Dr. Bob’s Home
The small, arts and crafts house tucked away on a quiet street in Akron, Ohio was to become the life-long home of Dr. Bob Smith and his wife, Anne Ripley Smith. Built in 1915, the house was where Dr. Smith brought his bride in 1916; and where they lived for the next 34 years until their deaths: Anne in 1949 and Dr. Bob in 1950. It was here, in this humble home, that Dr. Smith was to take his incredible journey through the twelve steps and into history as the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was in this house and surrounding neighborhood where the miracle of recovery began for many hundreds of men and women; individuals who went on to spread this welcome message of recovery around the world. Many visitors have spoken of a feeling of oneness with the spirit of AA as soon as they climbed the front steps and crossed the threshold. It is our hope and belief that you will too. Many once- hopeless alcoholics, Dr. Bob among them, made their first shaky steps toward recovery in this place. Walking through these rooms, we may reflect on those days in the 1930’s and 1940’s when the Smiths and their visitors spoke of spiritual matters, and reflected in gratitude, on how dramatically their lives had changed because of them.
Dr. Bob’s Home operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN:34-1461210). Our primary purpose is to maintain, restore and preserve the property at 855 Ardmore Ave., which was the family home of physician Robert Holbrook Smith, affectionately known as Dr. Bob, one of the founding fathers of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This historic site in Akron, Ohio is the birthplace of this internationally known fellowship, which subsequently became the foundation of numerous other 12-step programs that are improving the lives of millions of people. Second, our ongoing mission is to help alcoholics by preserving the atmosphere of acceptance where early members achieved and maintained their sobriety. This prevailing attitude is simply expressed in our greeting, “WELCOME HOME.” Third, we educate the local community and beyond on how Dr. Bob’s Home played a part in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous and the manner in which alcoholics were helped in the early days.
Archive & Gift Gallery
If you have visited Dr. Bob’s Home at 855 Ardmore Ave., more than likely you have also visited the gift shop and archives at 859 Ardmore Ave., known as “the house next door.” From the end of 2017 and Spring of 2018 this house was under reconstruction and renovation. In keeping with our mission statement, we have made some much needed structural, as well as cosmetic, repairs. The gift shop has received the biggest transformation with a new custom built sales counter and display cabinets. There are also new flooring, lighting and paint throughout the house. These are just a few of the changes, in an effort to better enhance and preserve. It is truly breathtaking! There has been much time, effort and hard work contributed by all involved. We want to thank all who have poured their love and service into this vision and helped it become a reality.
Archival, Welcome & Educational Centers
Many of our friends in the vast community that make up “The World of Dr. Bob’s Home” may or may not be aware that we have recently acquired a third property, which allows the Smith residence to now be flanked and protected on both sides by supporting structures.
These three structures and their grounds now resemble a campus, rather than a couple of homes. Collectively, they are often referred to as The Dr. Bob’s Campus.
The new addition, located immediately behind Dr. Bob’s Home, has the following address: 122 Everett Ave. Our board members and volunteers informally refer to this addition as “122”. To make a long story short, we acquired 122 in a process that some may say had the makings of divine intervention. A new phase in the journey of Dr. Bob’s Home had begun.
Our grateful appreciation is extended to the manufactures, suppliers, friends and contractors who have contributed their labor, time efforts and materials to help bring this project from an idea to realization.
Special Recognition is graciously given to:
Legacy Roofing Services—roofing and siding labor and expertise
Precision Flooring Concepts—flooring restoration and service
Owens Corning Corporation—donation of shingles and materials
CertainTeed Corporation—donations of siding and materials
Willoughby Supply—supply logistics
And all the volunteers, trustees and grantors who have helped directly or indirectly.
More information on how the house at 122 Everett Ave became the A.W.E Center on Dr. Bob’s Campus, see our Fall 2019 Newsletter.