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Akron University and Downtown Driving Tour
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Built in 1871 by Akron industrialist John Henry Hower. Architect Jacob Snyder helped design the house in the Second Empire Italianate style. The 28-room house is topped with a mansard roof and tower. The floor plan was based on the “Akron Plan,” which was used in often in church constructions between 1870 and 1917. It now belongs to the University of Akron and is open for public tours.

  • The Hower House is owned by the University of Akron and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Learn more about the history of the university and its connection to the plastics industry with this book by Mark Bowles.

It is one of the best preserved examples of the Second Empire style in the country. It features an octagonal central hall. The house, which has an exterior of brick, is has period furnishings and many items the family collected from its travels around the world.

The Hower family lived in the home for more than 100 years. It was deeded to the University of Akron in 1970. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is surrounded by 2.5 acres of lawn. The home’s third floor includes a ballroom. It is supported by the University, private donations and other organizations.

Special events and activities take place throughout the year. The home can also be rented for special occasions such as weddings and parties. The Cellar Door gift shop is located in the house and features a variety of Victorian era and other gifts.

Hower House website, accessed Dec. 6, 2016.

National Park Service website, accessed Dec. 6, 2016.