Sights to See in Akron

Akron Art Museum
70 East Market Street

Akron Art MuseumThe Akron Art Museum houses collections spanning from 1850 to the present day, a period that reflects the founding and growth of the City of Akron. To meet the increasing public interest in the museum’s programs and exhibitions, the museum commissioned the first public building in the United States designed by the internationally celebrated architecture firm, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.

The new 63,300 square foot John S. and James L. Knight Building connects with the museum’s existing 1899 Building, a 21,000 square foot Renaissance revival structure, which originally served as the downtown Akron Post Office. The expansion dramatically increases the museum’s ability to originate and present special exhibitions and display major, rarely seen works of art from its collection. The new building also increases facilities for education programs for students of all ages and public programs for adults and families. The new Akron Art Museum is playing a vital role in the continuing renaissance of downtown Akron.

Akron Civic Theater
182 South Main Street

Interior of Akron Civic TheaterThe theater was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect, John Eberson. The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures.
Among facilities of its size, the Civic is one of only five remaining atmospheric theaters in the country where patrons experience a twinkling star-lit sky and intermittent clouds moving across the horizon, all while sitting inside the auditorium.

Akron Police Department Museum
217 South High Street (Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center)
Features confiscated weapons, gambling and narcotics materials, and other police related items.

Dr. Bob’s House
855 Ardmore
Dr. Bob's house The house where the concept of Alcoholics Anonymous was conceived.

Firestone High School
333 Rampart Ave
Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Astronaut Judith Resnik
"The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future and we'll continue to follow"
President Ronald Reagan

As the second American woman in space, Judith Resnik (1949-1986) paved the way for the future of women in space exploration. A gifted science and music student and valedictorian of Firestone High School's class of 1966, she earned a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1977 and was accepted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an astronaut candidate in 1978. Her first flight was on the inaugural mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984. Resnik was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger as a mission specialist on January 28, 1986, when it exploded just 73 seconds after lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All seven crewmembers died in the explosion.

The Dr. Shirla R. McClain Gallery of Akron’s Black History & Culture
22 N. Wolf Ledges Parkway
University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-1801

The Akron Black History and Culture Gallery is committed to telling the African American story fully and accurately as it impacted the greater Akron experience and how the story impacts our collective life today.

Glendale Cemetery
150 Glendale Avenue
Many gravestones and monuments of Akron’s early settlers and prominent families. Includes a Civil War Memorial Chapel.

Glendale Steps
Glendale Avenue

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Built over a two-year period, from 1936-1937, by the Federal Glendale StepsWorks Progress Administration, the Glendale Steps survive as a monument to the work of stone craftsmen during the Great Depression. Spanning a 200-foot slope, the purpose of the Glendale Steps was to enable Akron residents to descend from South Walnut Street to a city park along Glendale Avenue. The 242 sandstone steps were dressed on site and hand laid by WPA laborers at a cost of $22,000. Depression-era budget problems prevented the City of Akron from completing planned improvements to the park.

Goodyear Airdock
South side of Fulton Airport

Built in 1929. The largest building in the world without interior supports. Dirigibles were built here until 1935.

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

A colossus of engineering acumen and structural steel, the Goodyear AirdockAirdock was built in 1929 as the construction facility for the U.S. Navy's rigid airships, the USS Akron (1931) and USS Macon (1933). The airships, or dirigibles, served as the fleet's aerial watchdogs, but with the advancement of aircraft carriers, the Navy no longer needed these leviathans of the skies, which were large enough to carry five biplanes. Eleven steel parabolic arches, cresting at 211 feet, create one of the largest open space interiors in the world and shelter more than 364,000 square feet of floor space. Only one of the arches is fixed to its concrete piling. Its 660-ton spherical doors rest on flatbed railroad cars to open. The Airdock, a National Civil Engineering Landmark, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
1144 E. Market Street

Ohio Historical Marker located here states:

Goodyear Plants
Industrialist and entrepreneur Franklin Augustus Seiberling (1859-1955) named his fledgling rubber goods manufacturing company "Goodyear" to honor Charles Goodyear, the man who invented the vulcanization process for curing rubber. Seiberling founded the company with his brother, Charles Willard, because of their desire to participate in an enterprise that afforded an "opportunity for invention." Incorporated in 1898, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company rapidly grew with the young automotive industry and helped establish Akron as the "Rubber Capital of the World." Among Seiberling's many significant inventions were the tire-making machine and the detachable wheel rim. He resigned from Goodyear in 1921 and went on to found the Seiberling Rubber Company. Stan Hywet Hall, F.A. Seiberling's estate in west Akron, is a National Historic Landmark.

