“When one imagines the president of the University of Akron’s home, they might see a magnificent mansion with tennis courts, swimming pools and a bowling alley. As for the real home of President Luis Proenza, none of these lavish extras are present. The UA presidential manor is a Victorian style home with a modern touch that provides a certain class.””
When one imagines the president of the University of Akron’s home, they might see a magnificent mansion with tennis courts, swimming pools and a bowling alley. As for the real home of President Luis Proenza, none of these lavish extras are present.
The UA presidential manor is a Victorian style home with a modern touch that provides a certain class.
High ceilings, large windows and light colors spread throughout the house and give an open and fresh atmosphere. The house has become Proenza’s home over the years since he has been with the university, and seems to speak well for UA while keeping its president happy.
It’s certainly a nice house, Proenza said. We are not complaining.
The home’s first noticeable feature is its bright and airy foyer. It is decorated with magnificent marble floors and an antique brass chandelier. The lighting fixture hangs above a grand staircase which curves along the wall and ends at a balcony that forms a horseshoe shape overhead.
The house is perfectly adequate and certainly represents the university well, Proenza said.
The impression the home gives remains elegant yet not over dramatic.
It belonged to a physician who had it built for his family, Proenza said. They were fairly conservative folks.
The idea of a full staff of maids and cooks does not fit the home or Proenza’s modest lifestyle.
We don’t have any permanent staff in the house, unlike Ohio State or some other universities that actually have a housekeeper or gardener, Proenza said. We have no permanent staff whatsoever.
In the living room there is a grand piano that would stop a musician in her tracks. The classic piano is also an example of the artistic elements found in the house, including scenic paintings and the crown molding lining the ceiling.
Proenza’s home, between the large fireplace and cushy furniture, makes the phrase make yourself comfortable an understatement.
However, his modest lifestyle removes elements of living found in most modern mansions. There is no state-of-the-art entertainment center. In fact, there is not a TV or CD player in sight.
The only forms of entertainment are the grand piano and the large windows that line the room with a view of evergreens and the occasional cardinal.
While something is left to be desired for the couch potato, chefs will love the kitchen.
This open kitchen has the modern chef’s ideal amenities including double ovens and refrigerators that are camouflaged to look like the rest of the cabinets. A sunroom attaches to the kitchen and resembles the living room of a beachfront condo – minus the beach.
The sunroom has a sitting area accented by a large bay window and is surrounded by other windows and a glass door leading out to the patio. Its decor rivals the homes found in a decorating magazine.
Again, the room does not include a television. However there is a bookshelf. This way residents can read while surrounded by the outdoors all year round.
The dining room incorporates all the same pristine, classical tones of a Victorian home. It includes another cozy fireplace to make the room more comfortable while guests eat.
There are parts of the presidential manor that are off limits to the public.
We agreed with the trustees that we would keep certain parts of the house private so that there are no intrusions, Proenza said. We have not yet found anybody who violates that.
Although, I have read about university presidents walking into their own bedroom to find somebody rummaging through their drawers and say, ‘Oh don’t you just love to see how they live?’ We have not experienced that.
The demand for privacy is a human need, but Proenza opens the home for the university’s advantage.
It is not a public building that anybody can walk into, but we do use it for purposes that benefit the university, Proenza said.
Since the house is located off campus in West Akron, the president gets adequate privacy.
We feel private, Proenza said. I don’t mind going out in the morning in my robe and picking up the newspaper from the front porch.
“” #1.1361085:1560058047.jpg:UniversityResidence5.jpg:The Presidential home was purchased when Dr. Luis Proenza became head of UA.:”