Akron, Ohio, United States

History | 1850s–1890s : Summit City | 1900s–1990s : Rubber Capital of the World | 2000s : City of Invention | Racial history | Geography | Economy | Polymer Valley | Hospitals | Economy : Top employers | Arts and culture | Architecture | Economy : Tourist Industry | Cuisine | Sport | Parks and recreation | Education | Media : Print : Television : Radio | Film and television | Transport : Air | Railroads | Transport : Bus | Freeways

🇺🇸 Akron is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Summit County. It is located on the western edge of the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau, about 40 miles south of downtown Cleveland. The city proper is the 125th largest city in the United States. The Greater Akron area, covers Summit and Portage counties.

The city was founded along the Little Cuyahoga River at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The name is derived from the Greek word signifying a summit or high point. In the 1910s, Akron doubled in population, making it the nation's fastest-growing city. A long history of rubber and tire manufacturing, carried on today by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, gave Akron the nickname "Rubber Capital of the World". It was once known as a centre of airship development. Today, its economy includes manufacturing, education, healthcare, and biomedical research; leading corporations include Gojo Industries, FirstEnergy, Huntington Bank, and Charter Spectrum.

A racially diverse city, it has seen noted racial relations speeches by Sojourner Truth in 1851—the Ain't I A Woman? speech; W. E. B. Du Bois in 1920; and President Bill Clinton in 1997. In 1914, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Akron. Episodes of major civil unrest in Akron have included the riot of 1900, rubber strike of 1936, and the Wooster Avenue riots of 1968.

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History In 1811, Paul Williams settled near the corner of what is now Buchtel Avenue and Broadway. He suggested to General Simon Perkins, who was surveyor of the Connecticut Land Company's Connecticut Western Reserve, that they found a town at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The name is adapted from the Greek word ἄκρον (ákron), meaning summit or high point. It was laid out in December 1825, where the south part of the downtown Akron neighborhood sits today. Irish laborers working on the Ohio Canal built about 100 cabins nearby.

After Eliakim Crosby founded "North Akron" (also known as Cascade) in the northern portion of what is now downtown Akron in 1833, "South" was added to Akron's name until about three years later, when the two were 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 founded the city's public schools and created the K–12 grade school system, which currently is used in every U.S. state. The city's first school is now a museum on Broadway Street near the corner of Exchange.

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1850s–1890s: ** Summit City** When the Ohio Women's Rights Convention came to Akron in 1851, Sojourner Truth extemporaneously delivered her speech named "Ain't I A Woman?", at the Universalist Old Stone Church. In 1870, a local businessman associated with the church, John R. Buchtel, founded Buchtel College, which became the University of Akron in 1913.

Ferdinand Schumacher bought a mill in 1856, and the following decade mass-produced oat bars for the Union Army during the American Civil War; these continued to sell well after the war. Akron incorporated as a city in 1865. Philanthropist Lewis Miller, Walter Blythe, and architect Jacob Snyder designed the widely used Akron Plan, debuting it on Akron's First Methodist Episcopal Church in 1872. Numerous Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches built between the 1870s and World War I use it. In 1883, a local journalist began the modern toy industry by founding the Akron Toy Company. A year later, the first popular toy was mass-produced clay marbles made by Samuel C. Dyke at his shop where Lock 3 Park is now. Other popular inventions include rubber balloons, ducks, dolls, balls, baby buggy bumpers, and little brown jugs. In 1895, the first long-distance electric railway, the Akron, Bedford and Cleveland Railroad, began service. On August 25, 1889, the Boston Daily Globe referred to Akron with the nickname "Summit City". To help local police, the city deployed the first police car in the U.S. that ran on electricity.

