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Ohio State Reformatory
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
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 82.505°W / 40.78528; -82.505Coordinates: 40°47′07″N 82°30′18″W / 40.78528°N 82.505°W / 40.78528; -82.505
Built/Founded: 1886
Architect: Levi T. Scofield
Architectural style(s): Romanesque Revival
Governing body: State
Added to NRHP: April 14, 1983
NRHP Reference#: 83002039 [1]

The Ohio State Reformatory (OSR), also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio in the United States.



The facility was built between 1886 and 1910. 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 Revival.

The Reformatory remained in full operation until 1972, at which time the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility was opened. The facility was completely closed down in 1990. Part of the grounds and support buildings however, 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 facility still holds the largest free standing 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.

OSR is supposedly haunted with several paranormal "hotspots" such as the two chapels, the area around the warden's office, the infirmary and solitary confinement. 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 movie 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


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-06-01.  
  2. ^ The Ohio State Reformatory. "". Retrieved 2007-04-29.  
  3. ^ Ohio Intermediate Penitentiary items on Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook
  4. ^ Ohio State Reformatory. "". Retrieved 2007-04-29.  
  5. ^ The Dead Matter (2008). "". Retrieved 2007-08-22.  
  6. ^ Horror film crew shoots at former local prison. Lou Whitmire. "". Retrieved 2007-08-22.  

External links



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