Built in the 1850s and abandoned in 2002, the Old Joliet Prison is a former correctional facility with a rich history predating the Great Chicago Fire. Made up of over 30 separate buildings, the fortress-like exterior is clad with the locally mined Joliet Limestone. Since the State of Illinois shut down, the facility almost two decades ago, ongoing deterioration and vandalism have resulted in substantial damage to the facility.

Professional Services

Our team was selected to conduct a condition assessment of the select historically significant buildings. The objective of the assessment was to determine the general condition of the selected building structures and provide recommendations for short-term improvements for stabilization, mitigation of future deterioration, and electrical safety enhancements. Included in the assessment was the Administration Building, East and West Cell Blocks, Chapel, Hospital and the smokestack of the Power House.

K&H utilized multiple service areas to evaluate the structural stability of unstable buildings and façade/roofing consulting architects to assess the exterior stone, masonry, windows, and roofing. A comprehensive report was developed outlining our findings and recommendations for stabilization. In general, significant deterioration has occurred at each building mostly related to moisture infiltration due to deferred maintenance and vandalism. Roof deterioration and broken windows have allowed excessive amounts of water to enter the buildings. Partial collapses of the floors, stairs, attics, and roof structures have occurred making access difficult and dangerous in some locations. UAVs (drones) were utilized to assess areas that were difficult or dangerous to access. K&H’s team included assistance from McGuire Engineers for the electrical safety enhancements and Berglund Construction for cost estimating.

K&H provided recommendations prioritized in Immediate, 1-3 year, and 3-5-year time frames. Our general recommendations include temporary roofing, window sealing, shoring, bracing, stone and masonry repairs, and cordoning off portions of the facility. This report is a key first step in developing a roadmap to future rehabilitation and transformation of tourist attraction.

Joliet, IL

Facade Repair
Roofing Systems
Systems & Interiors
Historic Preservation
Structural Rehab / Adaptive Reuse
Recreational / Entertainment
Mid Rise

01/2019 -

Todd Gorrell, Principal
Terry McDonald, Associate Principal
Tom Gabel, Senior Associate I
Alex Perez, Inspector