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1900s–1990s: ** Rubber Capital of the World** The Riot of 1900 saw assaults on city officials, two deaths, and the destruction by fire of Columbia Hall and the Downtown Fire Station (now the City Building since 1925). The American trucking industry was birthed through Akron's Rubber Capital of the World era when the four major tire companies B.F. Goodrich (1869), Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1898), Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (1900), and General Tire & Rubber Company (1915) were headquartered in the city. The numerous jobs the rubber factories provided for deaf people led to Akron being nicknamed the "Crossroads of the Deaf". On Easter Sunday 1913, 9.55 inches (243 mm) of rain fell, causing floods that killed five people and destroyed the Ohio and Erie Canal system. From 1916 to 1920, 10,000 schoolgirls took part in the successful Akron Experiment, testing iodized salt to prevent goiter in what was known as the "Goiter Belt".

Rubber companies responded to housing crunches by building affordable housing for workers. Goodyear's president, Frank A. Seiberling, built the Goodyear Heights neighborhood for employees. Likewise, Harvey S. Firestone built the Firestone Park neighborhood for his employees. During the 1910–1920 decade, Akron became a boomtown, being America's fastest growing city with a 201.8% increase in population. Of the 208,000 citizens, almost one-third were immigrants (also Clark Gable) and their children from places including Europe and West Virginia. In 1929 and 1931, Goodyear's subsidiary Goodyear-Zeppelin Company manufactured two airships for the United States Navy, USS Akron (ZRS-4) and USS Macon (ZRS-5). Goodyear built a number of blimps for the Navy during WWII and later for advertising purposes.

Akron again grew when Kenmore was annexed by voter approval on November 6, 1928. Found hiding under a bed at one of his hideouts in the city, notorious bank robber Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was arrested under the name "Frank Mitchell" in March 1930. Goodyear became America's top tire manufacturer after merging with the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company in 1935. Lasting five weeks and consisting of roughly 5,000 strikers including union sympathizers from other factories and neighboring states, the Akron Rubber Strike of 1936 successfully used the "sit-down" tactic to force recognition of the United Rubber Workers. During the 1950s–60s Akron surged as use of the automobile did. The historic Rubber Bowl was used by the National Guard of the United States as a base during the racial Wooster Avenue Riots of 1968. Like many other industries of the Rust Belt, both the tire and rubber industries experienced major decline. By the early 1990s, Goodyear was the last major tire manufacturer based in Akron.

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2000s: ** City of Invention** Despite the number of rubber workers decreasing by roughly half from 2000 to 2007, Akron's research in polymers gained an international reputation. It now centres on the Polymer Valley which consists of 400 polymer-related companies, of which 94 were located in the city itself. Research is focused at the University of Akron, which is home to the Goodyear Polymer Center and the National Polymer Innovation Center, and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Because of its contributions to the Information Age, Newsweek listed Akron fifth of ten high-tech havens in 2001. In 2008 "City of Invention" was added to the seal when the All-America City Award was received for the third time. Some events of the 2014 Gay Games used the city as a venue. In 2013, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company opened its new global headquarters on Innovation Way, further cementing the company's relationship with the city. Bridgestone built a new technical centre with state-of-the-art R&D labs, and moved its product development operations to the new facility in early 2012.

The city also continues to deal with the effects of air and soil pollution from its industrial past. In the south-western part of the city, soil was contaminated and noxious PCB-laden fumes were put into the air by an electrical transformer deconstruction operation that existed from the 1930s to the 1960s. Cleanup of the site, designated as a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency, began in 1987 and concluded in 2000. The area remains restricted with regular reviews of the site and its underground aquifer.

