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
, 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. 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 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.
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
- Harry and Walter Go to New York, 1976 - Harry and Walter spend some time behind bars at the penitentiary.
- Tango & Cash, 1989 - The facility is used for various prison scenes.
- Air Force One, 1997 - The prison was used for scenes of a Russian prison for General Ivan Radek.
- Godsmack "Awake" music video 2000.
- Marilyn Manson promotional photography, 1996 - Marilyn Manson grew up in Canton, Ohio.
- Ohio State Reformatory has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigation shows, including the Fox Family Channel's Scariest Stories on Earth, and Scariest Places On Earth.
- The Travel Channel did a tourism documentary on the OSR.
- In 2005, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) investigated the facility for the SciFi Channel's TV series, Ghost Hunters.
- In 2004 Lil Wayne featured this prison in his video for the song Go DJ
- In April 2006 the horror/thriller motion picture "Fallen Angels" was filmed almost entirely at OSR. The film featured many genre favorites and was released by Warner Brothers in November of 2007.
- In August 2007, Midnight Syndicate co-founder Edward Douglas, filmed scenes at OSR for the horror-suspense film, "The Dead Matter", which is to be released in the Fall of 2008. Filming took place in the prisons chapel, as well as action scenes shot on the outside of OSR