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Edison, Ford estates opens museum, botanic research laboratory

By Staff | Aug 14, 2020

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates' Museum and Botanic Research Laboratory reopened. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates has reopened its 15,000-square-foot air-conditioned museum and historic botanic research laboratory. The botanical gardens and riverside of the property previously reopened. The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The museum features a returning exhibit, “DC vs. AC: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify America.” It illuminates the relationship between Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse, and explores their contributions to electricity. The curatorial staff are also giving two existing galleries a makeover, so there are new areas for visitors to view. The children’s Spark!Lab is currently closed.

“The relationship between Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse has been dramatically explored in books, films and popular culture,” Executive Vice President Mike Cosden said. “This exhibit answers a lot of questions about the three men and explores the invention of electricity.”

Guided tours are again available and limited to groups of 10 people to ensure social distancing. Self-guided tours are available, and allow visitors to use an app on their phones along with a printed map of the site. Specialty tours, including Inside-the-Homes, Automotive and Garden tours are also available. To ensure that visitors will have room to stand six feet apart, a maximum of 10 tickets will be sold for each. Garden tours — with a horticulturist — are available by appointment only.

Visitors are required to reserve tickets in advance.

With the opening of the museum and laboratory, regular-priced admission tickets are in effect. Self-guided tours are: $25 for adults, $20 for ages 13-19 and $15 for ages 6-12; ages 5 and younger are free. Guided tours are: $30 for adults; $25 for ages 13-19 and $18 for ages 6-12; members get in for free.

The outdoor Garden Shoppe and the museum store are also open.

Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, all staff are wearing protective masks, and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized daily. Visitors are required to wear masks during guided tours; masks are recommended for self-guided tours. Visitors should practice social distancing throughout the site.

For more information or tickets, visit EdisonFord.org.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates is at 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.