The site of the old Ohio Penitentiary, with 22.5 acres of land inside the 30-foot walls and 7.43 acres of buildings, was purchased in 1832 and first occupied in 1834. It was located on Spring Street just west of downtown Columbus. The first building contained 700 cells. It was modeled after the Auburn or Silent System. The East Hall (A, B, C, and D Blocks) was completed in 1861 and the New Hall in 1877. Many of the shops, buildings and factories were completed before 1877. James Hospital, built in 1895, was remodeled and modernized in 1944. The Pen was closed in 1979 and stood empty for almost twenty years. It was demolished by the City of Columbus to clear land for Nationwide Arena parking facilities and the Arena District initiative.
Keywords: United States, Ohio, Franklin County, Columbus, Nationwide Arena District, The Old Ohio Penitentiary, The Old Pen, Institutional buildings, correctional facilities, prisons. Submitted by Andrew Faulkner.