Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Visit to Stan Hywet
By Don Iannone

Stan Hywet is the precisely built 65-room home,
where the tire baron Seiberling family lived in Akron
for more than 40 years, starting in 1912.
At the time, it was a country home,
four miles from the center city.
Now, it stands tall in a stately,
but wearing neighborhood on Akron's northside.
By design, Stan Hywet was a Tudor Revival creation,
and as architectural buffs know,
this is a carry back to 16th Century Elizabethan times.
Franklin A. Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber in 1898,
and his wife Gertrude, had the house built with the fineries sufficient
to attract the likes of U.S. presidents and other celebrities
to dine and spend the night in the mansion.
Last Friday night we toured Stan Hywet
to soak in its lavish Christmas decorations,
and experience whatever mystery may await us.
We weren't disappointed on any level.
The Seiberlings were gone, but their spirits lingered,
peeking occasionally at us from the end of darkened hallways;
those the tour intentionally ignored.
Officially, Franklin and Gertrude's remains rest
in Glendale Cemetery in Akron,
but anyone setting foot in Stan Hywet knows...
that a part of both can still be felt
within the mansion's mighty walls.
While opulent in many eyes,
the spirit of Stan Hywet feels rich
in other more meaningful ways.
Stan Hywet challenges you
to find yourself in an earlier time--
one where empires were built
from mighty ideas that changed the world.
You can't help but want to build something in life
after experiencing Stan Hywet.


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I love things like that -- being somewhere that makes you want to learn and creat. Wonderful!

trinitystar said...

the sweat and toil of the builders that built this magnificant house for those to live in grandeur
the walls hold the secrets
because they have heard it all
the wood that the furniture was crafted by carpenters made from trees from the forest.
the servants that served them.
these are the rich ones. :o)
I too adore stepping into the past ... England has many great houses to visit.
Sometimes we forget the people in the background that helped to make it function.
Thank you for sharing your visit to the house.
hugs for you.

Don Iannone said...

Andrew...so right. We need inspiration, and Trinitystar thanks for the reminder. Indeed there was a staff of 20 that saw that the house and all it contained functioned on a daily basis. And of course there were the builders and the architect and all others who sacrificed to make Stan Hywet a reality. What's good about the Seiberlings is they were a generous family. They cared about the commnunity and its people. They also, with their wealth, put Akron on the map.

polona said...

i love houses with history. well done, don!

QUASAR9 said...

So Don, Ghost Stories?
Do you think they are still living there, but in another dimension.

I often wonder, we are here now
and someone was here before us.

But I was thinking I've decided where to be for Xmas - out of several choices - and I've yet to decide where to be for New Year's Eve.

Will it not be the same later, in the here after. Would I choose to remain in the mansion, or perhaps prefer to travel on cruise ships - who knows maybe just roam the Andes
or even travel among the stars.

QUASAR9 said...

See on those special days,
when we set an xtra place with glass for wine and all ...
whether All Saints or All souls day or whatever day in your tradition, we may wish our ancestor to join us for a day.
Say in my case my gran ...
but surely she has to choose as in life (in the flesh) among her many grandchildren, and her friends, which one indeed to visit for a day

Do you hear what I say

QUASAR9 said...

Even if we can see everyone as if on tv, and thru the internet in many places be, we can still physically - or in Spirit - only in One Place (in space) Be.

samuru999 said...

Wonderful Don!
Must have been great to tour the house!
All that history...
and the spirit of the Seiberling family lives on!
Good write Don!
Thank you!
I enjoyed reading!


Pat Paulk said...

The Biltmore House is the same in Ashville, NC. It was built by one of the Vanderbilts around, or just before the turn of the 20th century. Those robber barrons were something.

Anonymous said...

I like revising old houses. They take you to another dimension.

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