Saturday, October 3, 2015

Route 66 - Old Joliet Prison & Joliet Iron Works


  Joliet Prison, constructed with huge limestone blocks and sporting castle-like turrets, was built in 1858 using prison labor. It’s  been featured in many movies. The most well known is The Blues Brothers which was filmed when the prison was still active and has scenes of the interior and the east gate. The prison closed in 2002 and there aren’t any plans to open it for public tours. A few plaques on the grounds give details on the history of the prison.


   Joliet Iron Works Historic Site was the site of an iron manufacturing facility from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.


Very little still exists at the site but there are a few old foundations and walls of the buildings. A one mile, paved, interpretive trail makes a loop through the ruins.

Both sites are accessible.

The parking lots at both sites are large enough for RVs.   Map


  1. It's a beautiful building, notwithstanding it's previous history. Too bad the structure can't be used for something good, you know?

    1. We're hoping that someone does find a use for it before the building deteriorates too much. It's such a great structure.