First Congregational Church of Akron (First Church) will take part in the Ohio History Connection’s Ohio Open Doors event set for 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 16.
The Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society) created Ohio Open Doors in 2016 to promote and inspire pride in Ohio’s heritage and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. This event allows residents the chance to discover Ohio’s heritage as historic buildings and landmarks across the state open their doors for special tours and events.
"Ohio Open Doors shares stories of important landmarks right in our backyard, highlighting the history and unique nature of some of Ohio’s most treasured historic places," said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection.
First Church, established in 1833, was Akron’s first formally organized church congregation. The current Bedford limestone building, which includes a 100-foot-high bell and clock tower, was completed in 1910.
Visitors will receive a guided tour of the interior, which includes the original Meetinghouse with its distinctive, original, Tiffany-style stained glass windows and massive monitor (skylight) dome.
The Meetinghouse also features a Casavant Frères pipe organ that was built in Quebec, Canada, which contains more than 3,500 individual pipes controlled from a console of four keyboards and a pedalboard.
In addition, the tour will include the Upper Room, which was one of the early Akron Plan Sunday School designs. This area has undergone few alterations, and still features the radiating-shaped classrooms and original decorative stained-glass skylight.
All Ohio Open Doors events are free. Most are special one-day-only opportunities.
For more information about Ohio Open Doors, visit ohiohistory.org.