Dover, Delaware

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City of Dover
West Loockerman Street in downtown Dover in 2001
Nickname: The State Capital since 1777
Country United States
State Delaware
County Kent County, Delaware
Region Delmarva
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Coordinates 39°09′43″N 75°31′36″W / 39.16194°N 75.52667°W / 39.16194; -75.52667
Area 22.7 sq mi (58.8 km²)
 – land 22.4 sq mi (58 km²)
 – water 0.3 sq mi (1 km²)
Population 36,047 (2010)
 – metro 152,255
Density 1,598.7 / sq mi (617 / km²)
Founded 1683
 – Incorporated 1717
Mayor Carleton Carey
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 – summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes 19901-19906
Area code 302
Location of Dover in Delaware
Location of Delaware in the United States

The city of Dover is the capital and second largest city[1] in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is also the county seat of Kent County, and the principal city of the Dover, Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Kent County. It is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River coastal plain. It was named by William Penn for Dover in Kent, England. As of 2010, the city had a population of 36,047.[2]



[edit] History

Dover was founded as the court town for newly established Kent County in 1683 by William Penn, the Proprietor of the territory generally known as the “Lower Counties on the Delaware.” Later, in 1717, the city was officially laid out by a special commission of the Delaware General Assembly. The capital of the state of Delaware was moved here from New Castle in 1777 due to its central location and relative safety from British raiders on the Delaware River. Due to an act passed in October 1779, the assembly elected to meet at any place in the state they saw fit, meeting successively in Wilmington, Lewes, Dover, New Castle, and Lewes again, until it finally settled down permanently in Dover in October 1781.[3] The city’s central square, known as The Green, was the location of many rallies, troop reviews, and other patriotic events. To this day, The Green remains the heart of Dover’s historic district and is the location of the Delaware Supreme Court and the Kent County Courthouse.

Dover was most famously the home of Caesar Rodney, the popular wartime leader of Delaware during the American Revolution. He is known to have been buried outside Dover, but the precise location of his grave is unknown. A cenotaph in his honor is erected in the cemetery of the Christ Episcopal Church near The Green in Dover.

Dover and Kent County were deeply divided over the issue of slavery and was a “stop” on the Underground Railroad, due to its proximity to slave holding Maryland and free Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It was also home to a large Quaker community that encouraged a sustained emancipation effort in the early nineteenth century. There were very few slaves in the area, but the institution was supported, if not practiced, by a small majority, who saw to its continuation.

[edit] Geography

Dover is located at 39°09′43″N 75°31′36″W / 39.16194°N 75.52667°W / 39.16194; -75.52667 (39.161921, −75.526755)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.7 square miles (58.8 km²), of which, 22.4 square miles (58.0 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.32% water.

Dover has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool, but conditions then are moderated due to the proximity of the Delaware Bay and the partial shielding of the Appalachians. Snow is typically light, averaging 14 inches (36 cm), falling a few inches (<10 cm) at a time, and does not usually remain on the ground for long. Spring and autumn provide transitions of reasonable length, and are similar, though spring is wetter. Summers are hot and humid, with 29 days per year reaching or surpassing 90 °F (32 °C). Monthly mean temperatures range from 35.3 °F (1.8 °C) in January to 77.8 °F (25.4 °C) in July. Rainfall is spread rather evenly year-round.

[hide]Climate data for Dover, Delaware
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 43.7
Average low °F (°C) 26.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.94
Snowfall inches (cm) 4.5
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.7 9.1 10.5 10.9 10.9 9.3 9.7 8.4 8.3 7.8 8.3 10.1 114.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 2.1 1.8 .6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .8 5.3
Source: NOAA (normals, 1971−2000) [5]

[edit] Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1940 5,517  
1950 6,223   12.8%
1960 7,250   16.5%
1970 17,488   141.2%
1980 23,512   34.4%
1990 27,630   17.5%
2000 32,135   16.3%
2010 36,047   12.2%

In 1890, 3,061 people lived in Dover; in 1900, 3,329; in 1910, 3,720; and in 1940, 5,517. As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 32,135 people, 12,340 households, and 7,502 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,435.0 people per square mile (554.1/km²). There were 13,195 housing units at an average density of 589.2 per square mile (227.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 54.94% White, 37.22% African American, 0.45% Native American, 3.16% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 2.62% from two or more races. 4.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,340 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city of Dover the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 15.7% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,669, and the median income for a family was $48,338. Males had a median income of $34,824 versus $26,061 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,445. About 11.5% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Government

Dover is governed via the manager-council system with an elected mayor. The council consists of 9 members eight of which are elected from districts with each district having two members. One member of the council is elected at large. The mayor is elected directly by the city voters for a two year term.

Federally, Dover is part of Delaware’s At-large congressional district, represented by Democrat John C. Carney, Jr., elected in 2010 and a former Lieutenant Governor of Delaware.

The state’s senior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Tom Carper, elected in 2000. The state’s junior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Chris Coons. The Governor of Delaware is Democrat Jack Markell, elected in 2008.

[edit] Economy

Legislative Hall

Delaware’s largest employer is also Dover’s – the state government. A large portion, but not all, of the state’s bureaucracy is located in and around Dover. However, like some other American states, Delaware’s capital is not its largest city. Consequently, Wilmington, in the northern part of the state and its largest city, has many state offices and employees one would normally expect to find in the state capital, including the headquarters of the Office of the Attorney General.

Dover is one of the fast-growing areas in the State of Delaware, due in large part to the relatively low cost of living. As a consequence, the Kent County government is a major employer in the area as well. Apart from the state and county governments, Dover’s significant employers include Dover Air Force Base, located within the southeast corporate limits of the city. The base houses two airlift wings as well as the U.S. military’s only mortuary located in the continental United States, which accepts and processes the remains of soldiers killed in battle. In addition Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble have manufacturing facilities in Dover. ILC Dover, in nearby Frederica, is the producer of fabrics for military and aerospace uses, along with being the primary contractor for production of the Apollo and Skylab spacesuits, as well as the spacesuit assembly for the Space Shuttle‘s Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU).

Two weekends a year, NASCAR stock car races are held at Dover International Speedway, attracting over 100,000 spectators and visitors and temporarily making Dover the state’s largest city. These races, and in recent years adjacent slot machine gambling, contribute millions of dollars to Dover’s economy.

Dover is the only state capital in the United States with a volunteer fire department.

[edit] Transportation

A Norfolk Southern GP38-2 parked on the team track in Dover with the old railroad depot in background.

The main north–south highway through Dover is U.S. Route 13, which runs through the main commercial strip of Dover on the multi-lane, divided Dupont Highway. An alternate route of U.S. Route 13, U.S. Route 13 Alternate, passes through downtown Dover on Governors Avenue. The Delaware Route 1 turnpike, which provides the main route to Wilmington and the Delaware beaches, passes to the east of Dover. It ends near the Dover Air Force Base and DE 1 continues south on Bay Road. U.S. Route 113 formerly ran along Bay Road from Milford to US 13 near the State Capitol Complex, however it was decommissioned in 2004 to avoid the concurrency with DE 1 between the Dover Air Force Base and Milford. Delaware Route 8 is the main east–west route through Dover, passing through downtown on Division Street and West Dover on Forrest Avenue. It continues west toward Maryland to provide access to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Dover is one of only five state capitals not served by an interstate highway. Pierre, South Dakota; Jefferson City, Missouri; Carson City, Nevada; and Juneau, Alaska are the other four state capitals with this distinction.

Dover Air Force Base is located within the southeast corporate limits of Dover, however the closest sizable civilian airport to Dover is the New Castle Airport in New Castle. The closest airports with commercial air service to Dover include the Wicomico Regional Airport in Salisbury, Maryland, the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dover is located on a former Pennsylvania Railroad line which is now served by Norfolk Southern. At one time Dover had a daily Amtrak passenger service; however the line now is just used for local freight. The closest passenger rail station is the Amtrak station in Wilmington.

DART First State provides weekday local bus service throughout Dover, radiating from the Water Street Transfer Center in downtown. They also provide inter-county service to Wilmington and Georgetown and seasonal service to Rehoboth Beach.

Greyhound lines are provided as inter-city bus transportation

[edit] Education

Dover is home to Delaware State University (a land-grant university and Delaware’s only historically black university), and Wesley College. It is also home to the Terry Campus of the Delaware Technical & Community College and that college’s administrative offices. Dover also has satellite locations of the University of Delaware and Wilmington University.

Three public high schools serve Dover residents. Caesar Rodney High School, in the Caesar Rodney School District (located just outside the city in Camden); Dover High School, in the Capital School District; and Polytech High School, in the Polytech School District (located in Woodside).

The Dover Air Force Base Middle School is located on the premises of the Dover Air Force Base. This school is unusual in that it is run not by the Department of Defense, but by the Caesar Rodney School District.

[edit] Culture

The former Dover Opera House, built in 1904, was recently renovated and converted to the Schwartz Center for the Arts, which hosts performances by the Dover Symphony Orchestra, ballet, and classic films.

The Delaware State Library, Delaware State Museum, and the Delaware State Archives are located in downtown Dover and are open to the public for research and browsing.

In Dover’s historical district is the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art, featuring collections from the Colonial days to the present.

[edit] Media

Two newspapers are headquartered in Dover, they are the Dover Post and the Delaware State News. WBOC-TV maintains a bureau in Dover and, WHYY-TV maintains a studio and broadcasting facility in Dover.

[edit] Sports

Dover International Speedway is home to two NASCAR race weekends, one in May or June and one in September. Within Dover International Speedway is Dover Downs, a harness horse racing track.

The two colleges in town are both very active in sports, with Wesley being a perennial powerhouse in their conference in Division III football and Delaware State making the FCS playoffs for the first time in 2007.

For one week during the middle of July every year, Dover also hosts the Big League (Little League 16-18) Eastern Regionals, attracting teams from all of New England and the Mid-Atlantic.

There are several golf courses located near Dover. They include the Maple Dale Country Club in Dover, Wild Quail Country Club near Camden, Jonathan’s Landing Golf Course near Magnolia, Dover Center Par 3 and Driving Range in Dover, and the Dover Air Base Golf Course (Must have military I.D.) on the Dover Air Force Base.

Historically, Dover hosted a farm team of the Philadelphia Phillies in the Eastern Shore Baseball League. It also served as an affiliate of the minor league Baltimore Orioles. The teams were variously known as the Senators, Dobbins, Orioles, and Phillies.

In 2008 Sporting News ranked Dover 215th in its list of the 400 Best Sports Cities based on the year October 2007 – October 2008, a year which saw high attendance for the NASCAR races and Delaware State’s football team make their first FCS tournament appearance.[7]

Combat Zone Wrestling holds its yearly Tournament of Death in Dover.

[edit] Notable residents

[edit] Pop culture references

George Carlin referred to Dover, Delaware as the destination for an all-expenses paid holiday in a comedy routine spoofing a quiz show.[8] and country music singer Garth Brooks refers to the city in the song “Cold Shoulder” on his 1991 album, Ropin’ the Wind.[9]

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Delaware” (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2006. 
  2. ^
  3. ^Munroe, John A. History of Delaware. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2001. p 75.
  4. ^ “US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990”. United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ “Climatography of the United States No. 20 1971−2000: DOVER, DE” (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011−02−18. 
  6. ^ “American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Track: ‘Asshole, Jackoff, Scumbag’, Album: ‘A Place For My Stuff‘, Label: Atlantic / Wea, Year: 1981
  9. ^ Track: ‘Cold Shoulder’, Album: ‘Ropin’ the Wind‘, Label: Capitol Nashville, Year: 1991

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Dover, Delaware
[show]v · d · eMunicipalities and communities of Kent County, Delaware
County seat: Dover

Dover | Harrington | Milford


‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

[show]v · d · e State of Delaware
Dover (capital)
[show]v · d · eState capitals of the United States
1 Federal capital.


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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida
—  Town  —

Fishermen wading in Fort Myers Beach

Location in Lee County and the state of Florida

Coordinates: 26°26′19″N 81°55′32″W / 26.43861°N 81.92556°W / 26.43861; -81.92556Coordinates: 26°26′19″N 81°55′32″W / 26.43861°N 81.92556°W / 26.43861; -81.92556
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Lee
 – Total 6.2 sq mi (15.9 km2)
 – Land 2.9 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 – Water 3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
Elevation 3 ft (1 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 6,561
 – Density 2,290.9/sq mi (885.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 33931-33932
Area code(s) 239
FIPS code 12-24150[1]
GNIS feature ID 0282701[2]

Fort Myers Beach is a town located on Estero Island in Lee County, Florida, United States. The population was 6,561 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Cape CoralFort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area.



[edit] Geography

Fort Myers Beach is located at 26°26′19″N 81°55′32″W / 26.43861°N 81.92556°W / 26.43861; -81.92556 (26.438676, -81.925620).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16.0 km²), of which, 2.9 square miles (7.4 km²) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²) of it (53.41%) is water. The town is situated across the barrier islands of Estero and San Carlos.

Estero Island and its sister island, San Carlos, make up the community of Fort Myers Beach.

[edit] Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1960 2,463  
1970 4,305   74.8%
1980 5,753   33.6%
1990 9,284   61.4%
2000 6,561   −29.3%
source: [4][5]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,561 people, 3,425 households, and 2,048 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,290.9 people per square mile (885.7/km²). There were 8,429 housing units at an average density of 2,943.2/sq mi (1,137.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.24% White, 0.08% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.46% of the population.

There were 3,425 households out of which 7.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 4.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.91 and the average family size was 2.29.

In the town the population was spread out with 7.6% under the age of 18, 3.0% from 18 to 24, 17.2% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 37.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,045, and the median income for a family was $62,000. Males had a median income of $31,929 versus $29,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,703. About 3.0% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Government

The town is governed by a 5 member town council, one of which is the mayor. The town manager works with the town council to implement plans.

Larry Kiker, owner of Lahaina Realty, is the mayor. Scott Janke was the town manager from March 2008 to July 2009 until he was fired after the story broke about the fact that he was married to pornographic actress Jazella Moore. Public Works Director Jack Green is currently the Interim Town Manager.</ref>[6][7][8][9][10][11]

[edit] Churches

The Chapel by the Sea was the first church on the island. A congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Chapel by the Sea was started in 1932 as a mission of the Presbyterians. It was officially founded one year later. The first building was constructed in 1937 with a seating capacity of 47. Today’s Sanctuary holds 700. Although it is Presbyterian, the Chapel is known on the island as the community church. The church hosts “God’s Table” feeding the poor and needy of the beach every day, Monday through Friday.

Saint Raphael’s Church was the second church built on the island. It was founded on March 5, 1951 and the church was built in 1953. They are known for hosting the island’s annual Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet. A tradition started in 1952 to bless all the boats and their crews[12]. It is the only Episcopal Church (United States) on the island.

Other churches on the island are the Roman Catholic’s Church of the Ascension, the Beach United Methodist Church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and the Beach Baptist Church.

[edit] Gallery

  • The beach of Fort Myers Beach

  • Matanzas Pass

  • The beach as seen from the terrace of the Lani Kai Island Resort

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b “American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ “US Board on Geographic Names”. United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ “US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990”. United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ “CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)”. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  5. ^ Census figures from 1960 to 1990 were enumerated prior to incorporation as Fort Myers Beach CDP.
  6. ^ .,23739,25827805-5013016,00.html[dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^,0,4361163.story
  10. ^…/2009-07-23_florida_town_manager_fired_over_porn_star_wife_.html
  11. ^,2933,534438,00.html
  12. ^

[edit] External links

[hide]v·d·eMunicipalities and communities of Lee County, FloridaCounty seat: Fort MyersCities





Fort Myers Beach


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Dutch Wonderland

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Dutch Wonderland
Location Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Owner Palace Entertainment
Opened 1963
Area 48
Rides 34 total

  • 2 roller coasters
  • 6 water rides
Slogan “A Kingdom for Kids”

Dutch Wonderland is a 48-acre (190,000 m2) amusement park just east of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, appealing primarily to families with small children. The park’s theme is a “Kingdom for Kids.” The entrance to the park has a real stone castle façade, which was built by Earl Clark, a potato farmer, before he opened the park in 1963.

The Clark family sold Dutch Wonderland in 2001 to Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. They also operate Wonderland Mini-Golf, and Old Mill Stream Campground at the same location and the Gift Shop at Kitchen Kettle Village, in nearby Intercourse.

On November 12, 2010, Hershey Entertainment announced that they sold Dutch Wonderland to Palace Entertainment. “Fernando Eiroa, Palace Entertainment President and CEO, commented, “We are very proud of the integration of a leading park like Dutch Wonderland within our group. We are fully aware of the unique position that Dutch Wonderland holds within its community and we will be doing everything to enhance the Dutch Wonderland brand, while keeping the special family appeal of the park.”

Today, the park has 34 rides, plus a tropical-themed interactive water play area called Duke’s Lagoon. The park also has an extended season, open for “Happy Hauntings” and “Dutch Winter Wonderland” events for Halloween and Christmas.

The park is part of a larger area in Lancaster zoned for entertainment, dining, lodging, and conferences.



[edit] Attractions

This article is written like an advertisement. Please help rewrite this article from a neutral point of view. For blatant advertising that would require a fundamental rewrite to become encyclopedic, use {{db-spam}} to mark for speedy deletion. (December 2007)

Dutch Wonderland features 34 rides, a water park called Duke’s Lagoon (named for a purple dragon costumed character), along with shows and games for children. In addition to Duke the dragon, the park also features costumed characters Princess Brooke, and the Knight.

[edit] Current roller coasters

Dutch Wonderland has two operating rollercoasters.

Ride Opened Description
Kingdom Coaster 1992 A wooden rollercoaster, the first coaster ever built by Custom Coasters International. Uses a single Philadelphia Toboggan Company train with buzz bars. The park’s monorail runs through the structure of the ride. The ride was once painted white, and is currently painted blue. It was named the Sky Princess until the 2007 season.
Joust 1998 A steel “Big Dipper” style rollercoaster, manufactured by Chance Rides. It sits where the Flying Trapeze once stood, in front of the Kingdom Coaster. Chance’s prototype Big Dipper Coaster.

