At the start of “The Blues Brothers,” the 1980 comedy classic, “Joliet Jake” Blues walks out the front gate of Joliet Correctional Center, a looming, limestone fortress built in 1858. Now, for the first time since the facility closed in 2002, tourists can walk in through that gate. The Old Joliet Prison, as it’s known locally, is offering public tours.

But the prison outside Chicago is not the Alcatraz of the Midwest. It hasn’t been spruced up with exhibits and an audio tour. There is no heat or jail-cell restoration. Instead, it is a tourist experience in “ruin porn” — the trendy photography genre that showcases abandoned and decaying buildings. And the Joliet Area Historical Museum hopes visitors will pay $20 each to walk through and listen to tales from local historians and former prison guards.

“It literally looks like…



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