Joliet, Illinois facts for kids

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Joliet, Illinois
City
Joliet Illinois Skyline.jpg
Downtown scene
Official name: City of Joliet
Name origin: Louis Jolliet
Nicknames: City of Steel, City of Stone, City of Champions, Prison City
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 614 ft (187 m)
Coordinates 41°31′14″N 88°09′02″W / 41.52056°N 88.15056°W / 41.52056; -88.15056
Area 62.77 sq mi (163 km²)
 - land 62.11 sq mi (161 km²)
 - water 0.66 sq mi (2 km²)
Population 147,806 (2013)

149,395 (2016)

Density 2,373.6 /sq mi (916 /km²)
Settled 1833
Incorporated 1852
Government Council-manager
Mayor Bob O'Dekirk (R)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Zip codes 60431, 60432, 60433, 60434, 60435, 60436, 60586
Area codes 815, 779
Demonym Jolietan
Location of Joliet within Illinois
Location of Joliet within Illinois
Locator Red.svg
Location of Joliet within Illinois
Wikimedia Commons: Joliet, Illinois
Website: www.cityofjoliet.info

Joliet (/ˈli.ɛt/ or /liˈɛt/) is a city in Kendall and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Chicago. It is the county seat of Will County. At the 2010 census, the city was the fourth largest in Illinois, with a population of 147,433. A special census done in 2016 puts Joliet's population at 149,395 making it the 3rd largest city in Illinois.

History

Joliet Veteran's Memorial Bicentennial Park
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. 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. Maps from Jolliet's exploration of the area, placed a large hill or mound on what is now the southwest corner of the city, since there is no point that is farther southwest. That hill was named Mound Jolliet. The spot was mined by early settlers and is now a depression. Just before the economic 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. Cornelius Cohenhoven Van Horne was active in getting the city its first charter, and because of this he was elected Joliet's first Mayor. When the city later built a new bridge it was named The Van Horne Bridge.

Geography

Joliet is located at 41°31′14″N 88°09′02″W / 41.52056°N 88.15056°W / 41.52056; -88.15056 (41.5204200, -88.1505261).

According to the 2010 census, Joliet has a total area of 62.768 square miles (162.57 km2), of which 62.11 square miles (160.86 km2) (or 98.95%) is land and 0.658 square miles (1.70 km2) (or 1.05%) is water. 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", referring to areas to the west or the east of the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city. Both sides were roughly proportionate throughout most of its history until the 2nd half of the 20th century when westward expansion began. Many businesses moved from the downtown area to the expanding areas west of the river. 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.

Waterways

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.

Climate

Joliet has a hot summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa).

Climate data for Joliet, Illinois (Brandon Dam), 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 31
(-0.6)
36
(2.2)
47
(8.3)
61
(16.1)
71
(21.7)
81
(27.2)
84
(28.9)
83
(28.3)
76
(24.4)
64
(17.8)
50
(10)
35
(1.7)
59.9
(15.51)
Average low °F (°C) 16
(-8.9)
20
(-6.7)
29
(-1.7)
39
(3.9)
49
(9.4)
59
(15)
64
(17.8)
63
(17.2)
54
(12.2)
43
(6.1)
33
(0.6)
20
(-6.7)
40.8
(4.86)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.80
(45.7)
1.73
(43.9)
2.25
(57.2)
3.49
(88.6)
3.97
(100.8)
3.82
(97)
4.33
(110)
3.85
(97.8)
3.01
(76.5)
2.86
(72.6)
3.03
(77)
2.16
(54.9)
36.29
(921.8)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.6 8.9 10.6 11.4 11.3 10.2 9.4 9.0 8.2 9.5 10.8 11.2 121.2
Source: NOAA

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,558
1850 2,659 3.9%
1860 7,104 167.2%
1870 7,263 2.2%
1880 11,657 60.5%
1890 23,264 99.6%
1900 29,353 26.2%
1910 34,670 18.1%
1920 38,442 10.9%
1930 42,993 11.8%
1940 42,365 −1.5%
1950 51,601 21.8%
1960 66,780 29.4%
1970 78,827 18.0%
1980 77,956 −1.1%
1990 76,836 −1.4%
2000 106,221 38.2%
2010 147,459 38.8%
Est. 2015 147,861 0.3%

As of July 2014, Joliet was the 169th most populous city in the United States.

