F.A. and Gertrude Seiberling's plan for a Country Estate came to fruition in 1912.
The plan included several service buildings to support the operation of the property, complete with a Gate Lodge to accommodate the Estate's superintendent.
The two-story Tudor Revival Gate Lodge was designed by Stan Hywet's architect, Charles S. Schneider. Supporting the "lodge" intent of the design, the roof is uniquely different from the rest of the buildings on the Estate. With rounding contours and flowing horizontal rifts, the American thatch wood shingle roof was intended to resemble the reed thatch roofs of 16th and 17th century rural England.
By 1923, this small, three-bedroom house would become the home of their eldest son Fred, his wife Henrietta, and their three children. It would eventually become the setting for a world-changing conversation.
The Birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous
Henrietta Seiberling's involvement with the Oxford Group, a religious fellowship movement, confirmed her belief that ordinary people had the power to change their lives. On Mother's Day 1935, through mutual friendships, she brought together Mr. Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, both admitted alcoholics. Their discussion in the Gate Lodge resulted in identifying the principles that were to become the cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous.
To commemorate this important meeting, the Gate Lodge now hosts a special exhibit celebrating and recounting this historic event. The legacy of the Gate Lodge is a never-ending source of inspiration for millions of people, including thousands who make a pilgrimage to Akron every June for Founders' Day.
The Gate Lodge Exhibition
The first floor of the historic Gate Lodge features the exhibition, Welcome Home: Sharing the Birthplace of AA. This special exhibit honors and recounts the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous and acknowledges the Gate Lodge as a monument to a movement that has positively impacted individuals and their families since 1935.
Plan a day -- or every day to enjoy the diversity of tours, exhibits and activities at Stan Hywet. We look forward to welcoming you this season.