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.
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.