The Edison & Ford Winter Estates are gems in the Fort Myers community, allowing visitors year-round to venture back in time and experience history firsthand.

Deeded to the City in 1947 by Mina Edison, the Estates were meticulously renovated and restored by Chris-Tel Construction during a ten-year period, with over $10 million dollars secured for the restoration. Chris-Tel Construction provided Construction Manager at Risk services without interruption to day-to-day operations of visitors and staff.

Project Features



Historic Restoration


Edison & Ford Winter Estates


Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects

Delivery Method:

Construction Manager at Risk under Continuing Contract

Completion Date:

2002 – 2012

Construction Cost:


Square Footage:

566,280 SF


13 Acres

  • 2006 Florida Southwest Association of the American Institute of Architects – Award for Building Excellence in Architecture in Historic Restoration of Edison and Ford Winter Estates
  • 2008 Trustee’s Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites
  • 2007 Lee BIA Summit Award – Best Historic Restoration – The Seminole Lodge
  • 2010 Lee BIA Summit Award – Best Commercial Contractors Project (Historic Restoration) – Henry Ford Winter Estates – “The Mangoes”
  • 2011 Lee BIA Summit Award – Best Commercial Contractors Project (Historic Restoration) – Edison’s Botanic Laboratory

The overall project included many individual buildings within the estate:

  • The Henry Ford home, The Mangoes, included a fire suppression system utilizing a dry fog, which chokes the flame alleviating any water damage to the structure.
  • Thomas Edison’s home, the Seminole Lodge, required a historical review, stabilization of the building, and the numbering of each piece of siding to be repaired or recreated so historical integrity could be maintained. Over the nine-month restoration period, the structure was systematically stripped of lead-based paint and hazardous materials following environmentally mandated requirements.
  • Restoration of Edison’s Botanic Laboratory included historic glass re-glazing, a reproduction Galvalume roof installation, and custom crafted recreation of the original light fixtures.

Chris-Tel Construction received the nationally recognized, Trustee’s Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites, for the restoration of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

Wiley M. Parker, AIA

Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc.

I am pleased to recommend Chris-Tel Construction to perform construction management or general contracting needs, especially on historic renovation projects. They have demonstrated their ability to provide excellent service and meet a variety of challenges, without disruption to the site and its daily activities.