March Membership Program to be held at The Convent of Our Lady of the Elms, 1230 W. Market Street in
Akron – Monday, March 28th at 7 pm
Progress Trough Preservation recently visited several intriguing adaptive use projects, from Greystone Hall and the Gothic Building to the Andrew Jackson House and the Akrona Gallery. This month, Progress Through Preservation has been granted permission to visit the Convent of Our Lady of the Elms, located in the former Arthur Marks estate. Marks had been a talented He hired renowned architect Howard Van Doren Shaw of Illinois to design a grand home along
West Market Street at a location opposite Harvey Firestone's Harbel Manor. Marks later left Akron for New York to become chief executive of the newly reorganized Aeolian Skinner Organ Company, and his mansion was put up for sale. A group of Dominican nuns thereafter purchased the estate and re-purposed it for use as a provincial house and novitiate. A beautiful chapel and additional housing were added to the main structure in the 1950s, and the chapel recently completed a major rehabilitation.
As members of the Order of Preachers (O.P.), the Dominican sisters were naturally drawn toward teaching, writing, and social service projects. Schools were eventually established on the 33-acre property. These included a pre-school, middle school and high school for girls, and, for over 20 years, a special education school. Our Lady of the Elms School, now separately incorporated, remains a pre-eminent independent Catholic college preparatory school.
Directions and Parking: Our Lady of the Elms is located at 1230 W. Market Street in Akron. Please enter the campus at the “Administration” sign and underneath the metal grillwork archway that reads “Dominican Sisters”. This entrance is east of the driveway for the school. Parking is available on either side of the main house, and a few parking places are available directly in front of the main entrance. and Karl Grismer's History of Akron and Summit County.