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Buildings @ Oakland University


Belgian Barns

Built: 1925 | Type: Meadow Brook Estate


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Quick Facts

    • Initial construction:  1925; renovations in the 1970s
    • Funding:  Student fundraising, various university funds

History

Part of the Wilson's Meadow Brook Estate, the Belgian Barns housed Matilda Wilson's prize Belgian horses. Other agricultural structures included a dairy barn, a sheep barn, a piggery, and a pasture. These structures, including the Belgian Barns, were converted to university storage facilities from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Following this time, plans circulated to either repurpose the barns or raze them, as they had fallen in various states of disrepair. Propositions to create a small "village" - complete with open air markets, a center for instruction in guild-oriented trades, and even a pub - out of the structures and landscape circulated between students and administrators. Due to the expansion of other academic programs and on/off-campus construction, these plans were unable to come to fruition.  It was not until 1988 that the Belgian Barn, now located near the Public Safety and Maintenance Building, was repurposed to store costumes and props used in Meadow Brook Theatre productions.


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Photos courtesy of the Oakland University Archives.

 

 


Created by Mariela Hristova / Updated on September 26, 2017 by Mariela Hristova

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