Explore These Historic Locations in Joliet, Illinois

The Rialto Square Theatre: one of the most popular historic locations in Joliet.

Do you enjoy learning about the history and culture of the area you call home? How about buildings or locations that contribute to the rich history of the United States? Joliet is a great place for history buffs. So, if you have an interest in local history, you’ll love these destinations in Joliet.

The Rialto Theatre

Start by visiting the Rialto Theatre: the inner lobby will remind you of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in France. Meanwhile, the arch between the esplanade and rotunda resembles the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Pay particular attention to the rotunda, flanked by 18 Corinthian-style columns and surmounted by a Pantheon-like dome.

A point often overlooked is that Eugene Romeo and the McNulty Brothers Company of Chicago designed and created the theater’s European-style architecture.

Old Joliet Prison

You can also visit Old Joliet Prison, which first became operational in 1858. This prison replaced the first state penitentiary in Alton and is best known for its most popular fictional inmate: “Joliet Jake” Blues from the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers.

Undoubtedly, the most famous prisoners held at Old Joliet Prison were Baby Face Nelson, Nathan Leopold, and Richard Loeb. In 1924, Leopold and Loeb shocked the nation by committing what they considered the “perfect” crime.

Route 66 Raceway

Are you a history and drag racing fan? Check out the historic Route 66 Raceway. In 1999, the International Speedway Corporation purchased more than 900 acres of adjacent land to build the Chicagoland Speedway. The location at Route 66 constitutes the first true drag racing stadium in the nation. In fact, it’s named after the historic Will Rogers Highway, one of the original highways in the United States.

Jacob Henry Mansion

If you’d like to visit an elegant historical site, check out the Jacob Henry Mansion. You can walk through the rooms and see the work of a master craftsman from Germany. Plan on visiting the main floor to look at the elaborate carvings in black walnut and oak. Each room on the floor contains an elaborately carved fireplace. You’ll love the magnificent walnut staircase with a half-landing surrounded by 119 hand-carved octagonal spindles.

The Jacob Henry Mansion is considered the largest example of Renaissance Revival architecture in Illinois.

Learn More about Historic Locations in Joliet

These historic locations in Joliet are a treasure, and they are accessible to all residents of The Woodlands of Cresthill. Not yet a resident? Contact us, and we’ll happily show you around the community.

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