Hall Park Allotment Historic District
131 Oakdale Avenue

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Akron, an industrial boomtown in the early twentieth century, grewHall Park Allotment Historic District in population nearly fivefold between 1900 and 1920. As the city industrialized, middle class residents sought homes on West Hill, away from the smoke and soot of heavy industry on the East Side. The Hall Park Allotment Historic District in West Hill represents a notable early twentieth century neighborhood. Developed by Philander Hall between 1902 and 1919 during the height of Akron's "rubber boom," it consists of several houses representing the picturesque styles of the period, including the American Foursquare, Craftsman, Colonial, and Medieval Revival Styles. With its gently curving brick streets, hilly topography, and mature trees, the Hall Park Allotment Historic District evokes the feeling of a distinct period of time in Akron's history and constitutes a neighborhood of distinctive historical character and architectural merit.

Howard Street District
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and North Main Street

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Side A: The center of African-American culture in Akron during the mid-20th century, Howard Street was home to many of the city's black-owned business and entertainment establishments, and provided an atmosphere in which minority-owned businesses could thrive. Attracted to the vitality of the neighborhood, entrepreneur George Mathews (1887-1982) established a barbershop here in 1920 and in 1925 opened the adjoining Mathews Hotel. The hotel quickly became the anchor of the Howard Street district. Mathews' success allowed him to endow a scholarship fund at the University of Akron in 1964.

Side B : The 1930-1950 era saw the heyday of Howard Street as a vibrant cultural center. The Mathews Hotel was a regular stop for black entertainers such as Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie when they performed in Akron. Local music clubs included the Green Turtle, the Cosmopolitan, the High Hat, and Benny Rivers. The Howard Street district declined in the 1960s and much of it was razed for "urban renewal" in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hower House
60 Fir Hill
University of Akron

Hower House Built in 1871 by John Henry Hower, Hower House is furnished with family treasures from around the world. It remains as one of the finest examples of Second Empire Italianate architecture extant in Ohio. Three generations of the Hower family lived in the house for over 100 years.

Invent Now Museum & Store in the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame School: Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics
221 S. Broadway

National Inventor's Hall of Fame The Invent Now Museum and Store is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Free Admission.

Lock 2 Park
Between State & Buchtel, Main & Water Streets

Reproduction of lock that once stood at the spot. Replica outline and description of a canal freighter.

Our Lady of the Elms/Elm Court
1230 West Market Street

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Side A "Elm Court Arthur Hudson Marks (1874-1939)"
Elm CourtElm Court, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw of Illinois, was built in 1912 for Arthur Hudson Marks. The original mansion exemplifies the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Elm Court included the mansion, barn, stables, carriage house, pond, and a variety of trees, especially elms, on 33 acres. Arthur Marks was the inventive genius in chemistry and business who revolutionized the rubber industry in Akron. He was best known for inventing the alkaline-recovery vulcanization process in 1899, the cord tire, the chemical research laboratory system, and placing rubber research on a scientific basis. In World War I he served as director of chemical warfare services. Marks served as vice-president of B.F. Goodrich Company and Curtis Airplane and Engine Company and president of other rubber companies and the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company.

Side B : "Our Lady of the Elms Sisters of St. Dominic"
In 1923, the Akron Dominican Sisters, the Order of Preachers (OP), purchased Elm Court for a Dominican Provincial House. Our Lady of the Elms Convent was dedicated on October 14, 1923. The next day, the Sisters opened an academy for elementary and high school students. The Akron Dominicans became an independent congregation in 1929, but their history began in 1206 in France when St. Dominic invited women to be part of his work—to pray, preach, and educate. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and in 1853 four sisters were sent to New York. Akron became a home to one of the Dominican congregations that spread throughout the United States. Its convent, administration buildings, and school campus including an all-girls' high school and elementary school, and a co-educational preschool/kindergarten are located on the Elm Court property. Akron Dominican Sisters continue to engage in the ministries of education and social service.

Mustill Site and Cascade Valley 
234 and 248 Ferndale Street
Ohio Historical Marker here states:

Side A : "The Mustill Site"
Mustill Site and Cascade ValleyThe Mustill house and store are survivors of Akron's canal era and date to the 1840s. Joseph and Sarah Mustill moved their family from England to Akron in 1833 and owned the store and Greek Revival house at Lock 15 on the Ohio & Erie Canal. Three generations of Mustills lived and worked the grocery business at Lock 15, first Joseph and Sarah, then their son Fred with his wife Emma, and their children Maria, Frederick, Edwin and Franklin. A popular place to buy or barter goods, the store served canallers, farmers, craftsmen, and neighbors for many years.

Side B : "The Cascade Valley"
The Ohio & Erie Canal was completed from Cleveland to Akron in 1827. From the Mustill Site, the canal rose 15 locks to the summit in Akron. The "Cascade Mill Race," built by Dr. Eliakim Crosby in 1832, paralleled the canal, creating a large manufacturing center of mills that derived its power from water from the Little Cuyahoga River. The canal carried products north to Lake Erie or south to the Ohio River reaching worldwide ports. In March 1913, a flood ended canal operations in this area.

