Jail Hill Inn
319 Meeker St., Galena
The Jo Daviess County Jail was built in 1878 in Galena, IL. The four-story, brick and limestone structure was built in the Second Empire and functioned as the county jail until 1977. After sitting vacant for many years, the old jail was in foreclosure for five years before being bought by Galena-native Matthew Carroll, who envisioned turning it into a luxury inn that preserved the historic features of the jail along with modern conveniences.
Though the building had been gutted years before, Carroll worked hard to preserve what was left of the historic character, including preserving the original wood ceiling and sections of the original concrete floor. Carroll also preserved the original windows on the first and second floors, the sills of which contain graffiti carvings by former prisoners. The inn contains six suits and an inn-keeper’s quarters on the first floor as well as a commercial kitchen. Carroll used almost exclusively local businesses in the construction and furnishing of the inn. The rehabilitation of the old jail has increased property values, added aesthetic and visual appearance to the surrounding neighborhood, generated tax dollars, employment and added a new type of luxury lodging for the area.