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Racial history City founder Simon Perkins negotiated a treaty with Native Americans to establish a mail route from the Connecticut Western Reserve to Detroit in 1807, an early example of historic humanitarian affairs in Akron. Aside from being part of the Underground Railroad, when active, John Brown was a resident, today having two landmarks (the John Brown House and the John Brown Monument) dedicated to him. During the 1851 Women's Rights Convention, Sojourner Truth delivered her speech entitled "Ain't I A Woman?". In 1905, a statue of an Indian named Unk was erected on Portage Path, which was part of the effective western boundary of the White and Native American lands from 1785 to 1805. The Summit County chapter of the Ku Klux Klan reported having 50,000 members, making it the largest local chapter in the country during the 20th century. At some point the sheriff, county officials, mayor of Akron, judges, county commissioners, and most members of Akron's school board were members. The Klan's influence in the city's politics eventually ended after Wendell Willkie arrived and challenged them. Race took part in two of Akron's major riots, the Riot of 1900 and the Wooster Ave. Riots of 1968. Others giving speeches on race in the city include W. E. B. Du Bois (1920) and President Bill Clinton (1997). In 1971, Alpha Phi Alpha Homes Inc. was founded in Akron by the Eta Tau Lambda chapter, with James R. Williams as chairman. The centerpiece, Henry Arthur Callis Tower, is located in the Channelwood Village area of the city. In 2008, 91-year-old Akron native, Addie Polk, became the poster child of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, after shooting herself. In 2022, Akron resident Jayland Walker was killed by police after shooting at them while fleeing, sparking days of protest and the institution of a police review board.

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Geography Akron is located in the Great Lakes region about 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 centre of the Akron metropolitan area which covers Summit and Portage Counties, and a principal city of the larger Cleveland–Akron–Canton 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.

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Economy 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, and also the Goodyear merger with The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, Akron 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, Babcock & Wilcox, Myers Industries, Acme Fresh Market and Sterling Jewelers. Goodyear, America's 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 because of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, and is now continuing. Bridgestone built a new technical centre with state-of-the-art R&D labs, and moved 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 centred in downtown. Neighbourhoods in range include Goodyear Heights, East Akron, North Hill, Firestone Park, Kenmore, and West Akron.

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Polymer Valley Northeast Ohio's Polymer Valley is centred in Akron. The area holds forty-five percent of the state's polymer industries, with the oldest dating to the 19th century. During the 1980s and 1990s, an influx of new polymer companies came to the region. In 2001, more than 400 companies manufactured polymer-based materials in the region. Many University of Akron scientists became world-renowned for their research done at the Goodyear Polymer Center. The first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was begun by the university. In 2010, the National Polymer Innovation Center opened on campus.

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Hospitals Akron has designated an area called the Biomedical Corridor, aimed at luring health-related ventures to the region. It encompasses 1,240 acres (5.0 km²) of private and publicly owned land, bounded by Akron General on the west and Akron City on the east, and also includes Akron Children's near the district's centre with the former Saint Thomas Hospital to the north of its northern boundaries. Since its start in 2006, the corridor added the headquarters of companies such as Akron Polymer Systems.

Akron's adult hospitals are owned by two health systems, Summa Health System and Akron General Health System. Summa Health System operates Akron City Hospital and the former St. Thomas Hospital, which in 2008 were recognised for the 11th consecutive year as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report. Summa is recognised as having one of the best orthopaedics programs in the nation with a ranking of 28th. Akron General Health in affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic operates Akron General Medical Center, which in 2009, was recognised as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report. Akron Children's Hospital is an independent entity that specialises in pediatric care and burn care. In 1974, Dr. Howard Igel and Dr. Aaron Freeman successfully grew human skin in a lab to treat burn victims, making Akron Children's Hospital the first hospital in the world to achieve such a feat. Akron City and Akron General hospitals are designated Level I Trauma Centers.

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Economy: Top employers According to the city's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the principal employers in the city include: Summa Health System; Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital; Akron Children's Hospital; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; County of Summit; Signet Jewelers; Akron Public Schools; FirstEnergy; The University of Akron; Spectrum.

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Arts and culture Akron is home to E. J. Thomas Hall, one of three Akron performance halls. Regular acts include the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Tuesday Musical Club, and Children's Concert Society. World-class performances events include Broadway musicals, ballets, comedies, lectures, entertainers, attracting 400,000 visitors annually. The hall seats 2,955, 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 Theatre, which opened in 1929 as the Loew's Theater. This atmospheric-style theater was designed by John Eberson and built by Marcus Loew. The theater contains many Moorish features including arches and decorative tiles. It features elaborate wood carvings, alabaster statuary, and European antiques. The theater seats 5,000. 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, in the basement of the Akron Public Library. It moved to its current location at the renovated 1899 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 A. Sieberling, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is the seventh-largest historic house 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 centre, 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.

