Mingling urban and rural life on a nine-acre site on the outskirts of Hudson is the William Treadwell House, one of southern Michigan's finest Italian Villas. In The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), Andrew J. Downing advocated this style for expressing “the elegant culture and variety of accomplishment of the retired citizen or man of the world.” Downing also saw the Italian Villa as the most appropriate form for suburban life. Samuel Sloan's design for an Italian Villa in The Model Architect (1852) called for a location not “in the depths of the forest, but near some frequented highway within a few miles of the city.” A tall tower gives a powerful accent to the house's composition, which includes hooded round-arched windows, prominent paired brackets throughout, balconies, and bays. Living in this extravagant house remained only a wish for its owner. Before it was finished, Treadwell, owner of the People's Bank in Hudson, was accused of embezzlement and was later tried and convicted. Although he escaped imprisonment, he never occupied the house and was subsequently murdered by his accomplice. Another fine brick Italianate house is the Matthew and Wendy Taylor House just to the south at 4640 S. Meridian Road.
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William Treadwell House
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