Just in time for Halloween, paranormal tours offered at Old Joliet Prison! Walk the grounds of former inmates like Richard Speck (have you seen MINDHUNTER?), John Wayne Gacy, Leopold & Loeb, James Early Ray, Baby Face Nelson and 100’s of others. See the prison hospital, death row, East Cellblock and the prison chapel. Yeah, it’s creepy…but even Joliet Jake spent time here while filming The Blues Brothers. It’s The Chicago Scene.
Opened in 1858, just six years after the incorporation of the City of Joliet, the Illinois State Penitentiary, Joliet, now known simply as the “Old Joliet Prison,” has – for better or worse been – synonymous with the City of Joliet for nearly its entire history. The Joliet Prison, with its iconic castellated gothic architecture was designed by Chicago earliest architect W.W. Boyington, who also designed the Chicago Water Tower. The use of Joliet limestone was a trademark of Boyington’s designs and this locally quarried stone was used to erect structures all around the country. The prison in Joliet replaced the first state penitentiary in Alton, built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in 1831. The privately-managed prison quickly degraded into a state of horrendous conditions. Noted reformer Dorothea Dix personally petitioned the Illinois General Assembly to construct a new penitentiary after inspection the Alton prison in 1847.
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