ROCHESTER, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A road trip to Meadowbrook Hall will produce unforgettable memories. For the first half hour after you enter the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall, your vocabulary may well be reduced to two expressions – “Ooh” and “Aah!” No matter how many magnificent buildings one has seen, this place will remain in the memory as a truly impressive creation. It takes a while to wander the grounds and gardens. A tour of the inside is amazing. The woodwork alone can overwhelm the senses. Even the exterior chimneys are works of art.
Meadowbrook was the estate of Matilda and John F. Dodge. After John passed, Matilda wed Alfred Wilson, a lumber baron. Words can’t stand in place of an actual visit, but here are a few statistics just the same. The manor has 110 rooms within 88,000 square feet. There are 24 fireplaces served by those unique brick chimneys, of which, there are 39 up on the roof. Then there is the secret passage. You can’t have a “castle” without secret passageways. There is one, it is a staircase from Alfred’s game room to his office upstairs. There is even a beauty parlor that was built for the lady of the house.
The dining room ceiling is a sculpture, the woodwork throughout is the best. There are Tiffany stained glass windows, custom-made hardware and 75,000 pieces of art, furniture, ceramics and more throughout. If that weren’t enough, the mansion sits on an estate comprised of more than 1,400 acres. There are lawns, fountains, a gazebo and beautiful sculptures. The children, Frances and Daniel, had playhouses hidden away in woods.
The hall is regarded as the finest example of Tudor-revival architecture in America. It is the sixth largest historic house in the United States and the third largest house museum. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2012. There is no higher honor available in the United States.