Akron is home to the American Marble and Toy Museum.

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Architecture As a result of multiple towns merging, and industry boom, Akron's architecture is diverse.

Originally a canal town, the city is divided into two parts by the Ohio and Erie Canal, with downtown being centered on it. Along the locks, the city has a path paved with rubber.

Akron was awarded with the City Livability Award in 2008 for its efforts to co-purpose new school buildings as community learning centers. In 2009, the National Arbor Day Foundation designated Akron as a Tree City USA for the 14th time.

Many of the city's government and civic buildings, including City Hall and the Summit County Courthouse are from pre-World War Two, but the Akron-Summit County Public Library, and John S. Knight Center are considerably newer. The library originally opened in 1969, but reopened as a greatly expanded facility in 2004. The Knight Center opened in 1994.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church first used the Akron Plan in 1872. The plan later gained popularity, being used in many Congregationalist, Baptist, and Presbyterian church buildings.

The city is home to a historic 1920s atmospheric movie palace, the Akron Civic Theatre. One of the building's features is a starry sky with clouds that drift over it when the lights are dimmed.

Completed in 1931, Akron's tallest building, the Huntington Tower, features the art deco style and is covered in glazed architectural terra-cotta. Standing 330 feet (100 m) tall, it is built on top of the Hamilton Building, completed in 1900 in the neo-gothic style. Near the turn of the millennium the tower was given a $2.5 million facelift, including a $1.8 million restoration of the tower's terra-cotta, brick, and limestone. The top of the building has a television broadcast tower formerly used by WAKR-TV (now WVPX-TV) and WAKR-AM. The antenna reaches 134.7 metres (442 ft). Located on the University of Akron campus, the Goodyear Polymer Center consists of glass twin towers connected by walkways. The university also formerly used the old Quaker Oats factory as a dormitory, including using it as a quarantine centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. For many years it had been a shopping centre called Quaker Square. There had also been a hotel there.

The Akron Art Museum commissioned Coop Himmelblau to design an expansion in 2007. The new building connects to the old building and is divided into three parts known as the "Crystal", the "Gallery Box", and the "Roof Cloud".

The contrasting neighborhoods of Goodyear Heights and Firestone Park were built during the rubber industry to house workers and their families. Both are communities filled with houses based on mail-order plans.

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Economy: Tourist Industry There are numerous attractions and points of interest in the Akron area. Opened in 1922, the Akron Art Museum has a 20,000-square-foot building and a collection of art produced since 1850. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is the estate of F.A. Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The manor hosts various attractions and public events throughout the year. In the heart of downtown, the Akron Civic Theatre has provided the community with a venue for entertainment and live performances for over eighty years. Lock 3, a historic Ohio and Erie Canalway landmark, has been transformed into an entertainment amphitheater that hosts festivals, concerts, and community events throughout the year. The Akron Zoo is located just outside downtown, and was an initial gift of property from the city's founding family. In Highland Square, Akron hosts a convergence of art, music, and community annually called Art in the Square, a festival featuring local artists and musicians.

National events hosted annually in Akron cover a wide variety of hobbies and interests. The PGA World Golf Championships travel to Akron each year for the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. The All-American Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program which has its World Championship finals at Derby Downs. In mid July, the National Hamburger Festival consists of different vendors serving original recipe hamburgers and has a Miss Hamburger contest. Lock 3 Park annually hosts the First Night Akron celebration on New Year's Eve. The park also annually hosts the Italian Festival and the "Rib, White & Blue" food festival in July. Founders Day is celebrated annually because of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous within the city. The Dr. Robert Smith House is located in Akron.

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Cuisine 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. Strickland's Frozen Custard is located in Akron.

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Sport The RubberDucks – the Akron Aeros – moved to Akron from Canton in 1997, and have won the Eastern League Championship six times, most recently in 2021.

The Akron Marathon is an annual marathon in the city which offers a team relay and shorter races throughout the summer and fall.