[edit] Other rides

Kingdom Coaster and Log Flume

  • Astroliner – an older space simulator that was added to the park in 1978, built by Wisdom Manufacturing
  • Bumper Cars – a classic Lusse bumper car ride
  • Capital BlueCross Monorail – visible from outside the park
  • Dragon’s Lair – a one-of-a-kind boat ride, visible from outside the park
  • Dukes Dozers- a kiddie ride where children ride in bulldozers, moved from Hersheypark where it was called Earthmovers
  • Dutch Wonder House – a rare “haunted swing” ride, where the entire house revolves around the riders, an extremely disorienting effect
  • Double Splash Flume – a double drop log flume (the lower drop at the beginning of the ride, the higher drop at the end) with characters and a mist tunnel
  • Wiggle Racers – A ride appealing to small children where self-propelled scooters race around a track that includes a maze and a cave. This ride replaced the miniature train display which had replaced the indoor miniature circus display.
  • Lady Gay Riverboat – a short cruise around a man-made island
  • Sky Ride – the last station-to-station sky ride in the state[citation needed]
  • VR Voyager – a newer-style motion simulator
  • Wonder Whip – a kiddie whip ride moved from Hersheypark, formerly called Wells Cargo
  • Turtle Whirl – classic tilt-a-whirl ride with a turtle theme purchased from Clementon Lake Park.
  • The Twister – a family ride moved from Hersheypark (1978–2008)

[edit] Removed rides

  • Old 99- a train ride that went around a track by itself(1974–2002)
  • Swan train ride Only existed for a few years.
  • Original Iron Horse Train replaced in 70’s for CP Huntington #123. CP Huntington #206 added in 1984.
  • Giant Slide Replaced with two portable slides.

[edit] Shows

  • Thomas and Friends Live at Dutch Wonderland – a new show based on Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Bubba Bear and the Badlands Band – a Sally-produced theater show
  • The Adventures of the Frog Prince – a high-dive show
  • A Dragon’s Tale – a high-dive show
  • Storytime Corner- Princess of Dutch Wonderland and the Dutch Wonderland Knight read stories to children
  • Dukes Dance Party- Duke The Dragon and his friends dance to songs such as the Chicken Dance, Limbo, Hula and more.
  • The Wonderers – Strolling horn band that plays and entertains guests while making excellent music.
  • Beyond the Castle Walls – based on the children’s book of the same name, Beyond the Castle Walls tells the story of Princess Brooke’s global adventures.

[edit] Popular culture

  • On the TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8, the family visited Dutch Wonderland in the episode titled “Gosselins Go Dutch.”

[edit] See also

Incidents at independent parks

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 40°01′40″N 76°13′06″W / 40.027697°N 76.218443°W / 40.027697; -76.218443

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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

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Las Vegas, Nevada

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This article is about the city of Las Vegas, Nevada proper. For its metropolitan area, see Las Vegas metropolitan area. For the region in the metropolitan area known as “the Strip”, see Las Vegas Strip. For other meanings, see Las Vegas.

This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. You can assist by editing it. (February 2011)

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Las Vegas
—  City  —
City of Las Vegas

A montage of the City of Las Vegas; From top to bottom: Las Vegas, Vegas Vic, Binion’s Horseshoe, Fremont Street Experience, and Plaza Hotel & Casino


Nickname(s): “The Entertainment Capital of the World”
“Sin City”
“Capital of Second Chances”
“The Marriage Capital of the World”

Location of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada

Las Vegas is located in USA

Las Vegas

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 36°10′30″N 115°08′11″W / 36.175°N 115.13639°W / 36.175; -115.13639
Country United States
State Nevada
County Clark County
 – Type Council-Manager
 – Mayor Oscar B. Goodman (N.P.)
 – City Manager Betsy Fretwell
 – City 131.3 sq mi (340.0 km2)
 – Land 131.2 sq mi (339.8 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation 2,001 ft (610 m)
Population (2009)[1][2]
 – City 583,756
 – Density 4,154/sq mi (1,604/km2)
 – Urban 1,314,356
 – Metro 1,951,269
  (28 th U.S.)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 – Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes  
Area code(s) 702
FIPS code 32-40000
GNIS feature ID 0847388

Las Vegas (pronounced /lɑːs ˈveɪɡəs/) is the most populous city in Nevada, United States, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, it is the 28th most populous city in the United States with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 583,756 as of 2010. The 2010 population estimate of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 1,951,269.[2]

Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. With the growth that followed, at the close of the century Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in the 20th century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city’s tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. There are numerous outdoor lighting displays on Fremont Street, as well as elsewhere in the city.

The name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated areas that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. The 4.2 mi (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester, while a small portion overlaps into Las Vegas and the unincorporated community of Enterprise.




Main article: History of Las Vegas

Southern Paiutes of the Moapa – Las Vegas Paiutes wearing traditional Paiute basket hats with Paiute cradleboard and rabbit robe.

The first reported visit to the valley by someone of European descent was Raphael Rivera in 1829.[3] Las Vegas was named by Spaniards in the Antonio Armijo party,[4] who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from Texas. In the 19th century, areas of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas or meadows (vegas in Spanish), hence the name Las Vegas.

John C. Frémont traveled into the Las Vegas Valley on May 3, 1844, while it was still part of Mexico.[5] He was a leader of a group of scientists, scouts and observers for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. On May 10, 1855, following annexation by the US, Brigham Young assigned 30 missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints led by William Bringhurst to the area to convert the Paiute Indian population to Mormonism. A fort was built near the current downtown area, serving as a stopover for travelers along the “Mormon Corridor” between Salt Lake and the briefly thriving colony of saints at San Bernardino, California. However, during the Utah War, Mormons abandoned Las Vegas in 1857. Las Vegas was established as a railroad town on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres (44.5 ha) owned by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, was auctioned off in what is now downtown Las Vegas. Among the railroad’s most notable owners and directors were Montana Senator William A. Clark, Utah U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns and R.C. Kerens of St. Louis.[6] Las Vegas was part of Lincoln County until 1908 when it became part of the newly established Clark County. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church near 4th and Bridger in downtown was founded in 1910.[7] Las Vegas became an incorporated city on March 16, 1911 and Peter Buol was the first mayor.

Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west, and became a popular railroad town in the early 20th century. It was a staging point for all the mines in the surrounding area, especially those around the town of Bullfrog, that shipped their goods out to the rest of the country. With the proliferation of the railroads, Las Vegas became less important but the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam in 1935 resulted in the growth of residents and tourism. The dam, located 30 mi (48 km) southeast of the city, also formed Lake Mead, the US’s largest man-made lake and reservoir. Today, tours are offered into lesser known parts of the dam. The legalization of gambling in 1931 led to the advent of the casino-hotels, for which Las Vegas is famous. Major development occurred in the 1940s, “due almost entirely” to the influx of scientists and staff from the World War 2 atomic bomb research, with atomic test watching parties being thrown at times.[8] The success of the city’s early casino businesses was owed to American organized crime. Most of the original large casinos were managed or at least funded under mob figures Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Meyer Lansky or other mob figures at this time.[9] The rapid growth of this gambling empire is credited with dooming Galveston, Texas; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and other major gaming centers in the 1950s.[10]

With the arrival in the late 1960s of businessman Howard Hughes, who purchased many casino-hotels, as well as television and radio stations in the city, legitimate corporations began to purchase casino-hotels as well, and the mob was run out by the federal government over the next several years. The constant stream of tourist dollars from the hotels and casinos was also augmented by a new source of federal money. This money came from the establishment of what is now Nellis Air Force Base. The influx of military personnel and casino job-hunters helped start a land building boom which, as of today, has leveled off a bit.

Though Las Vegas’s gambling revenues have been surpassed by Macau, the Las Vegas area remains one of the world’s top entertainment destinations.[11][12]

Geography and climate

Typical desert scene in the Las Vegas area.

Las Vegas is situated on the arid desert floor within Clark County. The surrounding environment is dominated by desert vegetation and some wildlife, and the area is subject to torrential flash floods. Enabling the rapid population expansion was a major addition to the city’s sewage treatment capacity. The sewage treatment expansion resulted from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant funding 2008 programs to analyze and forecast growth and environmental impacts through the year 2019.

The city is in an arid basin surrounded by dry mountains. City elevation is around 2,030 ft (620 m) above sea level. The Spring Mountains lie to the west. Much of the landscape is rocky and dusty. Within the city, however, there are many lawns, trees and other greenery. Due to water resource issues, there is now a movement to encourage xeriscapes. Another part of the water conservation efforts include scheduled watering groups for watering residential landscaping. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 131.3 sq mi (340 km2), of which 131.2 sq mi (340 km2) is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) of it (0.04%) is water.


Las Vegas’ climate is a subtropical arid climate (Koppen climate classification BWh), typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. The city enjoys abundant sunshine year-round and has an average of about 300 sunny days per year and more than 3800 hours of sunshine,[13] with about 4.2 inches of rainfall, which on average occurs on 29 days per year.[14]

The summer months of June through September are very hot and mostly dry with average daytime highs of 94 to 104 °F (34 to 40 °C) and night-time lows of 69–78 °F (21–26 °C). There are an average of 133 days per year above 90 °F (32 °C), and 72 days above 100 °F (38 °C), with most of the days in July and August exceeding that benchmark. However, humidity is very low and often under 10%.

Las Vegas’ winters are of short duration and the season is generally mild, with daytime highs near 60 °F (16 °C) and nighttime lows around 40 °F (4 °C). The mountains surrounding Las Vegas accumulate snow during the winter but snow is rare in the Las Vegas Valley itself.[15] Several years apart, however, snow has fallen in the valley. Temperatures can sometimes drop to freezing 32 °F (0 °C) but winter nighttime temperatures will rarely dip below 30 degrees.

Annual precipitation in Las Vegas is roughly 4.5 in (110 mm). Most of the precipitation falls in the winter, but the driest month (June) has only 2.9 fewer average days of precipitation than the wettest month (March).

[hide]Climate data for Las Vegas (McCarran International Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
Average high °F (°C) 57.1
Average low °F (°C) 36.8
Record low °F (°C) 8
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.59
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.4 3.5 3.6 1.8 1.6 0.7 2.6 3.0 1.9 1.8 1.8 2.9 28.6
Sunshine hours 244.9 248.6 313.1 345.0 387.5 402.0 390.6 368.9 336.0 303.8 246.0 235.6 3,822.0
Source #1: NOAA[14][16]
Source #2: HKO (sun only)[13]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1900 25  
1910 800   3,100.0%
1920 2,304   188.0%
1930 5,165   124.2%
1940 8,422   63.1%
1950 24,624   192.4%
1960 64,405   161.6%
1970 125,787   95.3%
1980 164,674   30.9%
1990 258,295   56.9%
2000 478,434   85.2%
2010 583,756   22.0%

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the racial composition of Las Vegas was as follows:


As of the census[21] of 2010, there were 583,756 people, 211,689 households, and 117,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,222.5 /sq mi (1,630.3 /km2). There are 190,724 housing units at an average density of 1,683.3 /sq mi (649.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.9% White, 10.4% African American, 0.8% Native American, 4.8% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 9.8% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.6% of the population.

There were 176,750 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $53,000 and the median income for a family was $58,465.[22] Males had a median income of $35,511 versus $27,554 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,060. About 6.6% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Las Vegas has one of the highest suicide and divorce rates of the U.S.[23][24] A research study that found Las Vegas residents are 40% less likely to commit suicide if they leave Las Vegas and visitors are more than twice as likely to commit suicide there as elsewhere[25][26] was published in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper in 2008, breaking a long-time taboo on discussion of suicide in Las Vegas.[27] The city’s high divorce rate is not wholly due to Las Vegans themselves getting divorced. Since divorce is easier in Nevada than most other states, many people come from across the country for the easier process.

For similar reasons, Las Vegas has also one of the highest marriage rates of U.S. cities as well, with many licenses issued to people from outside the area (see Las Vegas weddings).


The primary drivers of the Las Vegas economy have been the confluence of tourism, gaming and conventions, which in turn feed the retail and restaurant industries. The city serves as world headquarters for the world’s two largest Fortune 500 gaming companies, Harrah’s Entertainment and MGM Resorts International.[28] Several companies involved in the manufacture of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, are located in the Las Vegas area. In the first decade of the 21st century retail and dining have become attractions of their own. Tourism marketing and promotion are handled by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a county wide agency. Its annual Visitors Survey provides detailed information on visitor numbers, spending patterns and resulting revenues.[29]

Constant population growth means that the housing construction industry is vitally important. In 2000 more than 21,000 new homes and 26,000 resale homes were purchased. In early 2005 there were 20 residential development projects of more than 300 acres (120 ha) each underway. During the that same period Las Vegas was regarded as the fastest growing community in the US. However, the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and the accompanying business downturn has sent business and growth tumbling, with Las Vegas recording one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the country. The disappearance of disposable consumer income and the backlash against corporate entertainment spending sent the hospitality industry into a tailspin that it has yet to fully recover from as of summer 2010.


The Strip in late 2009.

Astronaut photograph of Las Vegas at night.

When The Mirage opened in 1989, it started a trend of further development of the southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip. This resulted in a drop in tourism in the downtown area but many recent projects and condominium construction have increased visitors to downtown.

A concerted effort has been made by city officials to diversify the economy from tourism by attracting light manufacturing, banking, and other commercial interests. The lack of state individual and corporate income tax and very simple incorporation requirements have fostered the success of this effort.

Las Vegas has recently enjoyed an enormous boom both in population and tourism. The urban area has grown outward so quickly that it is beginning to run into Bureau of Land Management holdings along its edges, increasing land values enough that medium- and high-density development is beginning to occur closer to the core. As a reflection of the city’s rapid growing population, the new Chinatown of Las Vegas was constructed in the early 1990s on Spring Mountain Road. Chinatown initially consisted of only one large shopping center complex, but the area was recently expanded for new shopping centers that contain various Asian businesses.

With the Strip expansion in the 1990s, the downtown area (which has maintained an old Las Vegas feel) began to suffer. The city made a concerted effort to turn around the fortunes of downtown. The Fremont Street Experience (FSE) was built in an effort to draw tourists back to the area and has proven to be popular in that regard. Since the recession began in 2008, many of these efforts have closed. The multi-level Neonopolis, closed their 11 theaters and nearly all retail stores. Many high-rise condo projects have also been underway but one of the highest profile buildings, The Streamline Towers, has gone into bankruptcy. Other promising signs emerged for the area. The city had successfully lured the Internal Revenue Service operations from the far west of the city to a new downtown building that opened in April 2005. The IRS move is expected to create a greater demand for additional businesses in the area, especially in the daytime hours.

The city purchased 61 acres (25 ha) of property from the Union Pacific Railroad in 1995 with the goal of creating something to draw more people to the downtown area. In 2004 Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman announced plans for Symphony Park, which will include residential and office high-rises, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, an academic medical center, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and a new City Hall. After failed negotiations with The Related Co. on the development of Union Park in October 2005, San Diego-based Newland Communities was chosen by the city as the new development firm. The Newland contract calls for Dan Van Epp, Newland’s regional vice president and former president of the Howard Hughes Corp., to oversee his company’s work on Symphony Park. The Lou Ruvo Brain Institute was completed in 2009.

Along with the Symphony Park, other promising residential and office developments have begun construction around downtown Las Vegas. New condominium and hotel high rise projects have changed the Las Vegas skyline dramatically in recent years. Many large high-rise projects are planned for downtown Las Vegas as well as the Las Vegas Strip.

In 2004, the city partnered with Cheetah Wireless Technologies and MeshNetwork to pilot a wide area mobile broadband system. The pilot system is installed downtown, around the Fremont Street Experience. In 2005, on a lot adjacent to the city’s 61 ac (247,000 m2), the World Market Center opened. It is intended to be the nation’s and possibly the world’s preeminent furniture wholesale showroom]and marketplace, and is meant to compete with the current furniture market capital of High Point, North Carolina.

On October 23, 2006, plans were unveiled to build a World Jewelry Center in Downtown’s Symphony Park. Similar to the World Market Center, the WJC will be a one stop shop for jewelry trade shows from around the world. The project proposes a 57-story, 815 ft (248 m) office tower.[30]


The iconic Las Vegas Sign.

The major attractions in Las Vegas are the casinos and the hotels. The most famous hotel casinos are located on Las Vegas Boulevard on the portion of that road known as the Las Vegas Strip. These larger casinos are located outside of the city. Many of these hotels are massive, providing thousands of rooms, with their large adjoining casino areas. There are many hotel casinos in the city’s downtown area as well, which was the focal point of the city’s gaming industry in its early days. Several large hotels and casinos are also located somewhat off the Strip, as well as in the county around the city.

Some of the most notable casinos involved in downtown gaming are on the Fremont Street Experience which was granted variances to allow bars to be closer together, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.

Downtown area casinos

Surrounding cities


Downtown Las Vegas: The Fremont Street Experience outside of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino.

On the first Friday of each month, the “First Friday” celebration is held which exhibits the works of local artists and musicians in a section of the city’s Downtown region now called the “Arts District”.[31]

The Thursday prior to First Friday is known in the 18b Arts District as “Preview Thursday”. This evening event highlights new gallery exhibitions just opening throughout the district.

The Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park, also known as the Las Vegas Zoo, exhibits over 150 species of animals and plants.

The $485 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts (currently under construction) will be located downtown in Symphony Park. The center will be appropriate for Broadway shows and other major touring attractions as well as orchestra, opera, and dance performances.

The city also hosts annual events like the Helldorado Days (Las Vegas).


Las Vegas does not have major-league sports, although the metropolitan population is as large or larger than many cities that have them. The two main reasons are concern about legal sports betting and competition for the entertainment dollar, both of which Las Vegas has in abundance. The only minor league sports team that plays in the City of Las Vegas is baseball’s Las Vegas 51s, the AAA farm club of the Toronto Blue Jays, of the Pacific Coast League.

Parks and recreation

Las Vegas has dozens of parks,[32] including Las Vegas Springs Preserve recreational and educational facility and Floyd Lamb State Park.


