Designed by architect Levi T. Scofield, the Ohio State Reformatory opened its doors in 1896 as a facility to rehabilitate young male offenders through hard work and education. A self-sufficient institution with its own power plant and working farm, the reformatory produced goods in its workshops for other state institutions and provided opportunities for inmates to learn trades. The six-tier East Cell Block is the largest known structure of its kind.
As social attitudes towards crime hardened in the mid-twentieth century, it became a maximum-security facility. Considered substandard by the 1970s, The Ohio State Reformatory closed in 1990. It has served since as a setting for several major motion pictures. This Mansfield landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.