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North Hearing Room

Architect Harry Hake designed this room to be used by the Industrial Commission for such events as workers compensation hearings. The 11 murals, created by John F. Holmer and titled The Progress of Industry, depict the grind and dignity of physical labor. They reflect a style of public art, known as American Realism, that was popular throughout the 1930s.

The center panels on the north and south walls are the major paintings in the series. On the right as you enter, in the center of the north wall, is a depiction of early industry in Ohio. Men are seen plowing, driving an oxcart, digging, and hauling lumber for a building under construction in the smaller panel to the right. Women are spinning, churning, and carrying water.

Across from this painting, on the south wall is a contrasting scene showing the construction of a modern steel building.

The rest of the murals are divided between scenes of Ohio labor and modern work. On the north wall, flanking the center mural on the left, is a scene depicting the early pottery industry, including workers at a potter's wheel, a kiln, and pots drying in the sun. The right hand panel on the west wall shows a blacksmith shop.

On the east wall is a three-panel mural. On the left are pioneers arriving in Ohio in Conestoga wagons. In the center is a rural scene, and on the right, we enter the modern period with a depiction of miners, a coal tipple, and oil derricks. On the left side of the window on the west wall men are depicted working with various machines, in contrast to the older hand tools depicted in the blacksmith scene on the right. On the south wall to the right of the main mural is a modern stone quarry and to the left a modern steel mill.

The hearing room is now used primarily by Supreme Court commissions, such as the Board of Professional Conduct, for hearings.

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