Lockport, Illinois

Lockport is a city in Will County, Illinois, United States, located 30 miles southwest of Chicago. The city was incorporated in 1853.[4] It is situated along the Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal,[5] and was the headquarters of the canal when the canal was operating. A section of the canal runs through Lockport, including the remains of the canal's Lock No. 1 from which the town received its name.[6] The canal right-of-way is now the Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor. Because of proactive efforts dating back several years, the city of Lockport is one of the best-preserved canal sites in existence today.[7]

A portion of downtown Lockport, 2010
Location of Lockport in Will County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
Coordinates: 41°35′25″N 88°01′45″W[1]
CountryUnited States
TownshipsLockport, Homer
  Total11.50 sq mi (29.78 km2)
  Land11.50 sq mi (29.78 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation696 ft (212 m)
  Density2,194.57/sq mi (847.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code(s)
60441, 60446, and 60491
Area code(s)815 and 779
FIPS code17-44225
Wikimedia CommonsLockport, Illinois

"The city that made Chicago famous"

Illinois is the nation's most populous inland state. Its successful growth is due in large part to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, a revolutionary development that linked the Great Lakes to the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The canal was vital to the development of the city of Chicago and to the economic development of the Midwest; the canal also fostered the growth of the small settlement that became the City of Lockport. The Des Plaines River Valley was a portage site for the Des Plaines River for the Miami and Potawatomi, and explorers Louis Jolliet and Marquette traversed the region on their journeys.


Lockport is located on the east bank of the Des Plaines River just north of Joliet. The village of Lemont is about two miles to the north along the river.[8]


Historical population
Est. 201825,508[3]2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

The city, along with Homer Township within the city limits, continues to develop both in terms of many new (and newer construction) homes and new businesses entering the area.

Although the population was 15,191 at the 2000 census (and then estimated it would be 22,161 in 2005), a special census[10] of 2003 counted 25,191 people, 13,599 households, and 12,137 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,144.3 people per square mile (828.4/km²). There were 5,835 housing units at an average density of 823.7 per square mile (318.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.82% White, 1.11% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 4.34% of the population.

There were 8,599 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $72,231, and the median income for a family was $81,717.[11] Males had a median income of $65,759 versus $42,551 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,939. About 3.2% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 1.2% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

The City of Lockport, Illinois has a park district titled the Lockport Township Park District that was created in 1945. It manages and maintains 38 parks and several recreational programs with the goal to "enrich the quality of life of the community". According to the City's website, each park should provide at least one of the following recreational activities: A place to engage in sports, open spaces in which children may play in, pavilions for picnics or gatherings, playgrounds, and other facilities.[12]

Museums and Historic Places

Downtown Lockport contains four museums, all within walking distance of one another, as well as other historic places.

Gaylord Building.

The Gaylord Building is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[13] It was constructed in 1838 of local limestone for use as a warehouse and is situated on the east side of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, just north of downtown Lockport.[14] Renovated in the 1980's, the building now houses a restaurant and has historical galleries.[15]

Illinois and Michigan Canal Museum

Located in the original 1837 Canal headquarters building, the Illinois and Michigan Canal Museum offers 10 rooms filled with artifacts, pictures and documents relating to the construction and operation of the Canal, as well as period items specific to the region during the height of the Canal’s operation.

The Lockport Gallery

The Lockport Gallery celebrates Illinois through changing exhibits featuring paintings, drawings, sculptures, quilts and other media created by the state’s artists and artisans. These rotating, theme-based exhibits are supplemented and showcased through educational events, group tours and outreach programs for all ages. An Illinois State Museum (ISM) facility, the Lockport Gallery is located in a structure that is itself a work of art and history. The historic Norton Building was constructed on the banks of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1850 to serve as a grain-processing facility. Today the building is a multi-use facility housing residential lofts, offices, commercial space and the Lockport Gallery. The Gallery’s space gracefully incorporates the building’s original features, including large windows (once arched portals used for loading and unloading), high ceilings ,and hardwood floors.

The Gladys Fox Museum

Maintained by the Lockport Township Park District, the Gladys Fox Museum is located in the 1839 Old Congregational Church. Beautifully restored, this historic building is now home to the museum’s collection of historical photographs and memorabilia celebrating Dellwood Park and the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

Lincoln Landing

Newly constructed just south of the Gaylord building and directly adjacent to the I&M Canal by the Give Something Back Foundation, the Lincoln Landing is a unique open air park and museum. The park shows the original I & M Canal lines with a statue of Lincoln contemplating the canal. Bronze medallions are placed all about the park with historical information. Each medallion then leads you to another with connected information.