The All-American Soap Box Derby takes place each year at the Derby Downs since 1936. LeBron James' King for Kids bike-a-thon feature James riding with kids through the city each June. In November, the city hosts the annual Home Run for the Homeless 4-mile run.

The University of Akron's Akron Zips compete in the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in a variety of sports at the Division I level. The men's basketball team appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1986, 2009, 2011, and 2013. In 2009, the Zips men's soccer team completed the regular-season undefeated, then won the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship in 2010. Zippy, one of the eight female NCAA mascots, won the National Mascot of the Year contest in 2007.

Past teams and events Former teams of Akron include the Akron Professionals of the National Football League who played in the historic Rubber Bowl and won the 1920 championship; the Goodyear Silents, a deaf semi-professional football; the Akron Black Tyrites of the Negro National League; the Akron Americans of the International Hockey League; the Akron Lightning of the International Basketball League; the Akron Summit Assault of the USL Premier Development League, the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid; the Akron Wingfoots of the National Basketball League, who won the first NBL Championship and the International Cup three times; the Akron Firestone Non-Skids, also of the National Basketball League, who won the title consecutively, in 1939 and 1940; and the Akron Vulcans, a professional football team that played in the Continental Football League for part of the 1967 season.

Akron had 2 teams who won the National Basketball League in the '30s and '40s, before the foundation of the NBA.

Akron hosted some of the events of the 2014 Gay Games including the marathon, the men's and women's golf tournaments at Firestone Country Club, and softball at Firestone Stadium.

The Firestone Country Club, which annually hosted the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, has in the past hosted the PGA Championship, American Golf Classic, and Rubber City Open Invitational. On January 7, 1938, Akron became the birthplace of women's professional Mud Wrestling, in a match including Professional Wrestling, WWE, and Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer, Mildred Burke. The Professional Bowlers Association started in the city during 1958.

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Parks and recreation Major parks in Akron include Lock 3, Firestone, Goodyear Heights, the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (or Naturealm), and part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Several of the parks are along the locks of the canal. Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron is the city's hub for entertainment. It is commonly used as an outdoor amphitheater hosting live musical entertainment, festivals and special events year-round. The park was created in the early 21st century to provide green space within the city. The Ohio and Erie Canal can still be seen flowing behind the stage where there was once a boat yard and dry dock. Later, a pottery factory stood there until the parking deck of the M. O'Neil Co. department store was built in the current location. More than 65,000 guests use the park for recreation annually. Lock 3 Live holds concerts for almost every musical genre, including alternative, R&B, reggae, gospel, country, pop, jazz and classic rock. Some festivals the park hosts throughout the year include Soap Box Derby opening ceremonies, firefighter competitions, charity events, tournaments and animal events. From November through February, Lock 3 Park is transformed into an outdoor ice-skating rink. Adjacent to the Derby Downs race hill is a 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m²) outdoor skatepark. The park features concrete ramps, including two bowls going as deep as 7 feet (2.1 m), a snake run, two hips, a stair set with handrail, many smaller quarter pipes and a variety of grind boxes. Positioned just a few feet from the Akron Skatepark is a Pro BMX course where organized races are often held in the warmer months. Akron residents can enjoy various ice skating activities year round at the historic Akron Ice House.

The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a regional bike and hike trail that follows the canal. A bridge was completed in 2008, crossing Route 59/The Innerbelt, which connects the towpath proper with bike routes painted onto streets downtown, thus completing another step toward the connection of Cleveland and East Liverpool with a hike and bike trail. The State of Ohio plans to reconstruct the trail which once ran completely through Ohio, to New Philadelphia from Cleveland. The trail features a floating observation deck section over Summit Lake. It is a popular tourist attraction, as it attracts over 2 million visits annually. The Portage Hike and Bike Trail, when fully complete, will connect with the hike and bike trails in the county.

