Ford, Edsel; Groups; With W. C. Cowling At Opening Of Ford Rotunda

1936-05-14

Edsel Ford and Ford sales manager, W.C. Cowling stand in front of globe in the courtyard of the Ford Rotunda on Schaefer Road in Dearborn, Michigan designed by architect, Albert Kahn. "From 1936 to 1962, the gear-shaped Ford Rotunda attracted visitors from around the world, it was the fifth most popular tourist destination in the United States in the 1950s, the building had its roots in the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, known as the Century of Progress Exposition, which opened in May of 1933 and attracted more than 40 million visitors over its two-year run, one of the major attractions at the fair was Ford Motor Company's Rotunda, which was disassembled after the fair and brought back to Dearborn, where it was reconstructed using more permanent materials, designed to be the showcase of the auto industry, the Ford Rotunda was opened to the public on May 14, 1936, the original steel framework was covered with Indiana limestone, forming a design representing a stack of gears, decreasing in size towards the top, located on Schaefer Road, across from the Ford Administration building, the circular structure had an open courtyard 92 feet in diameter and a wing on either side ... besides its own attractions, the Rotunda served as the gateway for tours of the Rouge Plant, in 1960, the Rotunda ranked behind only Niagara Falls, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Smithsonian Institution and the Lincoln Memorial as a national tourist destination, it was more popular than Yellowstone, Mount Vernon, the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty," from Detroit News article, "When flames consumed a Christmas fantasy," by Jenny Nolan.


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