Las Vegas is a popular destination for Hawaiians. In 2002, almost 80,000 former residents of Hawaii lived in Las Vegas, and nearly 3,000 Hawaiians visited Las Vegas every week.[33] Las Vegas is sometimes referred to as Hawaii’s Ninth Island.[34] The city is the home to the first ABC Stores branch outside the state of Hawaii.[34]


Las Vegas City Hall in downtown Las Vegas.

The City of Las Vegas government operates as a council-manager government. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over all of the City Council meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, the Mayor Pro-Tem is the presiding officer of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his seat. The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operation of all of the municipal services and city departments. The City Manager also maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county and other local governments.

Much of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is split into neighboring incorporated cities or unincorporated communities. Approximately 700,000 people live in unincorporated areas governed by Clark County, and another 465,000 live in incorporated cities such as North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City. Las Vegas and nearly all of the surrounding metropolitan area share a police department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which was formed after a 1973 merger of the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City as well as some colleges have their own police departments.

A Paiute Indian reservation occupies about one acre (4000 m2) in the downtown area of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas, as the county seat and home to the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse, draws numerous legal service industries providing bail, marriage, divorce, tax, incorporation and other legal services.

City council

(Council members’ official city websites are also available)

  • Oscar B. Goodman – Mayor and Council member at-large (term expires in 2011)
  • Gary Reese – Mayor Pro-Tem and 3rd Ward Council member (term expires in 2011)
  • Lois Tarkanian – 1st Ward Council member (term expires in 2011)
  • Steve Wolfson, Esq – 2nd Ward Council member (term expires in 2013)
  • Stavros Anthony – 4th Ward Council member (term expires in 2013)
  • Ricki Barlow – 5th Ward Council member (term expires in 2011)
  • Steve Ross – 6th Ward Council member (term expires in 2013)


Primary and secondary public education is provided by the Clark County School District (CCSD), which is the fifth most populous school district in the nation (projected enrollment for the 2007–2008 school year is 314,000 students in grades K–12).


The Deuce bus.

RTC Transit is a public transportation system providing bus service throughout Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and other suburban areas of the valley. Intercity bus service to Las Vegas is provided by traditional intercity bus carriers, including Greyhound; many charter services, including Green Tortoise; and several Chinatown bus lines. Amtrak California also operates Deluxe Express Thruway Motorcoach dedicated service between the City and its passenger rail station in Bakersfield, California.

A new bus rapid transit link in Las Vegas called the Strip & Downtown Express (previously ACE Gold Line[35]) with limited stops and frequent service was launched in March 2010, and connects Downtown Las Vegas, the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Town Square.

With some exceptions, including Las Vegas Boulevard, Boulder Highway (SR 582), and Rancho Drive (SR 599), the majority of surface streets in Las Vegas are laid out in a grid along Public Land Survey System section lines. Many are maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation as state highways. The street numbering system is divided by the following streets:

  • Westcliff Drive, US 95 Expressway, Fremont Street and Charleston Boulevard divide the north-south block numbers from west to east.
  • Las Vegas Boulevard divides the east-west streets from the Las Vegas Strip to near the Stratosphere, then Main Street becomes the dividing line from the Stratosphere to the North Las Vegas border, after which the Goldfield Street alignment officially divides east and west.
  • On the east side of Las Vegas, block numbers between Charleston Boulevard and Washington Avenue are different along Nellis Boulevard, which is the eastern border of the city limits.

Interstates 15, 515, and US 95 lead out of the city in all four directions. Two major freeways – Interstate 15 and Interstate 515/U.S. Route 95 – cross in downtown Las Vegas. I-15 connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles, CA and heads northeast to and beyond Salt Lake City, Utah. I-515 goes southeast to Henderson, beyond which US 93 continues over the Hoover Dam towards Phoenix, Arizona. US 95 connects the city to northwestern Nevada, including Carson City and Reno. US 93 splits from I-15 northeast of Las Vegas and goes north through the eastern part of the state, serving Ely and Wells, and US 95 heads south from US 93 near Henderson through far eastern California. A partial beltway has been built, consisting of Interstate 215 on the south and Clark County 215 on the west and north. Other radial routes include Blue Diamond Road (SR 160) to Pahrump and Lake Mead Boulevard (SR 147) to Lake Mead.

East-west roads, north to south[36]
North-south roads, west to east

McCarran International Airport handles international and domestic flights into the Las Vegas Valley. The airport also serves private aircraft and freight/cargo flights. Some of the general aviation traffic uses the smaller North Las Vegas Airport and Henderson Executive Airport.

The Union Pacific Railroad is the only class one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city. Until 1997, the Amtrak Desert Wind train service ran through Las Vegas using the Union Pacific Railroad tracks that run through the city. Amtrak service to Las Vegas goes to Needles, California and continues on Amtrak’s Thruway Motorcoach bus service. Plans to restore Los Angeles to Las Vegas Amtrak service using a Talgo train were discussed in the late 1990s but no plan for a replacement was ever implemented. The Las Vegas Amtrak station was located in the Plaza Hotel; it held the distinction of being the only train station in the US that was located in a casino.

Proposals to revive passenger trains to Las Vegas have included the Desert Xpress high-speed train from Victorville, California; the California-Nevada Interstate Maglev which would extend eventually to Anaheim, California with its first segment being to Primm, Nevada; the Las Vegas Railway Express; and most recently, the Z-Train which would travel six days a week between Los Angeles Union Station and a new Z-Train Station adjacent to the Strip.

Sister cities

Las Vegas has several sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also


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This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010)

  1. ^ “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Nevada: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009” (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2010-09. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b “Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009”. U.S. Census Bureau. 2009-04. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ McCabe, Francis (December 17, 2008). “Road Warrior Q&A: Foliage removed for widening”. Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  4. ^ “Clark County, NV – FAQs/History”. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  5. ^ “The First 100 Persons Who Shaped Southern Nevada – John C. Fremont”. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ Los Angeles Herald:Directors Elected By Salt Lake Railroad, February 16, 1905 pp. 3.
  7. ^ Chung, Su Kim. Las Vegas Then and Now. Thunder Bay Press. San Diego, California: 2005. p. 36
  8. ^ Ward, Mark (2011-03-01). “Tech Know: Carving an atomic bomb”. BBC News. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  9. ^ unknown. “Las Vegas Casinos and Past Mob Ties”. Retrieved February 16, 2008. 
  10. ^ Utley Robert Marshall (2007). Lone Star Lawmen. Oxford. pp. 217–218. ISBN 9780195154443.
    Waldron, Lamar; Hartmann, Thom (2006). Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba. Basic Books. p. 294. ISBN 9780786718320.
    John Dombrink, William Norman Thompson (1990). University of Nevada Press. pp. 138–139. 
  11. ^ David Barboza. “Asian Rival Moves Past Las Vegas”. New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ Donald Greenlees (January 18, 2008). “American in Action as Macao Casinos Soar”. New York Times. Retrieved June 10, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b “Climatological Normals of Las Vegas”. Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b “NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ “KLAS-TV on many broadcasts along with other stations broadcasts”. November 13, 2007. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  16. ^ “Record Max/Min Temperature”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 5, 2009. 
  17. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 159.
  18. ^ “Subcounty population estimates: Nevada 2000–07” (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 18, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  19. ^ “American FactFinder”. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ “Las Vegas city, Nevada, ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2006–2008”. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ “American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  22. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. “”. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  23. ^ “Most Stressful US City”. City Mayors. January 10, 2004. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  24. ^ Blakeslee, Sandra (December 16, 1997). “Health: Suicide Rate Higher in 3 Gambling Cities, Study Says”. New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  25. ^ Matt Wray, Matthew Miller, Jill Gurvey, Joanna Carroll and Ichiro Kawachi. “Leaving Las Vegas: Exposure to Las Vegas and Risk of Suicide”. Social Science & Medicine. Volume 67, Issue 11, December 2008, pages 1882–1888.
  26. ^ Levin, Aaron. “Leaving Las Vegas May Reduce Odds of Suicide”. Psychiatric News. Volume 44, Number 3, February 6, 2009, page 21. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  27. ^ Las Vegas Sun, November 13, 2008
  28. ^ “CNNmoney”. CNN. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  29. ^ “For Press and Research > Stats & Facts –”. Retrieved January 10, 2009. 
  30. ^ Ritter, Ken (October 23, 2006). “Developer, Las Vegas officials tout plan for jewelry marketplace”. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved March 17, 2007. 
  31. ^ “First Friday”. Retrieved May 5, 2009. 
  32. ^ “Find Parks and Facilities”. City of Las Vegas. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  33. ^ Trifonovitch, Kelli Abe (June 1, 2002). “Ninth Island: a new local marketing group wants to help Hawaii products get to market in the “Ninth Island” of Las Vegas.(Brief Article)”. Hawaii Business. Retrieved May 24, 2008. 
  34. ^ a b Ritter, Ken (November 26, 2004). “Gambling, growth help make Vegas the ‘ninth island’ of Hawaii”. Nevada Appeal. Retrieved May 24, 2008. 
  35. ^ Green, Steve (17 Aug 2011). “Lawsuit prompts RTC to drop ‘ACE’ name from bus lines”. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  36. ^ Most arterial roads are shown, as indicated on the Nevada Department of Transportation‘s 2004 Roadway Functional Classification map. Retrieved May 2008.

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Coordinates: 36°10′34″N 115°08′13″W / 36.176°N 115.137°W / 36.176; -115.137

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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

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Wildwood, New Jersey

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Wildwood, New Jersey
—  City  —

View of Wildwood from Morey’s Piers’ Giant Wheel on Mariner’s Landing Pier

Map of Wildwood in Cape May County. Inset: Location of Cape May County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.

Census Bureau map of Wildwood, New Jersey

Coordinates: 38°59′20″N 74°49′12″W / 38.98889°N 74.82°W / 38.98889; -74.82Coordinates: 38°59′20″N 74°49′12″W / 38.98889°N 74.82°W / 38.98889; -74.82
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Cape May
Incorporated May 1, 1895
 – Type Walsh Act (New Jersey)
 – Mayor Gary DeMarzo
 – Total 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
 – Land 1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation[2] 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2009)[3]
 – Total 5,209
 – Density 4,212.7/sq mi (1,626.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 08260
Area code(s) 609
FIPS code 34-81170[4][5]
GNIS feature ID 0885444[6]

Wildwood is a city in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the Delaware Valley as well as the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city population was 5,436 during the off-season, but it can swell to 250,000 during the summer months.

Wildwood was originally incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 1, 1895, from portions of Middle Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. On January 1, 1912, Wildwood was incorporated as a city, replacing both Wildwood borough and Holly Beach City.[7]

Wildwood is also used as a collective term referring to the four communities with Wildwood comprising part of the municipality name — specifically the Borough of Wildwood Crest, City of Wildwood, Borough of West Wildwood and the City of North Wildwood — together with Diamond Beach, a portion of Lower Township situated on the island. Collectively, these communities are known as “The Wildwoods“.

The Wildwoods began developing as a resort in the last decade of the 19th century. A building boom began in the 1950s, due partially to the construction and completion of the Garden State Parkway.[8]

Wildwood beach north of Mariner’s Landing amusement pier.

Wildwood is a resort city that is very popular with vacationers and tourists mostly from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and even nearby parts of Canada during the summer months. Its most notable features are its beach and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) boardwalk, home to the Morey’s Piers amusement complex and Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis waterparks owned by Morey’s Piers. The boardwalk features a trolley called the “Tramcar“, which runs from end to end. In June 2006, its Doo-Wop-style motels were placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s annual Eleven Most Endangered List[9], described as “irreplaceable icons of popular culture.”[10][11]

It was ranked the best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.[12]

Rock Around the Clock“, often credited as the first rock and roll record, was first performed on Memorial Day weekend in 1954 at the HofBrau Hotel in Wildwood by Bill Haley & His Comets. The song’s status as one of the first rock and roll hits has given rise to the city’s claim as “the birthplace of rock and roll”.[13][14]

Wildwood is home to an annual co-ed beach Ultimate Frisbee tournament drawing teams from all over the country.[15]



[edit] Geography

Wildwoods International Kite Festival on Memorial Day 2008.

Wildwood is located at 38°59′20″N 74°49′12″W / 38.988969°N 74.819863°W / 38.988969; -74.819863 (38.988969, -74.819863).[16] Wildwood is located on a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean. On the same island are the towns of North Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Diamond Beach, a place in Lower Township. Collectively with the town of West Wildwood (located on a separate, adjacent island), these communities form “The Wildwoods” resort.

Wildwood also borders Middle Township.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), of which, 1.3 square miles (3.3 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2) of it (6.52%) is water.

[edit] Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District

Doo-wop styled Wawa Food Market.

Wildwood is home to over 200 motels, built during the Doo-Wop era of the 1950s and 1960s,[17] in an area recognized by the state of New Jersey, known as the Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District.[18] The term doo-wop was coined by Cape May‘s Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts in the early 1990s to describe the unique, space-age architectural style, which is also referred to as the Googie or populuxe style.[19]

[edit] New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention

Since the early 1970s the Wildwoods have been home to the annual New Jersey State Fireman’s Convention. It moved to the Wildwoods from Atlantic City in the early 1970s. The convention had been held in Atlantic City for many years prior to the building of the big casinos of today. When the City began to change the council refused to allow the visiting firefighters to parade their apparatus through the streets. This was one of the reasons for the move along with the rising crime rate. The Wildwoods welcomed the convention with open arms and allowed for the parade which every year runs the length of New Jersey Ave. from Wildwood Crest through Wildwood to North Wildwood.

[edit] Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1930 5,330  
1940 5,150   −3.4%
1950 5,475   6.3%
1960 4,690   −14.3%
1970 4,110   −12.4%
1980 4,913   19.5%
1990 4,484   −8.7%
2000 5,436   21.2%
Est. 2009 5,209 [3] −4.2%
Population 1930 – 1990[20]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 5,436 people, 2,333 households, and 1,273 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,212.6 people per square mile (1,627.0/km2). There were 6,488 housing units at an average density of 5,027.9/sq mi (1,941.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.55% White, 16.65% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 8.85% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.62% of the population. Downtown Wildwood has a large Mexican community.

There were 2,333 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,981, and the median income for a family was $28,288. Males had a median income of $30,787 versus $23,320 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,682. About 20.2% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.7% of those under age 18 and 21.9% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Government

[edit] Local government

Wildwood is governed by a three-member commission under the Walsh Act Commissioner form of municipal government.[1]

Wildwood’s commission consists of Mayor Gary S. DeMarzo , Commissioner (Deputy Mayor) Alexander “Al” Brannen and Commissioner Edward “Chip” Harshaw Jr.[21]

[edit] Federal, state and county representation

Wildwood City is in the Second Congressional District and is part of New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District.[22]

New Jersey’s Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

1st legislative district of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township) and in the Assembly by Nelson Albano (D, Vineland) and Matthew W. Milam (D, Vineland).[23] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[24] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[25]

Cape May County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. As of 2011, Cape May County’s Freeholders are Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel (Upper Township, term expires December 31, 2011)[26], Leonard C. Desiderio (Sea Isle City, 2012)[27], Ralph E. Sheets, Jr. (2011)[28], M. Susan Sheppard (Ocean City, 2013)[29] and Gerald M. Thornton (2013).[30][31]

[edit] History of recalls in Wildwood

Since the City of Wildwood has been incorporated on January 1, 1912, there have been three recall elections and all were successful.

The first was in 1938 when the States first female Mayor Doris W. Bradway and Commissioner Frederick W. Murray were voted out of office.

The second successful recall was in December 1984 when Mayor Earl B. Ostrander was recalled.

The third successful recall was in December 2009 when Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr. and Commissioner William N. Davenport were recalled.

[edit] Education

The Wildwood Public School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[32]) are Glenwood Elementary School (K-5; 394 students), Wildwood Middle School (6-8; 173 students) and Wildwood High School (9-12; 284 students).

Students from West Wildwood attend the district’s schools as part of a sending/receiving relationship for grades K-12. For grades 9-12, students from North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest attend Wildwood High School as part of sending/receiving relationships.[33]

There are also two Catholic schools on the island: Cape Trinity Catholic in North Wildwood, and Wildwood Catholic High School in North Wildwood. North Wildwood also has the public school Margaret Mace Elementary.

[edit] Commerce

Portions of Wildwood are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone in The Wildwoods. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[34]

[edit] Religious Points of interest

  • Boardwalk Chapel is a summertime Christian Gospel outreach on the boardwalk, sandwiched between a pizzeria and a gift shop. Its wide entrance offers thousands of board walkers the opportunity to move freely in and out of any one of its 77 consecutive evening services held during June, July, and August.

[edit] Boardwalk

Wildwoods roller coaster

  • In 2008-2009 a section of the boardwalk was rebuilt using ipe tropical hardwood, even though the town pledged to use domestic black locust.[35]
  • A stage is set off to the side of the boardwalk near Mariner’s Landing Pier where several performances are held throughout the summer. An example is Miss Cindy’s School of dance, Broad Street Entertainers of Perkasie and Quakertown Pennsylvania.

[edit] Popular culture

Wildwood boardwalk at night

  • Cozy Morley, a once popular entertainer and club owner here, recorded a song called On The Way To Cape May.
  • Wildwood is home to the beverage known as the “Lime Rickey”.
  • WWE Raw came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2005. WWE SmackDown came to the Wildwood Convention Center late summer of 2006. WWE Raw broke an attendance record at the Wildwood convention center on August 10, 2007.[36]
  • The song Wildwood Days by Bobby Rydell is about the shore town.
  • “Wildwood Blues” by psychedelic rock band Nazz is based on the Wildwood shore.
  • Eddie Florano wrote a song called Wildwood.
  • The video for Jason Aldean‘s song Laughed Until We Cried is set in Wildwood.[citation needed]
  • In the 1987 movie Wall Street, when Charlie Sheen’s character tells Daryl Hannah’s character she could have bought a beach house for four hundred thousand dollars (the value of a painting they were looking at) she sardonically replies, “Sure you could, in Wildwood New Jersey”.[37]
  • A CKY song entitled “The Boardwalk Body” was written about a body found under the boardwalk on one of lead singer Deron Miller‘s childhood trips to Wildwood.
  • In the 2008 movie Wipe Out, the beach scenes were shot in Wildwood.

