101 N. Johnson
Woodstock, Il 60098
(815) 338 - 4525
Art Gallery hours:
Thurs Sat 11:00 5:00, Sun 1:00 5:00
A Bit of History
Old Court House & Jail
The Old Court House was constructed in 1857, a classic brick structure designed by one of the country's most prominent architects, John Mills Van Osdel. Thirty years later, the adjoining Sheriff's House & Jail building was added. After more than a century of serving as the center of local government, the deteriorating complex was vacated in 1972 and scheduled to be demolished to make way for a parking lot. It was saved from the wrecker's ball when purchased by Woodstock residents Cliff and Bev Ganschow, and an extensive renovation program was completed during America's Bicentennial. Because of their national architectural and historical significance, both the Old Court House and the Sheriff's House & Jail were designated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today the stately complex is a proud landmark known throughout the area, restored and revived for you and your family and friends' enjoyment. Much of its historic space is now occupied by the Old Court House Art Center's unique galleries. Throughout the three floors of the building complex you can still see the original pressed tin ceilings ... impenetrable jail ceils... massive iron vault doors that are beautifully decorated with hand-painted murals and floral motifs... old election tallies recorded and preserved on a giant chalkboard... beautiful arched doorways and handsome moldings... and an elegant winding stairway leading to the magnificent Grand Court Room (which is available for distinctive parties, weddings and other activities). Artists' studios occupy the south wing, formerly the jury sleeping rooms.
Restaurants occupy the ground floors of both buildings. From 1857 to 1887 the jail cells were in the Old Court House itself, and several may be preserved as dining areas.
La Petite Creperie is housed in the building formerly known as the Sheriff's House, located in the Old Court House Complex. The building, which was constructed in 1887, functioned as the County Sheriff's House until 1972. The sheriff's family lived in this building while inmates occupied approximately a dozen cells in the back half. During the time of occupancy, it was customary for the sheriff's wife to prepare meals for the inmates. Now, La Petite Creperie is a cozy little place with a casual atmosphere where you will enjoy a wonderful meal and knowledgeable service, all at a great price. The wine list is carefully selected for quality and value.
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Last revised: Tuesday, August 13, 2013.