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Akron, Ohio

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Akron in Ohio.

 

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Akron is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately 39 miles (63 km) south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River.

Architecture

As a result of multiple town merging, and industry boom, Akron's architecture is diverse. Originally a canal town, the city is divide into two by the Ohio and Erie Canal, with downtown being centered on it. Many of the city's government and civic buildings, including City Hall, the Summit County Courthouse, the Akron-Summit County Public Library, and John S. Knight Center. The First Methodist Episcopal Church first used the Akron Plan in 1872, the plan later gained popularity, being used in many Congregationalists, Baptists, and Presbyterians. For remodeling all public schools to serve as community centers year round, the city was awarded with the City Livability Award in 2008. The National Arbor Day Foundation designated Akron as a Tree City USA for the 14th time, the latest being 2009. The city is home to one of the last remaining civic theaters. Along the locks, the city has a path paved with rubber. Completed in 1931, Akron's tallest building, the FirstMerit Tower, features the art deco style and is covered in glazed architectural terra-cotta. Standing 330 feet (100 m), it is built on top of the Hamilton Building, completed in 1900 in the neo-gothic style. Near the turn of the millennium the tower was given a $2.5 million facelift, including a $1.8 million restoration of the tower's terra-cotta, brick and limestone. The top of the building has a television broadcast tower, formerly used by WAKR-TV (now WVPX-TV) and WAKR-AM. The antenna reaches 134.7 metres (442 ft). Located on the University of Akron campus, the Goodyear Polymer Center, is glass twin towers connected by walkways. The university also utilizes the former Quaker Oats factory as a hotel shopping centers called Quaker Square. The Akron Art Museum, remodeled in 2007, is divided into three parts known as the “Crystal”,[48] “Gallery Box”, and the “Roof Cloud”. The contrasting neighborhoods of Goodyear Heights and Firestone Park, were built during the rubber industry to house workers and their families.

Culture

Akron is home to E.J. Thomas Hall, the largest of three Akron performance halls. Regular acts include the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Tuesday Musical Club, and Children's Concert Society. World-class performances events include Broadway musicals, ballets, comedies, lectures, entertainers, attracting 400,000 visitors annually. The hall seats 2955, divided among three tiers. To maintain top-notch acoustic sound, the counter-weighted ceiling is adjustable, altering the physical dimensions of the hall. Located downtown is the Akron Civic Theater, which opened in 1929 as the Loewe's Theater. This atmospheric-style theatre was designed by John Eberson and contains many Moorish features including arches and decorative tiles. It originally featured elaborate wood carvings, alabaster statuary, and European antiques. The theater got its current name in 2001 after remodeling. Behind it on the canal is the Lock 3 Park amphitheater, which annually host the First Night in Akron. The Akron Art Museum also located downtown, features art produced since 1850 along with national and international exhibitions. It opened in 1922 as the Akron Art Institute located in the basement of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. It moved to its current location at the renovated 1899 old post office building in 1981. In 2007, the museum more than tripled in size with the addition of the John S. and James L. Knight Building, which received the 2005 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum while still under construction.

Built between 1912 and 1915 for Frank Seiberling, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens ranks seventh on the list of Largest Historic Homes in the United States. Located within the Sand Run Metro Parks, the 104 acre F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm features a visitors' center, hiking trails, three ponds, gardens, and an array of special programs throughout the year. The Akron Police Museum displays mementos including items from Pretty Boy Floyd, whose gang frequented the city. The city is home to several other galleries and museums include American Marble and Toy Museum and the Don Drumm Studios & Gallery.

Tourism

Akron is home to many festivals throughout the year. In mid July, the National Hamburger Festival consists of different vendors serving original recipe hamburgers and has a Miss Hamburger contest. Lock 3 Park annually hosts the First Night Akron celebration on New Year's Eve. The park also annually hosts the Italian Festival and the "Rib, White & Blue" food festival in July. Founders Day is celebrated annually due to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous within the city. In Highland Square, Akron hosts a convergence of art, music, and community annually called Art in the Square, a festival featuring local artists and musicians.

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