Friday, July 23, 2010

things i love about akron, ohio (pt. 1): the quaker square inn hotel

Earlier this year Kris wanted to see if we could visit Ohio during my summer break. At first I wondered, why Ohio, of all places? She told me about some of her crafter friends who were going to host a weekend craft meet up out in the Akron area. I had no problem with this trip, which was about a six hour drive (twelve round trip) for us, and I instantly thought about a place I stayed at on a whim after seeing a concert at the excellent EJ Thomas Hall over a decade ago. It was the Quaker Square Inn - a historic American landmark, once a bunch of giant grain silos, now a big beautiful hotel. I was sad to not have documented my stay there during my first visit, so I was very happy to see the place was still around, and Kris would also get to experience it with me, on my second visit. The hotel is just as awesome as I had first remembered, and seeing the giant murals surrounding the interior of the main lobby was a feast for the eyes. There are fifteen murals there altogether, completed by local Akron, Ohio artist Don Drumm in 1980. A few of the photos posted here show some of the murals, and I have many more posted at my Flickr site.

The rates at The Quaker Square Inn were definitely reasonable. The staff were very kind and helpful as well. When we got there, we were originally given a room at the bottom floor. We asked if it were possible to get one on a higher floor, and it wasn't a problem at all. Even at the second floor, our room was much larger and we had a much better view, even if it was a parking garage. The hotel was very clean, the bed was very comfortable and we had a big complimentary breakfast every morning at the Trackside Dining Room, located near the hotel's main entrance. There were also lots of cool little places to eat at the hotel, though due to summer hours, closed pretty early. Currently, during the school year, the hotel now houses University of Akron students at the top floor. Most of the people who were there during our stay included a large party who had a wedding reception there, a fund-raiser group, and people who hosted a job fair. I was sad to see the hotel pub now permanently closed down, as well as the closing of some of the shops. I guess times are still tough in many parts, and even great historic structures need to find ways to scale back and stay afloat. All in all, we both loved our stay at the hotel, and Akron, and even stayed an extra night. These photos don't really capture what it was like to be at the Quaker Square Inn unfortunately, and Kris and I are already looking forward to visiting and staying there again (she also vows to bring her SLR next time).