Lake Anna Tour
Lake Anna Neighborhood
The presence of this natural glacial lake was an important consideration of O.C. Barber in locating a new town on this spot in 1891. The original town plat had the lake as its focus, which Barber named after his daughter Anna. Fronting Lake Anna on three sides is Barberton's most significant collection of turn-of-the-century homes, built for early Barberton's most prominent merchants, bankers, politicians, and business leaders. These houses were constructed over a period of about 40 years, from 1891 to 1930. Built of both brick and frame, many of the homes combine elements of the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles popular during that period. Interspersed among the homes at corner locations are four of the city's most impressive religious buildings.
Standing for 20 years on the south side of the lake was Barber's resort hotel, the Barberton Inn. Demolished about 1915, it was replaced with the important institutional and governmental buildings which today grace the site. Lake Anna itself was recognized then, as now, as a beautiful pleasure spot, conducive to community gatherings and public recreation in the heart of this industrial community. The natural character of the lake and its surrounding park has been well preserved, maintaining the original intent of Barberton' founder.
In these descriptions, properties are identified by their historic names (where known), followed by their address and date of construction. "NR" denotes a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Alexander Square Historic District.
Lake Anna Tour.
Begin your tour at the corner of 5th Street, NW and Park Avenue West. You may park in the lot to the south of the Barberton Public Library.
107 5th Street, NW (1925), NR
Architect: Harpster and Bliss
Still occupied by the Masons today, this Second Renaissance Revival landmark is ornamented with wrought iron balconies and railings, geometric-patterned metal doors, and copper lighting fixtures. The interior boasts an original ballroom, lodge room, and parlors.
Barberton Municipal Building
576 Park Avenue West (1954)
Architect: Wagner and Luxmore
Barberton city offices occupied other downtown buildings until this building was completed in 1954. The block which it anchors today was originally the site of the 1890s Barberton Inn.
Campfield Hickman Company
566 Park Avenue West (1925), NR
A fine example of funeral home construction during the early 20th century, this building houses a Barberton business founded in 1904. Especially note the grand two-story porch with classical columns, the porte cocheres on each side, and the 1920s neon sign.
542 Park Avenue West (1934)
Home to the Elks since 1934, this building is an excellent local example of Art Deco design because of its streamlined and geometric form. Note how the monumental, semi-circular entry porch is accented by glazed tile laid in geometric patterns.
Lake Anna Park
(1891) View from Visitor's Center (1992) at the southeast corner of the park.
This natural 10-acre glacial lake, here long before Barberton was founded, serves as the town's centerpiece. The beautiful 11-acre city park which surrounds it has been improved over the years with upper and lower walks, lighting and landscaping. Lake Anna gazebo concerts each summer and the Barberton Mum Festival each Fall. The lake itself is home to a pair of swans and score of ducks during the warm weather months.
Lower Walk, Lake Anna Park
If desired, take a half-mile stroll around the lower walk of Lake Anna Park before continuing on with the walking tour. Among the features you will notice are sandstone retaining walls and steps, added by WPA workers in the 1930s.
Continue you tour, using the Upper Walk around Lake Anna
Albert Henry House
163 3rs Street, NW (1928)
With its green tile roof, buff-colored brick, and classical details, this house is an intact example of 1920s residential architecture. Its owner was founder of a successful coal and ice business in early Barberton.
Moore Memorial United Methodist Church
179 3rd Street, NW (1892)
Organized in New Portage in 1890, the First United Brethren Church purchased a lot an built this church in 1891-92 as the first of the Lake Anna churches. Its sanctuary windows, corner tower and details such as the sandstone foundation and front door trim give the building its 19th century character.
Joseph Free House
191 3rd Street, NW (1905)
Joseph Free gained success as a real estate speculator in early Barberton. His ornate home, built of textured concrete block and wood trim, offered him a superb view of Lake Anna from the comfort of his two-story, classically embellished front porch. It remains one of the outstanding houses on the lake.
Morris Richberger House
221 3rd Street, NW (1897)
With its corner turret, decorative wood trim and wrap-around porch, this house sets a local standard for the Queen Anne style. Morris Richberger was a pioneer Barberton clothing merchant who also built a downtown commercial building bearing his name.
Who Made the Tour Possible
This tour was made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Interior's Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society. Matching funds for this grant were provided by the City of Barberton and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Text by Judith B. Williams, August 1994.