Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall breaks ground on transformative new visitor center

The De Carlo Visitor Center project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

meadow brook hall, visitor center, MBH, The Hall, construction

icon of a calendarApril 2, 2024

Share this story

Meadow Brook Hall breaks ground on transformative new visitor center
The De Carlo Visitor Center rendering is above. Construction is well underway and the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

Meadow Brook Hall, the National Historic Landmark located on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, has broken ground on the De Carlo Visitor Center. Construction is well underway and expected to be completed in the fall. This milestone comes at the same time as another big milestone for the Great Estate – in 2024, Meadow Brook Hall will turn 95 years old.

The transformative new facility will provide modern amenities and versatile spaces for the Great Estate to expand and enhance its vibrant collection of tours, events, educational programs and community experiences. The De Carlo Visitor Center will be a new standalone building located in a section of what is currently Meadow Brook’s visitor parking lot. No historic buildings or estate grounds will be impacted by construction.

“The construction of the De Carlo Visitor Center is a historic and momentous moment for Meadow Brook Hall, particularly as we celebrate our 95th anniversary this year,” said Meadow Brook Hall Executive Director Bill Matt. “We have seen tremendous visitor growth at the estate in recent years and the time is right for us to establish the modern infrastructure for us to continue on this path—as a premier destination for families, couples, students and people of all ages. I’m especially proud of our team’s efforts and grateful for the enthusiastic support of our community, donors and Oakland University leadership. We’re excited to launch a new era at Meadow Brook that will take us into the next 95 years!”

The De Carlo Visitor Center will transform and dramatically enhance the visitor experience for every person who visits the Great Estate. It will open up new avenues to share Meadow Brook’s story and history with the Diana and Ted Cunningham Orientation Gallery, and provide welcome spaces for gathering, helpful services, amenities and more. The De Carlo Visitor Center will also establish a new formal entrance to the estate, rerouting the entrance to provide a magnificent first look at the historic home, which stands at a grand 88,000 square feet.

Built in 1929, Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home of Oakland University founders Alfred and Matilda Dodge Wilson and the fourth largest historic home in the nation. In 2021, Meadow Brook celebrated its 50th year as an historic house museum, cultural center and events and wedding venue. Meadow Brook is particularly renowned for its engaging tours and community events throughout the year, such as the dazzling Holidays at Meadow Brook, after-dark Flashlight Tours, Mystery Dinners, Summer Art Camps and so much more.

The De Carlo Visitor Center project has been thoughtfully designed at the front of the visitor parking lot, a plan that will maintain the historic integrity of the estate while creating modern and functional spaces and a clear entry point for visitors. A survey of parking needs has determined ample space remains. Adjacent lots will supplement parking needs for large-scale events.

HopkinsBurns Design Studio, the Ann Arbor-based architecture firm who specializes in historic preservation for properties such as the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, have been selected to design the Visitor Center. Construction will be managed by Rochester, Mich.-based Frank Rewold & Sons who has a special connection to the estate. Owner Frank Rewold, Jr. is the grandson of the company’s founder Frank Rewold, who was Matilda Dodge Wilson’s personal handyman and built and repaired many of the structures at Meadow Brook and Oakland University.

A philanthropic campaign raised approximately $2 million of the planned $2.9 million facility. Several named giving opportunities are still available.

For more information, visit

Meadow Brook Hall is fully self-supporting, relying on touring, special events and facility rental revenue for the preservation and interpretation of this National Historic Landmark. For more information, call (248) 364-6200 or visit

De Carlo Visitor Center construction image
Construction is underway on the De Carlo Visitor Center at Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of auto pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, Meadow Brook Hall represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival style architecture in America, and is especially renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale of 88,000 square-feet. It was the center of a country estate that included 1,500 acres, numerous farm buildings, recreational facilities, several residences and formal gardens. Named a National Historic Landmark in 2012, Meadow Brook Hall strives to preserve and interpret its architecture, landscape, and fine and decorative art so that visitors may be entertained, educated and inspired by history. Meadow Brook Hall is located in Rochester, Mich. on the campus of Oakland University. 


Share this story