[edit] Noted residents

Notable current and former residents of Wildwood include:

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 8.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: City of Wildwood, Geographic Names Information System, accessed November 10, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Census data for Wildwood city, United States Census Bureau, Accessed October 7, 2010.
  4. ^ a b “American FactFinder”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  6. ^ “US Board on Geographic Names”. United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ “The Story of New Jersey’s Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968”, John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 116.
  8. ^ “Neon and Angles: Motels of the Wildwoods”. Historic Preservation Bulletin. Historic Preservation Office. Summer 2006. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  9. ^ Claire Lui “Wildwood,” American Heritage, April/May 2007.
  10. ^ Eisenthal, Bram (October 21, 2006). “Doo Wop sings the blues”. Montreal Gazette (Canwest). Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  11. ^ “11 Most Endangered: Doo Wop Motels”. National Trust for Historic Preservation. 2006. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  12. ^ Urgo, Jacqueline L. (May 23, 2008). “Triumph for South Jersey”. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  13. ^ The Birthplace of Rock and Roll: Wildwood, New Jersey, Stakes Its Claim, accessed November 16, 2006. Archived October 23, 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Strauss, Robert. “Cradle of Rock? Two Towns Stake Their Claims”, The New York Times, July 10, 2007. Accessed July 10, 2007. “It was Saturday night during Memorial Day weekend in 1954, and more than 500 people were jammed into the HofBrau Hotel here to hear his band, the Comets, kick off the summer. “We had just recorded this song in April,” he said, “and that night we introduced it to the crowd. I guess that was the first real night of rock ’n’ roll.” The song was “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley and His Comets, considered by many to be the first rock-’n’-roll hit, and the first song with the word “rock” in the title to hit the top of the Billboard charts.”
  15. ^
  16. ^ “US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990”. United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ “The ’50s and ’60s Thrive In Retro Doo-Wop Motels”. Washington Post. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  18. ^ Doo Wop Preservation League Web site
  19. ^ Wildwood Crest Historical Society Web site
  20. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 – 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network. Accessed March 1, 2007.
  21. ^ Key Employee Directory, City of Wildwood. Accessed May 1, 2008.
  22. ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen’s Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 66. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  23. ^ “Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session”. New Jersey Legislature. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  24. ^ “About the Governor”. New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  25. ^ “About the Lieutenant Governor”. New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  26. ^ Daniel Beyel, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  27. ^ Leonard C. Desiderio, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  28. ^ Ralph E. Sheets, Jr., Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  29. ^ M. Susan Sheppard, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  30. ^ Gerald M. Thornton, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  31. ^ Freeholders Home Page, Cape May County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
  32. ^ Data for the Wildwood Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 30, 2008.
  33. ^ Wildwood City School District 2007 Report card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 30, 2008. “Students from North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest join students from Wildwood and West Wildwood at Wildwood High School.”
  34. ^ Geographic & Urban Redevelopment Tax Credit Programs: Urban Enterprise Zone Employee Tax Credit, State of New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2008.
  35. ^ “Wildwood Opts for Ipe Wood Over Black Locust in Boardwalk Construction”. Cape May County Herald. March 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  36. ^ Schedule of Events 2007, accessed March 26, 2007.
  37. ^ “Wall Street (1987) screenplay, Accessed August 18, 2008.
  38. ^ Jacob Thompson Baker biography, United States Congress. Accessed August 4, 2007.
  39. ^ Narducci, Marc. “SOUTH JERSEY FOOTBALL STANDOUTS SCORE IN THE NFL THIS YEAR, NINE FORMER HIGH SCHOOL STARS ARE SUITED UP IN THE PROS, AMONG THEM IRVING FRYAR AND RON DAYNE.”, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2000. Accessed June 14, 2007. “Wildwood’s Randy Beverly had two interceptions for the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.”
  40. ^ Remy Hamilton profile, Arena Football League. Accessed June 14, 2007.
  41. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang. “JOY HANCOCK DIES; LAST WAVES CHIEF”, The New York Times, August 25, 1986. Accessed June 5, 2007. “Born in Wildwood, N.J., Miss Bright briefly belonged to the Naval Reserve in New Jersey and then stayed on as a civilian employee at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.”
  42. ^ Pena, Daniel. “Former WCW Wrestler Joey Maggs Passes Away”,, October 16, 2006. Accessed February 1, 2011. “Maggs made his wrestling debut in 1987 at the age of 18. He was from Wildwood, New Jersey.”
  43. ^ via United Press International. “Lifetime pay for Parent?”, Ellensburg Daily Record, April 22, 1975. Accessed February 1, 2011.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Wildwood, New Jersey
[hide]v · d · eMunicipalities and communities of Cape May County, New Jersey
County seat: Cape May Court House

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Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

Charles Sisto Malatesta 3/27/11

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

This article is about the city in Minnesota. For other uses, see Minneapolis (disambiguation).
—  City  —

City of Minneapolis

Downtown seen from Lake of the Isles


Nickname(s): City of Lakes, Mill City, Twin Cities (with St. Paul)
Motto: En Avant (French: ‘Forward’)

Location in Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota

Minneapolis is located in USA


Location in the United States

Coordinates: 44°59′N 93°16′W / 44.983°N 93.267°W / 44.983; -93.267Coordinates: 44°59′N 93°16′W / 44.983°N 93.267°W / 44.983; -93.267
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Hennepin
Incorporated 1867
Founder John H. Stevens and Franklin Steele
Named for Dakota word “mni” meaning water with Greek word “polis” for city
 – Mayor R. T. Rybak (DFL)
 – City 58.4 sq mi (151.3 km2)
 – Land 54.9 sq mi (142.2 km2)
 – Water 3.5 sq mi (9.1 km2)
Elevation 830 ft (264 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 – City 382,578 (US: 48th)
 – Density 7,019.6/sq mi (2,710.1/km2)
 – Urban 2,450,721
 – Metro 3,269,814 (16th)
 – Demonym Minneapolitan
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55401 – 55487
Area code(s) 612
FIPS code 27-43000[2]
GNIS feature ID 0655030[3]

Minneapolis (pronounced /ˌmɪniːˈæpəlɪs/ ( listen)), nicknamed “City of Lakes” and the “Mill City,” is the county seat of Hennepin County, [4] the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States. Its name is attributed to the city’s first schoolteacher, who combined mni, the Dakota word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city.[5]

Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river’s confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state’s capital. Known as the “Twin Cities,” Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 3.5 million residents. The 2010 Census had the city’s population as 382,578.[6]

The city is abundantly rich in water with over twenty lakes and wetlands, the Mississippi river, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. It was once the world’s flour milling capital and a hub for timber, and today is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle.[7] It has cultural organizations that draw creative people and audiences to the city for theater, visual art, writing, and music. Minneapolis’ community’s diverse population has a long tradition of charitable support through progressive public social programs, as well as private and corporate philanthropy.[8]




Little Crow in three quarter height view wearing a headress with three feathers and carrying a spear

Taoyateduta was among the 121 Sioux leaders who from 1837 to 1851 ceded what is now Minneapolis.[9]

Two men who loaded flour and a bag of flour that says Monahan's Minneapolis and a Pillsbury truck

Loading flour, Pillsbury, 1939

Dakota Sioux were the region’s sole residents until French explorers arrived around 1680. Nearby Fort Snelling, built in 1819 by the United States Army, spurred growth in the area. The United States Government pressed the Mdewakanton band of the Dakota to sell their land, allowing people arriving from the east to settle there. The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized present day Minneapolis as a town on the Mississippi’s west bank in 1856. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867, the year rail service began between Minneapolis and Chicago. It later joined with the east bank city of St. Anthony in 1872.[10]

Minneapolis grew up around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi. Millers have used hydropower elsewhere since the 1st century B.C.,[11] but the results in Minneapolis between 1880 and 1930 were so remarkable the city has been described as “the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen.”[12] In early years, forests in northern Minnesota were the source of a lumber industry that operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall. By 1871, the west river bank had twenty-three businesses including flour mills, woolen mills, iron works, a railroad machine shop, and mills for cotton, paper, sashes, and planing wood.[13] The farmers of the Great Plains grew grain that was shipped by rail to the city’s thirty-four flour mills where Pillsbury and General Mills became processors. By 1905, Minneapolis delivered almost 10% of the country’s flour and grist.[14] At peak production, a single mill at Washburn-Crosby made enough flour for twelve million loaves of bread each day.[15]

Minneapolis made dramatic changes to rectify discrimination as early as 1886 when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers.[16] When the country’s fortunes turned during the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers’ rights.[17] A lifelong civil rights activist and union supporter, mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and a human relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities by 1946.[18] Minneapolis contended with white supremacy, participated in desegregation and the African-American civil rights movement, and in 1968 was the birthplace of the American Indian Movement.[19]

During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of urban renewal, the city razed about two hundred buildings across twenty-five city blocks—roughly 40% of downtown, destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with jumpstarting interest in historic preservation in the state.[20]

panoramic view of Saint Anthony Falls and the Mississippi riverfront in 1915

Mississippi riverfront and Saint Anthony Falls in 1915. At left, Pillsbury, power plants and the Stone Arch Bridge. Today the Minnesota Historical Society‘s Mill City Museum is in the Washburn “A” Mill, across the river just to the left of the falls. At center left are Northwestern Consolidated mills. The tall building is Minneapolis City Hall. In the foreground to the right are Nicollet Island and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Geography and climate

People flying kites on Lake Harriet frozen and covered with snow

Lake Harriet frozen in winter. Ice blocks deposited in valleys by retreating glaciers created the lakes of Minneapolis.[21]

The history and economic growth of Minneapolis are tied to water, the city’s defining physical characteristic, which was sent to the region during the last ice age. Fed by receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz ten thousand years ago, torrents of water from a glacial river undercut the Mississippi and Minnehaha riverbeds, creating waterfalls important to modern Minneapolis.[22] Lying on an artesian aquifer[7] and otherwise flat terrain, Minneapolis has a total area of 58.4 square miles (151.3 km2) and of this 6% is water.[23] Water is managed by watershed districts that correspond to the Mississippi and the city’s three creeks.[24] Twelve lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands are within Minneapolis.[25]

The city center is located just south of 45° N latitude.[26] The city’s lowest elevation of 686 feet (209 m) is near where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The site of the Prospect Park Water Tower is often cited as the city’s highest point[27] and a placard in Deming Heights Park denotes the highest elevation, but a spot at 974 feet (297 m) in or near Waite Park in Northeast Minneapolis is corroborated by Google Earth as the highest ground.

Downtown skyline in view over Lake Calhoun and its dock

Lake Calhoun

Minneapolis has a continental climate typical of the Upper Midwest. Winters are cold and dry, while summer is hot and humid. On the Köppen climate classification, Minneapolis falls in the hot summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa) and has a USDA plant hardiness of zone 5a/4b.[28] The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, heatwaves, and fog. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minneapolis was 108 °F (42 °C) in July 1936, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was −41 °F (−41 °C), in January 1888. The snowiest winter of record was 1983–84, when 98.4 inches (250 cm) of snow fell.[29]

Because of its northerly location in the United States and lack of large enough bodies of water in close proximity to moderate the air, Minneapolis is sometimes subjected to cold Arctic air masses, especially during the months of January and February. The average annual temperature of 45.4 °F (7.4 °C) gives the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area the coldest annual mean temperature of any major metropolitan area in the continental United States.[30]

[show]Climate data for Minneapolis (Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 59
Average high °F (°C) 21.9
Average low °F (°C) 4.3
Record low °F (°C) −41
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.04
Snowfall inches (cm) 12.4
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.9 7.5 10.2 11.3 10.9 11.1 10.4 10.4 9.8 8.4 9.1 9.7 118.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 9.7 7.1 6.3 2.2 0 0 0 0 0 0.6 5.8 8.4 40.1
Sunshine hours 158.1 180.8 217.0 243.0 294.5 321.0 350.3 306.9 234.0 179.8 114.0 114.7 2,714.1
Source #1: NCDC [31], The Weather Channel (Extremes) [32]
Source #2: HKO [33]



Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1860 5,809  
1870 13,800   137.6%
1880 46,887   239.8%
1890 164,738   251.4%
1900 202,718   23.1%
1910 301,408   48.7%
1920 380,582   26.3%
1930 464,356   22.0%
1940 492,370   6.0%
1950 521,718   6.0%
1960 482,872   −7.4%
1970 434,400   −10.0%
1980 370,951   −14.6%
1990 368,383   −0.7%
2000 382,618   3.9%
2010 382,578   0%
Person entering the front of the American Swedish Institute

American Swedish Institute. Immigrants from Scandinavia arrived beginning in the 1860s.

As of the 2010 U.S. census, the racial composition was as follows:[34]

European Americans make up about two-thirds of Minneapolis’s population. This community is predominantly of German and Scandinavian descent. There are 82,870 German Americans in the city, making up over one-fifth (23.1%) of the population. The Scandinavian American population is primarily Norwegian and Swedish. There are 39,103 Norwegian Americans, making up 10.9% of the population; there are 30,349 Swedish Americans, making up 8.5% of the city’s population. Danish Americans aren’t nearly as numerous; there are 4,434 Danish Americans, making up only 1.3% of the population. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Americans together make up 20.7% of the population. This means that Germans and Scandinavians together make up 43.8% of Minneapolis’s population, and make up the majority of Minneapolis’s non-Hispanic white population. Other significant European groups in the city include those of Irish (11.3%), English (7.0%), Polish (3.9%), French (3.5%) and Italian (2.3%) descent.[36]

The American Community Survey estimated that there were 62,520 African Americans residing in Minneapolis, comprising over 17% of the city’s population, compared to a statewide proportion of less than four percent.

The Hispanic and Latino population is predominantly Mexican. People of Mexican descent number at approximately 21,741, making up 6.1% of the city’s population. There are 958 Puerto Ricans and 467 Cubans in Minneapolis, making up 0.3% and 0.1% of the population respectively. There are 10,008 Hispanics and Latinos (other than Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans) of varying ancestries in the city; they collectively make up 2.8% of the population.

Minneapolis also has a sizable Asian community. There are approximately 17,686 Asian Americans in Minneapolis, making up just under 5% of the city’s population. The Asian population is largely composed of Hmong Americans. Approximately 2,925 Chinese Americans reside in Minneapolis, making up 0.8% of the population. There are nearly 2,000 Indian Americans in the city, making up 0.6% of the population. Vietnamese Americans and Korean Americans make up 0.4% of the population each. People of Filipino and Japanese descent are few in Minneapolis. There are 603 Filipino Americans and 848 Japanese Americans in Minneapolis, making up roughly 0.2% of the populace each.

Minneapolis also has a sizable Native American community that is predominantly Chippewa. The Chippewa make up roughly 1.0% of the city’s population. Of the 5,983 Native Americans, 3,709 are of the Chippewa tribe. In addition, there is a small Sioux community in Minneapolis; there are approximately 847 Sioux in the city, comprising 0.2% of the population.

There are 10,711 multiracial individuals in Minneapolis. People of black and white ancestry number at 3,551, and make up 1.0% of the population. People of white and Native American ancestry number at 2,319, and make up 0.6% of the population. Those of white and Asian ancestry number at 1,871, and make up 0.5% of the population. Lastly, people of black and Native American ancestry number at 885, and make up 0.2% of Minneapolis’s population.[37]

Dakota tribes, mostly the Mdewakanton, as early as the 16th century were known as permanent settlers near their sacred site of St. Anthony Falls.[10] New settlers arrived during the 1850s and 1860s in Minneapolis from New England, New York, and Canada, and during the mid-1860s, immigrants from Finland and Scandinavians (from Sweden, Norway and Denmark) began to call the city home. Migrant workers from Mexico and Latin America also interspersed.[38] Later, immigrants came from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Southern and Eastern Europe. These immigrants tended to settle in the Northeast neighborhood, which still retains an ethnic flavor and is particularly known for its Polish community. Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe settled primarily on the north side of the city before moving in large numbers to the western suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s.[39] Asians came from China, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. Two groups came for a short while during U.S. government relocations: Japanese during the 1940s, and Native Americans during the 1950s. From 1970 onward, Asians arrived from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Beginning in the 1990s, a large Latino population arrived, along with immigrants from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia.[40] The metropolitan area is an immigrant gateway which had a 127% increase in foreign-born residents between 1990 and 2000.[41]

U.S. Census Bureau estimates in the year 2007 show the population of Minneapolis to be 377,392, a 1.4% drop since the 2000 census.[42] The population grew until 1950 when the census peaked at 521,718, and then declined as people moved to the suburbs until about 1990.

