Sunset Terrace

Meadow Brook Estate, Rochester Hills, Oakland County, Michigan

Built in 1953, for Alfred G. Wilson (1883-1962) and his wife Matilda (1883-1967), widow of John F. Dodge. The Wilsons had made their home for the previous twenty years in "old-world" splendor at Meadow Brook Hall. They built Sunset Terrace on the same estate as their retirement home and using the same architect (William Kapp) took an architectural U-turn. Designed in a semi-circle in the Prairie style championed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was positioned to take full advantage of the sunsets that fall over the hills. After Alfred died in 1962, Matilda returned to Meadow Brook and Sunset Terrace is now the official residence of the Presidents of Oakland University....

This house is best associated with...

Alfred Gaston Wilson

Alfred G. Wilson, Lumber Broker, of Detroit


Matilda (Rausch) Wilson

Mrs Matilda (Rausch) Dodge, Wilson; 43rd Lieutenant-Governor of Michigan


The semi-circular house contains 20-rooms and covers 11,400-square feet of living space. The living room is entirely circular with a 40-foot circumference which could entertain up to 200-guests at one time. The Dining Room on the other hand was shaped in a distinctive Horse-Shoe. Glass and steel are prevalent throughout and the aluminium  staircase is etched with drawings of the Wilson's favorite pets, horses and an aeroplane. 

Matilda died at Meadow Brook Hall in 1967 and as per her will all of the estate passed in full to Oakland University. From 1974, it became the official residence of the university's presidents (although others had used it for living and entertaining 1963) and in the same year the interior was refurbished by Pipan Saarinen Swanson. At the end of President Champagne's five year tenure in 1986, it was restored to it original 1950s appearance by the Historic Preservation Committee of the American Society of Interior Designers.

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 09/04/2021 and last updated on 09/04/2021.


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