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Education Preschool, elementary, and secondary education is mainly provided by the Akron City School District. Planning of the district began in 1840, when Ansel Miller suggested to build free public schools for all children in the city, paid for by property taxes. After enduring much opposition by citizens, in 1843 Miller joined with Rev. Isaac Jennings. Three years later, Jennings became the chairman of a committee of citizens who discussed how to improve the school system. On November 21, 1846, their plan was approved unanimously by the citizens. The Ohio Legislature adopted the plan, called "An act for the support and better regulation of the Common Schools of the Town of Akron" on February 8, 1847. Akron's first public schools were established in the fall of 1847 and were led by Mortimer Leggett. The first annual report showed that it cost less than $2 a year to educate a child. In 1857 the cost of running the schools for a year was $4,200 (~$98,252 in 2021). The primary schools were taught by young women, which the Akron Board of Education justified because they could be paid less and were under the supervision of a male superintendent. From 1877 to 1952, Akron graduated students semi-annually instead of annually. 9% of the city's school-aged population were born in other countries in 1888. In the 1920s, an Americanization program was designed to help the many Akron students who were first-generation Americans. Classes were in the rubber companies and some of the schools. A "continuation school" began for working boys and girls who were required by law to have at least four hours of schooling a week. In 1924, Akron's platoon schools attracted visitors from all over the country. Being a stronghold for the Ku Klux Klan during the decade, the majority of school board and government officials were members. Their influence ended with the arrival of Wendell Willkie. During the city's 1950s boom town phase, Akron schools grew eight times faster than the city's population. In 1967, Kenmore launched the Air Force JROTC. In 1971, Jennings piloted the middle school model, which moved ninth-graders to the senior high school. In 1984, all-day kindergarten was piloted at Seiberling, Rankin and Hatton schools, and Ellet, East and Garfield high schools piloted the in-school suspension program. The district received an A+ evaluation from the state in 1987.

Akron was served by the Akron Digital Academy from 2002 to 2018, when it shut down.

As part of his charitable foundation's initiatives in the city, LeBron James founded the I Promise School, which serves underprivileged kids.

The city is home to the University of Akron. Originally Buchtel College, the school is home of the Goodyear Polymer Center and the National Polymer Innovation Center.

All Akron Public Schools are currently going through a 15-year, $800 million rebuilding process. In recent times the city's schools have been moved from "Academic Watch" to "Continuous Improvement" by the Ohio Department of Education. Akron also has many private, parochial and charter schools.

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Media: Print Akron is served in print by the daily Akron Beacon Journal, formerly the flagship newspaper of the Knight Newspapers chain; the weekly "The Akron Reporter"; and the weekly West Side Leader newspapers and the monthly magazine Akron Life. The Buchtelite newspaper is published by the University of Akron.

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Media: Television Akron is part of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton TV market, the 18th largest market in the U.S. Within the market, WEAO (PBS), WVPX (ION), and WBNX-TV (independent) are licensed to Akron. WEAO serves Akron specifically, while WBNX and WVPX identify as "Akron/Cleveland", serving the entire market. Akron has no native news broadcast, having lost its only news station when the former WAKC became WVPX in 1996. WVPX and Cleveland's WKYC later provided a joint news program, which was cancelled in 2005.

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Media: Radio Though it is part of a combined TV market with Cleveland, Akron is its own radio market, and served by WKJA 91.9 (religious), WQMX 94.9 (Country), WONE 97.5 (Classic rock), WKDD 98.1 (Contemporary Hits), WNIR-FM 100.1 (News/talk), WHLO 640 (News/talk), WCUE 1150 (religious), and WAKR 1590/93.5 (Soft AC/Full service).

