The hidden treasure of Akron

Written by: Beau Brown

In the heart of the hustle and bustle of downtown Akron, located right on the University of Akron’s main campus, is the quaint Hower House.

The 28-room, Victorian-style mansion, was built in 1871 by John Henry Hower: a wealthy industrialist and businessman who helped shape Akron into the city it is today. The house was originally the home of Mr. Hower, and later became the residence of three generations of his family. About 100 years after the house was built, in the year 1970, the family deeded the house to the University of Akron.

Today, the house (and all of its four floors) is still alive and thriving. Save for a few needed renovations, the house and its furniture have been preserved. Taking a step inside this breathtaking house is like walking right into history. Every room in the house is beautifully decorated with antique and valuable furniture not seen anywhere else in the city. Hundreds of paintings and copies of works done by famous artists fill the walls. Photographs taken by the old residents of the house are found in each room, and each tell a story of what happened in the lives of the Hower family back in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In addition to the Hower House is the Carriage House located right next door. Inside you will find the 19th-century version of a contemporary car garage. Three horse-drawn carriages, two recreated, stand inside the house and give a vision of the vehicles used by the Hower family during their prime. There are also biographies that tell of the impact of three of the most iconic Hower family members: John Henry Hower, as well as his son, Milton Otis, and Milton’s wife, Blanche.

You will also find the Cellar Room Store in the basement of the Hower House. The neat little shop has many gorgeous decorations, dolls, tea sets, tables, drawers, and much more. University students are given a 15 percent discount on anything in the store!

“The Hower House is the best kept secret in Akron,” volunteer Paul Goldberg said.”Here lies this well-preserved window of history and not many people in Akron, or at the University, even knows that it’s here.”

Goldberg and his associates frequently offer their services to the Hower House because they believe it’s crucial to keep this house preserved. “The Hower House helps you experience first-hand what it was like to live in the Victorian Era. It’s a completely different experience than reading about it in a textbook,” Goldberg said. “Here, you get to witness history on a more personal level.”

Tours, socials, and special events are held at the Hower House all the time and are open to the public. It can also be rented for a variety of things such as parties and weddings. A visit to the Hower House will take you on a journey back in time and it’s only a short drive away. People come from all over the world to see it, so why couldn’t you?

To view events online and to learn more about the House and what it has to offer, go to