Monday, May 1, 2017

Ohio State Reformatory tour


The Ohio State Reformatory was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until 1990, when a United States Federal Court ruling as the result of a prisoners' class action suit citing overcrowding and inhumane conditions (the 'Boyd Consent Decree') ordered the facility to be closed.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

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The beautiful architecture and design was crafted by Cleveland architect Levi Scofield, stimulated by the architecture and designs of German castles. The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society is currently working to restore the facility to its original state.

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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 for the majority of the movie.

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The OSR houses the largest cell blocks found within the penal system. Standing six stories high, the East Cell block is the highest freestanding steel cell block in existence. There is a sign as you enter that the building contains hazards including steep steps, uneven surfaces and lead-based paint. We were surprised they could do tours in some areas with the peeling walls and ceilings.

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The tour we took was guided, History Meets Hollywood. There was some history on the reformatory but mostly about Shawshank Redemption. They also have an Inmate Tour in summer, which we think would be interesting. There are also ghost hunts, and they rent their ballroom for events to help raise money for the restoration.

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From there on to a Flying J to fill fuel and see how far west we can get before we hit the storm system. It sounds like the central states were having flooding, storm and tornado warnings. We got to Van Wert Walmart and decided to sit it out. I had called ahead of time and the manager said there’s always trucks or campers in the lot, you can’t miss them. He said it usually looks like a truck stop!

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For more pictures of our tour, and also western Ohio, please click here.

(Some of the above information was per the OSR web site and Wikipedia)


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