Side A: Elm Court, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw of Illinois, was built in 1912 for Arthur Hudson Marks. The original mansion exemplifies the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Elm Court included the mansion, barn, stables, carriage house, pond, and a variety of trees, especially elms, on 33 acres. Arthur Marks was the inventive genius in chemistry and business who revolutionized the rubber industry in Akron. He was best known for inventing the alkaline-recovery vulcanization process in 1899, the cord tire, the chemical research laboratory system, and placing rubber research on a scientific basis. In World War I he served as director of chemical warfare services. Marks served as vice-president of B.F. Goodrich Company and Curtis Airplane and Engine Company and president of other rubber companies and the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company.
Side B: In 1923, the Akron Dominican Sisters, the Order of Preachers (OP), purchased Elm Court for a Dominican Provincial House. Our Lady of the Elms Convent was dedicated on October 14, 1923. The next day, the Sisters opened an academy for elementary and high school students. The Akron Dominicans became an independent congregation in 1929, but their history began in 1206 in France when St. Dominic invited women to be part of his work—to pray, preach, and educate. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and in 1853 four sisters were sent to New York. Akron became a home to one of the Dominican congregations that spread throughout the United States. Its convent, administration buildings, and school campus including an all-girls’ high school and elementary school, and a co-educational preschool/kindergarten are located on the Elm Court property. Akron Dominican Sisters continue to engage in the ministries of education and social service.