As of the census of 2000, there were 106,221 people, 36,182 households, and 25,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,790.9 people per square mile (1,077.6/km²). There were 38,176 housing units at an average density of 1,003.1 per square mile (387.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.32% White, 18.16% African American, 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 18.41% of the population.

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, 2010 to July 1, 2011, 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.

Landmarks

See also: National Register of Historic Places listings in Will County, Illinois
Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet IL, 23 Nov 2012
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 Speedway (NASCAR) and the Route 66 Raceway (NHRA).

The Joliet Prison is located near Joliet's downtown district on Collins Street. The prison has been featured in both television shows and movies. One such television series filmed at Joliet Prison was Prison Break. The Prison was also used for the opening scenes in the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers, which starred John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake Blues and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues.

The first Dairy Queen store opened in Joliet. The location is now occupied by Universal Church.

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.

Near the theatre, the Joliet Area Historical Museum commemorates the history of Joliet, especially its heritage as a stopping point on U.S. Route 66.

There are two casinos which originated as riverboat casino in Joliet: the Hollywood Casino near Channahon and a Harrah's hotel and casino downtown. Joliet is the only city in the State of Illinois to have two casinos.

The Louis Joliet Mall is located near the intersection of I-55 and U.S. Route 30.

The Auditorium Building is located at the northeast corner of Chicago and Clinton streets. 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. Nonetheless, people such Theodore Roosevelt visited and spoke at the building. The building was originally built for the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet; however, the church sold the building in 1993, and it is no longer home to the congregation.

The Jacob A. Henry Mansion, 20 South Eastern Avenue is a three-story, red brick, Second Empire/Italian Renaissance style structure built on a Joliet limestone foundation in 1873 (completed in 1876). The structure is set on bedrock and the entire basement floor is made of Joliet limestone from the building owner's quarry. The walls of the structure are constructed of red Illinois sandstone and deep red brick specially fired in Ohio (wrapped individually and shipped by barge to Joliet). A commanding three-story tower is the focal point of the structure. The structure has steel trim with slate shingles on a Mansard roof. The front and side porches are single slabs of limestone. The largest stone ever quarried to be the largest and best example of Renaissance Revival architecture still standing in the state of Illinois. The structure is a local landmark, part of the East Side National Register District and individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former Joliet Arsenal (now the site of both the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie) is in nearby Elwood.

Parks and recreation

Golf courses

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

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

Family entertainment

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

Joliet has a water park on Route 6 called Splash Station.

The Pilcher Park Nature Center, located in Pilcher Park, hosts many youth and educational programs.

Pilcher Park, one of Joliet's oldest parks, is home to over 640 acres (260 ha) of land that provide a habitat for abundant wildlife and outdoor recreation. Pilcher Park also contains Native American Indian remains and was the site of a Potowatami Indian village. There is a burial mound just south of the entrance on Gougar Road. On the south side of the bridge next to gougers farm house. And a marked burial plot inside the park grounds.

Hammel Woods is also located in Joliet with miles of hiking trails and even a seven-acre dog park.

Splash Station Waterpark featuring the Midwest's only 6 person slide is also located on Route 6 in Joliet.

Louis Joliet Mall located on Route 30 in Joliet hosts a large Cinemark theatre

Bicycle trails

There are several miles of bike trails which wind through Joliet. The Rock Run and Joliet Junction Trails are roughly North/South routes that begin at the Theodore Marsh in Crest Hill, Illinois and have southern terminuses on the I&M Canal State Trail. These three paths can be used as a 16-mile loop through western Joliet. The I and M Canal State Trail stretches about 60 miles to Peru, Illinois for longer bike rides.

Religion

Joliet is home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, with Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. Bishop J. Peter Sartain, former bishop of Joliet, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Archbishop of Seattle. Joliet holds a very large Catholic population, and many Catholic institutions, including Joliet Catholic Academy.

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.

Popular culture

In the 1973 Academy Award-winning film, The Sting, the protagonist Johnny Hooker is from Joliet, and the film's story begins there.

In The Blues Brothers, John Belushi's Jake Blues is nicknamed "Joliet Jake" as he was imprisoned at the now closed Joliet Correctional Center.

The Joliet Prison has been a site for many other films and television shows, such as the film Let's Go to Prison, and the opening season of Fox's Prison Break was filmed predominately at the Joliet Prison, at which time part of the prison was still in use.

Joliet is portrayed in the television series Supernatural in the Season 2 episode "What Is and What Should Never Be" when the main characters stay at the fictional Joliet Motel.

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