Meadow Brook Hall: a popular venue for Film and Music Industries
Meadow Brook plays a timeless role in pop culture
By Jessica Leydet
Meadowbrook Hall is one of Michigan’s tourist hot spots because of its beautiful gardens and Tudor-revival architecture. According to Meadowbrookhall.org, Meadowbrook attracts more than 70,000 visitors per year. It is available for anyone to rent for weddings or special occasions. In the past it was even rented for use in both the film and music industries.
The mansion was a venue for multiple popular films, “Youth in Revolt” and “Transformers 3,” as well as a pilot for the TV show “Prince of Motor City.”
Madelyn Rzadkowolski, Director of Curatorial Services at Meadow Brook Hall shared, “The interior and exterior of the mansion attract a lot of attention because of the unique style of the home,” she said, “it was used in both the films ‘Highland Park’ and ‘Youth in Revolt’ as the outside of a boarding school.”
Rzadkowolski said the mansion also plays a predominant role in the music industry. “The Dodge family also had strong ties to the music industry, Frances Johnson-Dodge owned a magazine called ‘The Cat’s Meow’ and it focused on swing music,” she shared, “She had connections to the Tommy Dorsey Band and Frank Sinatra would visit the mansion and give private performances before his career blew up.”
The legacy of popular music being produced at Meadow Brook carries on today. Miley Cyrus shot the music video for her song, “ Who Owns My Heart,” inside Meadowbrook Hall in 2010.
James Wolfe, tour guide at Meadowbrook Hall has been working in the mansion since his college days at Oakland University in the 1960’s and he recalls Cyrus shooting the video, but he admits it wasn’t such a pleasure. “She trashed Matilda’s bedroom and stood in her bathtub and on her furniture,” he said, “I was offended by this and I’m sure the majority of the staff was, because this place holds so much monetary and historical value, it was truly disrespectful.”
Though Cyrus didn’t seem to have any regard for the value of Meadow Brook, many people respect this historical landmark, and its beauty continues to attract visitors. However, now that Michigan repealed its film credits, Meadow Brook can no longer be used as a venue to film movies. Meadowbrook Hall now dedicates its time to sharing the story of the Dodge-Wilson family legacy by providing tours to people who are interested.
To find out more about scheduling a tour or the events that take place at Meadow Brook, visit meadowbrookhall.org.