"Welcome - as thy need may be. Find here gladness, happiness, peace, sanctuary." These beautiful words greet visitors as they enter the home of F. A. and Gertrude Sieberling. Named for the stone quarry that serves as The Lagoon on the property, Stan Hywet Hall is a welcome respite for those of us wishing to take a step back to a simpler time, peaceful gardens and serene beauty. It is also a chance to get to know and appreciate the generosity of the wonderful family that built the home in 1915 and resided there until 1957.
Stan Hywet Hall was built between 1912 and 1915 under the design direction of architect Charles Schneider. The sixty five room home was intended from its beginning to be a gathering place and also a quiet escape from the bustle of the city. The family crest above the Manor House entryway bears the inscription Non Nobis Solum - Not for Us Alone. Thanks to a decision by the Sieberling heirs and the interests of Akron community leaders, Stan Hywet Hall was donated to a non-profit organization in 1957 and this beautiful country home was given its second life as a center of art, culture and community.
Mark and I first visited Stan Hywet in 2008. Earlier the same year, we took a trip to see the Biltmore. What struck us most about Stan Hywet was for all of its grandeur, it felt like a home. I wasn't surprised to read in the 'Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens' book by Steve Love that after the home was turned over to the private foundation, J. Penfield Sieberling 'discovered an exhibit that did not fit in. "This is not a museum," [she] reminded the Foundation. "This is a home."' Being an architect, Mark was naturally drawn to the buildings as I was taken in by gardens in full bloom. Even with all of this, we were more intrigued by the legacy of the Sieberlings and they, as well as F.A.'s beautiful home, became part of our hearts.
A special treat for our visit this year was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ohio Mart. This is a premiere arts and crafts event featuring talented artists from across the nation. Proceeds are used by the Foundation to continue maintenance and operations of this historic treasure. We enjoyed meeting painters, photographers, jewelers, fiber artists, pottery makers and more during our day at Stan Hywet.
If you have the opportunity to visit Ohio, or live there like us, we highly recommend a trip to Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. The Stan Hywet website is a wealth of information about the history of the family, estate and for planning your visit to the manor. For a longer stay, there are many beautiful parks in the area, pretty scenery along the Cuyahoga river and terrific venues for dining and entertainment. For more information about Stan Hywet, the 'Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens' book featuring photography by Ian Adams and Barney Taxel with text by Steve Love is a treasure.
Between the two of us, Mark and I took a few hundred photographs of this beautiful place. Neither of us are professional photographers, we just love our cameras and had the perfect day to visit. We hope you enjoy some of our favorites and that they may inspire you to take a little trip to visit Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.
May God bless you and keep you well,
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