Among U.S. cities as of 2006, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percentage of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5% (behind San Francisco, and slightly behind both Seattle and Atlanta).[43][44] In 2011, The Advocate named Minneapolis the gayest city in America.[45]

Racial and ethnic minorities lag behind white counterparts in education, with 15.0% of blacks and 13.0% of Hispanics holding bachelor’s degrees compared to 42.0% of the white population. The standard of living is on the rise, with incomes among the highest in the Midwest, but median household income among minorities is below that of whites by over $17,000. Regionally, home ownership among minority residents is half that of whites though Asian home ownership has doubled. In 2000, the poverty rate for whites was 4.2%; for blacks it was 26.2%; for Asians, 19.1%; Native Americans, 23.2%; and Hispanics, 18.1%.[41][46][47]

U.S. Census Population Estimates
Year 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Population 5,809 13,800 46,887 164,738 202,718 301,408 380,582 464,356 492,370 521,718 482,872 434,400 370,951 368,383 382,618 382,578
U.S. Rank[48][49] 38 18 19 18 18 15 16 17 25 32 34 42 45 48


Large Capella tower and U.S. Bancorp towers reflection

White U.S. Bancorp towers reflected in the Capella Tower

The economy of Minneapolis today is based in commerce, finance, rail and trucking services, health care, and industry. Smaller components are in publishing, milling, food processing, graphic arts, insurance, education, and high technology. Industry produces metal and automotive products, chemical and agricultural products, electronics, computers, precision medical instruments and devices, plastics, and machinery.[50]

Six Fortune 500 corporations make their headquarters within the city limits of Minneapolis: Target Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and PepsiAmericas.[51] Apart from government, the city’s largest employers are Target, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, Star Tribune, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, IBM, Piper Jaffray, RBC Dain Rauscher, ING Group, and Qwest.[52]

Target's tower seen behind its flagship store on the Nicollet Mall

Target Corporation‘s 351,000 employees operate 1,740 retail stores in all U.S. states except Vermont.[53]

Foreign companies with U.S. offices in Minneapolis include Coloplast,[54] RBC[55] and ING Group.[56]

Availability of Wi-Fi, transportation solutions, medical trials, university research and development expenditures, advanced degrees held by the work force, and energy conservation are so far above the national average that in 2005, Popular Science named Minneapolis the “Top Tech City” in the U.S.[57] The Twin Cities ranked the country’s second best city in a 2006 Kiplinger’s poll of Smart Places to Live and Minneapolis was one of the Seven Cool Cities for young professionals.[58]

The Twin Cities contribute 63.8% of the gross state product of Minnesota. The area’s $145.8 billion gross metropolitan product and its per capita personal income rank fourteenth in the U.S. Recovering from the nation’s recession in 2000, personal income grew 3.8% in 2005, though it was behind the national average of 5%. The city returned to peak employment during the fourth quarter of that year.[59]

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, serves Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The smallest of the twelve regional banks in the Federal Reserve System, it operates a nationwide payments system, oversees member banks and bank holding companies, and serves as a banker for the U.S. Treasury.[60] The Minneapolis Grain Exchange founded in 1881 is still located near the riverfront and is the only exchange for hard red spring wheat futures and options.[61]


Main article: Arts in Minneapolis

The Walker Art Center houses one of the nation’s “big five” modern art collections.[62] GoogleVanity Fair party at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The region is second only to New York City in live theater per capita[63] and is the third-largest theater market in the U.S. after New York and Chicago, supporting the Illusion, Jungle, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Mu Performing Arts, Bedlam Theatre, the Brave New Workshop, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, Red Eye, Skewed Visions, Theater Latté Da, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts, and the Children’s Theatre Company.[64] The city is home to Minnesota Fringe Festival, the United States’ largest nonjuried performing arts festival.[65] French architect Jean Nouvel designed a new three stage complex[66] for the Guthrie Theater, a prototype alternative to Broadway founded in Minneapolis in 1963.[67] Minneapolis purchased and renovated the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres vaudeville and film houses on Hennepin Avenue now used for concerts and plays.[68] Eventually, a fourth renovated theater joined the Hennepin Center for the Arts to become the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, to be completed in 2011 and a home to more than one dozen performing arts groups and a provider of Web-based art education.[69][70]

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, built in 1915 in south central Minneapolis is the largest art museum in the city with 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection. A new wing designed by Michael Graves was completed in 2006 for contemporary and modern works and more gallery space.[66] The Walker Art Center sits atop Lowry Hill, near downtown, and doubled its size with an addition in 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron and is continuing its expansion to 15 acres (6.1 ha) with a park designed by Michel Desvigne across the street from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.[71] The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry for the University of Minnesota, opened in 1993. An addition, also designed by Gehry, is expected to open in 2011.[72]

The son of a jazz musician and a singer, Prince is Minneapolis’ most famous musical progeny.[74] With fellow local musicians, many of whom recorded at Twin/Tone Records,[75] he helped make First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry venues of choice for both artists and audiences.[76] Other prominent artists from Minneapolis include Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, whose frontman Paul Westerberg went on to a successful solo career, who were pivotal in the alternative rock boom of the U.S. during the 1990s.[77]

The Minnesota Orchestra plays classical and popular music at Orchestra Hall under music director Osmo Vänskä who has set about making it the best in the country[78]—a critic writing for The New Yorker of a concert in 2010 thought that that day they were “the greatest orchestra in the world”.[79] In 2008, the century-old MacPhail Center for Music opened a new facility designed by James Dayton.[80]

Tom Waits released two songs about the city, Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis (Blue Valentine 1978) and 9th & Hennepin (Rain Dogs 1985) and Lucinda Williams recorded Minneapolis (World Without Tears 2003). Home to the MN Spoken Word Association and independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the city has garnered notice for rap and hip hop and its spoken word community.[81] The underground hip-hop group Atmosphere (natives of Minnesota) frequently comments in song lyrics on the city and Minnesota.[82]

Minneapolis is America’s third-most literate city.[83] A center for printing and publishing,[84] Minneapolis was a natural place for artists to build Open Book, the largest literary and book arts center in the U.S., made up of the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions, sometimes called the country’s largest independent nonprofit literary publisher.[85] The center exhibits and teaches both contemporary art and traditional crafts of writing, papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding.[85]


Main article: Sports in Minnesota
Baseball field at night, scoreboard displays a player, Twins "M" and "Stp" decorate a large neon sign

ESPN called Target Field, the Minnesota Twins‘ new home, “the #1 stadium experience in major league baseball”.[86]

Professional sports are well-established in Minneapolis. First playing in 1884, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team produced the best won-lost record in their league at the time and contributed fifteen players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the 1940s and 1950s the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team, the city’s first in the major leagues in any sport, won six basketball championships in three leagues to become the NBA’s first dynasty before moving to Los Angeles.[87] The American Wrestling Association, formerly the NWA Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, operated in Minneapolis from 1960 until the 1990s.[88]

The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins arrived in the state in 1961. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team and the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota. Both teams played outdoors in the open air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty one years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1982, where the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins moved to Target Field in 2010. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989, followed by the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team in 1999. They play in the Target Center.

Large sign saying "M", towering above a football field

Tribal Nations Plaza at TCF Bank Stadium, a gift of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community who donated $14.5 million to the university, the largest gift in Gopher athletics history

The downtown Metrodome, opened in 1982, is the largest sports stadium in Minnesota, with one major tenant, the Vikings. The Metrodome is the only stadium in the country to have hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, the World Series, and NCAA Basketball Men’s Final Four. Runners, walkers, inline skaters, coed volleyball teams, and touch football teams all have access to “The Dome”. Events from sports to concerts, community activities, religious activities, and trade shows are held more than three hundred days per year, making the facility one of the most versatile stadiums in the world.[89]

The state of Minnesota authorized replacement of the Metrodome with three separate stadiums that estimates in 2007 totaled at about $1.7 billion. Six spectator sport stadiums will be in a 1.2-mile (2 km) radius centered downtown, counting the existing facilities at Target Center and the university’s Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. The new Target Field is funded by the Twins and 75% by Hennepin County sales tax, about $25 per year by each taxpayer.[90] The Gopher football program’s new TCF Bank Stadium was built by the university and the state’s general fund.[90] The Vikings Stadium plan for Blaine, Minnesota changed and as of 2007 was estimated at $954 million[91] for rebuilding on the Metrodome site.

Major sporting events hosted by the city include Super Bowl XXVI, the 1992 NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men’s Division 1 Final Four and the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships.[92][93][94]

Gifted amateur athletes have played in Minneapolis schools, notably starting in the 1920s and 1930s at Central, De La Salle, and Marshall high schools.[87] Since the 1930s, the Golden Gophers have won national championships in baseball, boxing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling.[95]

Professional Sports in Minneapolis
Club Sport League Venue Championships
Minnesota Lynx Basketball Women’s National Basketball Association, Western Conference Target Center  
Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball National Basketball Association, Western Conference, Northwest Division Target Center  
Minnesota Twins Baseball Major League Baseball, American League, Central Division Target Field World Series 1987 and 1991
Minnesota Vikings American Football National Football League, National Football Conference, North Division Metrodome NFL Championship 1969

Parks and recreation

Minnehaha Falls surrounded by dark green summer foilage

Minnehaha Falls is part of a 193-acre (78 ha) city park rather than an urban area, because its waterpower was overshadowed by that of St. Anthony Falls a few miles further north.[96][97]

The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America.[98] Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create his finest landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways.[99] The city’s Chain of Lakes, consisting of seven lakes and Minnehaha Creek, is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians runs parallel along the 52 miles (84 km) route of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.[100]

Theodore Wirth is credited with the development of the parks system.[101] Today, 16.6% of the city is parks and there are 770 square feet (72 m2) of parkland for each resident, ranked in 2008 as the most parkland per resident within cities of similar population densities.[102][103]

Three women, two smiling, and a man with his hand pointing into the air leading a large group of runners past Lake Calhoun and some observers

The 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

Parks are interlinked in many places and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area connects regional parks and visitor centers. The country’s oldest public wildflower garden, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary located within Theodore Wirth Park which is shared with Golden Valley and is about 60% the size of Central Park in New York City.[104] Site of the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Park is one of the city’s oldest and most popular parks, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year.[97] Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named Hiawatha’s wife Minnehaha for the Minneapolis waterfall in The Song of Hiawatha, a bestselling and often-parodied 19th century poem.[105]

Runner’s World ranks the Twin Cities as America’s sixth best city for runners.[106] Team Ortho sponsors the Minneapolis Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K which began in 2008 with more than 1,500 starters.[107][108] The Twin Cities Marathon run in Minneapolis and St. Paul every October draws 250,000 spectators. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race is a Boston and USA Olympic Trials qualifier. The organizers sponsor three more races: a Kids Marathon, a 1 mile (1.6 km), and a 10 miles (16 km).[109]

In other sports, five golf courses are located within the city, with nationally ranked Hazeltine National Golf Club, and Interlachen Country Club in nearby suburbs.[110] Minneapolis is home to more golfers per capita than any other major U.S. city.[111] The state of Minnesota has the nation’s highest number of bicyclists, sport fishermen, and snow skiers per capita. Hennepin County has the second-highest number of horses per capita in the U.S.[63] While living in Minneapolis, Scott and Brennan Olson founded (and later sold) Rollerblade, the company that popularized the sport of inline skating.[112]


Two young persons seated on the ground watching two women dancing with fire

Spring art party, North Commons Park, Willard-Hay, one of the eighty one neighborhoods of Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a stronghold for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party. The Minneapolis City Council holds the most power and represents the city’s thirteen districts called wards. The council has twelve DFL members and one from the Green Party. R. T. Rybak also of the DFL is the current mayor of Minneapolis. The office of mayor is relatively weak but has some power to appoint individuals such as the chief of police. Parks, taxation, and public housing are semi-independent boards and levy their own taxes and fees subject to Board of Estimate and Taxation limits.[113]

Citizens have a unique and powerful influence in neighborhood government. Neighborhoods coordinate activities under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), funded in the 1990s by the city and state who appropriated $400 million for it over twenty years.[114] Minneapolis is divided into communities, each containing neighborhoods. In some cases two or more neighborhoods act together under one organization. Some areas are commonly known by nicknames of business associations.[115]

The organizers of Earth Day scored Minneapolis ninth best overall and second among mid-sized cities in their 2007 Urban Environment Report, a study based on indicators of environmental health and their effect on people.[116]

Early Minneapolis experienced a period of corruption in local government and crime was common until an economic downturn in the mid 1900s. Since 1950 the population decreased and much of downtown was lost to urban renewal and highway construction. The result was a “moribund and peaceful” environment until the 1990s.[117] Along with economic recovery the murder rate climbed. The Minneapolis Police Department imported a computer system from New York City that sent officers to high crime areas. Despite accusations of racial profiling; the result was a drop in major crime. Since 1999 the number of homicides increased during four years.[118] Politicians debated the causes and solutions, including increasing the number of police officers, providing youths with alternatives to gangs and drugs, and helping families in poverty. For 2007, the city invested in public safety infrastructure and hired over forty new officers and a new police chief, Tim Dolan.[119] Citing police use of predictive analysis, Dolan and Rybak announced during December 2010 that violent crime in Minneapolis had dropped to 1980s rates.[120]


Minneapolis Public Schools enroll 36,370 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about one hundred public schools including forty-five elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, nineteen contract alternative schools, and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district’s budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. Students speak ninety different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.[121] About 44% of students in the Minneapolis Public School system graduate, which ranks the city the 6th worst out of the nation’s 50 largest cities.[122] Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota’s open enrollment statute.[123] Besides public schools, the city is home to more than twenty private schools and academies and about twenty additional charter schools.[124]

Minneapolis’ collegiate scene is dominated by the main campus of the University of Minnesota where more than 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend twenty colleges, schools, and institutes.[125] The graduate school programs ranked highest in 2007 were counseling and personnel services, chemical engineering, psychology, macroeconomics, applied mathematics and non-profit management.[126] A Big Ten school and home of the Golden Gophers, the U of M is the sixth largest campus in the U.S. in terms of enrollment.[127]

Aerial of the area around Northrop Mall

Northrop Mall in the University of Minnesota

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the private Dunwoody College of Technology, Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, and Art Institutes International Minnesota provide career training. Augsburg College, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and North Central University are private four-year colleges. Capella University, Minnesota School of Professional Psychology, and Walden University are headquartered in Minneapolis and some others including the public four-year Metropolitan State University and the private four-year University of St. Thomas have campuses there.[128]

The Hennepin County Library system began to operate the city’s public libraries in 2008.[129] The Minneapolis Public Library, founded by T. B. Walker in 1885,[130] faced a severe budget shortfall for 2007, and was forced to close three of its neighborhood libraries.[131] The new downtown Central Library designed by César Pelli opened in 2006.[132] Ten special collections hold over 25,000 books and resources for researchers, including the Minneapolis Collection and the Minneapolis Photo Collection.[133] At recent count 1,696,453 items in the system are used annually and the library answers over 500,000 research and fact-finding questions each year.[134]

In 2007, Minneapolis was named America’s most literate city. The study, conducted by Live Science, surveyed 69 U.S. cities with a population over 250,000. They focused on six key factors: Number of book stores, newspaper circulation, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and Internet resources. In second place was Seattle, Washington and third was Minneapolis’ neighbor, St. Paul, followed by Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C.[135]


Yellow light rail near Cedar/Riverside

Hiawatha Line LRT near Cedar/Riverside station.

Half of Minneapolis-Saint Paul residents work in the city where they live.[136] Most residents drive cars but 60% of the 160,000 people working downtown commute by means other than a single person per auto.[137] Alternative transportation is encouraged. The Metropolitan Council‘s Metro Transit, which operates the light rail system and most of the city’s buses, provides free travel vouchers through the Guaranteed Ride Home program to allay fears that commuters might otherwise be occasionally stranded if, for example, they work late hours.[138]

Minneapolis currently has one light rail and one commuter rail line. The Hiawatha Line LRT serves 34,000 riders daily and connects the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport and Mall of America to downtown. Most of the line runs at surface level, although parts of the line run on elevated tracks (including the Franklin Ave. and Lake St./Midtown stations) and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of the line runs underground, including the Lindbergh terminal subway station at the airport. The 40-mile Northstar Commuter rail, which runs from Big Lake through the northern suburbs and terminates at the multi-modal transit station at Target Field, opened on November 16, 2009.[139] It utilizes existing railroad tracks and will serve a projected 5,000 daily commuters.[140]

Minneapolis’ second light rail line, the Central Corridor, will share stations with the Hiawatha line in downtown Minneapolis, and then at the Downtown East/Metrodome station, travel east through the University of Minnesota, and then along University Ave. into downtown St. Paul. Construction began in November 2010 and expected completion is in 2014. The third line, the Southwest line, will connect downtown Minneapolis with the southwestern suburb of Eden Prairie. Completion is expected in 2015.

Seven miles (11 km) of enclosed pedestrian bridges called skyways, the Minneapolis Skyway System, link eighty city blocks downtown. Second floor restaurants and retailers connected to these passageways are open on weekdays.[141]

On January 1, 2011, the city’s limit of 343 taxis was lifted.[142]

Young woman at left and young man at right, both wearing navy blue, standing on two yellow pedicabs.

Pedicab drivers ready to ride.

Minneapolis ranks second in the nation for the highest percentage of commuters by bicycle,[143] and was named the top bicycling city in the 2010 “Bicycling’s Top 50” ranking.[144] Ten thousand cyclists use the bike lanes in the city each day, and many ride in the winter. The Public Works Department expanded the bicycle trail system from the Grand Rounds to 56 miles (90 km) of off-street commuter trails including the Midtown Greenway, the Light Rail Trail, Kenilworth Trail, Cedar Lake Trail and the West River Parkway Trail along the Mississippi. Minneapolis also has 34 miles (54 km) of dedicated bike lanes on city streets and encourages cycling by equipping transit buses with bike racks and by providing online bicycle maps.[145] Many of these trails and bridges, such as the Stone Arch Bridge, were former railroad lines that have now been converted for bicycles and pedestrians.[146] In 2007 citing the city’s bicycle lanes, buses and LRT, Forbes identified Minneapolis the world’s fifth cleanest city.[147] By 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota launched with about 60 kiosks for bicycle sharing,[148] and 19 pedicabs were operating downtown.[149]

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) sits on 3,400 acres (1,400 ha)[150] on the southeast border of the city between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves three international, twelve domestic, seven charter and four regional carriers[151] and is a hub and home base for Delta Air Lines, Mesaba Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines.[152]


Main article: Media in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Five major newspapers are published in Minneapolis: Star Tribune, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the university’s The Minnesota Daily and Other publications are the City Pages weekly, the Mpls.St.Paul and Minnesota Monthly monthlies, and Utne magazine.[84] In 2008 readers of online news also used Minnesota Independent, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Downtown Journal, Cursor, MNSpeak and about fifteen other sites.[153] The New York Times said in 1996, “Now there are T-shirts that read, ‘Murderapolis,'” a name for the city that members of the local media have mistakenly attributed to the paper.[154]

Minneapolis has a mix of radio stations and healthy listener support for public radio but in the commercial market, a single organization Clear Channel Communications operates seven stations. Listeners support three Minnesota Public Radio non-profit stations, the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota each operate a station, the networks broadcast on affiliate stations, and religious organizations run two stations.[155]

KFAI and the back entrance to old buildings with brightly colored woodwork

KFAI radio in Cedar-Riverside is a public access station.

