| United States|
5.0% (Dec 2014)
62.37 sq mi
Don Plusquellic (D)
| University of Akron, University of Akron College of Business Administration, Brown Mackie College - Akron, Akron Institute of Herzing College, ACRT Urban Forestry Training|
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, Akron Zoo, Perkins Stone Mansion, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Hale Farm and Village
Akron is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the seat of Summit County. It is in the Great Lakes region approximately 39 miles (63 km) south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) covers Summit and Portage counties, and in 2010 had a population of 703,200. Akron is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area, which in 2010 had a population of 3,515,646.
Akron was co-founded in 1825 when suggested by Paul Williams to Simon Perkins. In 1833, "South" was temporarily added to the name when Eliakim Crosby settled a bordering North Akron. After Summit County formed from portions of Portage, Medina, and Stark counties in 1840, Akron succeeded Cuyahoga Falls as county seat a year later. The Akron School Law of 1847 created the K-12 system. In 1851, Sojourner Truth attended a convention and extemporaneously delivered the original "Aint I a Woman?" speech. During the Civil War, Ferdinand Schumacher supplied the Union Army with oats produced by his mill along the Ohio Canal. Between the 1870s and World War I, numerous churches across the nation were built using the Akron Plan.
With a population increase of 201.8% during the 1910s, it became the nations fastest-growing city due to industries such as stoneware, sanitary sewer, fishing tackle, farming equipment, match, toy, and rubber. The companies General Tire, B.F. Goodrich, Firestone, and Goodyear built headquarters, though only the latter remains. Airships, blimps, dirigibles, and zeppelins have been manufactured at the Goodyear Airdock since World War II. The Goodyear Polymer Center and National Polymer Innovation Center are on the University of Akron campus, which anchors the Polymer Valley and is home to the Archives of the History of American Psychology. Akron also headquartered the National Marble Tournament, Professional Bowlers Association, and Womens Professional Mud Wrestling. Home to employers such as Summa, GOJO Industries, FirstMerit Bank, and FirstEnergy, it is listed by Newsweek as one of ten Information Age high tech havens. Awarded by the National Civic League and National Arbor Day Foundation, it was named one of the worlds most livable cities. The All-American Soapbox Derby, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, National Hamburger Festival, Founders Day (Alcoholics Anonymous), and Road Runner Akron Marathon are annually hosted by the city, which was a venue for some events of the 2014 Gay Games. Tourist attractions include Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and Lock 3 Park, where the American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company once stood.
Residents of Akron are referred to as "Akronites." Nicknames include "Rubber City," "City of Invention" and "Rubber Capital of the World."
In 1811, Paul Williams settled near the corner of what is now Buchtel Avenue and Broadway and suggested to surveyor of the Connecticut Western Reserve General Simon Perkins, the co-founding of a town at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The name derived from the Greek word signifying a summit or high point. Laid out in December 1825, where the South Akron neighborhood now is; Irish laborers working on the Ohio Canal built approximately 100 cabins nearby in autumn. Due to Eliakim Crosby founding "North Akron" (Cascade) in 1833, "South" was added to Akrons name up until the two merged and became an incorporated village in 1836. In 1840 Summit County formed from portions of Portage, Medina, and Stark counties. Akron replaced Cuyahoga Falls as its county seat a year later and opened a canal connecting to Beaver, Pennsylvania, helping give birth to the stoneware, sewer pipe, fishing tackle, and farming equipment industries. In 1844, abolitionist John Brown moved into the John Brown House across the street from business partner Colonel Simon Perkins who lived in the Perkins Stone Mansion. The Akron School Law of 1847 began the K-12 grade school system, which currently is used in every U.S. state.
Akron is located in the Great Lakes region approximately 39 miles (63 km) south of Lake Erie, on the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau. It is bordered by Cuyahoga Falls on the north, and Barberton in the southwest. It is the center of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area which covers Summit and Portage counties, and the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area. Located on the western end of the plateau, the topography of Akron includes rolling hills and varied terrain. The Ohio and Erie Canal passes through the city, separating the east from west. Akron has the only biogas facility in the United States that produces methane through the decomposition process of sludge to create electricity. According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 62.37 square miles (161.5 km2), of which 62.03 square miles (160.7 km2) (or 99.45%) is land and 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2) (or 0.55%) is water.
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 Childrens 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 Loewes Theater. This atmospheric-style theater 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. Behind it on the canal is the Lock 3 Park amphitheater, which annually host the First Night in Akron. The Akron Art Museum also 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 Park, the 104 acres (0.42 km2) F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm features a visitor 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.
Many industries in the United States either began or were influenced by the city. After beginning the tire and rubber industry during the 20th century with the founding of Goodrich, Firestone, General Tire, also the Goodyear merger with The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company gained the status of, "Rubber Capital of the World". Akron has won economic awards such as for City Livability and All-American City, and deemed a high tech haven greatly contributing to the Information Age. Current Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city include the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and FirstEnergy. In addition, the city is the headquarters to a number of other notable companies such as GOJO, Advanced Elastomer Systems, FirstMerit Bank, Myers Industries, Acme Fresh Market and Sterling Jewelers. Goodyear, Americas biggest tire manufacturer and the fifth-largest private employer in Summit County, recently built a new world headquarters in the city. The project, Akron Riverwalk, will feature a large retail and commercial development area. The project began in 2007, but was put on hold due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010, and is now continuing. Bridgestone built a new technical center with state-of-the-art R&D labs, and relocated its product development operations to the new facility in early 2012. The Eastern Ohio Division of KeyBank, which has six branches in the city, built a regional headquarters downtown. The city has a free WiFi corridor centered in downtown. Neighborhoods in range include Goodyear Heights, East Akron, North Hill, Firestone Park, Kenmore, and West Akron.
Several residents of Akron have played a role in defining American cuisine. Ferdinand Schumacher created the first American oatmeal and is a pioneer of breakfast cereal. He also founded the Empire Barley Mill and German Mills American Oatmeal Company, which would later merge several times with other companies, with the result being the Quaker Oats Company. The Menches Brothers, are the disputed inventors of the waffle ice cream cone, caramel corn, and hamburger. The beer, BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, brewed by the Hoppin Frog Brewing Company located in the city, won 1st place in the Imperial Stout category of the 2008 Great American Beer Festival, and the company was named the 24th best brewer in the world for 2010 by RateBeer.com Notable eateries in Akron are Luigis Pizzeria (established in 1949) and The Diamond Grille. Other places include Crave, Bricco, Cilantro, Diamond Deli, Urban Eats, Mary Coyle Ice Cream, Swensons, Ken Stewarts, Tangier, Louies, Duffys, New Era, Stricklands Frozen Custard, and Hamburger Station. The rivalry between Swensons and Skyway, aired on Iron Chef Michael Symons Food Feuds, which Swensons won.