South Hearing Room

South Hearing RoomThis room was originally intended for use by the Department of State Personnel and Board of Review and noted Cincinnati artist and educator, H.H. Wessel, painted the 11 murals that adorn the walls. They depict the important role of transportation in the development and growth of commerce.

The story begins with the panel on the east wall illustrating a pristine forest. Moving counterclockwise to the north wall, visitors can see a depiction of early traders bartering with American Indians. The central mural is entitled Early Commerce in Ohio and is an Ohio map with various types of transportation and trade routes. At the top of the mural, a sailing schooner and a steamboat travel along Lake Erie. Moving east to west across the center of Ohio is the National Road, an early national transportation project that helped integrate the Northwest Territories with east coast markets. Travel along the National Road was then dominated by horses and covered wagons. At the upper left, the railroad coming into Ohio from the west is an example of artistic license; the first tracks actually came from the east. Also pictured are the main Ohio cities of the time and the first Columbus Statehouse.

The mural on the south wall is entitled Twentieth Century Commerce in Ohio and is an Ohio map that illustrates transportation in the 1930s. Automobiles, trucks and buses now traverse the National Road as airplanes fly overhead. And the skyscrapers of the major cities are given their due, as is the modern railroad, complete with passenger and freight trains. Wessel even included what is now the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in the center of the mural.

The room, which was converted into a day care center in the 1980s, is now used as a conference room.