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Joliet kicks off limestone tours

5/9/2017, 4:02 p.m.
During the Historic Preservation Month the Joliet Area Historical Museum and the Joliet Historic Preservation Commission are co-presenting a tour ...

During the Historic Preservation Month the Joliet Area Historical Museum and the Joliet Historic Preservation Commission are co-presenting a tour of historic limestone structures located in the Downtown Area. Greg Peerbolte, Executive Director of the Joliet Area Historical Museum and co-organizer of the tour stated, “A joint program between the Museum and Commission and, specifically, the limestone tour, has been in the works for some time”.

Peerbolte noted that Joliet limestone is of great importance to the City and the field of architecture as a whole. “As I’ve said in the past, you know you live in a very historic community when it has an internationally recognized building material named after it.” Peerbolte continued, “It is not only the material that is iconic, it is the structures themselves: The Illinois State Capitol Building, the Joliet Prison, and the Chicago Water Tower are all known far and wide as important buildings.”

The tour will depart the Museum’s Ottawa Street parking lot at 9:00 AM via chartered school bus and will allow interior access to four thematic buildings: A private residence (Frederick Sehring Mansion), a house of worship (All Saints Greek Orthodox Church), a civic building (Joliet Township High School), and a mixed use commercial structure (Auditorium Building).

Peerbolte notes that the program ends strategically just before noon to coincide with another Downtown event. “We are intentionally ending the tour at the Tin Roof Restaurant within the Auditorium Building, which will allow plenty of time, and a prime viewing location, to enjoy a meal before the “Salute to Blue” Parade kicks off at 1:00 PM. For those who are not able to stay for the parade, the bus will return to the Museum’s Ottawa Street parking lot.

The tour is free to the public, though pre-registration and a signed waiver is required by contacting Peerbolte at the Museum at (815) 723-5201 ext. 236 or g.peerbolte@jolietmuseum.org. At time of registration, please indicate if you need a reasonable accommodation for accessible transportation. Please note that not all stops on this tour may be accessible.