Our primary purpose is to maintain, restore and preserve the property at 855 Ardmore Avenue which was the family home of physician Robert Holbrook Smith, affectionately called Dr. Bob, one of the founding fathers of Alcoholics Anonymous. This historic site in Akron, Ohio is the birthplace of this internationally known fellowship, which subsequently became the foundation of numerous 12 step programs that are improving the lives of millions. 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, to educate the local community and beyond on how Dr. Bob’s home played in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous and the manner in which alcoholics were helped in the early days.
Dr Bob & Anne
Dr BobRobert Holbrook Smith was born on August 8th 1879 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. After graduation from Dartmouth College in 1902, he completed his medical training at Rush Medical School in Chicago. While attending college, he became a steady drinker; a situation that progressed until his recovery. In 1915, some 17 years after he had first met her, he married his high school sweetheart Anne Ripley and brought her to Akron. Even though he became a successful surgeon, he continued to struggle with alcoholism. Read More….
Anne SmithAnne Ripley Smith was referred to by Bill Wilson, as “the mother of Alcoholics Anonymous” She was a woman who possessed a deep faith in God and unwavering love for those who suffer. Anne was born March 3, 1881 in Oak Park, Illinois, and was one of four children. Read More….
Support Dr. Bob’s Restoration Project
We are very excited about restoring the home to the time period when Dr. Bob and Anne lived there. Interior renovations are complete and it’s time to focus on the exterior.
Exterior Renovations Include:
- Repairing the chimney, roof, rafter tails, fascia boards, trellis, front door, windows and front porch
- Replacing/restoring gutters and downspouts
- Performing an existing condition study and paint analysis
- Painting the exterior of home
- Replacing HVAC Unit in Archive House
- Adding UV protection to windows
- Construction management
Before & After
slide the bar in the center of the image to the left and right
Our Mission statement emphasizes preservation, restoration and education. We are underway in our epic historical restoration with the target completion that is expected to be in the later part of 2016. This will be called the “second Century Campaign” since the house turned 100 in 2015. Needless to say, a major undertaking such as this requires substantial resources and the budget for this initiative is extensive. We have secured some modest contributions from individual donors and obtained generous grants from various foundations. However the aggregate of both is well below what is required. We need your help so we may complete this vital initiative.