Press Release

September 24, 2019

Public Notice: Roof Replacement of The Henry Ford's Main Storage Building

Regarding the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Section 106 Review of
Roof replacement of The Henry Ford's Main Storage Building

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Edison Institute, doing business as The Henry Ford, a grant to partially replace the roof on the Ford Engineering Laboratory (FEL). NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. This public notice is issued as part of NEH’s responsibilities under 36 C.F.R. Part 800, the regulations which implement Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. § 470. NEH, a funding agency, is required by regulation to identify and assess the effects of any proposed actions on historic properties. If any proposed action will have an adverse effect on historic resources, NEH works with the appropriate parties to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects. Additionally, the Section 106 regulations require NEH to consider the views of the public on preservation issues when making final decisions that affect historic properties.

In its grant application, The Henry Ford, plans to replace the eastern half of the roof of the Ford Engineering Laboratory (FEL) located at 21500 Oakwood Blvd. Dearborn, MI 48124, Hartford, Michigan 49057. The FEL building is a one-story, 400,000 sq. ft. building that is divided in half through a condominium agreement between Ford Motor Company and the Henry Ford. The Henry Ford owns and occupies the eastern half of the building as a museum collections storage facility, known as the “Main Storage Building” (MSB). This 228,000 square foot section of the building is the focus of the roof replacement project.

The renovation consists of removing the existing built-up roof (installed in the 1990s), and replacing it with a new built-up roof system. Roof drains will also be repaired or replaced as part of the project. The proposed work will not affect the use or purpose of the MSB. The work will not result in any permanent changes to the exterior façade of the building or to the profile of the roof.

The work itself will largely occur on the roof itself and will be out of view from ground level because of a parapet wall. Various lifts such as “sky-traks” or cranes may be used at times to move material and supplies up to roof level. Tear-off roof material will be collected and properly disposed of as required by law.

In a letter dated September 4, 2019, Brian Grennel, Cultural Resources Coordinator for the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office advised that the proposed undertaking will have no adverse effect upon historic properties, as defined by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

As required by Section 106, NEH is providing the public with information about this project, as well as an opportunity to comment on any knowledge of, or concerns with, historic properties in the proposed project area, and issues relating to the project’s potential effects on historic properties. Comments may be submitted to the NEH by e-mail to The deadline for submitting comments is September 29, 2019.