As the regional NPR affiliate, WKSU 89.7 serves all of Northeast Ohio (including both the Cleveland and Akron markets). College and school system run stations include WZIP 88.1 (Top 40 – University of Akron), WSTB 88.9 (Alternative – Streetsboro City Schools), and WAPS 91.3 (AAA – Akron Public Schools)

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Film and television Akron has served as the setting for several major studio and independent films. Inducted into the National Film Registry, Dance, Girl, Dance (1940), tells the story of two dancers from Akron who go to New York City. My Name is Bill W. (1989) tells the true story of Bill Wilson who co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous, which held its first meetings at the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens and has over two million members today. The program's connection to the Saint Thomas Hospital is alluded to in an episode of the television series Prison Break (2005), where Michael Scofield talks to Sara Tancredi on the phone while there. The Akron Armory is used as a venue for a female wrestling team in…All the Marbles (1981). More than a Game (2009) documents National Basketball Association player LeBron James and his St. Vincent – St. Mary High School high school basketball team's journey. In Drake's music video to Forever (2009) off the More than a Game soundtrack (2009), the iconic Goodyear's logo on top the company's theater is shown. The city has been frequently portrayed in media, from "Hell on Earth" in the television series I'm In Hell (2007), to the whereabouts of a holy woman in The Virgin of Akron, Ohio (2007). Henry Spivey of My Own Worst Enemy (2008), travels to Akron through the series many times. George Costanza in an episode of Seinfeld (1989), flies to Akron and has a meeting at Firestone. M.Y.O.B. (2008) is centered on an Akron runaway girl named Riley Veatch. Jake Foley of Jake 2.0 (2003), Pickles family of the Rugrats (1991), and J.Reid of In Too Deep (1999), and Avery Barkley of Nashville (2016) are also from the city. Akron was also in the spotlight on the television show Criminal Minds "Compromising Positions" (2010) Season 6, Episode 4. The 2015 film Room is set in Akron, filmed in Toronto with staging to signify Akron.

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Transport: Air The primary terminal that airline passengers traveling to or from Akron use is the Akron-Canton Airport, serving nearly 2 million passengers a year. The Akron-Canton Airport is a commercial Class C airport located in the city of Green, roughly 10 mi (16 km) south-east of Akron operated jointly by Stark and Summit counties. It serves as an alternative for travelers to or from the Cleveland area as well. Akron Executive Airport is a general aviation airport located in and owned by the City of Akron that serves private planes. It first opened in 1929 and has operated in several different capacities since then. The airport had commercial scheduled airline service until the 1950s and it is now used for both cargo and private planes. It is home of the Lockheed Martin Airdock, where the Goodyear airships, dirigibles, and blimps were originally stored and maintained. The Goodyear blimps are now housed outside of Akron in a facility on the shores of Wingfoot Lake in nearby Suffield Township.

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Railroads Akron Northside Station is a train station at 27 Ridge Street along the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Because of the city's large rubber industry, Akron was once served by a variety of railroads that competed for the city's freight and passenger business. The largest were the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Erie Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Smaller regional railroads included the Akron, Canton, and Youngstown Railroad, Northern Ohio Railway, and the Akron Barberton Belt Railroad.[page needed] Today, the city is served by CSX Corporation, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, and their subsidiary Akron-Barberton-Cluster, which operate out of the W&LE's Akron Yard near Brittain Road on the eastern end of the city.

From 1891 to 1971 passenger service to points throughout the Midwest, as well as Washington and New York City, was provided at Akron Union Station. The last legacy passenger trains were the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities (ended, 1970) and the B&O's Shenandoah (ended, 1971). There is currently no passenger rail transportation with the elimination of Amtrak's former Three Rivers service in 2005. The nearest Amtrak service is in Alliance, Ohio or Cleveland.

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Transport: Bus Public transportation is available through the METRO Regional Transit Authority system, whose fleet of over 200 buses and trolleys operates local routes and commuter buses into downtown Cleveland. Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) also has a bus line running between Canton and Akron and the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) runs an express route connecting the University of Akron with Kent State University. Metro RTA operates out of the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center on South Broadway Street. This facility, which opened in 2009, also houses inter-city bus transportation available through Greyhound Lines.

