It was a practically balmy 54 degrees today, or so they say, and for a few hours blue skies peeped here and there through the cloud deck. It felt like March out there instead of the end of December, and many folks on the North Coast must be glad. As for me, I drove down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park again to enjoy the day, and wound up taking the roads down to Stan Hywet Hall in Akron. This historic mansion, built by Frank A. Seiberling of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company 100 years ago, is a beautiful Tudor style structure that has been open to the public since 1957 and hosts numerous events. I go there every year for the Father’s Day Auto Show and it was then that I discovered the stunning houses that are located on the streets across from it. Looking at these residences designed in Colonial, Tudor, Norman, and other architectural styles, you realize that the City of Akron has within its borders some very posh neighborhoods. It would be comparable to Rocky River or Shaker Heights being part of the City of Cleveland, instead of the independent suburbs they are.
One is also reminded that Akron had a lot of money at one time being the Rubber Capital of the World. Alas, this city has been as hard hit in the past 40 years by the decline of manufacturing as other NE Ohio cities and the expansion of the University of Akron, and the much touted polymer industry, haven’t completely filled the void left behind. Yet, those houses on the streets off of North Portage Trail are all inhabited and well taken care of with people walking their dogs on the sidewalk, joggers in the street, and post office trucks driving up and down the driveways delivering the mail to the door.