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Stan Hywet opening for season April 1

3/27/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Stan Hywet puts emphasis on travels in 2014

The former estate of F.A. Seiberling, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens will open with the theme of “An Influential Journey.”
As part of the exhibit in the Manor House, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens will feature a 16-foot model of the RMS Lusitania ship handcrafted entirely out of toothpicks by artist Wayne Kosy. The model, shown above, is coming to Akron from its home at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
Photos courtesy of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Shown is a rendering of Playgarden, the newest feature at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. It will open in May.
Rendering courtesy of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
WEST AKRON — The Seiberlings were a well-traveled family, and this year’s theme at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens seeks to explore that.

“An Influential Journey” will weave through exhibits and special events when the estate opens for the season April 1.

Communications Manager Donna Spiegler said with next year being the 100th anniversary of the estate’s completion, it’s a good time to look at how F.A. Seiberling and his family were influenced by their travels.

“They traveled to get inspired,” Spiegler said. “They visited England and visited manor houses with their architect and interior designer.”

She added that part of the master bedroom in the Manor House at Stan Hywet was actually taken from a home that was being demolished in England. That’s why the room has a “chaperone’s window” that overlooks the Great Hall, Spiegler said.

The Seiberlings also spent time in South America and Africa and brought back many items from their trips.

This year in the Manor House, The Family Story of Travel exhibit will detail how a family like the Seiberlings planned and took an excursion in the early 20th century.

“It wasn’t going online to Kayak or Expedia — you planned,” Spiegler said. “It was so much more involved. You stayed longer, and took a steamer trunk to Europe.”

As part of the exhibit, Stan Hywet will this year feature a 16-foot model of the RMS Lusitania ship handcrafted entirely out of toothpicks — 193,000 of them — by artist Wayne Kosy. It’s coming to Akron from its home at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

Spiegler said it’s believed that F.A. Seiberling traveled on the Lusitania in 1913. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat and sunk in 1915, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths, and that led to the U.S.’s involvement in World War I.

The Seiberlings also traveled in the U.S., with frequent trips to the family retreat, Cedar Lodge, in Hessel, Mich. That is explored in depth in the exhibit USA Getaways in the Corbin Conservatory.

Also there is the permanent exhibit Garden Under Glass: A Lush Tropical Oasis.

“All the plants are growing in, and it’s more lush than ever,” Spiegler said.

Adjacent to the Corbin Conservatory is the site’s newest feature, Playgarden. Set to open in May, the interactive garden includes six different experiences inspired by characteristics of the estate. Young visitors can climb the 15-foot Tudor Revival-style playhouse, splash in a sundial-shaped fountain, enjoy musical features inspired by the Manor House’s Aeolian Organ, unearth archeological treasures in Joe’s Dig, try the game of lawn bowling and learn about the properties of seasonal plants.

The area also will include the Birthday Party Courtyard, an area for Stan Hywet members to host a shade-covered party for up to 20 people. Stan Hywet will feature a party package that includes food for guests, Spiegler said.

Returning this year in that same area are At Home with Nature: A Giant Habitat Experience, which are interactive installations built on a colossal scale that will reopen in May, and Beauty in Flight: Butterflies of North America, opening in late June. In addition, visitors can also once again enjoy geocaching and questing activities updated to reflect the season’s theme.

As for special events, Stan Hywet will host Inspiration in Bloom April 4-6 in the Manor House. It will feature floral arrangements by about a dozen local florists who donate their time and materials, Spiegler said. Designers are Kevin Robison, of Design by Robison; Sarah Brittingham, Christopher Prior and Linda Boardman, of Dietz Falls Florist; Scott Sella, of Every Blooming Thing; Jon Tatman, of The Flower Hutch; Barbara Earnhardt, Bronwyn Pierson, Daniela Baloi and Fern MacMillan, of the Hudson Garden Club; Jennifer Lauer, of Kerns Home & Garden; Kevin Lynch, of Lynch Designs; Winnie Leenaarts, of Savoir Faire; and the Stan Hywet Flower Arrangers.

Also planned again this year are Founder’s Day activities June 6-8; the annual Father’s Day Car Show June 15, with antique fire apparatus and the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang; and Ohio Mart Oct. 2-5. In addition, this year’s Deck the Hall holiday exhibit will be extended an additional weekend to Jan. 3.

A new event Stan Hywet will host Sept. 19-21 is Concours d’Elegance, a weekend of celebrating the style of one-of-a-kind vintage automobiles.

For more information, go to www.stanhywet.org or call 330-836-5533.

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