The city’s first television was broadcast by the St. Paul station and ABC affiliate KSTP-TV. The first to broadcast in color was WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate which is located in downtown Minneapolis.[84] The city and suburbs are also home to affiliates of FOX, NBC, PBS, MyNetworkTV, The CW and one independent station.[156] Twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh were from Minneapolis on the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210.[157] American Idol held auditions for its sixth season in Minneapolis in 2006[158] and Last Comic Standing held auditions for its fifth season in Minneapolis in 2007.[159]

A statue of Mary Tyler Moore downtown on the Nicollet Mall commemorates the legendary 1970s CBS television situation comedy fictionally based in Minneapolis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It marks the site where producers filmed the series’ iconic opening sequence in which character Mary Richards, played by Moore, throws her hat up in the air. The show was awarded three Golden Globes and thirty-one Emmy Awards.[160]

Religion and charity

St. Mark's seen from slightly above

St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Loring Park across I-94 from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Dakota people, the original inhabitants of the area where Minneapolis now stands, believed in the Great Spirit and were surprised that not all European settlers were religious.[161] Over fifty denominations and religions and some well known churches have since been established in Minneapolis. Those who arrived from New England were for the most part Christian Protestants, Quakers, and Universalists.[161] The oldest continuously used church in the city, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood was built in 1856 by Universalists and soon afterward was acquired by a French Catholic congregation.[162] Formed in 1878 as Shaarai Tov, in 1902 the first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis built the synagogue in East Isles known since 1920 as Temple Israel.[39] St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1887, opened a missionary school in 1897 and in 1905 created the first Russian Orthodox seminary in the U.S.[163] The first basilica in the United States, the Roman Catholic Basilica of Saint Mary near Loring Park was named by Pope Pius XI.[161] In 1972, a relief agency resettled the first Shi’a Muslim family from Uganda. By 2004, between 20,000 and 30,000 Somali Muslims made the city their home.[164]

Christ Church with its tower and cross

Christ Church Lutheran by Eliel Saarinen

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and World Wide Pictures film and television distribution were headquartered in Minneapolis for about forty of the years between the late 1940s into the 2000s.[165] Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye met while attending the Pentecostal North Central University and began a television ministry that by the 1980s reached 13.5 million households.[166] Today, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in southwest Minneapolis has 6,000 active members and is the world’s largest Lutheran congregation.[167] Christ Church Lutheran in the Longfellow neighborhood is among the finest work by architect Eliel Saarinen. The congregation later added an education building designed by his son Eero Saarinen.[168]

Philanthropy and charitable giving are part of the community.[169] More than 40% of adults in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area give time to volunteer work, the highest such percentage of any large metropolitan area in the United States.[170] Catholic Charities is one of the largest providers of social services locally.[171] The American Refugee Committee helps one million refugees and displaced persons in ten countries in Africa, the Balkans and Asia each year.[172] Although no Minneapolis businesses are top corporate citizens, Business Ethics was based in Minneapolis and was the predecessor of CRO magazine for corporate responsibility officers.[173] The oldest foundation in Minnesota, the Minneapolis Foundation invests and administers over nine hundred charitable funds and connects donors to nonprofit organizations.[174] The metropolitan area gives 13% of its total charitable donations to the arts and culture. The majority of the estimated $1 billion recent expansion of arts facilities was contributed privately.[175]

Health and utilities

Waist high portrait of woman in her twenties of thirties outside smiling, cleaning tools visible at right

Ambassador for the Downtown Improvement District

Minneapolis has seven hospitals, four ranked among America’s best by U.S. News & World ReportAbbott Northwestern Hospital (part of Allina), Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.[176] Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Allina’s Phillips Eye Institute also serve the city.[177] The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a 75-minute drive away.[178]

Cardiac surgery was developed at the university’s Variety Club Hospital, where by 1957, more than two hundred patients had survived open-heart operations, many of them children. Working with surgeon C. Walton Lillehei, Medtronic began to build portable and implantable cardiac pacemakers about this time.[179]

HCMC opened in 1887 as City Hospital and was also known as General Hospital.[180] A public teaching hospital and Level I trauma center, the HCMC safety net sees 325,000 clinic visits and 100,000 emergency room visits each year and in 2008 provided about 18% of the uncompensated care given in Minnesota.[181] Governor Tim Pawlenty balanced the state’s budget with a line-item veto of the General Assistance Medical Care program,[182] and as a result HCMC planned to close two clinics, reduce its staff, and reduce access to non-emergency services—the largest loss of any institution in the state.[183]

Funded in part by assessments on commercial properties, beginning in 2009, Ambassadors of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) work on 120 blocks[184] of downtown to improve its cleanliness, friendliness and acceptability of behavior. They are employees of Block by Block, a company in Nashville, Tennessee that serves 33 U.S. cities.[185]

Utility providers are regulated monopolies: Xcel Energy supplies electricity, CenterPoint Energy supplies gas, Qwest is the landline telephone provider, and Comcast is the cable service.[186] In 2007 city-wide wireless internet coverage began, provided for 10 years by US Internet of Minnetonka to residents for about $20 per month and to businesses for $30,[187] which earns $1.2 million annual profit and as of 2010 has about 20,000 customers.[188] The city treats and distributes water and requires payment of a monthly solid waste fee for trash removal, recycling, and drop off for large items. Residents who recycle receive a credit. Hazardous waste is handled by Hennepin County drop off sites.[186] After each significant snowfall, called a snow emergency, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division plows over one thousand miles (1609 km) of streets and four hundred miles (643.7 km) of alleys—counting both sides, the distance between Minneapolis and Seattle and back. Ordinances govern parking on the plowing routes during these emergencies as well as snow shoveling throughout the city.[189]

Sister cities

As shown below Minneapolis has 10 sister cities:[190][191]

And informal connections with Japan Hiroshima, Japan

Minneapolis once was sister cities with Canada Winnipeg, Canada.[192]

See also


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  174. ^ “The Minneapolis Foundation”. Charity Navigator. 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  175. ^ Cohen, Burt (May 2006). “The Spirit of Giving” (PDF). Mpls.St.Paul (via Meet Minneapolis). Archived from the original on June 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  176. ^ “Best Hospitals”. U.S.News & World Report (U.S.News & World Report, L.P.). Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  177. ^ “Hospitals, Physicians and Organizations”. Hennepin County Library.  and “Twin Cities Shriners Hospital”. Shriners International. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  178. ^ “Rochester, Minnesota Campus”. Mayo Foundation. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  179. ^ Jeffrey, Kirk (2001). Machines in Our Hearts: The Cardiac Pacemaker, the Implantable Defibrillator, and American Health Care. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 59–65. ISBN 0-8018-6579-4
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  182. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel (May 14, 2009). “Pawlenty slashes nearly $400 million from budget with vetoes”. Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  183. ^ Williams, Chris (Associated Press) (November 18, 2009). “HCMC approves big cuts in 2010 budget”. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
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  186. ^ a b “Utilities”. City of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
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  189. ^ “Snow and Ice Control”. City of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
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  191. ^ Baran, Madeleine (2009-07-31). “City council approves Najaf, Iraq as Minneapolis’ sister city”. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  192. ^ “Winnipeg City Council minutes for 1978” (PDF). Miles Mac Alumni Association. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 

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Phoenix, Arizona

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Phoenix, Arizona
—  City  —

Images, from top, left to right: Downtown Phoenix skyline, Saint Mary’s Basilica, Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Tovrea Castle, a saguaro cactus, Camelback Mountain


Nickname(s): “Valley of the Sun”

Location in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona is located in USA

Phoenix, Arizona

Location in the United States

Coordinates: 33°27′N 112°4′W / 33.45°N 112.067°W / 33.45; -112.067
Country United States
State Arizona
County Maricopa
Incorporated February 5, 1881
 – Type Council-Manager
 – Mayor Phil Gordon (D)
 – City 519 sq mi (1,344.2 km2)
 – Land 518.8 sq mi (1,343.7 km2)
 – Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 1,117 ft (340 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 1,445,632 (6th)
 – Density 3,071.8/sq mi (1,188.4/km2)
 – Metro 4,192,887
 – Demonym Phoenician
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 – Summer (DST) no DST (UTC−7)
Area code(s) 602, 480, 623, 520
FIPS code 04-55000
Major Airport Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport– PHX (Major/International)

Phoenix (pronounced /ˈfiːnɪks/ FEE-niks, O’odham Ski:kigk, Yavapai Wasinka, Western Apache Fiinigis, Navajo Hoozdoh, Mojave Hachpa ‘Anya Nyava[1]) is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data,[2] and is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area (also known as the Valley of the Sun), the 14th largest metro area by population in the United States with more than 4.1 million people. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.[3] Phoenix is the largest capital city in the United States and the only state capital with over 1,000,000 people.

Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881 after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River, near its confluence with the Gila River. The city eventually became a major transportation hub in North America and a main transportation, financial, industrial, cultural and economic center of the Southwestern United States.[citation needed] The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Janet Napolitano, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.

Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical arid climate. In summer average high temperatures can be over 100°F (37.8°C) and have spiked over 120°F (48.9°C) on occasion.[4]



[edit] History

[edit] American Indian period

For more than 1,000 years, the Hohokam peoples occupied the land that would become Phoenix.[5] The Hohokam created roughly 135 miles (217 km) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable. Paths of these canals would later become used for the modern Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. The Hohokam also carried out extensive trade with nearby Anasazi, Mogollon, and other Mesoamerican tribes.

It is believed that, between 1300 and 1450, periods of drought and severe floods led to the Hohokam tribe’s abandonment of the area.[5] Local Akimel O’odham settlements, thought to be the descendants of the formerly urbanized Hohokam, concentrated on the Gila River alongside those of the Tohono O’odham and Maricopa peoples. Some family groups did continue to live near the Salt River, but no large villages existed. Yavapai also had settlements in the area.

Father Eusebio Kino (1645–1711) was among the few Europeans to travel here in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Spanish focused mostly on the Pima missions in southern Arizona; the Salt River Valley remained almost depopulated for several centuries before the 1860s.

[edit] Early United States period

American and European “Mountain Men” likely came through the area while exploring what is now central Arizona during the early 19th century. They obtained valuable beaver and otter pelts; these animals, as well as deer and Mexican wolves, often lived in the Salt River Valley when water supplies and temperatures allowed.

When the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, most of Mexico’s northern zone passed to United States control and a portion of it was made the New Mexico Territory (including what is now Phoenix) shortly afterward. The Gadsden Purchase was completed in 1853. The land was contested ground during the American Civil War: both the Confederate Arizona Territory, organized by Southern sympathizers in 1861 with its capital in Tucson, and the United States Arizona Territory, formed by the United States Congress in 1863 with its capital at Fort Whipple (now Prescott) included the Salt River Valley within their borders. The valley was not militarily important, however, and did not witness conflict.

In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in what is now Maricopa County. At the time this county did not exist, as the land was within Yavapai County along with the other major town of Prescott.

The US Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to quell Native American uprisings. Hispanic workers serving the fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866 that was the first non-native settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. In later years, other nearby settlements would form and merge to become the city of Tempe,[6] but this community was incorporated after Phoenix.

[edit] Founding

The history of Phoenix as a city begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War who had earlier come west to seek wealth in the 1850s and worked primarily in Wickenburg. On an outing in 1857, he stopped to rest at the foot of the White Tank Mountains. Swilling observed the abandoned river valley and considered its potential for farming, much like that already cultivated by the military further east near Fort McDowell. The terrain and climate were optimal; only a regular source of water was necessary. The existence of the old Hohokam ruins, showing clear paths for canals, made Swilling imagine new possibilities.

Swilling had a series of canals built which followed those of the ancient Native American system. A small community formed that same year about 4 miles (6 km) east of the present city. It was first called Pumpkinville due to the large pumpkins that flourished in fields along the canals. Later it was called Swilling’s Mill in his honor, though later renamed to Helling Mill, Mill City, and finally, East Phoenix. Swilling, a former Confederate soldier, wanted to name the city “Stonewall”, after General Stonewall Jackson. Others suggested the name of “Salina”. However, neither name was supported by the community.

Finally, Lord Darrell Duppa suggested the name “Phoenix“, as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.[7]

The Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County, which at the time encompassed Phoenix, officially recognized the new town on May 4, 1865, and formed an election precinct. The first post office was established on June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling serving as the postmaster. With the number of residents growing (the 1870 U.S. census reported about a total Salt River Valley population of 240), a town site needed to be selected. On October 20, 1872, the residents held a meeting to decide where to locate it. A 320-acre (1.3 km²) plot of land was purchased in what is now the downtown business section.[8]

On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County, the sixth one formed, by dividing Yavapai County. The first election for county office was held in 1871, when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff. Barnum ran unopposed as the other two candidates, John A. Chenowth and Jim Favorite, had a shootout that ended in Favorite’s death and Chenowth withdrawing from the race.[9]

Several lots of land were sold in 1870 at an average price of $48. The first church opened in 1871, as did the first store. Public school had its first class on September 5, 1872, in the courtroom of the county building. By October 1873, a small school was completed on Center Street (now Central Avenue).[9] Land entry was recorded by the Florence Land Office on November 19, 1873, and a declaratory statement filed in the Prescott Land Office on February 15, 1872. President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the present site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. The total value of the Phoenix Townsite was $550, with downtown lots selling for between $7 and $11 each. A short time later, a telegraph office, 16 saloons, four dance halls and two banks were opened.[10]

Aerial lithograph of Phoenix from 1885

[edit] Incorporation

By 1881, Phoenix had outgrown its original townsite-commissioner form of government. The 11th Territorial Legislature passed “The Phoenix Charter Bill”, incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government. The bill was signed by Governor John C. Fremont on February 25, 1881. Phoenix was incorporated with a population of approximately 2,500, and on May 3, 1881, Phoenix held its first city election. Judge John T. Alsap defeated James D. Monihon, 127 to 107, to become the city’s first mayor.[11] In early 1888, the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, at Washington and Central (later the site of the city bus terminal, until Central Station was built in the 1990s). This building also provided temporary offices for the territorial government when it moved to Phoenix by the 15th Territorial Legislature in 1889.[12]

The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888.[12] The Phoenix Street Railway electrified its mule-drawn streetcar lines in the 1890s, with streetcar service continuing until a 1947 fire. From 1911 to 1926, an interurban line carried passengers and express packages between Glendale and downtown Phoenix.

[edit] Modern Phoenix (1900–present)

Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, 1908

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act allowing for dams to be built on western streams for reclamation purposes. Residents were quick to enhance this by organizing the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association on February 7, 1903, to manage the water and power supply. The agency still exists as part of the Salt River Project.[13] The Roosevelt Dam east of the valley was completed in 1911. Several new lakes were formed in the surrounding mountain ranges. In the Phoenix area, the river is now often dry due to large irrigation diversions, taking with it the large populations of migrating birds, beaver dams, and cottonwood trees that had lived on its waters.

On February 14, 1912, under President William Howard Taft, Phoenix became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona.[14] Phoenix was considered preferable as both territorial and state capital due to its more central location, compared to Tucson or Prescott. It was smaller than Tucson, but outgrew that city within the next few decades to become the state’s largest city.

In 1913, Phoenix adopted a new form of government from mayor-council to council-manager, making it one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government.[15]

During World War II, Phoenix’s economy shifted to that of a distribution center, rapidly turning into an embryonic industrial city with mass production of military supplies. Luke Field, Williams Field, and Falcon Field, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of new people into Phoenix.[16]

On Thanksgiving night 1942, an illegal prize fight between a champion boxer of a black regiment and a white boxer of another army regiment degenerated into a melee between competing camps. Subsequently, the black regiment left their barracks en mass and began attacking whites and rioting into downtown. Unable to contain the spreading violence by the black soldiers, local police called in the military. The rioters were met by several military police units who attempted to arrest the rioters. Instead, the rest of the black soldiers based nearby joined the rioters with firearms. The Army quickly responded to the mutiny and surrounded the area with armored personnel carriers and machine guns and ordering soldiers to use full military force against the mutineers resulting in dozens of fatalities. The Colonel of Luke Field who had oversight of the city, soon declared Army personnel banned from Phoenix. This pressured civic leaders to reform local government by firing a number of corrupt officials, in turn getting the ban lifted. This same bipartisan effort also successfully convinced the city council to give more power to the city manager to run the government and spend public funds, making Phoenix one of the largest cities in the country to not use the strong mayor structure for municipal government.

Another wartime incident took place at a Prisoner of War Camp that was established at the site of what is now Papago Park and Phoenix Zoo, for the internment of German soldiers captured in Europe.[17] In 1944, dozens of prisoners had devised a plan to escape from the camp and use boats to go down the nearby Salt River to reach Mexico. However, they were unaware that the river was mostly dry and had not been navigable for decades, and were thus easily apprehended near the camp.

The long established but shallow relationships between organized crime and the business elite grew after World War II. A primary incident which marked the post-war face of Phoenix was its involvement in the Great American streetcar scandal in which arson and sabotage was added to the list of illegal business activities in destroying the city’s mass transit system. A fire in October 1947 destroyed most of the Phoenix Street Railway fleet, making the city choose between implementing a new street railway system or using buses and cars. Simultaneously, the city began changing the rights of way downtown, expanding street sizes, raising speed rates, thereby lowering the quality of life in many old neighborhoods. As a result of these changes, automobiles became the city’s preferred method of transportation. This was followed by a number of the first housing developments which helped spread the size of Phoenix, and in turn enriching many of the area’s largest landowners. By 1950, over 100,000 people lived within the city and thousands more in surrounding communities. There were 148 miles (238 km) of paved streets and 163 miles (262 km) of unpaved streets.[16]

Over the next several decades, the city and metropolitan area attracted more growth and became a favored tourist destination for its exotic desert setting and recreational opportunities. Nightlife and civic events concentrated along now skyscraper-flanked Central Avenue. In 1968, the city was surprisingly awarded the Phoenix Suns NBA franchise, and the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum was built. By the 1970s, however, there was rising crime and a decline in business within the downtown core.

Arizona Republic writer Don Bolles was murdered by a car bomb in the city in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime and politics, particularly the relationships in Phoenix between real-estate developers, organized crime, and out-of-state corporations, especially in regards to land and housing fraud made him a target. Bolles’ last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate Kemper Marley, who was widely regarded to have ordered Bolles’ murder, as well as John Harvey Adamson, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1977 in return for testimony against contractors Max Dunlap and James Robison. Dunlap was convicted of first degree murder in the case in 1990 and received a life sentence. He died at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Tucson on July 21, 2009 due to natural causes. Robison was acquitted, but pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting violence against Adamson.

