Franklin Park Civic Center
“The Tudor House”
655 Latham Lane
Akron, OH 44319
Telephone (330) 644-1728

The Franklin Park Civic Center, also known as “The Tudor House,” is a fine example of local initiative and voluntary cooperation in the preservation and development of a valuable community resource that can be visited and enjoyed by everyone. It is located at 655 Latham Lane, in the Portage Lakes area of New Franklin.

The beautiful 20-room, 2 ½ story, brick and stucco mansion sits on 5.8 acres,  adjacent to Portage Lakes State Park, and has 335 feet of frontage on the west shore of Turkeyfoot Lake.

It is a distinctive example of the Tudor Revival style of architecture, with its arched doorways, carved wood staircase, prominent Tudor arch fireplace with oak paneling, and exposed beams in the living room.

The exterior also reflects Tudor design in its gabled front entry with stone trim, massive stone and brick chimneys, slate roof with prominent cross gables, and copper gutters. The gardens include an embanked grotto, constructed of stone.

The Frank Mason Raymond House was constructed and given to Raymond and his wife, the former Zeletta Robinson, as a wedding present from his grandfather, Frank H. Mason, who was a senior executive of the B. F. Goodrich Company and had his large summer mansion adjacent to this house. The mansion, which once housed a nursing home, was torn down several years ago. The couple were married on Dec. 28, 1927, and lived at Mason’s neighboring mansion, Brighton Farms, for the 13 months their home was being built. They continued to live at the Tudor House until they built a home in Bath.

Consisting of 1700 acres, Brighton Farms was one of the largest estates in the Lakes area. In 1954, 500 acres of the estate were sold to the State of Ohio for the Portage Lakes State Park.

The Tudor House was later rented by Goodrich Vice-President, George Vaught, and his family. Then, in 1943, prominent Akron jeweler Henry B. Ball and his wife, Helen, bought the mansion. They lived there for 25 years with their children, Skip and Betty (Mrs. Dick Walter). Betty was married at the mansion.

From 1968 to 1974, Akron contractor Robert Fabbro and his family of six children occupied the mansion. In 1974, it was sold to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

In July 1977, a 50-year lease was signed with the State for the facilities to be used as a civic center. Under the direction of the Franklin Park Civic Center Commission, it is the site of numerous community activities.

As a popular wedding facility and banquet facility, the Tudor House and grounds may be rented for weddings, receptions, showers, and private parties, and it is often available without charge to non-profit organizations.

For rental information, call the Tudor House Administrator at (330) 644-1728.

Come, experience the grandeur of The Tudor House and the tranquility of the Portage Lakes.

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