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Presidential Libraries: The Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan

28 Aug

This is the first in a series of guides to three US presidential libraries. Rather than simply talk about the archives themselves, these are intended to offer some guidance to the town/city the library is in, where to eat, drink, and how to get around. This is primarily intended to help those travelling from outside the US. Part 2 will look at the Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Georgia, and part 3 will look at the George H W Bush Library, College Station, Texas.

Where?

The Ford Library is located at 1000 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109, on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor itself is a great little city, with plenty of accommodation and dining options. There’s also a lot to do beyond visiting the archive (if you have any time spare, that is). Ford is the only presidential library where the archives and the museum are in different cities (the museum is in Grand Rapids, MI).

ford giscard

Presidential relaxation, Gerry Ford style.

How to get there

On both my visits, I travelled via Detroit Metro Wayne County airport, the main air transport hub for the area (located in Romulus, just outside of Detroit proper). Both international and domestic flights arrive at DTW’s two terminals, McNamara and North. Ann Arbor isn’t too far from DTW, and the Michigan Flyer coach service offers regular, cheap shuttle services between the airport and AA’s Blake Transit Center. I’ve never had any problems using the flyer, and the drivers have always been extremely pleasant and helpful. There are also cabs, but that would cost between $60-80 for a single journey. The Flyer is probably the best option.

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