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Freeways Akron is served by two major interstate highways that bisect the city. Unlike other cities, the bisection does not occur in the Central Business District, nor do the interstates serve downtown; rather, the Akron Innerbelt and to a lesser extent Ohio State Route 8 serve these functions. • Interstate 77 connects Marietta and Cleveland, Ohio. In Akron, it has 15 interchanges, four of which permit freeway-to-freeway movements. It runs north–south in the southern part of the city to its intersection with I-76, where it takes a westerly turn as a concurrency with Interstate 76. • Interstate 76 connects Interstate 71 to Youngstown, Ohio, and farther. It runs east–west and has 18 interchanges in Akron, four of which are freeway-to-freeway. The East Leg was rebuilt in the 1990s to feature six lanes and longer merge lanes. The concurrency with Interstate 77 is eight lanes. The Kenmore Leg is a four-lane leg that is slightly less than two miles (3 km) long and connects to Interstate 277. • Interstate 277 is an east–west spur that it forms with US 224 after I-76 splits to the north to form the Kenmore Leg. It is six lanes and cosigned with U.S. 224. • The Akron Innerbelt is a six-lane, 1.78-mile (2.86 km) spur from the I-76/I-77 concurrency and serves the urban core of the city. Its ramps are directional from the interstates, so it only serves west side drivers. ODOT is considering changing this design to attract more traffic to the route. The freeway comes to an abrupt end near the northern boundary of downtown where it becomes Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The freeway itself is officially known as "The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Freeway". The freeway was originally designed to connect directly to State Route 8, but plans were laid to rest in the mid-1970s because of financial troubles. • Ohio State Route 8 is an original state highway that is a limited access route that connects Akron's northern suburbs with Interstates 76 and 77. State Route 8's southern terminus is at the central interchange, where it meets I-76 and I-77. The second freeway in Akron to be completed, it went through a major overhaul in 2003 with new ramps and access roads. In 2007 ODOT began a project to upgrade the road to interstate highway standards north of Akron from State Route 303 to I-271, providing a high speed alternative to Cleveland.

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Akron, Ohio, United States 
<b>Akron, Ohio, United States</b>
Image: Adobe Stock Jesse Kunerth #296445622

Akron is ranked #168 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Akron has a population of over 197,597 people. Akron also forms part of the Greater Akron metropolitan area which has a population of over 703,505 people. Akron is the #110 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.3053 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Akron is ranked #452 for startups with a score of 0.437.

To set up a UBI Lab for Akron see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Akron has two sister cities:

🇩🇪 Chemnitz, Germany 🇮🇱 Kiryat Ekron, Israel
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GUCR | Hipster Index | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Akron is: 98.483,-41.067

Locations Near: Akron -81.5167,41.0667

🇺🇸 Cuyahoga Falls -81.477,41.141 d: 8.9  

🇺🇸 Kent -81.35,41.133 d: 15.8  

🇺🇸 Massillon -81.517,40.783 d: 31.5  

🇺🇸 Ravenna -81.233,41.15 d: 25.5  

🇺🇸 Canton -81.378,40.799 d: 32  

🇺🇸 Medina -81.863,41.139 d: 30.1  

🇺🇸 Brunswick -81.828,41.244 d: 32.7  

🇺🇸 Cleveland -81.693,41.505 d: 50.9  

🇺🇸 Wooster -81.933,40.8 d: 45.9  

🇺🇸 Lakewood -81.804,41.487 d: 52.5  

Antipodal to: Akron 98.483,-41.067

🇦🇺 Bunbury 115.637,-33.327 d: 18273.5  

🇦🇺 Mandurah 115.721,-32.529 d: 18215.4  

🇦🇺 Rockingham 115.717,-32.267 d: 18198.1  

🇦🇺 City of Cockburn 115.833,-32.167 d: 18182.7  

🇦🇺 Vincent 115.834,-31.936 d: 18166.9  

🇦🇺 Perth 115.857,-31.953 d: 18166.3  

🇦🇺 Cannington 115.934,-32.017 d: 18165  

🇦🇺 Wanneroo 115.803,-31.747 d: 18156.1  

🇦🇺 Guildford 115.973,-31.9 d: 18154.1  

🇦🇺 Midland 116.01,-31.888 d: 18150.5  

Bing Map

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