Ohio State Reformatory

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Ohio State Reformatory
Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio
Ohio State Reformatory is located in Ohio
Location:Olivesburg Road, Mansfield, Ohio
Coordinates:40°47′07″N 82°30′18″W / 40.78528°N 82.50500°W / 40.78528; -82.50500Coordinates: 40°47′07″N 82°30′18″W / 40.78528°N 82.50500°W / 40.78528; -82.50500
Area:40 acres (16 ha)
Built:1886
Architect:Levi T. Scofield
Architectural style:Romanesque Revival
Governing body:State
NRHP Reference#:83002039[1]
Added to NRHP:April 14, 1983
 
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Ohio State Reformatory
Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio
Ohio State Reformatory is located in Ohio
Location:Olivesburg Road, Mansfield, Ohio
Coordinates:40°47′07″N 82°30′18″W / 40.78528°N 82.50500°W / 40.78528; -82.50500Coordinates: 40°47′07″N 82°30′18″W / 40.78528°N 82.50500°W / 40.78528; -82.50500
Area:40 acres (16 ha)
Built:1886
Architect:Levi T. Scofield
Architectural style:Romanesque Revival
Governing body:State
NRHP Reference#:83002039[1]
Added to NRHP:April 14, 1983

The Ohio State Reformatory (OSR), also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio in the United States. It was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until a 1990 federal court ruling (the 'Boyd Consent Decree') ordered the facility to be closed. While this facility was used in a number of films (including several while the facility was still in operation), TV shows and music videos, it was made famous by the film The Shawshank Redemption (1994) when it was used in the large panning scene and for the Warden's office.

Contents

History

The facility was built in 1896. The original architect for the design was Levi T. Scofield from Cleveland,[2] although the creation and construction of the entire building was entrusted to F.F. Schnitzer, whose name also appears on the cornerstone, and is recorded as Superintendent in documents found in the cornerstone.[3] Schnitzer was presented with a silver double inkwell by the governor of the state in a lavish ceremony to thank him for his services. Although the architecture is often described as Germanic castle architecture, it is actually mostly Romanesque.

The Reformatory remained in full operation until December 1990 when it was closed via federal court order (the Boyd Consent Decree). Most of the grounds and support buildings, including the outer wall, have been demolished since the closing. In 1995, the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society was formed. They have turned the prison into a museum and conduct tours to help fund grounds rehabilitation projects and currently work to stabilize the buildings against further deterioration.[4]

The East Cell Block remains the largest free standing steel cell block in the world at six tiers high. From 1935 until 1959 Arthur Lewis Glattke was the Superintendent. Initially a political appointment following Glattke's work on the Martin Davey campaign, by all accounts Glattke was respected by professionals and inmates alike. He implemented many reforms such as piped in radio music in the cell blocks. Glattke's wife, Helen Bauer Glattke, died of pneumonia three days following an accident in November 1950 where a handgun discharged when she was reaching into a jewelry box in the family's quarters. Glattke died following a heart attack suffered in his office on February 10, 1959. Over 200 people died at the OSR, including a few guards who were killed during escape attempts.

Restoration and tours

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society is currently working to restore the facility to its original state. Restorations to date include the removal of debris, replacement of roofing, complete restoration of the Warden's quarters, as well as the complete restoration of the central guard room between the East and West Cell Blocks. The restorations are being funded through donations and tour fees.

Movies and television

The facility gained fame when it served as Shawshank State Prison in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

The facility has also been used in many other productions (even while it still held inmates), such as:

References

External links