By 1812Blockhouse

Mansfield is a featured stop on a new “Levi Schofield Road Trip” created by the website Travel Inspired Living.

The site is the brainchild of Cleveland area writer Tonya Prater who has previously published several travel articles and books, including “Secret Cleveland: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure.”

This time, Prater has turned her attention to noted architect Levi Scofield, a man with Cleveand and Mansfield connections.

The tour begins in Athens, where the Scofield-designed Athens Lunatic Asylum, later known as the Athens State Hospital and most recently as The Ridges, towers over part of the campus of Ohio University. It then moves to the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, where the architect’s “These Are My Jewels” statue has been in place since the 1890s.

Moving north to Mansfield, the Ohio State Reformatory, one of Scofield’s masterpieces, is a well-known landmark of our local architecture. The tour ends in Cleveland’s Public Square, where the restored Soldiers and Sailors Monument can be found. The architect also designed the Scofield Hotel building and the Scofield Mausoleum in Lake View Cemetery.

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.

Of course, there is a glaring local omission in this tour. Mansfield is also home to Scofield’s wonderful Orin Booth/Dr. James W. Craig House on Mulberry Street, which now houses the Richland Area Chamber and Economic Development.

The tour can be accessed here.

Photo: Creative Commons License

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