Constructed between 1912 and 1915, the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is a country estate in Akron Ohio that is currently the 12th largest house in the United States. It is also Akron's first and largest National Historic Landmark, featuring five historic buildings, 8 elaborate gardens, and 70-acres worth exploring. It is a gorgeous space with English Ivy covered walls, Japanese gardens, lagoons, meadows, and so much more.
Visiting the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens will allow you to brag about your engaging firsthand history lesson. There are some things you simply can't learn in books: like the smell of a rose garden or the feel of smooth sandalwood or the sound of a babbling English fountain. You get the point. This is a magical place that transcends time and space, and whisks visitors back to wealthy English country estates from the early 1900's.
What Makes It Great
The rich history of Stan Hywet Hall is what makes these grounds so popular. Located in Akron, Ohio — the "Rubber Capital of the World" — this estate was constructed for the founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Originally, the grounds were home to roughly 3,000 acres of gardens, horse trails, and open meadows. Today, there are only 70 acres, but within this area visitors can still witness some amazing sites, and gain a little perspective into the wealth and prosperity that was generated during the Industrial Age of the early 20th Century.
The Manor House is the gorgeous main attraction built in the Tudor Revival style that was typical of the time. The exterior is magnificent, featuring ivy-covered walls, half-timbering cottage style, and ornamental chimneys, with large oak trees surrounding the entire structure. The interior is exquisite, featuring intricate and elaborate design with large oriental rugs, hand-carved woodwork at its finest, and ornate rooms throughout.
All of the other historic buildings are worth touring as well, but what truly makes this place special are the gardens. There are about 10 different gardens all with their own charm and character. The English Garden is a popular choice for many visitors, with its reflecting pool, perfectly manicured hedges, and Water Goddess statue. The Dell is a shaded wooded wonderland. The Great Garden is a large area with three pedestrian walkways, apple trees, and flowerbeds. But the Lagoon, with its deep pools and old quarries, the Japanese Garden, with its maples and criss-crossing paths, and the Birch Tree Allee, with its shaded birch-lined pathway are particular favorites.
Who is Going to Love It
The whole family! That's perhaps the best part about Stan Hywet — the fact that you can bring toddlers and seniors and everyone in between, and they can all find something to enjoy. It's an immaculate place with plenty of space to explore, take photos, lounge, picnic, or take a guided tour. Even geocaching is available. And there are also fun scavenger hunts that take place on the grounds called, "Canalway Quests."
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are not any designated fees for Stan Hywet. It is completely open to the public. But donations are accepted and appreciated, so that future families can continue enjoying all that this place has to offer. Guided Tours do cost money, and there are a variety of options.
Have you ever hiked, strolled, or explored Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens? What did you think? Have some great photos? Leave your comments or photos below!