The Full Wiki

Joliet, Illinois: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Joliet, Illinois

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joliet, Illinois
Downtown Scene
Official name: City of Joliet
Name origin: Louis Jolliet
Nicknames: City of Steel, City of Stone, City of Champions
Country United States
State Illinois
Counties Will, Kendall
Townships Joliet, Troy, Plainfield, Lockport, New Lenox, Jackson, Channahon, Seward, Na-Au-Say
River Des Plaines
Elevation 643 ft (196 m)
Coordinates 41°31′21″N 88°08′26″W / 41.5225°N 88.14056°W / 41.5225; -88.14056
Area 38.35 sq mi (99 km2)
 - land 38.06 sq mi (99 km2)
 - water 0.29 sq mi (1 km2)
Population 152,812 (2008)
Density 2,790.9 /sq mi (1,078 /km2)
Settled 1833
Incorporated 1852
Government Council-manager
Mayor Arthur Schultz (R)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Zip codes 60403, 60404, 60431, 60432, 60433, 60434, 60435, 60436
Area codes 815, 779
Demonym Jolietan
Location of Joliet within Illinois
Location of Joliet within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Joliet, Illinois
Statistics: [1]

Joliet is a city in Will and Kendall Counties[4] in the U.S. state of Illinois, located 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County.[5] The city’s population at the time of the 2000 U.S. Census was 106,221. Based on the population estimates as a result of a 2008 Special Census, Joliet boasts 152,812 residents.[1] It continues to be Illinois' fastest growing city and one of the fastest growing in the United States. Back when Joliet was first planned in the early 1830s, it was still in Cook County. In 1836, it became the county seat of the new Will County.[6]



Joliet Veteran's Memorial Bicentennial Park

In 1833, following the Black Hawk War, Charles Reed built a cabin along the west side of the Des Plaines River. Across the river in 1834, James B. Campbell, treasurer of the canal commissioners, laid out the village of "Juliet", a name local settlers had been using before his arrival. Just before the depression of 1837, Juliet incorporated as a village, but to cut tax expenses, Juliet residents soon petitioned the state to rescind that incorporation. In 1845, local residents changed the community's name from "Juliet" to "Joliet". Joliet was reincorporated as a city in 1852.[6] The origin of the name was most likely a corruption of the name of French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet, who in 1673, along with Father Jacques Marquette, paddled up the Des Plaines River and camped on a huge mound, a few miles south of present-day Joliet.[6] Maps from Jolliet's exploration of the area, placed a large hill or mound on what is now the southwest corner of the city. That hill was named Mound Jolliet and was made up entirely of clay. The spot was mined by early settlers and is now a depression. That depression was settled soon after and became known as the town of Rockdale.


Joliet is located at 41°31′21″N 88°08′26″W / 41.5225°N 88.14056°W / 41.5225; -88.14056 (41.5224597, -88.1406140).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.35 sq mi (99.3 km2), of which, 38.06 sq mi (98.6 km2) of it is land and 0.29 sq mi (0.75 km2) of it (0.76%) is water.[2] It has a sprawling, irregular shape that extends into nine different townships, more than any other Illinois city. They are: Joliet, Plainfield, Troy, New Lenox, Jackson, Channahon, and Lockport in Will County, and Na-Au-Say and Seward in Kendall County. Joliet is a Des Plaines River town, with the downtown located in the river valley. This is especially evident on Interstate 80 if one is coming from the east or the west where it has been flat for many miles and suddenly the land drops as you approach the river. This offers a great view looking north to see downtown Joliet. For most of its existence Joliet geographically has had its "west side" and "east side". This is referring to the west side of the Des Plaines River or the east side of the Des Plaines River. Both sides were roughly proportionate throughout most of its history until the 2nd half of the 20th century when westward expansion began. Many of the downtown shops and businesses began leaving the busy downtown area to the bustling residential developments taking place to the west. Many stores relocated to the west side in new strip malls and shopping centers with more parking and easier access. This began the decline of the downtown shopping district which is still felt today. Today Joliet has a "west side" and a far "west side" (which includes all city limits in Kendall County). This has given rise to a newly referenced "Central Joliet" portion of the City which essentially is all land west of the Des Plaines River and east of Interstate 55. This new reference may soon change the current meaning of "west side" to west of Interstate 55.[citation needed]


While the heart and history of Joliet is centered around the Des Plaines River Joliet actually expands across both the Des Plaines River and the DuPage River. There are several other waterways that traverse through the city limits including Hickory Creek, Spring Creek, the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, Jackson Creek, and Aux Sable Creek. Some small lakes and bodies of water include Chase Lake, Lake Juco, Michigan Beach, the Brandon Road Quarry, and Leisure Lake.


