Tucked away in the northern suburbs of Detroit, Michigan stands this elegant Tudor Revival historic mansion. This home is the fourth largest of its kind in the United States and sprawls an impressive 88,000 square feet. Featuring 110 tastefully decorated rooms, artistic Tiffany stained glass windows as well as acres of beautifully landscaped gardens this is truly one of America’s most stunning estates.
History of Meadow Brook Hall
The land that now composes the estate was originally purchased as a country retreat in a block of 320 acres by the automotive tycoon, John F. Dodge and his wife Matilda, known for his co-founding of the Dodge Brothers Company.
The estate expanded to 1,500 acres with a golf course. A few years into their endeavor of having a country estate, John passed away in 1920, leaving Matilda a widow. She remarried in 1925 to Alfred Wilson, a lumber baron. For their honeymoon, Alfred and Matilda toured England exploring elegant mansions and country estates. Upon their arrival back in Michigan they began planning their dream estate which would later become known as Meadow Brook Hall.
Construction began on the mansion in 1926 with a formal groundbreaking ceremony. Matilda requested that all the furniture, flooring and trim be composed of sturdy materials such as marble and hardwoods. By 1929, the house was completed and cost $4 millions dollars to be built.
To commence the grand completion of Meadow Brook Hall the Wilson’s hosted a housewarming event. The event was held just a few short weeks following the stock market crash of 1929 and over 800 prominent people attended its dedication.
With such a strong belief in the in the power of education, the Wilson’s donated the 1,500 estate to Michigan State University as a branch campus for the area. It was later renamed Oakland University.
Alfred and Matilda Wilson resided in the mansion for the remainder of their lives. Matilda went on to serve as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of the State of Michigan in 1940. Alfred passed away in 1962 leaving Matilda to care for the estate on her own. To celebrate Matilda’s 80th Birthday in 1963, Oakland University threw a huge party in her honor attended by many staff, faculty and students. Following her death in 1967, the entire estate transferred to complete ownership by Oakland University.
Meadow Brook Hall has been open to the public for tours since 1971 and even available per reservation for private events. In 1997, Oakland University published Mrs. Wilson’s book A Place in the Country: Matilda Wilson’s Personal Guidebook to Meadow Brook Hall.
To learn more about the extensive history behind this beautiful Tudor Revival, please visit https://meadowbrookhall.org/about/.
Visiting Meadow Brook Hall
Over 70,000 visitors enter through the ornate doors of Meadow Brook Hall each year. Tours are offered daily with a variety of packages. The typical guided tour lasts just over an hour and explores the rooms of this historical landmark.
For more information about pricing, tour times and other details please visit https://meadowbrookhall.org/tours/.
Also Meadow Brook Hall makes for a wonderful place to either attend or host your own event. Indoor or outdoors spaces are available. Weddings and dinners are popular options hosted at the estate.
If you would like more information about events or venue options at Meadow Brook Hall please visit https://meadowbrookhall.org/events/.
Thanks for reading and as always keep on truckin’!
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