The coolest piece of architecture in Joliet is no longer the old Correctional Center. It’s the new courthouse. The West Loop’s Wight and Company has been given a big fat architecture award for the Will County Courthouse
Specifically, it’s a citation from the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Justice. That’s the AIAAAJ for short. Its friends call it “Buddy.”
Buddy gives out its highest honor to four firms each year to recognize “the best in justice facility design.” One of those designs is the 10-story building, currently under construction at 50 West Jefferson Street. It was described by Buddy as “user-friendly,” which is not something you hear a lot of lately when it comes to government.
This was previously the location of the First Midwest Bank building, and is across the street from the 1969 courthouse. The county bought the First Midwest building in 2014 and tore the joint down in the small months of this year.
The new $215 million courthouse is expected to open in 2020 and sport 38 courtrooms, traffic court, a jury assembly area, and the ever popular Will County Circuit Court Clerk. Always a family favorite.
The county currently has 35 judges handling 80,000 cases a year in just 23 courtrooms.
When the new building maxes out, the plan is to look at opening satellite courthouses in other parts of the county.