LIVING HERE: Akron Neighborhoods
Downtown Akron is home to The University of Akron, which enrolls approximately 20,000 students.
• Population: 6,636
• Median Household Income: $20,736
• Median Home Value: $69,400
The city’s oldest commercial district has transformed into a vibrant neighborhood ideal for today’s young professionals and those craving a taste of urban living. By combining hip restaurants, coffee houses and clubs with new and recently restored offices, apartments, townhouses, lofts and condominiums, Akron has established a modern-day community committed to revitalizing the downtown culture. Easy access to museums, the library, concert halls, galleries and more adds to its appeal. It is also home to The University of Akron, with approximately 20,000 enrolled students. U of A’s many programs offer additional benefits of downtown living. For more information, contact Downtown Akron Partnership at 330.374.7676; downtownakron.com.
• Population: 17,085
• Median Household Income: $43,129
• Median Home Value: $94,107
Ellet residents take pride in the suburban feel of this large neighborhood situated southeast of the city center. Ellet not only offers stable housing prices and abundant newer single-family homes but some of the best schools within the Akron Public Schools system. Ellet is also the home of Derby Downs, where the All-American Soap Box Derby takes place every summer, drawing visitors from around the world. For more information, contact City of Akron at 330.375.2311; akronohio.gov.
• Population: 2,875
• Median Household Income: $79,537
• Median Home Value: $201,933
This small, affluent neighborhood nestled on a hillside northwest of downtown Akron is known for its elegant, early-to-mid-century houses on large, wooded lots. Once home to the Quaker Oats heiress, today Fairlawn Heights offers easy access to I-77 and attractive retail, office and apartment developments. For more information, contact Fairlawn Heights Neighborhood Association at fairlawnheightsakron.org.
• Population: 14,566
• Median Household Income: $39,122
• Median Home Value: $78,442
Firestone Park is the legacy of Harvey Firestone, who, back in the 1930s, planned this neighborhood of tree-lined boulevards, diverse architectural styles and a central park to provide housing for his tire and rubber factory workers. Today, Firestone Park remains one of Akron’s most stable neighborhoods, with well-maintained homes and a growing commercial district along Aster Avenue. The park itself, shaped like the original Firestone shield emblem, remains the heart of the community. With easy access to I-77 and I-277, Firestone Park is as convenient as it is livable. For more information, contact greatstreetsakron.com/district/firestone-park.
• Population: 19,778
• Median Household Income: $39,030
• Median Home Value: $71,329
Akron’s most historic neighborhood serves as a local landmark and reminder of Akron’s heyday as the Rubber Capital of the World. Goodyear founder Frank Seiberling built Goodyear Heights in the early 1900s to improve living conditions for his workers. Today the neighborhood retains most of its original, small-town atmosphere, with mature trees, winding streets and small parks that provide a restful green oasis within the city. Goodyear Heights, in fact, has more open and public parkland than any other neighborhood in Akron, including Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Homes range from English Cottages to Colonials to Craftsman Bungalows to Tudor Revivals, perfect for young families and empty nesters alike. For more information, contact Historic Goodyear Heights at historicgoodyearheights.com.
The "Little Free Library" in Highland Square. / Photo: JM Turnauckas Photography
• Population: 10,828
• Median Household Income: $43,705
• Median Home Value: $98,953
Located 12 minutes northwest of Akron, this hip urban neighborhood is favored by locals for its artsy atmosphere and walkability. Antique shops, affordable eateries, an organic grocery store, the historic art-deco Highland Theater movie house and a mix of single-family homes and modern apartment complexes make Highland Square especially popular among artists and young professionals. The annual PorchRokr Music & Arts Festival draws visitors from all over Northeast Ohio. For more information, contact Highland Square Neighborhood Association at highlandsquareakron.org.
A canopy of trees shades a portion of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park towpath that runs through the Merriman Valley.
Photo: Carrie Russel
• Population: 7,748
• Median Household Income: $52,394
• Median Home Value: $116,643
This affluent neighborhood northwest of downtown, situated along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, mingles memories of Ohio's past with upscale retail businesses, restaurants and bars. The Merriman Valley prides itself as the Gateway to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Houses represent a wide range of range of architectural styles, from large Colonial and Georgian to Spanish and Renaissance Revival, many with wooded lots. For more information, contact merrimanvalleyakron.com.
• Population: 15,861
• Median Household Income: $41,920
• Median Home Value: $53,360
First settled by Italian immigrants, this primarily single-family residential neighborhood is now a diverse community blending many different cultures. Plenty of Italian restaurants and markets maintain North Hill’s original flavor and tradition. The community is bordered on the west by Cascade Valley Metro Park, on the east by Gorge Metro Park and on the north by Cuyahoga Falls. For more information, contact City of Akron at 330.375.2311; akronohio.gov.
• Population: 10,910
• Median Household Income: $80,193
• Median Home Value: $165,320
Bordered by Sand Run Metro Park to the north, Fairlawn Country Club to the west and Portage Country Club to the south, Northwest Akron offers stately, well-kept homes on large lots, with apartment buildings along Portage Path, in the Valley, and in the North Hawkins area. Many of the homes were originally built at the turn of the 20th century for Akron’s “Rubber Barons”; in fact, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens—the former estate of F.A. Seiberling, one of the co-founders of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.—is located here and is a popular tourist attraction. For more information, contact City of Akron at 330.375.2311; akronohio.gov.
SOUTH AKRON (KENMORE)
Located south of Downtown and University Park, this neighborhood offers easy access to I-76 and I-77. Also known as Kenmore, the neighborhood offers a stable inventory of moderately priced single-family homes. For more information, contact City of Akron at 330.375.2311; akronohio.gov.
• Population: 4,239
• Median Household Income: $59,651
• Median Home Value: $127,160
Northwest of downtown Akron, situated at the intersections of Market Avenue, Exchange Street and Hawkins Avenue, Wallhaven is a commercial and residential district that offers a diverse mix of people, businesses and home options. Modest, well-maintained single-family homes dominate the area east of Hawkins, with a more varied mix west of it. Hardesty Park, Forest Lodge Park and the Northwest Community Center nearby offer recreational opportunities. For more information, contact greatstreetsakron.com/district/wallhaven.