As of July 1, 2008, Joliet was the 159th most populous city in the United States.[7] According to the 2000 U.S. Census[2], there were 106,221 people, 36,182 households, and 25,399 families residing in the city. The official 2008 population total by a Special Census called on by the City of Joliet in late 2008 from the U.S. Census Bureau is 152,812.[1] The population density was 2,790.9 people per square mile (1,077.6/km²). There were 53,312 housing units at an average density of 1,003.1/sq mi (387.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.2% White with 84,742 whites, 17.0% African American with 26,633 blacks, 0.28% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 8.97% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.2% of the population with 39,405 Hispanics or Latinos. [8]

There were 36,182 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,761, and the median income for a family was $55,870. Males had a median income of $41,909 versus $29,100 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,390. About 7.7% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.5% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

From April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, Joliet was the fastest-growing city in the Midwestern United States and the 18th fastest-growing city in the United States among incorporated places with more than 100,000 people.[9]


Like many Midwestern cities dependent on manufacturing industries, Joliet has experienced past economic troubles, with the unemployment rate reaching as high as 25% in the early 1980s. Joliet's proximity to the Chicago metropolitan area has provided some relief; the city is increasingly evolving from its status as a steel-town to an exurb. Still, most new migrants to the area are moving to Joliet to live, choosing to work in bordering Cook and DuPage counties, and the downtown area, once downtrodden, is undergoing a total revitalization. The main attractions in Joliet's City Center are the Harrah's Casino and Hotel, Joliet JackHammers baseball (Silver Cross Field), and the Rialto Square Theatre, the 'Jewel of Joliet', which has been called one of the world's 10 most beautiful theaters. The 1999 film Stir of Echoes starring Kevin Bacon had scenes shot on location in Joliet at both the Rialto Theatre (the hypnotism scenes in which Bacon saw the word "Dig" on the movie screen) and at the corner of Western Avenue and Center Street (sequences showing the front of Kevin Bacon's house). Even though the movie was set in Chicago, the location in Joliet had the right "south side" appearance and was an easier location to shoot than the large urban setting of Chicago.


The Rialto Square Theatre in downtown Joliet

Among local landmarks are the Joliet Area Historical Museum and Route 66 Visitors Center as well as the Chicagoland (NASCAR) and the Route 66 Speedways. The famous Joliet Prison (now closed) is near downtown on Collins Street and is featured in the television show Prison Break. It was also used for the opening scenes in the popular 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, which starred John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as "Elwood" Blues. The first Dairy Queen drive-in was in Joliet. The popular card game "UNO" began here also. The Joliet Arsenal (now the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie) is in nearby Elwood. Stateville Correctional Center, the principal prison for the state of Illinois, is located in the neighboring city of Crest Hill. The Rialto Square Theatre, a favorite haunt of Al Capone and filming location for scenes from Kevin Bacon's film Stir of Echoes, is on Chicago Street, downtown. There are two riverboat casinos in Joliet: the Empress Casino near Channahon and Rockdale and a Harrah's hotel and casino downtown. Joliet is the only city in the State of Illinois to have two casinos. There are also many restaurants and shops, including the Westfield Louis Joliet mall, located on Rt. 30, where it intersects I-55.

Located at the northeast corner of Chicago and Clinton Streets, is the historic Auditorium Building. Designed by G. Julian Barnes and built of limestone in 1891, it was controversial as one of the first buildings to combine religious, civic and commercial uses.


Joliet Central High School campus, Jefferson St. Exit

One of Joliet's nicknames is the "City of Champions." This nickname stems from the numerous state and national titles won by the Joliet Township High School and grade school bands over several decades.

Joliet is home to three high schools that bear its name: Joliet Central, Joliet West, and Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA), each of which has sports programs. JCA has been a major football powerhouse for many years and has won more state football titles than any other team in the state, with 13 as of 2009.

Joliet also is home to the minor league baseball team the Joliet JackHammers of the Northern Independent League.

Chicagoland Speedway is in Joliet, hosting annual events from NASCAR and the Indy Racing League. During major races, the population of the city more than doubles due to the large influx of fans. Next door to Chicagoland Speedway, Route 66 Raceway features National Hot Rod Association events on its drag-strip. Joliet Central has become actively involved in Route 66 by building an alternative fuel vehicle.[10] Autobahn Country Club, also located in Joliet, helds SCCA World Challenge, Atlantic Championship and Star Mazda Championship races since 2009.

