The Old Joliet Prison reopens Monday for tours, including the first self-guided tours at the site.
Registration is required for the self-guided tours to limit the numbers of people in the prison and adhere to public health guidelines set to prevent spread of COVID-19, said Greg Peerbolte, executive director of the Joliet Area Historical Museum.
The prison site at 1125 Collins St. opens at 9 a.m. Monday and will be open seven days a week.
Admission begins at $20 per adult with discounts for museum members, children and Joliet residents.
Guests on the self-guided tours will be able to explore the outdoor areas of the 16-acre prison grounds.
The museum has added two dozen interpretive signs containing historical photos that were made possible by a grant from the Illinois Office of Tourism, the museum said in a news release.
Proceeds from the tours will benefit the continued work of the Joliet Area Historical Museum to further stabilize and secure the Old Joliet Prison.
“The reality of the financial impact of COVID-19 is that many cultural arts institutions and non-profits like our museum have been doubly impacted,” Peerbolte said in the release. “We’ve faced not only the loss of revenue from closing our doors, but cuts in operational support from governmental entities who struggle with the financial impact of the pandemic alongside us.
“As an organization, we have challenged ourselves to rethink activities to generate vital revenue and adhere to public health guidelines which keep our guests safe, while at the same time, maintaining our intellectual credibility and providing a memorable experience.”
The museum also will conduct its thematic tours, including guided history tours, guard tours, haunted history tours, and photography sessions.
The capacity of the tours will initially be limited to up to nine guests per group. Staff and guests will be expected to adhere to state guidelines for personal protection equipment and social distancing.