Malabar Farm State Park

Louis Bromfield Visitor & Education Center

Mansfield, Ohio

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The entire Malabar Farm Visitor Center will become an educational tool highlighting responsible environmental stewardship of the land and natural resources. The overall design work to date is consistent with the long-term vision set forth by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Malabar Farm Foundation. We believe that the center reflects "good government" through the development of the innovative public/private partnership that generated funds for design and construction, and will serve as a model for others to emulate in terms of its green components. it should be noted that the Malabar Farm Foundation continues their efforts to raise funds for the visitor center expansion, and the initial facility is being designed to accommodate additions to the gift shop, exhibit gallery and covered porch areas along with the construction of an auditorium in the future.

The project consists of the design of a new visitors center to include an exhibit hall, retail sales area, administrative wing and meeting and events room to seat 200 people. The design must be sensitive to the environment and follow the ecological principles established by Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield for whom the Center is named.

Program Elements

Big House Education - The new visitor center will allow the park offices and gift shop to be moved out of the Big House. The former gift shop will be available for new museum and educational activities. Moving the existing educational exhibits from the three-bay garage adjacent to the Big House will open up additional space for educational activities.

Exhibit Hall

Conference / Library - The conference / library space will allow for additional educational activity areas. The entry and exhibit areas are being desinged to allow for flexible use by combining both permanent and movable exhibits to better accommodate multiple group sizes and educational activities. The conference / library space will also allow important key Bromfield publications and books to be relocated for preservation and controlled public access for research.

Administrative Offices - The park administrative offices in one central location will allow greater public access to staff for general information and assistance, and create designed space for better communication and administrative functions.


Gift Shop - The relocated gift shop will provide a well organized and defined merchandise space to improve customer service and access, and to maximize use of the limited existing staff. The production area will be designed to allow for the continued production of customer demanded candy, fudge, cookies and maple syrup.


Restrooms - The public restroom component is being designed for ease of customer access and will meet full handicapped access requirements. The restrooms will hightlight green features with recycled materials used for ceiling tile, wall tile, plastic partitions, low VOC paints and locally produced water saving fixtures.