Parks and recreation

Golf courses

There are 4 golf courses located in the city of Joliet, they are:

  • Inwood Golf Course
  • Woodruff Golf Course
  • Wedgewood Golf Course
  • Joliet Country Club

Joliet also sports 2 miniature golf courses at Haunted Trails located off of Broadway Street.

Joliet also has a water park on Rt. 6 called Splash Station.


Colleges and universities

High schools


City limits

Joliet current city limits reach as far as follows:

  • To the north: Renwick Road
  • To the south: Noel Road
  • To the east: Higinbotham Woods
  • To the west: Grove Road


Des Plaines River in Joliet, Illinois

Situated approximately 40 miles (64 km) southwest of central Chicago, Joliet has long been a significant transportation hub. It lies on both sides of the Des Plaines River, a major waterway in Northern Illinois, and was one of the principal ports on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern (EJ&E) railroad came through in the 1850s, and the Santa Fe line soon followed. U.S. Highways 6 (the Grand Army of the Republic Highway), 30 (the Lincoln Highway), 45, 52, and 66 (Route 66) all ran through the city. In the 1960s, Interstate 55 and Interstate 80 made their way through Joliet, linking up near Channahon just west of the city limits. The phrase "Crossroads of Mid-America", found on the Joliet seal, is an allusion to the intersection of I-80 and I-55. Joliet's Union Station is the final stop on the Metra rail lines from Chicago for the Heritage Corridor route from Chicago Union Station and the Rock Island District route from LaSalle Street Station. A third line would also terminate at the station, The STAR Line, from O'Hare Transfer with an additional stop at Division St. PACE provides local bus service six days a week (no service on Sundays) with buses leaving from a terminal in downtown Joliet once an hour.


The Joliet Regional Airport is located off of Jefferson Street near Interstate 55. Lewis University Airport is located to the north in the nearby village of Romeoville and is owned by the Joliet Regional Port District.

Major highways

U.S. Route 6 at U.S. Route 52 on the southwest side of Joliet

Major highways in Joliet include:


Joliet currently has 2 hospitals within its city limits: Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center (also known as St. Joe's) on the west side and Silver Cross Hospital on the east side. These were the only two hospitals in the history of the existence of Will County until Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital opened in January 2008. In September 2008, Silver Cross Hospital broke ground for their replacement hospital in New Lenox, which is expected to open in 2012.


According to the official website for the city of Joliet:

Joliet's diverse faith community represents over 60 denominations and offers residents services at more than 150 churches, synagogues, and houses of worship. Along with their spiritual offerings, these houses of worship enrich the Joliet area by providing some of the area's finest examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine, and Renaissance architecture. The spiritual community in Joliet welcomes newcomers with open arms, offering regular worship services and religious education.[11]

Notable people from Joliet

  • Charlie Adams (b. 1954), drummer for Chameleon and Yanni, spokesman for Autism Society of America
  • Mike Alstott (b. 1973), former NFL football player
  • Ann Bannon (b. 1932), pulp fiction writer
  • Jesse Barfield (b. 1959), former Major League Baseball player
  • John Barrowman (b. 1967), Scottish singer, actor, dancer, musical performer and media personality
  • Nora Bayes (1880–1928), singer, comedienne and actress
  • John Beck (b. 1943), actor
  • Kevin Cameron (b. 1979), Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Jodi Carlisle (b. 1960), actress
  • Jimmy Chamberlin (b. 1964), drummer, songwriter and producer, formerly of the The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Tyler Christopher (b. 1972), actor, best known for his roles on General Hospital
  • Adrianne Curry (b. 1982), model, best known as the first winner of America's Next Top Model
  • Francis Curry (c. 1900), Capone Era Mobster[12]
  • Lois Delander (1911–1985), Miss America in 1927
  • Andy Dick (b. 1965), comedian, actor, musician and television/film producer
  • Janina Gavankar (b. 1980), actress and musician
  • Mark Grant (b. 1963), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Larry Gura (b. 1947), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Kathryn Hays (b. 1933), actress
  • John Houbolt (b. 1919), retired space engineer, generally credited with having effectively promoted the lunar mission mode called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR)
  • Lawrence Jenco (1934–1996), Roman Catholic priest and author, who was taken hostage in Beirut in January 1985, while serving as director of Catholic Relief Services there, and held for 564 days
  • Roger Kaffer (1927–2009), Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet from 1985 until 2002
  • Mort Kondracke (b. 1939), political commentator and journalist
  • Mark Leiter (b. 1963), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mercedes McCambridge (1916–2004), film and radio actress, who won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in All the King's Men
  • John Fremont McCullough (1871‒1963), co-founder of Dairy Queen, opened first store in Joliet in 1940
  • George Mikan (1924–2005), nicknamed "Mr. Basketball", was Hall of Fame basketball player, and on NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • Don Murray (1904–1929), jazz clarinet and saxophone player
  • Ann Nesby (b. 1950), R&B, gospel, and dance music singer/songwriter and actress, former lead singer of Sounds of Blackness
  • Robert Novak (1931–2009), former syndicated columnist, television personality, author, and conservative political commentator
  • Eric Parker (b. 1979), former NFL football wide receiver
  • Larry Parks (1914–1975), former stage and film actor
  • Frank Perconte (b. 1917), former non-commissioned officer during World War II with Easy Company, portrayed in the HBO/BBC miniseries Band of Brothers
  • Doug Pinnick (b. 1950), bass guitarist, songwriter, and co-lead vocalist for King's X
  • Roger Powell (b. 1983), professional basketball player
  • Adam Rapp (b. 1968), novelist, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and musician
  • Anthony Rapp (b. 1971), stage and film actor and singer
  • Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (b. 1933), children's and young adult fiction author
  • Lionel Richie (b. 1949), Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer
  • Daniel Ruettiger (b. 1948), motivational speaker and former Notre Dame football player, best known as the inspiration for the motion picture Rudy
  • Tamara Siuda (b. 1969), founder and current head of Kemetic Orthodoxy and the House of Netjer
  • Bill Sudakis (b. 1946), former Major League Baseball third baseman
  • Tom Thayer (b. 1961), former NFL center/guard
  • Lynne Thigpen (1948–2003), former Tony Award winning stage and TV actress
  • Audrey Totter (b. 1918), actress and former MGM contract star
  • Alando Tucker (b. 1984), professional basketball player
  • William Cornelius Van Horne (1843–1915), pioneering Canadian railway executive
  • Vince Vieluf (b. 1970), actor
  • Molly Zelko (c. 1910 or 1915–1957), muckraking journalist[13]


