If you are visiting Akron in Ohio, known as the capital of rubber, the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is one of the top attractions you must visit.
This national historic landmark used to be the home of Frank Seiberling, the founder of Goodyear, the well-known tire and rubber company. Today, it is a historic museum filled with stories that represent the cultural heritage of the region.
The architectural building
Built between 1912 and 1915, the Stan Hywett Hall is one of the finest examples of a Tudor Mansion in the United States. The building was designed by architect Charles Schneider and, it contains 65 rooms, 23 bathrooms, 18 bedrooms, and 23 fireplaces.
Seiberling traveled together with Schneider to England to visit homes from renowned Brits and get inspiration for the design of the Stan Hywett Hall. Some of the homes were the Ockwells Manor in Berkshire, the Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire and the Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.
Known as the estate, the hall is divided into 5 sections: The Manor House, The Gardens, The Corbin Conservatory, The Gate Lodge and The Carriage House.
In the Manor House, you will find exhibitions from all over the world containing original furnish from the time, 21,455 panes of glass and a hand-carved paneling of oak from the 20th century. Other rooms like the Billiard and the Music room with its Aeolian organ, portray the entertainment areas where the family invited friends to have parties. Famous stars like Shirley Temple and Will Rogers were in these rooms entertaining the family.
In the Gardens section, find a lagoon, a great meadow, a Japanese garden, a west terrace and an English garden, which was Seiberling's wife, Gertrude, favorite. Taking a walk through these green spaces and admiring the colors and the blooms in the different seasons, will be one of the highlights of your visit.
In the Gate Lodge, you will find an exhibition honoring the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, called Welcome Home: Sharing the Birthplace of AA. The historic event that took place in this lodge in 1935 is narrated in the exhibit – it marked the start of the movement with the help of Henrietta Seiberling.
Lastly, take a peak in the Stables and Tack room, where the Seiberling family had world-class horse riding champions. Now it officiates as a café called Molly's Shop & Café in honor to one of the horses.
Take a tour
The Stan Hywet Hall hosts different guided tours to make your experience more fulfilling.
The main tour of the Manor House teaches guests about when the Seiberling family lived in the premises. Elsewhere, the Youth tour is ideal for children and, the Nooks and Crannies tour will take you through the domestic staff living facilities and the dining quarters.
Make sure you check their website for hours and prices.