By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We're planning a road trip through Ohio. I've heard Akron is quite the place. Anything off the beaten path you could suggest?

A: What's a trip to Akron, the rubber capital of the United States, without stopping at the home of one of the men who started it all?

Situated on 70 acres of hilly fields and a sandy quarry, Stan Hywet Hall, home of the rubber baron F.A. Seiberling, founder of the Goodyear & Rubber Company, continues to open its doors to visitors. Thanks in part to Irene, the eldest daughter of seven children who started a foundation to ensure this manor would be maintained as it was when she lived here.

Built in four years with over 3000 architectural designs, this tudor style 26 room castle was completed in 1915 at a cost of $2.5 million. In 1912, a family trip to Europe gave Mother Gertrude and Irene, some definite ideas for their home. Stained glass windows, a ballroom and 17th century panellings from an English estate were employed into the home.

Today, you can visit the Music Hall where a grand piano, towering fireplace and ceiling high windows flood the room with color. The opulent lifestyle with furnishings imported from Europe, and the vast manicured gardens are a prime example of the excessive wealth from the Gilded Age. It really is one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in America.

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is open for tours seven days a week, 10am - 4:30pm. Prices are $8US for adults and $4US for children 6-12.


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