Gerald R. Ford Museum

At the core of the Museum is the permanent exhibit, which allows visitors to experience highlights from President and Mrs. Ford's lives. The exhibit teaches democratic citizenship and allows for quiet reflection. In addition to the permanent exhibits, changing temporary exhibits draw artifacts from Museums all over the country.

Not all museum programming revolves around the exhibits; we also offer a wide variety of family-friendly events and lectures on a regular basis; the Museum Store sells items relating to the Ford presidency, other Presidents and First Ladies, and other souvenirs.

The Ford Museum opened to the public in September 1981 and is part of the Presidential libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.

The Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, Michigan while the Ford Library is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Despite the separation, the library and museum are a single institution sharing one director.

Hours of Operation

Open Monday - Saturday. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open Sunday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day

Admission

$8.00 for adults
$7.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$6.00 for college students with ID
$4.00 for youth ages 6-18
Free for children under the age of 5
Free parking is available

Information on the Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge



Grand Rapids, MI

303 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI  49504-5353

616.254.0400

Tour the NEW Permanent Exhibit Galleries: Explore the Museum

Other Exhibits

The Museum staff has created several online exhibits, either to supplement permanent exhibits or to publicize temporary exhibits. The current temporary exhibit is available for both viewing at the Ford Museum and online. All others are available only in their online form.

Featured Online Exhibit

Growing Up Grand - exhibit mural Growing Up Grand

Glimpse the early years of Gerald Ford and early 20th centuryGrand Rapids.

Upcoming Programs and Events - Grand Rapids


Date Event
  Exhibits in Grand Rapids
April 10, 2018 - Janaury 6, 2019

In Step with Betty Ford: A Celebration of her Centennial

Central High graduate, student of dance, New York model, proud mother, and Congressman's wife.  These and more prepared Betty Ford for a larger stage she did not seek but on which she shined.  First Lady Betty Ford spoke openly about issues dear to her.  And she met life-threatening illnesses with faith and candor.  Her courage endeared her to America as she and the people found themselves in step with one another.

 

  Programs in Grand Rapids
February 22, 2018
7:00 p.m.

H.W. Brands
The Golden Age of the Senate

Through the first half of the nineteenth century, three statesmen dominated national politics. The interactions between Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina tell an important story about the immense challenges facing the second generation of American independence. In partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, the Hauenstein Center will host H.W. Brands, the Jack S. Blanton Senior Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, for a presentation about the Great Triumvirate, and the nation’s highest legislative chamber, in a time when political speeches mattered. Reservations collected by the Hauenstein Center, click here to RSVP.

March 13, 2018 7:00 p.m.

Garrett Graff
Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself--While the Rest of Us Die


Garrett Graff, magazine journalist, author and historian, describes an eye-opening true story of the government’s secret plans to survive and rebuild after a catastrophic attack on US soil - a narrative that spans from the dawn of the nuclear age to today. In his engrossing new book, Raven Rock, Graff brings readers through the back channels of government to understand exactly what is at stake if our nation is attacked, and how we’re prepared to respond if it is. Click here to RSVP.

May 2, 2018
time TBD

Ford After Five:
Big Band Night featuring the Northview High School Jazz Band

Celebrate President and Mrs. Ford's love of music with a Big Band night at the Ford Presidential Museum. This event will feature the highly decorated jazz band from Northview High School. Details are still in the works - check back soon for more information on this family friendly event.

May, 15, 2018
7:00 p.m.

Scott Kaufman
Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford

Join us as Scott Kaufman, academic and author, presents his compelling new presidential biography, which captures for the first time, the full scope of Gerald Ford’s long and remarkable political life. Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party traces Ford’s unprecedented rise, from his Depression-era childhood through his service in World War II, his entry into Congress in the early stages of the Cold War, his role as minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his rise to the White House as the country’s first and only unelected president.Click here to RSVP.



School Tour and Current Programs


Facility Rental

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a 54,000 square foot educational and cultural facility, located on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. This setting provides a prestigious venue for a meeting, reception, and/or dinner. The Museum offers a 15,000 square foot permanent exhibit, and a 3,500 square foot changing exhibit gallery. Convenient parking.

Venue highlights

library main lobby

Museum Main Lobby

The expansive main lobby of the Museum is an exceptional setting for dinners, special addresses, and receptions. Visitors can also browse the Museum store which offers a variety of unique gifts and books.

Capacity: Sit-down dinner - 100 / Standing reception - 250

library auditorium

Auditorium

The 250-seat auditorium, complete with stage and audio/visual equipment, has the versatility to accommodate symposiums, educational presentations, cultural events, award ceremonies, and musical performances, among others.

Capacity: 254

library courtyard

Museum Grounds

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Betty Ford Garden and the reflecting pool and fountain. The Museum grounds are also home to President Ford’s distinguished burial site.

More Information

General availability for all spaces is Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8 AM – 9 PM. Contact the Museum for information about scheduling an event, rental fee structure, or to review regulations on the use of the facility and the application process. Events must be consistent with the public perception of the Museum as an educational, research, or cultural institution (no weddings, proms, or similar events).

Call: 616-254-0400 / E-mail: ford.museum@nara.gov

View/Download Rental Document:

For Individuals and Groups with Special Needs

All areas of the Museum and Library are ADA compliant , and are accessible to people in wheelchairs via ramps and elevators. All Museum and Library exhibits are wheelchair accessible.

Parking

Parking at both facilities is free, and accessible parking spaces are located in both the main and over-flow parking lots.

Wheelchairs

Standard wheelchairs are available at both locations at no charge. Strollers are also available at the Museum.

Restrooms

All public restrooms include accessible facilities, and are ADA compliant. All restrooms have baby-changing stations.

Hearing Impaired

To help visitors who are hearing impaired, a number of exhibits include closed captioning or text panels. The Museum Auditorium is equipped with a T-coil assisted listening loop, and hand-held units are available upon request. The Library Auditorium will be equipped with a T-coil loop (summer 2008).

Sign Language Interpreters

With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum is able to provide Sign Language Interpreters at no charge. Sign Language Interpreters who are accompanying school groups or the public and assisting visitors who are hearing impaired are admitted to the Museum at no charge.

Assistive Animals

Visitors, who require Service Animals, such as guide-dogs, are welcome to bring them into the Museum.

Visually Impaired

With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum will provide an interpretive guide to groups or individuals at no charge.

Single visitors, adult groups or school groups with special needs can be accommodated at both the Museum and Library with guided tours. Please call (616) 254-0374 (Museum) and (734) 205-0540 (Library) for more information.

Internships / Volunteers

The Museum accepts a limited number of college interns each year to assist with processing, preservation, and digitization of museum holdings. The Padnos Museum Internship Program provides the necessary skills students need to attain a certain level of marketability in the field. For its nearly twenty years in operation, the program has provided lasting experiences for students from around the country.

For more on internships and other volunteer opportunities, contact:
Collections Manager James Draper at (616) 254-0379