The Challenge
The City of Lockport was established in 1836 for the pursuit of economic fortune. For many years, Downtown Lockport was an economic engine that powered the upper Midwest. Over the years, however, the major industries of shipping, agricultural, and oil have left the downtown, leaving smaller, privately-owned shops. Nevertheless, Downtown Lockport remains an important crossroads. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, upwards of 20,000 vehicles drive along State Street everyday. The current problem is that only a fraction of those people stop to patronize the remaining businesses. Regardless of the fact that there are viable businesses, a number of excellent restaurants, a bike path with historic attractions, 4 museums, and a newly-remodeled public space called the Lincoln Landing, the perception of the Downtown is defined by vacancies, a few fire-damaged buildings, and noisy, dangerous traffic.

  • Lockport's location is no accident. It was platted on its capacity to make powerful connections. Strategically positioned atop a 40-foot drop in elevation along the beautiful Des Plaines River Valley, Lockport is still the hydraulic power source for the shipping canal that connects the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, and the hydroelectric dam that provides green power to surrounding communities.
  • State Route 7 runs directly through the center of town providing easy access to the city center. The Metra commuter line has a stop with ample parking for commuters. The downtown is registered on the National Register of Historic Places because of its impact on the growth of the Midwest. Four museums and the public library, all within walking distance of each other, tell a variety of stories and host rotating exhibits and programs.
  • City officials and staff have created a Master Plan for redevelopment and enacted a TIF district to help fund downtown infrastructure updates and give developers incentives to build.
  • All of these features and incentives are map-centered among the towns of Crest Hill, Plainfield, Lemont, Joliet, and Homer Glen. Within a 4 minute car ride, the Historic Downtown connects I-355, a new medical center, Lewis University, an airport capable of landing commuter jets, Dellwood Park, and more.
Brand Strategy
The strategy is to capitalize on the fact that Downtown Lockport continues to occupy a power location with unprecedented transportation inlets, national historic value, and attractive public spaces. Using the Lincoln Landing as the historic center of our city, we created a graphic that reflects the concentric stone rings that emanate from Lincoln's touch as he reaches into the canal. These rings of influence expand out into Lockport, connecting the surrounding towns of Chicagoland, the Midwest, and, via the canal, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The canal, the railway, and the roads (I-355 included) continue to position Lockport as the powerful center point that connects many towns and influences.
Lockport Brand