Rodeph Shalom


Winter Estate

Claiborne-Pell House / Quality Hill

1830 Marquee

Dumbarton House

Mount Guilian

Eden Residence

Picture of Thomas Edision in Edison Estate Laboratory View of Edison Estate Guest CottageView of Edison Estate Landscape View of Edison Estate Main House Porch View of Edison Estate Main House View of Edison Estate Office

Edison Ford Winter Estate

Picture of Thomas Edision in Edison Estate Laboratory

The Edison-Ford Winter Estates are the former winter homes of inventor Thomas Alva Edison and automobile magnate Henry Ford. They exist side by side and are owned and operated by the City of Fort Meyers. The Edison Winter Estate consists of seven buildings and structures on approximately thirteen acres of land purchased by Edison in 1885. The Edison-Ford Winter Estates retained Martin Jay Rosenblum, AIA and Associates (MJRA) in 2000 to conduct a series of reports in assistance to their campaign to improve the Edison Winter Estate. The firm produced a Historic Structures Report in 2000, a Fire Suppression Report in 2001, and a Cultural Landscape Report in 2002.

The Historic Structures Report (HSR) produced by MJRA represented the first opportunity for a comprehensive review of historic documents in the archives of the Estates and the Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, New Jersey. Prior to the report a thorough assessment of the site and a restoration philosophy and master plan had never been completed. The report included documentary research, an architectural history, and an analysis of the site from 1885 to the present. The team directed by MJRA included professional consultants in structural engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, and paint analysis. The report provided site administrators with an assessment of the physical condition of the Estate buildings and a plan for short-term stabilization and long–term restoration. The report also included a cyclical maintenance plan for the site.

Another important aspect of the HSR is that it reported significant findings that led to new interpretations of the site that have enriched the educational experience for visitors.  For example: the extensive electrical and water distribution systems on the estate had never been documented or understood prior to the HSR analysis. The contrast between the extensive systems of the Edison Estate with the rudimentary systems of rural SW Florida of 1885 is especially significant because of Edison’s role in the development of the electrical distribution industry. The report also identified a previously unrecognized garden on the Estate by the noted female American landscape architect, Ellen Biddle Shipman.

MJRA also completed a Cultural Landscape study of the thirteen acre property. Working with a professional team of landscape architects and historians, MJRA produced the first description and analysis of the Edison Estate gardens and landscape elements. This report provided recommendations for restoration and interpretation of this historic Southwest Florida landscape.