Akron’s Main Street has seen many changes over the years. The city would hardly be recognized by founders Simon Perkins and Paul Williams.
The temple was built by the Freemasons in 1917 as their downtown business and social gatherings location. Following a sale in 1999, the building went through a two million dollar restoration project. Today the structure is used as a special events center.
Motor cars were still new on the scene when this image of Akron’s Main Street was captured by the photographer.
Kepler’s Landing was located at the south end of Turkey Foot Lake. The hotel was built in 1892 by William Kepler.
Constructed in 1911, the First-Second National Building is located on the southeast corner of South Main Street and East Bowery Street. In 1919, four additional floors were added to the building. Although it was designed for the Second National Bank, during construction the bank merged with the First National Bank to form the First-Second National Bank.
At one time, Howard Street was one of the most popular areas of Akron’s downtown. Busy people, cars, and horses with carts fill the scene outside Federman’s “Lowest Price Store in Akron.” Also in the scene – the Empress theater, and Kirk’s.
The Portage Hotel, located downtown at Main Street and Market Street, replaced the former Empire House Hotel in 1912 and served as Akron’s leading hotel until the opening of the modern Mayflower Hotel in 1931.
Summit Lake was a popular summer retreat for Akron area residents. First as a picturesque picnic area and latter as a amusement park. From rollercoasters to live entertainment, the park had it all. The Beach Park operated for 40 years before closing its gates in 1958.
Akron’s Summit Beach Park located on the shores of Summit Lake, provided Akronites with 40 years of recreation and entertainment before closing its gates for good in 1958.
The B.F. Goodrich Company was founded in 1870 by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. The company began as a manufacturer of rubberized hoses and later began manufacturing pneumatic bicycle tires. In 1896, B.F. Goodrich became the first company in the United States to manufacture pneumatic automobile tires.
The Metropolitan Building still stands today although its name has been changed by current owners to Chemstress Courtyard. Location: 39 South Main Street
It may be unrecognizable today, but the one-time importance of Howard Street can easily be seen in this postcard view as it appeared looking South from Market Street. Busy people, cars, horses with carts, and trolleys fill the scene outside Federman’s “Lowest Price Store” in Akron.
For 40 years, visitors to Silver Lake Park were never at a loss for things to do. Steamboat cruise on the lake, miniature train rides, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, and a midway all added to the excitement of a day at the park. There was even a pavilion with space for 500 dinners as well as a 15,000…
The Strand Theatre opened on September 2, 1915 with “The Island of Regeneration”. The theater had seating for more than 1200 patrons. It was demolished in 1990.
For much of the early 1900’s, the Summit lake area of Akron was among the most picturesque in the city.
Postcard view of Akron’s Main Street from Market Street looking south. Founded along the Little Cuyahoga River in 1825 by Simon Perkins and Paul Williams, the location of Akron carefully and strategically planned at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal.
Grace Park wasn’t always a “shady” place. Back in the day, the park was one of Akron’s most popular retreats.It played host to picnics, leisurely strolls, community gatherings and fiery political speeches. Famous names like Hayes, McKinley, and Rosevelt stood in Grace Park to deliver their words to the people of Akron.
Akron’s boom came from the rubber industry, but before that, it was an important canal town, a regional center for milling and a notable mass-producer of clay products.
In this postcard view of old Akron, children of all ages can be seen playing together on teeter-totters (seesaws) at the Perkins Square play ground.
East Market Street featured the homes of F.A. Seiberling (Goodyear), Ferdinand Schumacher (Quaker Oats) and O.C. Barber (Diamond Match).