The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art, & Technology is a museum in downtown Newark, Ohio. The Works is widely known for its glass studio where visitors are able to watch the glass blowing process.
In November of 1993, Howard LeFevre introduced the idea of using a 113-year-old structure to house a new museum. Fittingly, the structure had once housed the Scheidler Machine Works, which manufactured steam engines around the turn of the twentieth century. One of the purposes of the museum would be to show how local history was shaped by transportation. The facility would feature the Ohio canal, railroads, interurban, cars, trucks, and highways. LeFevre credited advancements in transportation for the current state of the community. He noted, “Transportation is what changed this from a farming community to industry.” LeFevre also wished to preserve the history of industries such as A.H. Heisey & Company and the Jewett Car Company. The museum was given the name of Institute of Industrial Technology.
The Institute of Industrial Technology officially opened June 1996. The opening was later than planners had initially predicted, due to a very rainy spring. In February 1997, the facility announced an expansion, which would allow for displays to be shown on the second floor. The expansion would include an elevator, a winding stair case in the middle of the first floor, and an annex that would allow for a larger gift shop and visitor center. The expansion was completed in February 1999.
The Institute of Industrial Technology changed its name a few times. First, it was changed to Knowledge Works, and then in 2002, the center became known as The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology. The name was changed to fit the center’s overall theme. When the new name was adopted, an announcement was made about the opening of an art gallery and a refurbished glass studio, which were named Art Works and Glass Works.
In memorial to the Founder, Howard LeFevre, a life-sized sculpture of him was placed in front of the entrance to The Works. The statue depicts LeFevre as he was in his 70’s, and he is carrying a roll of plans or blueprints tucked under one arm.
The Works continues to provide cutting-edge technology and experiences to its visitors. On June 2, 2017, members of the museum staff and their families participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a $2.1 million planetarium known as the SciDome. The 2,200 square foot facility is scheduled to open in 2018 and is part of a collaboration between The Works and Ohio State University Newark.
- Jeff Bell, "Vision Takes Shape for New Museum," The Advocate, August 28, 1994.
- Millie Entrekin, "Industrial Glory Days Revisited," July 1, 1996.
- Jeff Bell, "Industrial Museum Could Open By Spring," The Advocate, July 30, 1995.
- Dawn Weber, "Dream Opens Today," The Advocate, June 23, 1996.
- Heather Homan, “Expanding an Institution,” The Advocate, February 20, 1997.
- Kent Mallett, “Industrial History Museum Re-opens Downtown with New Second-floor Exhibition Space,” The Advocate, February 21, 1999.
- Advocate staff report, “Knowledge Works Changes Name Again,” The Advocate, May 29, 2002.
- Tiffany Aumann, “Works Unveils LeFevre Sculpture,” The Advocate, May 22, 2009.
- Sydney Murray, “Construction Underway at The Work’s SciDome,” The Advocate, June 2, 2017.