Michigan Castles: Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester

Meadowbrook Castle by Anna Lysa

Meadow Brook Hall, photo by Anna Lysa

The Lansing State Journal had a recent feature about Five Michigan Castles that includes Michigan’s largest castle, Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester:

Meadow Brook Hall was built between 1926 and 1929 by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of early auto magnate John Dodge, and her second husband, lumber baron Alfred Wilson. The 110-room home features carved wood and stone details and plaster ceilings and is modeled after the great country estates of England, which they toured on their honeymoon. During construction of the home in 1927, they went on a second architectural tour of England with their architect in tow. The house cost $4 million to build (more than $54 million in today’s dollars), and the Wilsons hosted a gala housewarming party for 850 people in November 1929.

Matilda died in 1967, bequeathing the estate and $2 million in seed money to create Oakland University. The house opened to the public in 1971.

Tours are available and you can get more info about those along with photos and info about four more castles in the LSJ. The Meadow Brook Hall history page has a lot more information, and adds that the castle:

…represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America and is especially renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale of 88,000 square feet. Inspired by the country manor homes in England, it was designed and built by the Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls between 1926 and1929, at a cost of nearly $4 million.

The exterior combines various textures and patterns using American materials of brick, sandstone, wood timbers and a roof of clay shingle tile. The house also features 39 uniquely designed brick chimneys that distinguish the picturesque roofline.

….The exterior and most of the interior rooms at Meadow Brook Hall were designed in the Tudor-revival style. However, a few rooms were decorated in other period-revival styles: the dining room and Matilda’s study are 18th-century Neo-classical, Matilda’s room and the French bedroom are 18th-century French Rococo, and Frances’ bedroom is American Colonial.

View Anna Lysa’s photo bigger and see more in her Michigan slideshow.

PS: There’s features on Owosso’s Curwood Castle and Kalamazoo’s Henderson Castle (now a B&B) as well as lots more Michigan architecture on Michigan in Pictures!

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