This place has been on our “to see” list for a long time. Stan Hywet is Akron’s largest historical landmark. The nation’s 6th largest historic home open to the public. There are 70 acres with historic buildings and gardens.
Tickets range from the grounds and gardens to a full behind the scenes tour. A visit to the site should include the manor house tour. Tours leave many times during the day. The 64,500 square foot manor house if a fine example of Tudor revival architecture. It was built between 1912 and 1915 by the Seiberling family, who founded Goodyear Tire.
The tour is awesome. The showcase many of the rooms and talk about how this family really lived in the house. You get to see how the family lived and how the family entertained. You get a sense of who the family was an how they enjoyed life. You will see many period pieces and rooms that serve many different functions. There are kitchens, bedrooms, dining rooms, ballrooms, bathrooms, pantries, studies, libraries, workrooms, indoor pool, sewing rooms and even a basement with gymnasium. Each room seemed to be more exciting than the last. You will not see many historic house with this many different types of rooms. Each one updated very little over time, still holding the feeling of the time they were built. A guided tour is nice as the tour guide will give you some really good history of the family and uses of each room. You can also take a self-guided tour. If you do take a guided tour, you can go back after the tour is over and explore the house more. The house is multi story with steps to climb.
The property also houses some very lovely gardens. The gardens are a great example of the family wanting not only a great house, but also well thought out surroundings. There are English and Japanese gardens, both of which are fun to walk around. You will find many types of gardens on the property. There is also the Corbin Conservatory, a greenhouse. There is a kid’s play area near the conservatory. If you like hiking, flowers, and/or history, the gardens are a must see.
Stan Hywett is the location of the first AA meeting. The Stable house has been turned into a museum dedicated to that event. This is just one of the gems that is hidden in though out the large property. There is also a cafe and gifts shop on the property. They are both well worth a visit. The grounds and buildings, with its many attractions and many hidden surprises, will take you a good few hours to see. You should plan on some time. Bring comfortable walking shoes and your camera. You will have lots of great opportunities for photos.