Ohio and Erie Canalway
Ohio and Erie Canalway website

The Ohio & Erie Canalway is a National Heritage Area - designated by Congress in 1996 - to help preserve and celebrate the rails, trails, landscapes, towns and sites that grew up along the first 110 miles of the canal that helped Ohio and our nation grow.

Portage Path

Historic route used by the Indians to portage their canoes from the Cuyahoga River to the Tuscarawas River. It was the dividing line between the U.S. and Indian Territory from 1785 to 1805.

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

You are standing on the famous portage, carrying-place Statue marks northernmost point of portagebetween the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers. The two streams and the portage across the watershed formed an early route between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. First the Indians, then French and English traders and trappers, and finally American settlers and travelers carried their canoes and packs across this narrow strip of land in passing, by way of the rivers, between northern and southern Ohio. The portage was a part of the defined boundaries in the treaties with the Indians made at Fort McIntosh (1785), Fort Harmar (1789), and Green Ville (1795). Use of the portage was discontinued in 1827 when the Ohio and Erie Canal was built along the old trail. Today, modern Akron streets--Portage Path and Manchester Road--follow the approximate route of the original portage.

Quaker Square
120 East Mill Street

Quaker Square Now owned and operated by the University of Akron. Renovated factory buildings of the Quaker Oats Company include boutiques, shops, restaurants, and student housing.

St. Bernard’s Church
47 East State Street

St. Bernard's Church German Romanesque architecture with a Baroque influence. Built in 1905.

Soap Box Derby
789 Derby Downs Drive

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

An annual summer tradition for American youth since Derby Downsthe 1930s, the All-American Soap Box Derby was the concept of journalist Myron E. ("Scottie") Scott, who covered an impromptu homebuilt gravity-car race in Dayton in 1933. Scott conceived and promoted a prize-awarding event later that year, and to his surprise 362 boys entered the race. Restrictions on material cost and participants' ages widened the sport's appeal; the Soap Box Derby held its first national championship in Akron in 1935, sponsored by the auto and rubber industries. Derby Downs, built as a public works project by the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA), has been the event's home since 1936. The Soap Box Derby continues to promote the values of craftsmanship, sportsmanship, and perseverance for generations of American youth.

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Inc.
714 N. Portage Path

Stan Hywet Hall is a 65-room tudor revival-style manor surrounded by 70 acres of historically significant gardens and grounds. The Hall is the former home of Goodyear co-founder F. S. Seiberling and his family. A national historic landmark, it contains original family furnishings and rare art treasures.

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

The former "country estate" of the Frank A. Seiberling Stan Hywet Hall & Gardensfamily, Stan Hywet Hall is one of the finest examples of Tudor Revival architecture in the United States. "F.A." Seiberling (1859-1955) co-founded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898 and later the Seiberling Rubber Company, thus greatly contributing to Akron's distinction as "The Rubber Capital of the World." Built between 1912 and 1915, The 65-room Manor House and service buildings are situated on more than 70 acres of restored historic gardens and wooded landscapes, all reflecting the Seiberlings' tastes in the decorative and cultural arts. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982.

Summit County Courthouse 
209 South High Street

The present structure was completed in 1908.

Treaty of Fort McIntosh Boundary Line
995 Treaty Line Road

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

In 1785, American Indian tribal leaders from the Treaty LineChippewa, Delaware, Ottawa, and Wyandot met with representatives sent by the United States Congress to sign the controversial Treaty of Fort McIntosh. The treaty surrendered control of Native American lands in southern and eastern Ohio to the United States government. Most Indians rejected the validity of the treaty and rather than improving relations, the Treaty of Fort McIntosh only intensified the tensions that existed between the United States government and the Indian tribes. This marker signifies the eastern most portion of the American Indian territory outlined by the treaty. The Portage Path, a trail used by American Indians as a portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers, became a part of this boundary line.

Universalist Stone Church
Main Street between Perkins and Market Street

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

On this site on May 29, 1851, Sojourner Truth, a former Universalist Stone Church, gave her world famous "And Ain't I a Woman?" speech, recalling the hardships she had endured. Active in both the abolitionist and women's rights movements, she electrified an audience of women and men who had come to the Universalist Stone Church for a two-day women's rights convention.

Wesley Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
104 North Prospect Street

Ohio Historical Marker here states:

This church, founded in 1866, is the oldest African American congregation in Akron. After worshiping in several locations, the congregation held a fund-raiser to help finance the construction of a permanent home. The person collecting the most money had the privilege of renaming the church. That honor went to Mrs. Belle (Smith) Wesley. Completed in 1928, the current structure is a Neo-Classical Revival style building, featuring a classical pedimented portico, or porch, and four distinctive ionic columns. An education wing was added in 1963 by the late Rev. Dr. E. E. Morgan, Jr. Akron Black architects Herbert L. Wardner and John O. Somerville designed the church, and then a Black contractor, Samuel Plato, completed the structure. The church has long been a vital religious and social focal point for Akron's Black community. The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was organized at Wesley Temple. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places 3/19/94.