Monday, August 2, 2010

Meadow brook Hall.....

Meadow Brook Hall

Good evening everyone. I have something very special to share with you today.

Meadow Brook Hall, considered one of America's Castles, is situated on the campus of Oakland University. It was completed in 1929, at a cost of nearly four million dollars, and has a total of one hundred and ten rooms! Can you just imagine living in a place so grand?
The estate originally belonged to Matilda Dodge Wilson and lumber broker Alfred G. Wilson. Matilda had been previously married to John Dodge the auto pioneer. Shortly after Matilda and John were married they purchased a 320 acre farm in Rochester, Mi to use as a weekend retreat. They had three children together. In January of 1920 tragedy struck when John Dodge died of influenza, at the age of 56, while in New York city on business.
Matilda married Alfred G. Wilson five years later in 1925. She and Alfred decided they wanted to build an estate on the farm Matilda and John had previously purchased so they bought up several of the surrounding farms and land in the area. Matilda was very instrumental in designing and decorating the mansion. She was a collector of fine art, paintings, and furnishings that remain on display at Meadow Brook Hall today. She and Alfred adopted two children who grew up on the estate. The Wilson's lived in the mansion for 38 years. After Alfred died Matilda continued to live there until her death in 1967. The Wilson's donated the 1,500 acre estate, plus two million dollars, to establish Oakland University, which is renowned for it's outstanding Liberal Arts program.
If you would like to take a peek inside of this beautiful mansion or learn more about it's history just click on the following link

The estate is very impressive with it's many gardens, flower beds, trees, and open spaces. If you are a lover of architecture like me you will be in awe of the hall with it's intricate brick work, tiled roofs, massive chimneys, and tudor-revival style design.

Like many students, I used to go there sometimes to study when I attended the university. On any given day you will see students, photographers, and artists a like exploring the grounds, quietly reading, painting, or taking pictures of the hall. Many events are held at Meadow Brook like weddings, golf outings, corporate parties, and teas. You can take tours of the inside of the hall and there is also an on site gift shop. During the holiday season the hall is especially festive and beautiful all decked out in it's cheery Christmas finery. The estate is absolutely beautiful at night and is illuminated with vintage coach lamps and other old fashion types of lighting. It's a great place to take a romantic walk and I'm sure many proposals have taken place on these grounds.

If you click on the pictures and zoom in a little closer you may be able to read the print on the encased posters that line one of the walk ways.

As you walk across this lovely bridge on the estate, to me, it's like entering into a fairy tale. The mansion it's self is so large, opulent, and enchanting. I like to imagine what it was like in the old days with horse's, buggies, and old fashioned cars. I can envision ladies in beautiful flowing gowns with vintage lace gloves and parasols in hand or men in tuxedos with long tails and top hats. It really is one of the most romantic places I have ever seen!

The attention to detail on the mansion is absolutely amazing! Isn't the design of the brick work awesome? The upper panes of the bowed windows have stained glass figures etched into the glass in several shades of color.

Many celebrities have attended parties here in it's hay day including Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey. I can imagine the hall filled with laughter, music, and glowing candle light.

Most of the walk ways and patio areas are done in brick or slate giving them a very warm and inviting feeling. What must Matilda have been thinking as she looked out of her upper floor windows onto her lovely estate. Sigh....
I met the sweet lady below during my last visit. She is a local artist and came all the way from Ann Arbor to paint the hall that day.
Could you imagine waking up in the morning and having tea or coffee on this gorgeous patio in the picture below?

If you walk back over the bridge and into the woods on the left you will find a charming little house called Knole Cottage. Knole Cottage was the children's play house. Can you just imagine all of the hours of fun they must have had there?

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing just a little bit of Meadow Brook Hall. If you are ever in the area it's worth it to stop by for a visit. I would really like to read more about Matilda Dodge Wilson. She sounds as though she was quite a fascinating woman.
Charli and I have been getting some things done inside today as it is to humid to do much of any thing outside.
I hope all of you have had a lovely day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning sweet Carol! I so love places like this that speak volumes of history and the times when building such monuments was an art. Here in Minneapolis, there are many of these types of homes and state treasures that are available to us. They are such a joy to behold for the history of it all and for the enjoyment of great architecture! We too had a very humid day yesterday, and had our National Night Out...we were out there, but it was stiffling hot but the neighborhood dogs and kids had little kiddie pools all around and everyone had such fun! Chester, or neighbor's dog had the time of his little cairn terrier life, playing with the Bichon Frisé, Daisy from across the street. They splashed in the pools and chased bubbles! What a great summer it has been for ALL!!!

Hugs to you and Charli girl, Anita

MyThoughtsMyVoice said...

110 room?! That is one grand home! How can you ever fill it? LOL

Carol, you're right. Seeing the entryway/bridge towards the castle - it really is like you are going to enter another world. ANd how lucky are you to have the opportunity to visit it and study in that estate. There must be lots of daydreaming too, right? :-)

Love the garden, that stone bench, . . . and the little cottage (although I don't think it's little :-) ) is adorable! Love the stone pathway going toward it. There something very whimsy about it too. I think it'll be a nice cozy home too :-)


GrandmaK said...

Thank you for being a wonderful guide through this fairy tale castle. It is indeed beautiful and you are so lucky to have a place to venture. The gardens are lovely and welcoming! Have a grand day1! Cathy

Happyone :-) said...

Wow, that is quite impressive!!
I lived in a castle in Scotland. Not the whole castle though. Part of it was divided up into flats and we lived in the laundry room flat. It was pretty neat though!!

Madeline's Album said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with us. The gardens are beautiful and the childrens playhouse is quite nice. Have a blessed day. Madeline

Vee said...

This home and the story you told is bringing back a memory of a show featured on A&E about this home, I think. It certainly is a beautiful home and what a generous gift of it to Oakland University. Thank you for taking so many wonderful pictures of it.

Rose said...

How lovely and what a beautiful post!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I came back to your blog this evening when I had more time to read this interesting post. I know I would love to visit this romantic and historic place. I appreciate the tour that you took us on, and all the extra details that you took the time to share with us. Meadow Brook Hall is definitely a place I would enjoy visiting, and thanks to you I know many facts about it. Thank you.

George the Lad said...

When I first looked at the photos in this post I thought you were in England!, I enjoyed looking at them. Thanks for showing us.
Jan and George xxx

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