See also


  1. ^ a b c "Draft Consolidated Plan 2010". City of Joliet. 5 November 2009. pp. 9, 35. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: City of Joliet
  4. ^ "Illinois by Place". Census 2000 Summary File 1. United States Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b c Grossman, James R.; Keating, Ann Durkin; Reiff, Janice L. (2005) [2004]. Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago (Online ed.). Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, Newberry Library. p. 676. ISBN 0-226-31015-9. OCLC 60342627. 
  7. ^ "Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places Over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2008 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". 2008 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-7-1. Retrieved 2010-2-21. 
  8. ^ City of Joliet TIGER Grant Application with population breakdown (PDF), U.S. Census Bureau, Claritas, Inc., September 15, 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
  9. ^ "Table 2: Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change for Incorporated Places Over 100,000, Ranked by Percent Change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (SUB-EST2008-02)". Population Division. United States Census Bureau. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Midwest Alternative Fuel Vehicle Expo
  11. ^ "City of Joliet: For Residents-Worship". 
  12. ^ "Organized Crime in the United States 1950 Part 2". Hearings before the Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, U.S. Senate, July 7, 1950. 2005-12-24. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  13. ^ "Amelia J. Zelko". The Charley Project. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 

External links

Simple English

Joliet, IL
Official name: City of Joliet
Name origin: Louis Jolliet
Nicknames: City of Steel, City of Stone, City of Champions
Country United States
State Illinois
Counties Will, Kendall
Townships Joliet, Troy, Plainfield, Lockport, New Lenox, Jackson, Channahon, Seward, Na-Au-Say
River Des Plaines
Elevation 643 ft (196 m)
Coordinates 41°31′21″N 88°08′26″W / 41.5225°N 88.14056°W / 41.5225; -88.14056 extra parameters (dms format) in {{Coord}}
Area 38.35 sq mi (99 km²)
 - land 38.06 sq mi (99 km²)
 - water 0.29 sq mi (1 km²)
Population 145,803 (2005)
Density 2,790.9 /sq mi (1,078 /km²)
Settled 1833
Incorporated 1852
Government Council-manager
Mayor Arthur Schultz
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Zip codes 60403, 60404, 60431, 60432, 60433, 60434, 60435, 60436
Area codes 815, 779
Demonym Jolietan
Location of Joliet within Illinois

Wikimedia Commons: Joliet, Illinois

Joliet is a city of Illinois in the United States. Joliet is 40 miles southwest of Chicago, and is the county seat of Will County. About 106,000 people lived in Joliet as of the year 2000, and about 146,000 people lived in Joliet as of the year 2007. Joliet is one of Illinois' quickest growing cities, and one of the quickest growing cities in the United States.[needs proof]


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address