Stan Hywet Tea House, Hidden Aspect & Cliff Face - Akron, Ohio

Stan Hywet’s Birch Allée northern terminus is the twin stone pavilions known as the Tea Houses.  Located below the upper level pavilions and built into the rock face are changing rooms used by those planning to swim in the lagoon.  The entire structure is build of local natural stone visually blending into the 20-foot vertical cliff face. The Hidden Aspect located to the west of the Tea Houses is at the apex where the northern rock face overlooking the lagoon area turns 85-degrees and travels south along the western lagoon body.  Above this juncture a dry stone picnic structure constructed for the family to take advantage of two major vistas over the Cuyahoga Valley. At the base of the vertical rock face above the lagoon the strata of rock at the lagoon level is decaying and falling away causing the structures above to start moving on their stone perch, making them unsafe.  The stabilization of the rock face is paramount in preserving this defining feature of the northern upper lawns and allows the public to view this defining feature loved by the Seiberling family into the next century. Warren Manning in his 1911 site evaluation stated: “The feature that will give the estate its greatest distinction is the old quarry . . . and the rock wall.”  

Project included:

  • Selective root and tree removal
  • Dirt and debris removal from the base of the cliff face 
  • Harvested stone for use in drystone supports 
  • Light stone scaling to remove loose or falling rock to eliminate hazard to public
  • Infilled heavy overhangs with drystone supports
  • Reestablished the drystone steps and facing below the Tea House area
  • Reestablished crenellation stones and infill between stones short drystone curbing wall between crenellation stone to control soil migration to cliff edge
  • Remove and document top 4 layers of stonework at Hidden Aspect to expose layers beneath for documentation, then stabilized floor as needed with mortar and epoxy, and reset all disassembled stone work components to documented historic locations

Visit the link below for more information:

Tea Houses and cliff face below before restoration
C.O.I. crew remove dirt and debris from the base of the cliff face
C.O.I. crew working to rebuild the stone steps and stabilize the side of the cliff face
Hidden Aspect before restoration
C.O.I. crew working to disassemble the the Hidden Aspect
C.O.I. crew working to rebuild the Hidden Aspect
Hidden Aspect after restoration
Cliff Face steps restoration in progress