Will County officials celebrate new courthouse parking lot
Will County Executive Larry Walsh, County Board members Ragan Freitag and Herb Brooks joined Will County Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt, Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire and Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk today to officially open the newly constructed parking lot on the site of the former Eagle Building, at 20 W. Washington in downtown Joliet. The new 21-space lot will increase parking around the county courthouse.
“This new lot is another example of Will County commitment to our county seat in downtown Joliet,” said Walsh. “We are moving forward with plans to construct a new county courthouse nearby and this is another step forward.”
“Parking for our residents and county staff has always been a concern of mine,” said County Board Speaker Jim Moustis. “The demolition of the Eagle Building and the creation of this new parking lot helps the County address our parking needs.”
O’Dekirk said he is proud of the county’s investment in downtown Joliet and the additional parking will be an asset to the area.
“We all know parking in downtown can be challenging,” O’Dekirk said. “This new lot is a great reuse of an existing site and has improved the appearance of this high profile corner near the County’s judicial campus.”
The county invested nearly $300,000 to demolish, remove the rubble of the old Eagle Building and construct the new parking lot. The new parking lot will be used primarily for judicial staff.
The Eagle Building was originally the home of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international civic club, according to the Joliet Area Historical Museum. The 1903 building accommodated the group’s meetings and activities, including dances. The County acquired this building and used it for a variety of purposes. Most recently the Sheriff’s department occupied the building before moving into the First Midwest Bank Building.
The County and City of Joliet continue to work towards a deal that will open up Chicago Street between the railroad tracks and Jefferson Street which will improve the flow of traffic into the downtown.