With the advent of desegregation and the Fair Housing Act, the white flight which had begun with the Great American streetcar scandal accelerated as the remaining white middle class families fled the growing street gangs, violent crime, and the drug trade. As a result, by the 1980s, these criminal activities had become public safety issues with the transplanted, uncohesive nature of many neighborhoods making crime difficult to monitor. Van Buren Street, East of downtown (near 24th St), became associated with prostitution, and many sections of the city’s south and west sides were ravaged by the crack epidemic. The city’s crime rates in many categories have improved since that time, but still exceed state and national averages.

After the Salt River flooded in 1980 and damaged many bridges, the Arizona Department of Transportation and Amtrak worked together and temporarily operated a train service, the “Hattie B.” line, between central Phoenix and the southeast suburbs. It was discontinued because of high operating costs and a lack of interest from local authorities in maintaining funding.[18]

The famous “Phoenix LightsUFO sightings took place in March 1997. The Baseline Killer and Serial Shooter crime sprees occurred in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Steele Indian School Park was the site of a mid-air collision between two news helicopters in July 2007. In 2008, Squaw Peak, the second tallest mountain in the city, was officially renamed Piestewa Peak after Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, an Arizona native who was the first Native American woman to die in combat with the U.S. military, and the first American female casualty in the 2003 Iraq War.

Phoenix has maintained a growth streak in recent years, growing by 24.2% since 2000. This makes it the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States following only Las Vegas, whose population has grown by 29.2% since 2000.[19] In 2008, Phoenix was one of the hardest hit by the Subprime mortgage crisis. In early 2009, the median home price was $150,000, down from its $262,000 peak in recent years.[20] Crime rates in Phoenix have gone down in recent years and once troubled, decaying neighborhoods such as South Mountain, Alhambra, and Maryvale have recovered and stabilized. Recently Downtown Phoenix and the central core have experienced renewed interest and growth, resulting in numerous restaurant, stores and businesses opening or relocating to central Phoenix.[21]

A panoramic view of Phoenix from the South Mountain Range, Winter 2008 with Sky Harbor Int’l Airport on the far right.

[edit] Geography

Landsat 7 Satellite image of the Phoenix Metro Area in 2002.

Phoenix is located at 33°27′ North, 112°4′ West (33.4485°, −112.0738°)[22] in the Salt River Valley, or “Valley of the Sun”, in central Arizona. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,117 feet (340 m), in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert.

Other than the mountains in and around the city, the topography of Phoenix is generally flat, allowing the city’s main streets to run on a precise grid with wide, open-spaced roadways.

The Salt River runs westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is often dry or a trickle due to large irrigation diversions, except after the area’s infrequent rainstorms or when more water is released from upstream dams. The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake, called Tempe Town Lake. The dams are deflated to allow the river to flow unimpeded during releases. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located in Northwest Phoenix within the suburb of Peoria, Arizona

The Phoenix area is surrounded by the McDowell Mountains to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains to the west, the Superstition Mountains far to the east, and the Sierra Estrella to the southwest. Within the city are the Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains. Current development (as of 2005) is pushing beyond the geographic boundaries to the north and west, and south through Pinal County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 475.1 square miles (1,230.5 km²); 474.9 square miles (1,229.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km², or 0.05%) of it is water.

The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-MesaGlendale MSA), is the 12th largest in the United States, with a total population of 4,192,887 as of the Census 2010. It includes the Arizona counties of Maricopa and Pinal. Other cities in the MSA include Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, and Peoria. Several smaller communities are also included, such as Cave Creek, Queen Creek, Buckeye, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Anthem, Sun Lakes, Sun City, Sun City West, Avondale, Surprise, El Mirage, Paradise Valley, and Tolleson. The communities of Ahwatukee, Arcadia, Laveen and some others are part of the city of Phoenix; Ahwatukee being separated from the rest of the city by South Mountain.

The city is the largest city in the Arizona Sun Corridor. The Sun Corridor is the 8th largest megaregion, in terms of area, in the United States of America and is predicted to be the 10th most populous megaregion in 2025. The Sun Corridor is equivalent to Indiana in size and population a well as had a GDP of $191 billion in 2005.

Phoenix is the nation’s sixth most populous city with approximately 1.44 million people, however, with a huge land area of 475 square miles (1,230 km2), the city has a low density rate of about 2,785 people per square mile. By comparison, Philadelphia has approximately 1.5 million people in a land area of 127 square miles (330 km2), giving it a high density rate of over 11,000 people per square mile.

As with most of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. In 1973, Gov. Jack Williams argued to the US Congress that energy use would increase in the evening, as refrigeration units were not used as often in the morning on standard time. He went on to say that energy use would rise “because there would be more lights on in the early morning.” He was also concerned about children going to school in the dark, which indeed they were.[23] The exception to this are lands of the Navajo Nation in Northeastern Arizona, which observe daylight saving time in conjunction with the rest of their tribal lands in other states.

[edit] Climate

Phoenix has a subtropical arid climate, with extremely hot summers and warm winters. The average summer high temperature is the hottest of any area in the United States after Death Valley, which is the hottest of any major city in the United States, and approaches those of cities such as Riyadh and Baghdad. The temperature reaches or exceeds 100°F (38°C) on an average of 110 days during the year, including most days from late May through early September, and highs top 110 °F (43 °C) an average of 18 days during the year. On June 26, 1990, the temperature reached an all-time recorded high of 122 °F (50 °C).[24]

Overnight lows greater than 80 °F (27 °C) occur frequently each summer, with the average July low being 81 °F (27 °C) and the average August low being 80 °F (27 °C). On average, 67 days throughout the year will see the nighttime low at or above 80 °F (27 °C). The all time highest low temperature ever recorded in Phoenix was 96 °F (36 °C), which occurred on July 15, 2003.[25]

Precipitation is sparse during a large part of the summer, but the influx of monsoonal moisture, which generally begins in early July and lasts until mid-September, raises humidity levels and can cause heavy localized precipitation and flooding occasionally. Winter months are warm, with daily high temperatures ranging from the mid-60’s to low 70’s (18–22°C), and low temperatures rarely dipping below 40 °F (4 °C).

Midtown Phoenix skyline, looking north up Central Avenue

Phoenix averages 85% of possible sunshine[26] and receives scant rainfall, the average annual total at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport being 8.3 inches (210 mm). March is the wettest month of the year (1.07 inches or 27 mm) with June being the driest (0.09 inches or 2 mm). Although thunderstorms are possible at any time of the year, they are most common during the monsoon from July to mid-September as humid air surges in from the Gulf of California. These can bring strong winds, large hail, or rarely, tornadoes. Winter storms moving inland from the Pacific Ocean occasionally produce significant rains but occur infrequently. Fog is rare but can be observed from time to time during the winter months.

On average, Phoenix has only 5 days per year where the temperature drops to or below freezing.[27] The long-term mean date of the first frost is December 15 and the last is February 1; however, these dates do not represent the city as a whole because the frequency of freezes increases the further one moves outward from the urban heat island. Frequently, outlying areas of Phoenix see frost, but the airport does not. The earliest frost on record occurred on November 3, 1946, and the latest occurred on April 4, 1945. The all-time lowest recorded temperature in Phoenix was 16 °F (−9 °C) on January 7, 1913.

Snow is extremely rare in the area but is possible. Snowfall was first officially recorded in 1896, and since then, accumulations of 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) or greater have occurred only seven times. The heaviest snowstorm on record dates to January 20, 1937 – January 21, 1937, when 1 to 4 inches (2.5 to 10 cm) fell in parts of the city and did not melt entirely for four days. Before that, 1 inch (2.5 cm) had fallen on January 20, 1933. On February 2, 1939, 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) fell. Most recently, 0.4 inches (1.0 cm) fell on December 21, 1990 – December 22, 1990 (but not in the city). Snow also fell on March 12, 1917, on November 28, 1919, and on December 11, 1985 (at the airport). On December 30, 2010, graupel fell, although it was widely believed to be snow.[28] Not a single snowflake has hit downtown Phoenix since 1939.

[show]Climate data for Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Int’l)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Average high °F (°C) 67.3
Average low °F (°C) 44.8
Record low °F (°C) 16
Rainfall inches (mm) .83
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 4.2 4.3 4.6 1.7 1.1 .7 4.2 4.5 3.1 2.9 2.7 3.7 37.7
Sunshine hours 257.3 259.9 319.3 354.0 399.9 408.0 378.2 359.6 330.0 310.0 255.0 244.9 3,876.1
Source #1: WRCC (temperature normals, 1971–2000) [29], NOAA (precipitation normals, 1971–2000)[30], (extreme temps) [31]
Source #2: HKO (sun, 1961–1990) [32]

[edit] Cityscape

Map of the urban villages of Phoenix

Since 1986, the city of Phoenix has been divided into urban villages, many of which are based upon historically significant neighborhoods and communities that have since been annexed into Phoenix.[33] Each village has a planning committee that is appointed directly by the city council. According to the village planning handbook issued by the city, the purpose of the village planning committees is to work with the city’s planning commission to ensure a balance of housing and employment in each village, concentrate development at identified village cores, and to promote the unique character and identity of the villages.[34]

Currently, there are 15 urban villages in the city: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley (not to be confused with the town of Paradise Valley), South Mountain and Rio Vista. Rio Vista was created as New Village in 2004 and is currently very sparsely populated, with no large amount of development expected in the near future.[35]

Commonly referred-to Phoenix regions and districts include Downtown, Midtown, West Phoenix, North Phoenix, South Phoenix, Biltmore Area, Arcadia, Sunnyslope, Ahwatukee.

[edit] Demographics

Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the nation according to the 2010 United States Census, making it the most populous state capital in the United States, with a population of 1,445,632.[36] According to the Census:

[edit] Ancestry and language

According to the survey, the top ten ancestries were Mexican (38.4%), German (12.8%), Irish (8.8%), English (7.1%), African American (6.0%), Italian (4.0%), American (3.5%), French (1.4%), Polish (2.2%), and Scottish (1.6%).[37]

According to the survey, the linguistic composition of Phoenix were:[37]

  • Population 5 years and over: 1,335,333
    • English only: 60.8%
    • Language other than English: 39.2%
      • Speak English less than “very well”: 20.1%
    • Spanish: 33.6%
      • Speak English less than “very well”: 18.1%
    • Other Indo-European languages: 2.7%
      • Speak English less than “very well”: 0.8%
    • Asian languages and Pacific Islander languages: 1.5%
      • Speak English less than “very well”: 0.8%
    • Other languages: 1.4%
      • Speak English less than “very well”: 0.4%

[edit] 2000 census

Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1880 1,708  
1890 3,152   84.5%
1900 5,544   75.9%
1910 11,314   104.1%
1920 29,053   156.8%
1930 48,118   65.6%
1940 65,414   35.9%
1950 106,818   63.3%
1960 439,170   311.1%
1970 581,572   32.4%
1980 789,704   35.8%
1990 983,403   24.5%
2000 1,321,045   34.3%
2010 1,445,632   9.4%

According to the 2000 census, there were 1,321,045 people, 865,834 households, and 407,450 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,782 people per square mile (1,074/km²). There were 895,832 housing units at an average density of 1,044 per square mile (403/km²).

There were 865,834 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-traditional families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city the population age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,207, and the median income for a family was $46,467. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,833. 15.8% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.0% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

As of 2000, the racial makeup of the Phoenix population was 71.1% White, 5.1% African American, 2.0% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.4% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.1% of the population.[40] Since the 2000 census, the non-Hispanic white population in Phoenix dropped below 50.0%, according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.[41]

In 2000, the Phoenix metro area’s religious composition was reported as 45% Catholic, 13% LDS (concentrated heavily in the suburb of Mesa) and 5% Jewish. The remaining 37% are largely members of Protestant denominations or are unaffiliated.[42]

[edit] Economy

The early economy of Phoenix was primarily agricultural, dependent mainly on the “5Cs” which were copper, cattle, climate, cotton and citrus. In the last four decades most of the farmlands have been turned into suburbs, and the economy has diversified as swiftly as the population has grown. The construction boom collapsed in 2008, as the financial crisis of 2007–2010 began; housing prices plunged. As Phoenix is the state capital, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University has also enhanced the area’s population through education and its growing research capabilities. Numerous high-tech and telecommunications companies have also recently relocated to the area. Due to the warm climate in winter, Phoenix benefits greatly from seasonal tourism and recreation, such as the golf industry.[43]

Phoenix is currently home to seven Fortune 1000 companies: waste management company Allied Waste, electronics corporation Avnet, Apollo Group (which operates the University of Phoenix), mining company Freeport-McMoRan (recently merged with Phoenix based Phelps Dodge), retailer PetSmart, energy supplier Pinnacle West and retailer CSK Auto. Honeywell‘s Aerospace division is headquartered in Phoenix, and the valley hosts many of their avionics and mechanical facilities. Intel has one of their largest sites here, employing about 10,000 employees and 7 chip manufacturing fabs, including the $3 billion state-of-the-art 300 mm and 45 nm Fab 32. American Express hosts their financial transactions, customer information, and their entire website in Phoenix. The city is also home to the headquarters of U-HAUL International, a rental and moving supply company, as well Best Western, a hotel chain. Mesa Air Group, a regional airline group, is headquartered in Phoenix.[44]

Despite the housing collapse, Phoenix is seeing an improvement in its rental housing. “Commercial-property owners are counting on apartment buildings to lead the Phoenix area’s real-estate market toward recovery, based on a recent rebound for units rented and buildings sold.”[45]

The military has a significant presence in Phoenix with Luke Air Force Base located in the western suburbs. At its height, in the 1940s, the Phoenix area had three military bases: Luke Field (still in use), Falcon Field, and Williams Air Force Base (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport), with numerous auxiliary air fields located throughout the region.[46]

[edit] Culture

Phoenix and the surrounding area have several cultural activities, including the performing arts, museums, and events.

[edit] Performing arts

Several music venues take place around Arizona, but primarily in and around downtown Phoenix and in Scottsdale. One such venue is the Phoenix Symphony Hall, where performances from groups such as the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona often occur. Another venue is the Orpheum Theatre which is home to the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera. Concerts also regularly make stops in the area. Venues for concerts include the US Airways Center and the Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix, Cricket Wireless Pavilion in Maryvale, Arena in Glendale, and Gammage Auditorium in Tempe. Since 2002, Phoenix has also seen a rapid growth in local arts through Artlink Phoenix. Several smaller theatres including Trunk Space, Space 55 and Modified Arts support regular independent musical and theatre performances.

Phoenix has been home to numerous popular musicians, mostly of the country and rock genres. Solo artists originally from the area include Duane Eddy, Stevie Nicks, Willy Northpole, Buck Owens, Wayne Newton, Jordin Sparks, Marty Robbins, CeCe Peniston, Dierks Bentley, Alice Cooper, and Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington. Several prominent rock groups have come from the Valley, including Meat Puppets, The Refreshments, Jimmy Eat World, Mr. Mister, Gin Blossoms, Several Members of the Coasters and The Tubes. Phoenix is becoming a musical hot spot as more established artists like George Benson, Steve Gadd, Bob Hoag, and Joey DeFrancesco have moved to the city, drawn by the lower cost of living and comfortable climate.

Several television series were set in Phoenix, including the current top-rated Medium, the 1960–1961 syndicated crime drama, The Brothers Brannagan, Alice and the CBS sitcom, The New Dick Van Dyke Show from 1971 to 1974.

[edit] Museums

Several museums exist throughout the Valley.

Phoenix Art Museum is the Southwest’s largest destination for visual art from across the world. Located at 1625 North Central Avenue, the 285,000-square-foot (26,500 m2) art museum stands at the intersection of Central Avenue and McDowell Road on the historic Central Avenue corridor. Phoenix Art Museum displays international exhibitions along side the Museum’s comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A community center since 1951, Phoenix Art Museum presents a year-round program of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. Visitors can also experience PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the Museum’s partnership with the Center for Creative Photography; the landscaped Sculpture Garden; dining at Arcadia Farms at Phoenix Art Museum; and shopping at The Museum Store.

Another prominent area museum is the Heard Museum just north of downtown. It has over 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²) of gallery, classroom and performance space. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo hogan, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater Collection of 437 historic Hopi kachina dolls, and an exhibit on the 19th century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum attracts about 250,000 visitors a year.

Other notable museums in the city include the Arizona Science Center, Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum, Phoenix Museum of History, the Phoenix Zoo, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. In 2010 the Musical Instrument Museum opened their doors, featuring the biggest musical instrument collection in the world.

[edit] Fine arts

The downtown Phoenix art scene has developed in the past decade. The Artlink organization and the galleries downtown have successfully launched a First Friday cross-Phoenix gallery opening.

In April 2009, artist Janet Echelman inaugurated her monumental sculpture, Her Secret Is Patience, a civic icon suspended above the new Phoenix Civic Space Park, a two-city-block park in the middle of downtown. This netted sculpture makes the invisible patterns of desert wind visible to the human eye. During the day, the 100-foot (30 m)-tall sculpture hovers high above heads, treetops, and buildings, the sculpture creates what the artist calls “shadow drawings”, which she says are inspired by Phoenix’s cloud shadows. At night, the illumination changes color gradually through the seasons. The large three-dimensional multi-layered form is created by a combination of hand-baiting and machine-loomed knotting, and is the result of a collaborative effort with an international team of award-winning engineers.

Author Prof. Patrick Frank writes of the sculpture that “…most Arizonans look on the work with pride: this unique visual delight will forever mark the city of Phoenix just as the Eiffel Tower marks Paris.”[47]

The Arizona Republic editorialized: “This is just what Phoenix need: a distinctive feature that helps create a real sense of place.”

[edit] Cuisine

Phoenix has long been renowned for authentic Mexican food, thanks to both the large Hispanic population and proximity to Mexico. But the recent population boom has brought people from all over the nation, and to a lesser extent from other countries, and has since influenced the local cuisine. International food, such as Korean, Brazilian, and French, has become more common throughout the valley in recent years. However, Mexican food is arguably still the most popular food, with Mexican restaurants found all over the area.

