Industrial Size Wealth

     The ground was broken for the construction of Stan Hywet Hall in 1912. Three years later, in time for Christmas, the F.A. and Gertrude Seiberling family took residency. 
     Just a little country estate, not to pretentious, not to grand. Just make it comfortable, insisted Gertrude. Though ‘comfortable’ is not what I would call a 64,500 square foot house (no typo) with 65 rooms, 23 bathrooms, and 23 fireplaces, it served their needs as political, industrial, and cultural leaders. You see, F. A. Seiberling (and his brother Charles) founded the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, in Akron, Ohio. The saying, “With wealth, comes great obligation”, was no joke. They entertained lavishly.
     However, I doubt that F.A. felt any solace (having refused not a single family request that included an indoor swimming pool, elevators, telephone system, dark room, and amateur ham-radio center) after being ousted from his company in 1920, sixty-one years old- and broke. Starting anew and founding the Seiberling Rubber Company, the next year, proved successful, but not by enough.
     Towards the end of his life, with not one child (or himself) able to afford the continued maintenance (and taxes) on the grand estate, F.A. Seiberling made a telling admission: “Because of the pleasure the house gave us all, it is difficult for me to admit now that that I regret building it.”
      It is said that on regular occasions, as the weight of his world lay on his shoulders, F. A. would walk the gardens- alone. 

     Aside, from the obligatory (and impressive) mass, and money of the place, 
I always try to meet him there. 

A view to the house from the vegetable garden
enclosed by a perennial bed

The Japanese Garden

The Birch Tree Allee

Red Hot Pokers looking over
a garden Chess Set

The Rose Garden
The backyard-

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