|Stan Hywet Hall, main entrance|
One highlight of my trip to Cleveland was the day spent at Stan Hywet, the former home of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company founder Frank A. Seiberling. Stan Hywet is a rather large house at 64,000+ square feet, but its rambling design and close integration with its gardens is intended more to charm than to overwhelm.
|Aerial view of the house, towards the back.|
Stan Hywet, pronounced ‘stan hee-wit’ and meaning ‘stone quarry, was built from 1912-15 by architect Charles Sumner Schneider. The quality of every detail was first rate, including interiors by H.F. Huber and Co., and ironwork by the famous Samuel Yellin.
|Detail of copper downspout|
|This side porch was beautifully designed and carved.|
I love old houses, and Stan Hywet is especially enjoyable to visit. There is so much to see, and so much that is beautiful and impressive. In addition to the house and grounds themselves, our visit was enhanced by the helpful docents and other staff, all of whom seem to love the house and want to share their enthusiasm with you.
One special feature of Stan Hywet is that it never went through a lot of owners and remodelings. The Seiberlings donated the house as a non-profit museum in 1957, and as a result the house is in remarkably original condition—the furniture, paintings, dishes, even the pots in the kitchen are all still there.
The most comfortable and inviting room in the house has to be the music room. In addition to an English harpsichord, it boasts a pipe organ, now playable by remote control, providing quite a start when the docent activates the mechanism . During our visit, a display of antique jewelry, some of it belonging to the Seiberlings, was set up in this room.
|The Music Room|
Stan Hywet was designed in the Tudor Revival style, and so naturally includes a Grand Hall. This photo, taken from the balcony, doesn’t accurately give a true impression of the size and grandeur of this room.
|The Great Hall|
The Seiberlings’ Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was named after Charles Goodyear, inventor of the vulcanization process for rubber. It is appropriate then that this very Victorian console table on the landing of the Tower stairs was actually made of vulcanized rubber.
There is a large, formal dining room, but everyone was taken with the charm of the more intimate breakfast room. The lower ceiling, beautiful woodwork and display of blue and white china seemed quite cozy, while the large expanse of leaded glass led to a view of the lawn and gardens beyond. An impressive feature was the separate breakfast kitchen immediately adjacent, to ensure that the Seiberlings’ eggs and toast arrived piping hot.
Stan Hywet is outstanding for its extensive gardens. These are fascinating to stroll around, and also provide magical views from every window of the house. The main gardens were designed by Warren H. Manning at the time the house was built, and the current English Garden is the 1929 creation of Ellen Biddle Shipman. It is rare to find works by these two landscape designers both well-maintained and open to the public.
|The Birch Alley|
|The English Garden|
|Pool in English Garden|
|Glimpse of house from rear garden|
This article doesn't even begin to cover the many features of this estate. We were unable to visit the Lodge or the Greenhouse that day, but it is impossible to miss the old stables and carriage house, which now serves as the entrance gate, gift shop and refreshment area. You need to sit down and relax a bit after exploring Stan Hywet, and this is even more enjoyable when the tables are set up in the original stalls. Even the stables were designed with the attractiveness, spaciousness and perfection of every detail that was life at Stan Hywet.
|This stable was never meant to be hidden from view.|
|Refreshments served in the original stalls.|
Stan Hywet was always intended to make people comfortable, first the Seiberlings and their guests in the early 1900’s, and now the public. The motto that adorns the house, Non Nobis Solum (Not For Us Alone) seems to have been taken to heart, and infuses the spirit of hospitality that is still there to greet you.
|A covered porch/walkway overlooking the gardens.|
All interior photos, plus the aerial view, courtesy Stan Hywet Hall. All other photos taken by the author.