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You’ll Find Intriguing History In Ohio’s Government Buildings

The Ohio Statehouse is one of the most unique state capitols in the nation. Built in stages beginning in 1839, the statehouse did not officially open until 1857. The Greek Revival-style building was constructed before the national capitol and has a much different inspiration and look.

The Buckeye State has tons of historic courthouses oozing charm. The Lawrence County Courthouse is grand while the Jackson County Courthouse is regal. The Federalist-style Hocking County Courthouse in Logan is austere while the Athens County Courthouse is ornate. Other beautiful courthouses can be found in Fairfield County, Licking County, Knox County, and Perry County.

Fans of historic city halls will find plenty to love in Ohio. The Cincinnati City Hall is among the grandest structures in the state, while the Galion City Hall is one of the oldest. The Cleveland City Hall is gorgeous, especially at night after a snowstorm.

Ohio has an ambitious historic preservation effort, and there are nearly 4,000 structures in the state on the National Register of Historic Places. Included in that list are a number of bridges – check out the B&O Railroad Viaduct and the Adams Covered Bridge.

Capitol Square

Located in downtown Columbus, the Capitol Square features the beautiful Greek Revival style Ohio Statehouse.

The statehouse is one of America's oldest functioning statehouses. It was built along the Scioto River in 1861 and took 22 years to complete.

Visit the statehouse for a free tour to view the historic art and marble Abraham Lincoln bust.

The lawn of the statehouse was once the camp-out location for Civil War Union soldiers.

The Statehouse Museum Shop, located on the first floor of the statehouse features items crafted by Ohio artisans, pottery, and clothing.

Visit the Capitol Square's Cafe for a fresh and delicious meal, while in downtown Columbus.

Ohio State Reformatory

Opened in 1886, the Ohio State Reformatory is an impressive 250,000 square foot Chateauesque building designed from Richardsonian Romanesque, Victorian Gothic, and Queen Anne architectural styles. The reformatory is located north of Mansfield in central Ohio. The reformatory first opened to 150 inmates in 1896 and closed its doors in 1990, after serving more than 155,000 men during its operation.

Seven-time Academy Award nominated film, the Shawshank Redemption, was filmed at the reformatory in 1994, as well as scenes from Air Force One in 1997. Join in the Hollywood Tour to see the "escape tunnel" from The Shawshank Redemption or tour the West Tower and the East Cell Block, during a Sunday tour.