A description of the work of Cleveland architect Levi T. Scofield states that there are only ten standing examples of his work.
Two of those structures are right here in Mansfield.
Those working to preserve Scofield’s landmark mansion in Cleveland have just secured the house’s place on the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official compendium of properties with significant architectural and/or historic significance.
Born as Levi Schofield before changing his surname spelling, Scofield served in the Civil War before training as an architect. His practice concentrated on massive institutional structures for government functions, such as hospitals, prisons, mental health (“lunatic” or “insane”) asylums, and some civic sculpture and monuments.
Scofield designed penitentiary buildings in both Ohio and North Carolina, each of stone construction with castellated (castle-like) exterior ornamentation, towers and turrets, etc.. He was the first Clevelander to be a part of the American Institute of Architects, and was a golfing companion of the famous John D. Rockefeller.
In addition to two very significant pieces of public art — the “These Are My Jewels” sculpture on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse and the Soliders and Sailors Memorial on Public Square in Cleveland, Scofield designed the Ohio State Reformatory and the Orin Booth/Dr. James W. Craig House, which now houses the Richland Area Chamber and Economic Development.
Scofield’s 6,000 square foot mansion has been under threat for some time based on its deteriorated condition. Fortunately, a non profit organization and a team of volunteers worked to stabilize and market the house.
Placement on the National Register is a positive sign, as listing comes with a battery of tax-related and other incentives for restoration. These include the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit and the very popular Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
Sources: Wikipedia, National Park Service Photos: Public Domain