A National Historic Landmark, Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home of one the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, her second husband Alfred Wilson, a lumber broker and their four children, Frances and Danny Dodge, and Richard and Barbara Wilson. It exists as an indirect product of the achievements and good fortune of her first husband, automotive pioneer John F. Dodge, co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company who quickly prospered in the burgeoning auto industry before his tragic death in 1920, leaving Matilda one of the world’s wealthiest women. This fortune not only built one of America’s finest residences and country estates, it also supported numerous Detroit charities and organizations, and made possible the founding of Oakland University.
Meadow Brook Hall was built during the country place era, a time when wealthy American industrialists pursued rural life in settings of great beauty. It represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America and is especially renowned for it 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.
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