Fundraisers for old Joliet prison net nearly $150,000 so far

Tours and a major fundraiser — all at the old Joliet Correctional Center — have generated more than $142,000 so far, with a disc-golf benefit next month slated to generate at least anther $5,000 for the old prison.

The big event was the Great Joliet Prison Break-in event last month at the century-old facility, which cleared nearly $137,000 after more than 3,000 people attended.

According to the Herald-News:

Gross revenue from the event was nearly $203,000 while net revenue was nearly $137,000, according to preliminary numbers.

More than $10,000 in revenue was generated by sales of prison-themed merchandise, while beverage sales neared $50,000.

Tickets were sold in the Joliet area and beyond with sales being made to people living in Champaign, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Nanoose Bay in Canada.

Tours at the prison, which began after the Break-In event, have generated another $5,500 from 318 paying customers. A total of 51 tours are scheduled in October, and 19 are sold out. The Joliet Area Historical Museum, which runs the tours, leaves open five spots with every tour for the benefit of out-of-town or foreign tourists who won’t have another chance to tour the prison for a long time, if ever.

Tickets for prison tours can be purchased here.

The disc-golf tournament, slated for Oct. 13 as a benefit for the prison, sold out all of its 216 player slots in 12 minutes.

Joliet Correctional Center’s limestone walls were built in 1858, and the state of Illinois closed it in 2004. The city signed a five-year lease with the state in December to use the prison.

The city seeks to eventually open a hotel, restaurants and gift shops in the prison grounds. The prison remains a popular photo op for Route 66 travelers.

The prison has been used in many film and television productions over the years, but it remains best-known for the opening scene of 1980’s “The Blues Brothers.”

The old Joliet Correctional Center shouldn’t be confused with Stateville Correctional Center, which sits in nearby Crest Hill, Illinois, along Illinois 53 (aka Route 66) and still is being used.

(Image of the east gate of the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, by Jacobsteinafm via Wikimedia Commons)


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.