Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall
Meadow Brook Farms
Estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson
Location within the state of Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan
Location within the state of Michigan

480 South Adams Road
Rochester Hills, Michigan

 United States
Coordinates: 42°40′19″N 83°12′04″W / 42.67194°N 83.20111°W / 42.67194; -83.20111Coordinates: 42°40′19″N 83°12′04″W / 42.67194°N 83.20111°W / 42.67194; -83.20111
Built: 1926–1929
Architect: William E. Kapp
Smith Hinchman & Grylls
Architectural style: Tudor Revival
Governing body: State
NRHP Reference#: 79001166
Added to NRHP: 1979

Meadow Brook Hall is a Tudor revival style mansion located at 480 South Adams Rd. in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It was built between 1926 and 1929 by Matilda Dodge Wilson (the widow of auto pioneer John Francis Dodge) and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred G. Wilson. In 1957, the mansion and the surrounding property and buildings were donated to the State of Michigan in order to found Michigan State University–Oakland, now known as Oakland University.



Meadow Brook Farms originally belonged to Matilda's first husband, automotive tycoon, John F. Dodge. He purchased the property along with the large white farmhouse off of Adams Road as a holiday retreat for his family. John Dodge had three children with his first wife, Ivy Hawkins, and three with Matilda Rausch. He also built a nine hole golf course, of which some holes still follow the current Katke-Cousins 18 hole course, on the property. The mansion, located on South Adams Road amidst a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) estate, is now part of Oakland University. Throughout her lifetime, Matilda actually resided in the hall for over forty years. Some of the family's time was spent away from the home on vacations in their summer home in Bar Harbor, Maine and winter home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The hall was also partially closed for a brief time during the worst part of the Depression.

A view of Meadowbrook Hall from the northeast garden. Statue of Pegasus is by Avard Fairbanks

Often referred to as one of America's "castles," the 110-room, 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) mansion is currently ranked fourth on the list of Largest Historic Homes in the United States.[1] It was designed by William Kapp of the firm Smith Hinchman & Grylls. It's designed in a Tudor-revival style and European-inspired, however, most of the materials that were used to build the home were American-made. The playful Romanesque architectural sculpture that adorns the building was created by Corrado Parducci. Much of the original artwork collected by the Wilsons is still found at Meadow Brook including paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Rosa Bonheur, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough and sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, and Herbert Haseltine. The home and the surrounding estate, known as Meadow Brook Farms, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1957, Alfred and Matilda Dodge Wilson donated all of their estate to Michigan State University, including Meadow Brook Hall, Sunset Terrace, the Wilsons' retirement home, and all its other buildings and collections, along with $2 million to found Michigan State University-Oakland (now Oakland University). The Wilsons, who retained lifetime rights to the houses, lived in the Sunset Terrace home until Alfred's death in 1962. In 1963, Mrs. Wilson returned to Meadow Brook Hall and lived there until her death in 1967.

Concours d'Elegance

The Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance was held annually during August on the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall from 1979 until 2010.[2] This week-long event was one of the largest and most prestigious collector car shows in the world, making it a premiere social event in the tradition of the first Concours in 1920s Paris which was an exhibition of automotive design, craftsmanship, history and an elegant tool for automobile manufacturers to market beautiful high-design products to well-heeled clientele.[2] Over the years, this event served as a significant fundraiser for the preservation of Meadow Brook Hall.[3]

On July 20, 2010, promoters announced that the Concours d'Elegance would leave Meadow Brook Hall after that year for the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan.[4] The event is now known at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's.[5]


  • Highland Park
  • Transformers 3


  • Local rapper Eminem remarried his ex-wife, Kim Mathers in Meadow Brook Hall on January 14, 2006. They divorced again three months later.
  • Quarterback of the Detroit Lions Drew Stanton held his wedding reception at the Hall in June, 2009.
  • Current NBA and former Duke star Shane Battier held his wedding at the Hall.

See also


  1. ^ "[Auto Baron Estates]". America's Castles. A&E. 1995. Retrieved on 2011-03-18.
  2. ^ a b "Concours". ConcoursUSA. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance. 2003. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  4. ^ Larry Edsall (July 30, 2010). "Detroit’s Concours d'Élégance of America to Leave Meadow Brook". The New York Times ( Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  5. ^ Hart, Roger (August 22, 2011). "Elegance Endures". AutoWeek 61 (17): 38. ISSN 0192-9674. 
  • A&E with Richard Guy Wilson, Ph.D.,(2000). America's Castles: The Auto Baron Estates, A&E Television Network.
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Shadowing Parducci, unpublished manuscript
  • Wilson, Matilda Rausch Dodge, Debbie Patrick, ed., (1998). A Place in the Country: Matilda Wilson's Personal Guidebook to Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, MI: Oakland University Press.
  • Robertson, Jessica (01-17-2006).'Eminem Remarries Kim' in Rolling Stone

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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