Sunday, November 8, 2009


Just came back from a trip to Ohio to see my 94 year old aunt Dolores. In Akron we visited Stan Hywet, which is not a person but a marvelous house surrounded by lovely gardens (stan hywet--pronounced STAN HEE-WIT--means "stone quarry" in Old English). Stan Hywet was built for the Seiberling family, of Goodyear Rubber fortune, in 1912-1915. The architect was Charles Sumner Schneider of the Cleveland offices of George B. Post. The Stan Hywet website credits the interiors to a long list of outstanding designers and craftspeople:

Interior Decorator ~ The H.F. Huber Co. of New York City
Woodwork & Paneling ~ The Hayden Co. of New York City
Plaster Ceilings ~ The Hayden Co. Of New York City & McNulty Brothers Company of Chicago
Leaded Glass ~ Heinigke & Bowen (later known as Heinigke & Smith)
Stained Glass ~ Thorton Smith & Otto Heinigke
Iron Work ~ Samuel Yellin
Rugs ~ Beloochistan Rug Weaving Company of India, Wilton Royal Factory of England
Tile Work ~ Mary Chase Stratton, Pewabic Pottery, Michigan & The American Encaustic Tile Company, Zanesville, Ohio General Contractor ~ The W.B. McAllister Co., Cleveland, Ohio

Tudor revival is not usually my thing, but the interiors were unusually lavish for that style with richly layered Chinoiserie and baroque undertones, more eclectic than strictly baronial. Much of the furniture was reproduction when it was installed but those pieces are antiques in themselves now and have acquired a fine old patina. Also lavish but refreshing were the large potted plants throughout the interiors that are carefully nurtured in the estate's own greenhouse--I have rarely seen such large and carefully tended potted plants. The estate originally comprised more than 1000 acres but is now reduced to 70, beautifully landscaped by Warren Manning with a walled garden by Ellen Biddle Shipman. Unfortunately I didn't take too many pictures and none inside and mysteriously there aren't too many on the estate's website. I did get a great picture of the brick-walled service court.

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