A Group Research Project / City Planning History / The Ohio State University / Spring 2010
The Old Ohio Penitentiary, also known as the Ohio State Penitentiary or less formally referred to as the Ohio Pen or State Pen, was a prison operated from 1834 to 1983 in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Penitentiary covered 22 acres of land on West Spring Street between West Street and Neil Avenue before it was demolished. During its lifetime, several historical events took place including the worst prison fire ever in U.S history, two large riots, a tornado, and some interesting escapes. The Ohio Pen was sold in 1995 and demolished in 1998 to make room for Nationwide Arena in the present-day Arena District. Today, the site of Ohio Pen is used for arena parking lots, condos, businesses, work-out facility, movie theater, restaurants, bars, and a park. Our research comes from a variety of sources, including internet databases, several books, personal interview, and personal experience from the site.