Tuesday, August 12, 2008

house out of ship: haute reuse

At South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, sits the former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, The Benson Ford. The boat was built by Henry Ford and named after his grandson many years ago.

After fifty years of service on the Great Lakes, the Benson Ford was scheduled in 1986 to be scrapped at the Port of Cleveland, Ohio. On the top front section of the boat were the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own pleasure while traversing the Great Lakes on business.

An Ohio husband and wife stepped in realizing that these elegant quarters could be a great residence, if they could only be removed from the rest of the ship and brought to land. After many days with torches and cranes, the quarters were removed from the ship and floated by barge some sixty miles west to the tranquil island of South Bass Island.

Additional cranes were needed to lift the quarters off the barge at the Island up a steep eighteen foot promontory to its final site on solid bedrock on a single family home lot. The quarters became The Ship Residence, a private home on South Bass Island.

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