Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is a hidden gem tucked away in the Midwest. Located in Akron, Ohio, the estate is the 6th largest historic home in the nation open to the public. A trip to the manor is an extraordinary experience in extravagance, architectural achievement, and a journey into America’s past.
A Testament to the Land of Opportunity
The Industrial boom in America brought about a new era of prosperity, affluence and hope. Optimism swirled around the idea that humble beginnings could be transformed into a bigger and better life with hard work and sacrifice.
The American Dream: “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” ~James Truslow Adams
F.A. Seiberling capitalized on the opportunity of the great American dream by starting a new business. He partnered with his brother in 1898 to open The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron. It began as a bicycle and carriage tire manufacturer which eventually shifted to automobile tires. By 1916, the brothers would be founders of the largest tire company in the world. Unfortunately, only a few years later, Seiberling had to step down to save the company. He took a short break before opening Seiberling Rubber Company. Again, he landed on his feet as the company eventually became the 7th largest tire manufacturer in the world.
The Construction of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
At the peak of his success, Seiberling joined in the opulent trend of building an American Country Estate for his large family. The Manor House is 64,500 square feet and has 65 rooms with state of the art features such as a central vacuum system, an intercommunication telephone system and an indoor pool. These features were unheard of in 1915, the year the house was completed. It has 18 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, 23 fireplaces and 12 chimneys!
The name Stan Hywet is Old English for stone quarry which is the most noticeable natural feature on the property. The grounds are absolutely stunning with an enormous front lawn, formal terraces and various gardens throughout the property.
Tip: Don’t forget to stop by the Gate Lodge at the entrance of the estate. It is considered the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous and is opened to the public.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens Tour
It is unusual for historic homes to still exist in America especially as well-preserved as Stan Hywet. Most estates of this stature were torn down or left abandoned like the Dungeness Mansion on Cumberland Island we found in Georgia. Luckily, when Seiberling passed away, the residents of Akron stepped in to take it over as a non-profit museum. Thanks to them, the public can enjoy a little piece of history.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens has been voted #1 Best Historic Home Tour by USA Today. It is open to visitors daily with the option of a guided or self guided tour of the first and second floors of the home.
Tip: Stop by during the winter holidays for Deck the Hall. The estate not only has Christmas decorations and Santa visits, but is lit up with 800,000 lights!
We chose to walk around on our own and started with the Manor House. We were happy to find staff placed in different spots to answer any questions we had. They helped make the house come alive with family stories, architectural details that we may have missed and specifics on how the home eventually became the museum it is today.
Wait until you see the gardens on the property! We spent hours wandering around the grounds. Some of the highlights include the enclosed English Garden, tranquil Japanese Garden, and the tea houses overlooking the lagoon area.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sun was kissing the tips of the wildflowers and the leaves were starting to fall as we walked through Birch Tree Allee.
Scroll to the bottom for more tips and details for your visit!
Know Before You Go
- 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, Ohio
- Estate Hours: April – November, Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
- Special Hours in December
- Various Guided and Self-Guided Tours to Choose from
- Children 5 and Under are Free
- Discounts: Military 50% off daily, Senior 50% off Tuesdays only, College Students Youth Pricing daily, AAA $1 off daily
- Molly’s Shop & Café offers food options, open 10 am – 5 pm or picnic tables are available to bring your own lunch in.
Thank you Akron CVB and its associates for providing us tickets. All words and opinions, however, are my own.
Have you visited any National Historic homes? If so, which ones? Tell us in the comments below!
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