Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens on Postage Stamp
The U.S Postal Service commemorates the Akron landmark’s iconic Birch Tree Allée.
It’s easy to see why Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, the stunning manor house and grounds built by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. co-founder F.A. Seiberling in 1915, has become a tourist attraction. In addition to an impressive collection of early 20th-century furnishings, the estate’s 70 acres of gardens, filled with more than 3,000 species of plants, are magnificent in their own right.
“As we’ve done restorations throughout the last two decades, [the horticultural department] has looked at old photographs and letters so we can get the landscape back to its original look,” says Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens superintendent and arborist Tom Hrivnak, who maintains the gardens, including Birch Tree Allée, a 550-foot-long pathway lined by more than 100 gray birches. “When you come and visit, you have a feel of what the Seiberlings were looking at.”
The striking interplay of light and shadow through the leaves has made the birch grove a popular subject for photographers, including Allen Rokach, whose works have been published in National Geographic, Audubon and Better Homes & Gardens.
His images of Stan Hywet, which he took while visiting in 2012, caught the eye of the U.S. Postal Service. When the agency released its new Forever stamp series, American Gardens, in May, Birch Tree Allée was among the 10 gardens showcased. Others include Biltmore Estate Gardens in North Carolina, Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York and Winterthur Garden in Delaware.
“Luckily for us Allen [submitted] gorgeous photographs of the Allée from which we could choose,” says U.S. Postal Service stamps services director Bill Gicker. “Ethel Kessler, the art director, knew immediately that the Birch Tree Allée was the shot to use. It balances the other photographs on the pane and invites the viewer in.” Visit store.usps.com for information about the stamp.
714 N. Portage Path, Akron 44303, 330/836-5533, stanhywet.org