Then & Now
January 30, 2013 9:14PM
St. Joseph Church as it appeared early last century. From the Dave Belden Collection
Updated: March 2, 2013 6:51AM
St. Joseph Church, Joliet
At the north end of downtown Joliet, north of Jackson Street, is a residential area that once was the center of a Slovenian and Serbian community. Slovenians, who had emigrated in the 1890s, were employed as laborers in the steel mills and on the Sanitary and Ship Canal construction. This immigrant community revolved around St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church. The historic St. Joseph Church, on the southeast corner of North Chicago and East Clay streets, was established in 1891 to serve the growing community of Slovenian immigrants who had settled in Joliet at the end of the 19th century. The present church building, shown in the Then photograph, with its distinctive dual spires and silver hue, was built in 1905 from Bedford limestone and recently underwent a renovation of the interior and exterior of the building. The Now photograph, shows a view of the church looking northeast from Chicago Street.
The Then photograph is from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections. The Now photograph was taken by Christine O’Brien. Belden is publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-467-2140, Ext. 260.