History of Hower House

Hower House was completed in 1871 and was built by John Henry Hower, a leading Akron industrialist who was active in the milling, reaping and cereal industries. Hower and his wife, Susan Youngker Hower, moved from Doylestown, Ohio, to Akron in 1865. Hower along with Jacob Snyder, a well-known Akron architect, designed this house in the Second Empire Italianate style. This 28-room mansion is capped with a distinctive mansard roof and soaring tower. The unusual floor plan was based on the” “Akron Plan,” widely used in church constructions as part of the “Sunday School movement” across the United States between 1870 and 1917. The mansion is filled with hundreds of treasures and furnishings the Hower family collected from around the world.

In 1901, John Henry’s son Milton Otis, his wife Blanche, along with their two children, Grace and John, came to live in the house. The elderly Hower and his second wife, Rebecca, planned to move to a smaller home nearby. Blanche continued to live in the house long after John Henry and Milton Otis both died in 1916. In 1919, Grace and her husband, John Crawford, moved into Hower House with Blanche. The house was occupied by the Hower family for over 100 years before it was deeded to The University of Akron in 1970. In 1973, Hower House was placed on the National Register for Historic Places.

The house has three floors with a ballroom on the third floor. Two and a half acres of lawn and stately trees provide a green island of tranquility for The University of Akron campus community.

Today, Hower House remains one of the finest and best preserved examples of its style in the country. It is supported by private donations, the Hower House Museum Guild, and The University of Akron. The house has become a lasting symbol of an era of elegance in America.



Visitors are welcome to view the unique architecture and rare treasures of this National Historic Landmark 11 months of the year. It is closed for maintenance and cleaning during the month of January. Public tours resume in February each year.

For General Tour information click here.