have my camera with me and it was drizzling, anyway. We'll definitely go back in spring.

Carole and I also went on the Ford Rouge factory tour, which is a working assembly line as well as a museum and a multimedia experience. We watched a movie of an F-150 being made and the seats rumbled and dry ice smoke appeared, etc. Amusing. I was impressed with the video displays, which played short overviews, and signage along varying stations on the factory floor tour. You are on an elevated walkway above the factory and look down while the line is in production. I was surprised by how quiet, clean, and light the production area was, especially based on my experience in light industrial settings, where I worked a summer during college.

I was also amazed how large the factory complex is--I worked as a contractor for Ford for two years and never realized the size even then. It's like a whole little city and even has its own dock for shipped deliveries!

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Of course, the coolest thing to a gardener is the green roof (primarily sedum, though I've never been successful in receiving a plant list)!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Mallett's Creek branch of the Ann Arbor library also has a green roof, which I was able to watch being installed. Check out the article I wrote about it for the master gardener newsletter!

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