Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens are one of the great mansion
s built in America. Located, in Akron, Ohio
it is fully comparable to Biltmore
or San Simeon
Stan Hywet was dream of Goodyear tire and rubber founder, Frank A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude. The Seiberlings combined oodles of money with matching taste, a sadly rare combination. The began their search by examining differing homes around the world that they liked, finally deciding they preferred the tudor style. They hired Cleveland architect Charles Schneider, who created one of world’s foremost tudor revival buildings. The 65 room main house was constructed from 1912-1915. With 23 fireplaces, over 23,000 panes of glass and at least one secret passage, it surpasses my wildest fantasy. Many celebrities and at least one president stayed there. The large music room was the pride of Gertrude Seiberling, who once sang in the Metropolitan Opera chorus. Much of the home was designed around entertaining, and it includes a pool room, bowling alley and indoor swimming pool. The lower levels are cooled through the building’s cistern.
High quality hardwood and materials are used throughout, and the furnishings represent the finest of the era.
Landscape production occurred from 1911-1915 under the eye of Warren Manning and landscape architect, and Manning became one of the leaders in American landscape design. The original estate occupied over 2,000 acres. The current estate covers 70, and includes the quarry that provided much of the stone used in building construction. The name of the estate, Stan Hywet, comes from the old English term for stone quarry. The large English garden was designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman, and is the only garden of her design that is both fully restored and open to public viewing. There was a three hole golf course, and the summer house contained four fountains for entertaining. There is a long birch row, a wooded area, a Japanese Garden and a huge “garden variety” flower garden. The West terrace features a long pool and overlook. Everywhere you look you will find spectacular beauty.
Mr. Seiberling’s will left the house and gardens to the City of Akron with the stipulation that it be used for a museum. The estate foundation oversees all property issues, including restoration which is complete to the point where only routine maintenance is required. The estate is open eleven months of the year. It is closed in January, to remove Christmas decorations and to perform essential maintenance. A number of events are held there, including a classic car show and a fabulous holiday lights show. Certain parts of the grounds may be rented for weddings and other special events. Admission to the grounds is $5 for adults, and $10 will get you into the home as well, for a guided tour.
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is located at 714 N. Portage Path in Akron, Ohio 44303.
Phone: 330/836-5533 or Fax: 330/836-2680 for further information, and they have a web site at StanHywet.org with directions and very thorough information. The closest route to Stan Hywet is to take I-77 north or south to the Mull Rd./White Pond Dr. Exit. Head North and turn right on Mull Rd, and take it until you get to the circle. Go north on Hawkins road, across Exchange and Market streets -- (U.S. 18, which can be reached from I-71, but it is faster to stay on the interstate as needed) and to take a right on Garman Rd., which just precedes a set of railroad tracks. Garman will dead end into Portage Path, and that is where you enter Stan Hywet.
The neighborhood around Stan Hywet is also of interest if you love American home architecture,. as this is where the rubber barons built, with many tudor revival homes inspired by the Seiberling estate. Televangelist Rex Humbard used to live in a Tudor revival mansion 1/2 mile south of Stan Hywet, and to the north of it you descend into the Akron Metro parks. Portage Path itself was an old indian portage route and as you head north you will enter into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Take a left on Riverview Rd at the bottom of the hill and on you will pass various locks of the old Ohio Canal.