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Rochester's Biggest-Ever Group Hug? It's Planned Friday at Meadow Brook

The National Historic Landmark will open its grounds for a free picnic before inviting the community to 'Hug the Hall.'

There's no better way to celebrate good news than an old-fashioned group hug.

That's the plan Friday afternoon at  on the campus of , when the National Historic Landmark opens its grounds to celebrate its recent designation.

The "Hug the Hall" event will feature a picnic lunch, free tours, music and a scavenger hunt.

The event will end with a celebratory balloon release and a group hug that will surround the actual building itself.

A first for Rochester

Meadow Brook Hall was designated in the spring by the U.S. Department of Interior as one of 13 new National Historic Landmarks.

There are fewer than 2,500 such properties in the country and 36 such landmarks in Michigan, including the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, the Fox Theater in Detroit and Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills.

This is the first National Historic Landmark in Rochester.

Meadow Brook Hall was built in the 1920s by Matilda Dodge Wilson, who inherited part of the state's automobile fortune after her first husband, Dodge Brothers Motor Car Co. founder John Dodge, died in 1920.

The Dodge family lived in Detroit and spent weekends at their farm property and country home in Rochester. 

Matilda Dodge Wilson later married Alfred Wilson and sold her shares in Dodge; the Wilsons built Meadow Brook Hall on the site of the farm estate. (Read more about Matilda Dodge Wilson in .)

Meadow Brook Hall is known around Rochester for its holiday tour and also as a popular destination for weddings and photo shoots.

It is an 88,000-square-foot Tudor-revival home inspired by country manor homes in England; it was built for $4 million.

Celebration is free

Friday's event, planned from noon to 2 p.m., is open to the public and is kid-friendly, too. It will include a musical performance by OU alumna Jennifer Kincer on the Rock Garden lawn, free tours of the first floor of the hall, and rides in a vintage Dodge automobile. 

A scavenger hunt for kids is also planned. For more information, visit www.meadowbrookhall.org or contact The Hall at (248) 364 -6263.

Jessica P. Opfer July 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM
This event sounds great, but PLEASE tell me they are not actually planning to release balloons? That is a horrible, destructive practice that should have been banned long ago.

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