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The Reformatory has a long history it was built in 1834 and was the second Ohio Penitentiary, and the third state prison in the state. The prison at one time housed about 5,235 prisoners. By the year 1972, most of the prisoners had been removed because of the completion of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. The Reformatory was closed in the year 1984 and the state sold the place to the City of Columbus in 1995.

The future of the place was debated quite a bit and thoughts were turned to demolishing it the community started a campaign to save the historic building. There were scheduled to begin demolishing the building in 1997 and were expected to take about three or four months. In May of that same year though voters rejected the sales tax increase that would finance this demolition project. To this day there are no concrete plans for the building.

If you would like to explore the prison independently you can at your own pace. The tour normally takes about an hour and a half. There are also opportunities for guided tours for those that want to immerse themselves in more history. The prison also takes people through the historical timeline of Andy Dufresne from the film, the Shawshank Redemption.

The place also has a gift shop to visit while in town. There are some historical books, coozies, coasters, water bottles, drawstring bags, and more great options.

The place is open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Book your tour today, you don't want to miss out on the great historical structure.