If you ever needed proof of the splendor of Akron’s gilded age, step through the stone-lined gates of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.

The 64,500-square-foot manor in Akron’s Merriman Heights neighborhood was built between 1912 and 1915 for the family of F.A. Seiberling, co-founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber. The estate with 70 acres of land and five buildings was donated to the city of Akron in 1957.

It’s now the sixth largest home in America open to the public and Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark.

“It is something definitely to check out here. There’s a wow factor,” said communications manager Donna Spiegler.

Stan Hywet offers a variety of paid tours of the home and gardens, including a “Nooks and Crannies” tour that shows guests parts of the house usually unseen by the public, such as servants quarters and the infirmary.

The estate is undergoing a $6 million capital campaign aimed at restoring every room, so repeat guests will have something new to see, Spiegler said.

For landscape aficionados, Stan Hywet’s gardens are a must see. The grounds were designed by famed landscape
architect Warren Manning, who worked closely with the manor’s architect to ensure the grounds and home harmonized. The estate’s 10 historic gardens, including a Japanese Garden and a
lagoon, have all been restored to look as they did when the Sieberlings called Stan Hywet home, she said.

Stan Hywet houses an English garden designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman. It’s one of the only Shipman gardens open to the public, Spiegler said.

The estate holds events throughout the year, such as Vintage Base Ball games, an annual car show and Founder’s Day events.

In partnership with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Stan Hywet hosts outdoor performances every summer. This year’s schedule includes performances of “Macbeth, “The Tempest” and a family friendly production of “Robin Hood.”

[ 714 N. Portage Path | stanhywet.org ]

Similar places: Glendale Cemetery [ 150 Glendale Ave. | glendaleakron.com ]

Hower House [ 60 Fir Hill | howerhouse.org ]

The Perkins Stone Mansion/John Brown House [ 550 Copley Rd. | summithistory.org ]

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Jessica Holbrook
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