words and photos by Anthony Boarman
Non Nobis Solum. These words, which translate from the Latin to “Not For Ourselves Alone,” are etched into a stone crest above the entryway to the Manor House at Stan Hywet. Each time I visit, I cannot help but think of how this motto of the Seiberling family has lived on for over a century. As Akronites, we are fortunate to collectively be able to share in the elegance of this estate.
Between 1912 and 1915, Stan Hywet was constructed near the site of a local stone quarry, which is where the name for the estate came from. In Old English, “Stan Hywet” means “stone quarry.”
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One of the obvious attractions of the estate is the Manor House. But it would not be complete without the meticulous planning of Boston landscape designer Warren H. Manning. According to Stan Hywet’s website, “Manning sought inspiration from the natural topography, with the idea that the landscape and house should complement each other.”
Although Manning receives much of the credit for the landscape design at Stan Hywet, his version of the English Garden did not match Gertrude Seiberling’s vision. The Seiberlings hired renowned female landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman to redesign the garden in 1929.
Stan Hywet is one of the last gardens designed by Shipman that is open to the public. This walled garden, which houses a reflecting pool, thousands of perennials, and the Garden of the Water Goddess statue, will make you feel like you entered a different world.
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Other features on the estate include: the tranquility of the Japanese Garden; the former abandoned stone quarry of the Lagoon; the iconic Birch Tree Allée & Vista; the wide assortment of blooms in The Great Garden; the vastness of the Great Meadow; and the list goes on.
In 1957, the Seiberling children carried out the motto of their parents by gifting Stan Hywet to the Akron community. The grounds of Stan Hywet stand as an example of historical preservation and beauty in the city of Akron. It is a shining outdoor gem.
Anthony Boarman is a social studies teacher and coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. He lives in Wallhaven with his wife Emily, daughter Sadie and his dog Ava. He is a lover of all things Akron. To check out more of his work, follow Anthony on Instagram at @aboarman.