I recently went back to Ohio and toured Stan Hywet again. Wow! It's even better now than before! This is one of the largest mansions open to the public in the US. Unlike some of the others, however, Stan Hywet is notable for the absolute good taste of its former owners. Rather than creating a huge marble monument designed to pump up the owner's social standing, Stan Hywet was designed to be a warm and cozy home first and foremost, full of intriguing hidden nooks and crannies, nature-inspired havens of peace and serenity, and grand rooms that are inviting, rather than intimidating. The Seiberlings toured England with their architect and came back with plans that combined the best of Tudor architecture with then-current American Arts and Crafts movement touches. The peaceful fountain room, with a backdrop of Pewabic pottery tiles depicting a Renaissance-style scene, as imagined by an Arts and Crafts artist, is a perfect example of this blend. Tourists now have a choice of types of tours of the house, and new rooms have been opened up in the servants' wing, showing the "downstairs" side of life at Stan Hywet. When you take a tour, you will feel that you have traveled a century back in time; it will be hard to return to the 21st century. Kids will enjoy seeing the Seiberling children's rooms and will love the butterfly conservatory on the grounds. They will also love running around the lagoons, the long tree-covered allees, the grape arbor, and the hidden English garden. This is a place to dream in and explore. Add time into your plans to sit and read in one of the hidden corners of the 70 acre grounds.
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