Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society Inc. Fund

October 1, 2019

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society wants to make sure the historical prison is around forever. That is why the Executive Director and the Board of Directors recently established an endowed fund to benefit the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society.

The Mansfield Reformatory, also known as the Ohio State Reformatory, was saved from the wrecking ball by a small group of local historic preservationists in 1994.

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society is working to restore the facility to its original grandeur. Completed projects include the restoration of the Warden's quarters, the Central Guard Room, original stained-glass windows, replacement windows and a roof. Ongoing projects include the Ohio Correctional Museum now recognized and chartered by The Governor of Ohio and the newly installed Shawshank Museum. Future plans include the North Central Ohio Industrial Museum to be opened in Spring of 2020. All the current funding comes from donations, tours, paranormal tours, Halloween Haunted House, rentals of the facility and now this new endowed fund.  

The prison was used for the production of six films, including the one that made it famous, Shawshank Redemption. Shawshank was filmed in 1994 and celebrated its 25th anniversary in August of 2019 with the largest cast assembled from the movie since its release, drawing fans from all over the world.

The Reformatory also was used to film numerous music videos and TV shows.

According to the history on the Mansfield Reformatory website, “the cornerstone was laid on November 4, 1886. Cleveland Architect Levi T. Scofield designed the Ohio State Reformatory using a combination of three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne. This was done to encourage inmates back to a "rebirth" of their spiritual lives. The architecture itself would inspire them to turn away from their sinful lifestyle, and toward repentance.

The Reformatory doors were opened to its first 150 young offenders in September 1896. After housing over 155,000 men during its lifetime, the doors to the prison closed December 31, 1990.

Today the Ohio State Reformatory Historic Site receives visitors from all over the world. Every year tourists, movie buffs, thrill-seekers and paranormal investigators walk through the halls of this majestic structure.”

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society Inc. Fund to ensure its future for generations to come,  go to richlandcountyfoundation.org and click the donate button, click the fund option and select Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, or write a check to the Richland County Foundation and note the fund on the memo line.

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