JolietAreaHistoricalMuseum

JolietAreaHistoricalMuseum

JolietAreaHistoricalMuseum

JolietAreaHistoricalMuseum

The Joliet Area Historical Museum is located at 204 N Ottawa St, Joliet, IL 60432.  Free parking is the Museum parking lot at the corner of Ottawa and Webster Streets. Metered parking is available curb side. For further information, please visit jolietmuseum.org or call (815) 723-5201 for all of our exciting Museum happenings.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from Noon – 5 pm.  During the summer months, from May through October, it is also open on Mondays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  General Admission is $7 Adults, $6 Seniors (60+), $6 Full-time students with valid school ID and $4 Youth (Ages 4-12).  Admission is free to Museum Members and Children ages 3 and under.  Joliet Residents receive $1 off of all general admission levels.

Following your voyage to the Museum – whether traveling on Route 66 or from nearby City streets – you will be greeted by the Museum’s modern, lively, and fully interactive “Route 66 Experience.” Whether you are in town for minutes, our experience will take you back in time to not only when the entire family loaded in the car for an exciting cross country adventure, but when Route 66 was a simple freight route and part of a multimodal network that has given Joliet its over century-old reputation as the “Crossroads of Mid-America” that is still important today! Begin your Museum experience by getting acclimated with a variety of larger-than-life maps and artistic displays that highlight icons along “the old Route” both locally – like the Rialto Square Theater and Gemini Giant – and nationally, such as the “Burma Shave Signs and Blue Whale!

Our “Route 66 Experience” is as eclectic at the Route itself: Mere feet from each other, see a restored turn-of-the-century Economy Buggy Car – manufactured in Joliet in the early 1900s when automobiles were luxury items termed “rich men’s toys,” and replica 50s Corvette in a replica “drive-in” from the golden age of Route 66. Inside the car will be a radio with seven decade designated buttons and when a button is pressed you hear a short news broadcast and a popular song from that era. Parked within a vintage 50’s style drive in setting, be aware the car hop will ask you to order soon! If that’s not your “speed,” view an authentic Midget Race Car which buzzed around Joliet’s Memorial Stadium just off of Route 66 in the 1950s and 60s.

In the period before Route 66 was “born” in the National Highway Act of 1926, you can take a virtual trolley ride down Chicago Street – the site of the Old Route – and through old Joliet to look and listen to the City’s Joliet’s “newest” sites, like the Rialto Square Theatre as the trolley conductor guides you!

After you’ve found your bearings in the Visitor’s Center, step – literally and figuratively – through time into the Museum’s Main Gallery, located in the restored, historic 1909 Ottawa Street Methodist Church building. The modern museum building retains the stunning period stained glass and other architectural handcrafted features of the sanctuary.

The Blues Brothers & Old Joliet Prison Photo Ops

Greeting you as you enter the Museum are the iconic Jake and Elwood, better known to the world as “The Blues Brothers.”In the Museum Galleries, find out how “Joliet” Jake was given his famous nickname as you explore the history of the 1858 Illinois State Penitentiary with various Prison artifacts dating back to the 1800s, held in a two-story replica of a “castle” guard tower that has given the famous site now known simply as the “Old Joliet Prison” iconic, international recognition.

You’ll Love Joliet – to the Moon and Back!

If you think Route 66 is a long journey, learn about Jolietan John C. Houbolt’s role in crafting one of America’s – and mankind’s – longest, and greatest journeys, the 1969 Moon Landing. Houbolt is considered an unsung hero of the success of the Apollo missions, and personally developed several of the key scientific breakthroughs needed to land human beings on the Moon.

Route 66 in Joliet: Always on the Move, Then and Now!

Like Route 66 itself, the story of Joliet is all about transportation. Nearly a century before Route 66, the Illinois & Michigan (“I&M”) Canal was the Midwest’s first “highway.” Learn about the people who built the Canal – and Joliet – in a breathtaking scale model exhibit in the Museum’s main gallery. After the Canal, railroads shipped materials made in Joliet “Steel and Stone” to literally and figuratively build the Great West before cars and trucks took over.

In the period before Route 66 was “born” in the National Highway Act of 1926, you can take a virtual trolley ride down Chicago Street – the site of the Old Route – and through old Joliet to look and listen to the City’s Joliet’s “newest” sites, like the Rialto Square Theatre as the trolley conductor guides you!

Let the world know! Sign in to the Museum’s virtual touchscreen guest kiosk, and in the process, see where Museum visitors from around the world. You’ll join thousands of visitors. local, regional and international (including Sir Paul McCartney) who gotten their “kicks” right here at the Joliet Area Historical Museum!