Taft School District 90

Taft School District 90 lies almost entirely within the southwest part of Lockport. The district dates from before 1888. In the 19th century it was called school district #9 of Lockport Township, and its school was called the South Lockport School. The district now has one school, called Taft School.[16][17]

Milne-Kelvin Grove School District 91

Milne-Kelvin Grove School District 91, also known as Lockport School District 91, lies almost entirely within the west central part of Lockport. It has two grade schools.[18]

Milne Grove Elementary School

Milne Grove has kindergarten through grade three.[19]

Kelvin Grove Middle School

Kelvin Grove has grades four through eight; sixth through eighth grade operate as a middle school.[19]

Will County School District 92

Will County School District 92 is a public grade school district which serves grades K-8. It mainly serves the communities of Lockport and Homer Glen. It contains four buildings: Walsh, Reed, Ludwig, and Oak Prairie with the administration building adjacent to Ludwig.

Walsh School

Walsh School is an elementary school educating students from PreK through grade one.

Reed School

Reed School is an elementary school educating students grades two and three.

Ludwig School

Ludwig School is an elementary school educating students grades four and five.

Oak Prairie Junior High School

Oak Prairie Junior High School is a middle school educating students in grades six through eight.

High Schools

Three other grade school districts cover parts of Lockport. The eastern part of Lockport is in Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C. The northern part of Lockport is in Will County School District 92. The southern part of Lockport is served by the Fairmont School District 89.

All of the city is in Lockport Township High School District 205, which operates Lockport Township High School at a Central and East campus, both in the city. The district serves about 3,700 students from the communities of Crest Hill, Fairmont, Homer Glen, Lockport, Homer Township and Lockport Township. The Central Campus opened in 1910 and serves freshman students while the East Campus opened in 1964 and serves sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Private schools

Lockport has two private grade schools: Saint Dennis (Catholic) School[20] at 1201 S. Washington St. and St. Joseph (Catholic) School at 529 S. Madison St.[21]

There are also two private high schools in the area: Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox and Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet.


Lockport has a station on Metra's Heritage Corridor, which provides weekday rush hour rail service between Joliet, and Chicago, Illinois (at Union Station). Lockport is very close to Metra's Rock Island District.

Major highways

Major highways in Lockport include:

Some scenes in the 2009 film Public Enemies were shot in Lockport.[22]

Notable people

Sister city

Lockport has one sister city:[31] In 2014 Lockport, Illinois and Asiago, Italy became officially "sister cities". As most Lockport residents have Italian last names and ancestors that were from around the Asiago area.


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lockport, Illinois
  2. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 29, 2017.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  4. Grossman, James R.; Keating, Ann Durkin (October 15, 2004). The encyclopedia of Chicago (1st ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 491. ISBN 978-0226310152.
  5. The History of Will County, Illinois. Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Co. 1878. pp. 431–432. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 189.
  7. Sulski, Jim (June 7, 1995). "2 caring communities are handling growth with grace". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  8. Joliet, IL 7.5 Minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1954
  9. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. "American FactFinder". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  12. "Lockport Township Park District". Lockport, IL - Official Website. City of Lockport. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  13. "Gaylord Building, a National Trust Historic Site". Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  14. "All in the Family: Barbara Donnelly Dishes About Lockport's Gaylord Building". Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  15. "Histopry of the Gaylord building in Lockport Illinois". Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  16. "History". Lockport, Illinois: Taft School District 90. 2008-10-13.
  17. Tielbur, Diannaha (1997), Taft History, Lockport, Illinois
  18. "Milne-Kelvin Grove School District 91 Lockport, Illinois USA". D91.net. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  19. "District 91 Info". Lockport, Illinois: Milne-Kelvin Grove School District 91. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  20. "Non-Public School Directory". New Lenox, Illinois: Will County Regional Office of Education. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  21. "Company Credits". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  22. Illinois Blue Book 1959-1960, p. 276-277
  23. "Harry Decker Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  24. "Tom Haller Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  25. 'Souvenir of the Illinois Legislature of 1893,' J.L. Pickering-editor, Illinois State Journal Press, Springfield, Illinois: 1893, Biographical Sketch of Daniel H. Paddock, pg, 81
  26. Canino, Joseph (26 June 2015). "Gotta love @CMPunk's special article about the @NHLBlackhawks in the @SINow special edition of the champs! #ONEGOALpic.twitter.com/C0FnhhxmN3". Twitter. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  27. 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1913,' Biographical Sketch of Luke Scanlan, p. 677
  28. "Alando Forest Tucker". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  29. "Mike Zimmer Coaching Stats". Pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
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