Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens lies hidden among the bustle of Rubber City Akron, Ohio, proudly clinging to a bygone era of American country estates. Tucked amidst the 70 acres of manicured hedges, bursts of colorful flora, and winding pathways, you’ll find delightful gardens evoking thoughts of foreign lands and timeless leisure. Stroll among the English Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Lagoon or the West Terrace and breathe in the fresh perspective each space gives you. Glance up to the Tudor-style Manor House’s main entryway and enjoy the hospitality echoing through the years in the form of the Seiberling family motto: Non Nobis Solum (Not for Us Alone). The owners of the estate that dates back to the early 20th Century graciously donated the property for public use with the intention of sharing a piece of American history and beauty. Reaching its centennial anniversary this year, Stan Hywet provides solace, inspiration, romance and enchantment at every turn.
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The Great Garden
Spring, summer and early autumn offer a spectacular pallete of floral color spanning across the Great Garden in the form of annuals, perennials, trees and green pathways. The garden’s original makeup included the rose garden, grape arbor, and 15 rectangular vegetable gardens. The Great Garden’s flowers are used to decorate the Manor House year-round.
Birch Tree Allee
More than 100 birch trees line the 550-foot-long Birch Tree Allee, providing a canopy that seems almost mystical with the sunlight streaming through to the gravel pathway. The alleyway ends at 18th-century-inspired twin Tea Houses and a circular fountain, overlooking the lagoons and the Cuyahoga Valley for a magnificent scene.
The Manor House was built in 1912 in the Tudor Revival architectural style. Architect Charles S. Schneider traveled to England with the Seiberlings to visit well-known homes in Berkshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire for inspiration. A railroad spur was created to transport materials to the property while it was being built. The building plans included 3,000 separate blueprints and architectural drawings for its design.
The West Terrace is all about the views. Designed by Warren Manning with a blend of house and landscape, the terrace merges with open lawn, stretching into trees and a distant view of the Cuyahoga Valley. A spectacular angle of the garden can be seen through the front of the Manor House when the doors through the Great Hall are open.
Designed in 1916 by Warren Manning in collaboration with Japanese landscape architect Mr. T.R. Otsuka, the Japanese Garden emits a feeling of serenity with its crisscrossing stone pathways, waterfall, and ornamental maples.
Plane Tree Alle
Plane Tree Allee is a garden or park walkway, the true definition of an allee. It serves as a backbone walkway, connecting to other paths winding through the southwest gardens. The 62 plane trees, hostas, azaleas, and rhododendrons lining the walkway provide a tunnel-like enclosure, effectively blocking the sounds of the city to provide a quiet, peaceful stroll through Stan Hywet grounds.
A favorite of Gertrude Seiberling, the English Garden’s walled solitude, lush foliage, and embracing trees provide a sense of comfort and seclusion. The dramatic reflecting pool, lych gate and garden statue achieve the complete recreation of Ellen Biddle Shipman’s original design for the garden. The English Garden is one of the only Shipman gardens open to the public.