[edit] Sports

Phoenix is home to several professional sports franchises, including representatives of all four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. – although only two of these teams actually carry the city name and play within the city limits. The first major franchise was the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which started play in 1968 at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. In 1992 the Suns moved to the America West Arena, which is now the US Airways Center. In 1997, the Phoenix Mercury was one of the original eight teams to launch the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Both teams play at U.S. Airways Center. The U.S. Airways Center was the setting for both the 1995 and the 2009 NBA All-Star Games. The Phoenix Flame of the International Basketball League began play in the spring of 2007. They play at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

University of Phoenix Stadium on the game day of Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008.

The Arizona Cardinals moved to Phoenix from St. Louis, Missouri in 1988 and currently play in the Western Division of the National Football League‘s National Football Conference. The team, however, has never played in the city itself; they played at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in nearby Tempe until 2006. Sun Devil Stadium held Super Bowl XXX in 1996 when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cardinals now play at University of Phoenix Stadium in west suburban Glendale. University of Phoenix Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008, in which the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots. It is also the home of the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, a college football bowl game that is part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Phoenix has an arena football team, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League. Games are played at US Airways Center downtown.

The Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League moved to the area in 1996; they were formerly the Winnipeg Jets franchise.They play at Arena, adjacent to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

The Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball (National League West Division) began play as an expansion team in 1998. The team plays at Chase Field (downtown). In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming not only the city’s first professional sports franchise to win a national championship while located in Arizona, but also one of the youngest expansion franchise in U.S. professional sports to ever win a championship.

Additionally, due to the favorable climate, fifteen Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the metro Phoenix area in what is known as The Cactus League. The Cincinnati Reds were the last team to begin play in Goodyear, AZ as the 15th Cactus League team and share the stadium in Goodyear with the Cleveland Indians. Beginning in 2011, the Cactus League will be based solely in greater metro Phoenix as the last two teams that had played in Tucson (The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks) will be sharing a spring training home near Scottsdale.

The Phoenix International Raceway is a major venue for two NASCAR auto racing events per season. Boat racing, drag racing, and road course racing are also held at Firebird International Raceway. Sprint car racing is no longer held at Manzanita Speedway.

Phoenix hosted the United States Grand Prix from 1989 to 1991. The race was discontinued after poor crowd numbers.[48]

Phoenix has also hosted the Insight Bowl at Chase Field until 2005, after which it moved to nearby Tempe, as well as several major professional golf events, including the LPGA‘s Safeway International and The Tradition of the Champions Tour. Phoenix was originally scheduled to host the 2006 NHL All-Star Game, but it was canceled due to the 2006 Winter Olympics (the recently adopted NHL collective bargaining agreement prohibits the All-Star Game to be held during Olympic years).

Phoenix has been named as a team in the WAMNRL which will begin in summer 2011.[49]

Phoenix’s Ahwatukee American Little League reached the 2006 Little League World Series as the representative from the U.S. West region. Phoenix is one of the three cities that hosts the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon in January.On March 28, 2010 The University of Phoenix stadium hosted WWE’s annual extravaganza WrestleMania XXVI which had broke the stadium’s attendance record with 72,219 fans which have been broken by the 2011 BCS National Championship Game with 78,603 fans.

Club Sport League Venue Championships
Arizona Cardinals Football National Football LeagueNFC University of Phoenix Stadium 0
Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Major League BaseballNational League Chase Field 1
Phoenix Suns Basketball National Basketball AssociationWestern Conference US Airways Center 0
Phoenix Coyotes Ice hockey National Hockey LeagueWestern Conference Arena 0
Phoenix Mercury Basketball Women’s National Basketball Association US Airways Center 2
Arizona Rattlers Arena Football Arena Football League US Airways Center 2
Phoenix RoadRunners Ice hockey ECHL US Airways Center 2
Phoenix Flame Basketball International Basketball League Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum 0

[edit] Parks and recreation

Phoenix is home to a large number of parks and recreation areas. Many waterparks are scattered around the valley to help residents cope with the harsh desert heat during the summer months. Some of the notable parks include Big Surf in Tempe, Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix in Phoenix (has a Glendale mailing address), Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa, and the Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort – formerly known as Pointe South Mountain Resort – in Phoenix. The area also has two amusement parks, Castles N’ Coasters in north Phoenix, next to the Metrocenter Mall and Enchanted Island located at Encanto Park.

Midtown Phoenix is visible to the left in this view from the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, December 2010.

Many parks have been established to preserve the desert landscape in areas that would otherwise quickly be developed with commercial and residential zoning. The most noteworthy park is South Mountain Park, the world’s largest municipal park with 16,500 acres (67 km2); others include Camelback Mountain, and Sunnyslope Mountain, also known as “S” Mountain. The Desert Botanical Garden displays desert plant life from deserts all over the world. Encanto Park is the city’s largest and primary urban park, and lies just northwest of downtown Phoenix. Papago Park in east Phoenix is home to both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo, in addition to several golf courses and the Hole-in-the-Rock geological formation.

[edit] Media

See also: List of radio stations in Arizona, List of films shot in Phoenix.

The first newspaper in Phoenix was the weekly Salt River Valley Herald, which later changed its name to the Phoenix Herald in 1880.

Today, the city is served by two major daily newspapers: The Arizona Republic (serving the greater metropolitan area) and the East Valley Tribune (serving primarily the cities of the East Valley). In addition, the city is also served by numerous free neighborhood papers and weeklies such as the Phoenix New Times, Arizona State University‘s The State Press, and the College Times. For 40 years, The Bachelor’s Beat, a paid weekly newspaper, has covered local politics while selling ads for area strip clubs and escort services.

The Phoenix metro area is served by many local television stations and is the 12th largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 1,802,550 homes (1.6% of the total U.S.).[50] The major network television affiliates are KPNX 12 (NBC), KNXV 15 (ABC), KPHO 5 (CBS), KSAZ 10 (Fox), KUTP 45 (MNTV), KASW 61 (CW) and KAET 8 (PBS, operated by ASU). Other network television affiliates operating in the area include KPAZ 21 (TBN), KTVW 33 (Univision), KTAZ 39 (Telemundo), KDPH 48 (Daystar), and KPPX 51 (ION). KTVK 3 (3TV) and KAZT 7 (AZ-TV) are independent television stations operating in the metro area. KAZT broadcasts in digital format only.

The radio airwaves in Phoenix cater to a wide variety of musical and talk radio interests.

Many major feature films and television programs have been filmed in the city, including, Waiting to Exhale, War of the Worlds, Days of Thunder, Anastasia, American Anthem, 24, The Kingdom, Transamerica, The Uninvited, What Planet Are You From, Young Americans, Titan A.E., O.C. and Stiggs, Pardners, Private Lessons, Song of the South, The Gauntlet, Psycho, Raising Arizona, Jerry Maguire, Baraka, Little Miss Sunshine, Interstate 60, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Beyond the Law, A Home at the End of the World, The Prophecy, A Boy and His Dog, Used Cars, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (used as a stand-in for San Dimas, California), U Turn, Eight Legged Freaks, Bus Stop, The Getaway, The Grifters, Electra Glide in Blue, Private Lessons, Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie, Never Been Thawed, Just One of the Guys, Away We Go, Little Miss Sunshine, Terminal Velocity, Taxi, Twilight, and The Banger Sisters.[51]

[edit] Government

The Arizona State Capitol, which used to house the state legislature, is now a museum.

Phoenix City Hall, showing the city’s logo, the phoenix bird.

As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix houses the state legislature. In 1913, the commission form of government was adopted. The city of Phoenix is served by a city council consisting of a mayor and eight city council members. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote to a four-year term. Phoenix City Council members are elected to four-year terms by voters in each of the eight separate districts that they represent.[52] The current mayor of Phoenix is Phil Gordon, who was elected to a four-year term in 2003 and re-elected to an additional four-year term in 2007.[53] The mayor and city council members have equal voting power to adopt ordinances and set the policies that govern the city.[52]

Phoenix operates under a council-manager form of government, with a strong city manager supervising all city departments and executing policies adopted by the Council.[54]

As of February 9, 2009, Phoenix offers a domestic partnership registry open to opposite- and same-sex couples with no resident requirements for registrants.[55]

The city’s website was given a “Sunny Award” by Sunshine Review for its transparency efforts.[56]

[edit] State representation

The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections operates the Adobe Mountain School and the Black Canyon School in Phoenix.[57]

[edit] Crime

By the 1970s there was rising crime and a decline in business within the downtown core. Arizona Republic writer Don Bolles was murdered by a car bomb at the Clarendon Hotel in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime in Phoenix made him a target. Bolles’ last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate Kemper Marley, who was widely regarded to have ordered Bolles’ murder, as well as John Harvey Adamson, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1977 in return for testimony against contractors Max Dunlap and James Robison. Dunlap was convicted of first degree murder in the case in 1990 and remained in prison, until his death on July 21, 2009, while Robison was acquitted, but pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting violence against Adamson. Street gangs and the drug trade had turned into public safety issues by the 1980s. Van Buren Street, East of downtown (near 24th St), became associated with prostitution. The city’s crime rates in many categories have improved since that time, but still exceed state and national averages.

The city has recently seen a tremendous drop in crime in recent years with 2008 and 2009 recording large declines in car thefts and murders. Phoenix expects to report to the FBI nearly 100 murders fewer in 2009 compared to two years prior when 222 murders occurred.[58] Through November 2009, 106 murders were recorded in Phoenix.[59]

Car theft has been a problem in Phoenix. The city consistently ranks high for both total thefts and rate per 100,000. In 2001, Phoenix was number one for theft rate with 35,161 total thefts, giving a rate of 1,081.25 per 100,000.[60] However, in 2003, Phoenix dropped to second place with 1,253.71 per 100,000 (behind Modesto, California), although total car thefts rose to 40,769.[61]

In 2008 Phoenix also experienced a huge decline in auto thefts dropping the city to the number 19 spot for such crimes; credit for the decline has been given to the Phoenix Police Department’s efforts to patrol areas where reporting of thefts is prevalent and in use of bait cars to deter would-be thieves.[62]

Phoenix continues to experience large drops in all crimes in 2009 (A 24% drop in all violent crimes in Phoenix for 2008, and a further 18% drop in crime through November 2009 have been experienced in the city).

In the late 2000s, Phoenix has earned the title “Kidnapping capital of the USA”.[63] The majority of the kidnapped are believed to be illegal aliens or related to illegal drug trade, while kidnappers believed to be part of Mexican Drug War cartels, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel. John McCain has also called Phoenix the “Number-Two Kidnapping Capital of the World”.[64] While statistics do not exist to verify the claim, the over 300 kidnappings per year throughout 2007–2009 have made this issue a motivator behind the Arizona’s controversial Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070).

[edit] Education

Public education in the Phoenix area is provided by over 30 school districts.[65] The Phoenix Union High School District operates most of the public high schools in the city of Phoenix. Charter schools such as North Pointe Preparatory, Sonoran Science Academy, and Veritas Preparatory Academy also exist.

[edit] Post-secondary education

The campus of ASU from Tempe Butte in nearby Tempe.

There are also small satellite offices for the University of Arizona (based in Tucson) and Northern Arizona University (based in Flagstaff) located in Phoenix.

  • Grand Canyon University is the nation’s only private, for-profit, Christian university. Initially a non-profit school started in 1949, it was purchased by three investors who brought it out of bankruptcy. Since the takeover in 2004, enrollment has increased each year. It currently has over 10,000 students; almost 85% attend the school online.
  • Midwestern University-Glendale is located in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix proper. Founded as a sister school to the original campus in Downers Grove, Illinois, it is home to a number of professional health care education programs at the doctorate and master’s level. The degrees offered include the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant Studies, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Clinical Psychology (PsyD), Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and Doctor of Optometry (OD).
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management is regarded as a leading institution in the education of global managers and has operations in the United States (Glendale), Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Mexico, Central and South America and China, and was ranked number 1 in international business by The Wall Street Journal‘s poll of corporate recruiters, U.S. News & World Report, and the Financial Times.[66]
  • American Indian College is a private, Christian college located in the northwestern section of Phoenix.
  • The Art Institute of Phoenix is a small, private undergraduate college which offers various majors in the areas of design, fashion, media, and culinary arts. It admitted its first class in 1996.
  • Western Governors University opened a business office in Phoenix in 2006. WGU is an online non-profit university. Former Governor Janet Napolitano was on the WGU board until 2008. Former NAU President Clara Lovett was very active in the creation of WGU during its early days. WGU has employees and students in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. In early June 2008, WGU passed current enrollment of 10,000 students spread throughout the U.S.
  • The University of Phoenix is also headquartered in Phoenix. This is the nation’s largest for-profit university with over 130,000 students at campuses throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands, as well as online.
  • University of Advancing Technology is a small, for-profit university, notable for being a technology-oriented school. Their newly expanded campus is located in Tempe, bordering Phoenix. The university is composed of four colleges, along with an online program for continuing adult education. As of 2009, about 1200 undergraduates and 50 postgraduates enroll at UAT.
  • Collins College is a for-profit career college focusing on visual arts. It has two campuses, one in Tempe and one in Phoenix. Both campuses are very small and do not include student housing; instead, Collins students must rent apartments in the area. In 2007, the Phoenix Business Journal ranked Collins as Arizona’s top computer training school. Like many for-profit institutions, Collins is nationally accredited and its credits are not accepted by most regionally accredited institutions. In the past, Collins has drawn controversy for abuse of the federal financial aid program.
  • DeVry University and Argosy University are for-profit institutions with small campuses across the country and a large online presence. Both operate post-secondary schools on the west side of Phoenix.
  • Fortis College is a private college offering diplomas and degrees in the medical field.
  • The Maricopa County Community College District includes ten community colleges and two skills centers throughout Maricopa County, providing adult education and job training. The first community college in the district as well as the state is Phoenix College.
  • The Phoenix School of Law is a private law school located in downtown Phoenix and within the Phoenix Central Neighborhood. The Phoenix School of Law is the only private law school in Arizona and the only one with both a part-time evening program and full-time program; it is not affiliated with the similarly named University of Phoenix. Phoenix Law reports that 97% percent of its first graduating class passed the Arizona State Bar examination in July 2008.
  • Phoenix Seminary is a seminary that has been fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) since 2002. Their ministry philosophy is “Scholarship with a Shepherd’s Heart”.[67] The seminary holds to a modified version of the National Association of Evangelicals Statement of Faith.[68]

[edit] Transportation

[edit] Air

An aerial view of the control tower at Phoenix Sky Harbor that began operations on January 17, 2007.

Phoenix is served by Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHXICAO: KPHX), which is centrally located in the metro area near several major freeway interchanges east of downtown Phoenix. Sky Harbor is the tenth-busiest airport in the U.S. and 24th in the world[69] for passenger traffic, handling more than 42 million travelers in 2007. The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights.[70] Aeroméxico, Air Canada, British Airways, and WestJet are among several international carriers as well as American carrier US Airways (which maintains a hub at the airport) providing flights to destinations such as Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico.[71]

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZAICAO: KIWA) in neighboring Mesa also serves the area’s commercial air traffic. It was converted from Williams Air Force Base, which closed in 1993. The airport has recently received substantial commercial service with Allegiant Air opening a focus city operation at the airport with non-stop service to over a dozen destinations.

Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (IATA: DVTICAO: KDVT), located in the Deer Valley district of northwest Phoenix, as well as municipal airports including Glendale Municipal Airport and Phoenix Goodyear Airport.

[edit] Rail and bus

Amtrak has not served Phoenix Union Station since 1996; Phoenix is the largest incorporated city in the United States without intercity passenger train service. The Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle stop three times a week at Maricopa, thirty miles south of downtown Phoenix (for shuttle and other travel information, see the Texas Eagle site).

Amtrak Thruway buses connect Sky Harbor to Flagstaff for connection with the daily Southwest Chief service to Los Angeles and Chicago. Phoenix is served by Greyhound bus service, with the station at 24th Street located near the airport.

[edit] Public transportation

Opening day of the light rail, December 27, 2008.

Valley Metro provides public transportation throughout the metropolitan area, with its trains, buses, and a ride-share program. 3.38% of workers commute by public transit. During the summer it is very difficult to wait for a bus in the heat as many of the stops have no canopies.[72] Valley Metro’s 20-mile (32 km) light rail project, called METRO, through north-central Phoenix, downtown, and eastward through Tempe and Mesa, opened December 27, 2008. Future rail segments of more than 30 miles (48 km) are planned to open by 2025.[73]

For additional information, see: METRO Light Rail (Phoenix).

[edit] Bicycle transportation

In 2000, bicycle transportation was a mode that 0.89% of Phoenix commuters utilized, down from 1.12% a decade earlier.[72]

The Maricopa Association of Governments has a bicycle advisory committee working to improve conditions for bicycling on city streets and off-road paths.[74]

[edit] Roads and freeways

The street system in Phoenix is laid out in a traditional grid system, with most roads oriented either north-south or east-west. The zero point is the intersection of Central Avenue and Washington Street. Numbered Avenues run north–south west of Central; numbered Streets run north–south east of Central. Major arterial streets are spaced one mile (1.6 km) apart. The one-mile (1.6 km) blocks are divided into approximately 1000 house numbers north and south, and 800 house numbers east and west, although this varies. Scottsdale Road, being 7200 East, is approximately 7200 / 800 = 9 miles (14 km) east of Central. The Valley Metro bus numbers are also based on this numbering system, with the Central Avenue bus being Route Zero, and Scottsdale Road being Route 72.

Phoenix is served by a growing network of freeways, many of which were initiated by a ½ cent general sales tax measure approved by voters in 1985. Before this network, Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 handled almost all freeway traffic in Phoenix, placing a large burden on surface arterial streets, leading to increased traffic congestion as the area grew in size.

The current freeway system comprises two interstate routes (I-10 and I-17), the nearly transcontinental US 60, and several state highways as well — including SR 51, SR 85, Loop 101, SR 143, and Loop 202.

Eventually, several other state highways (Loop 303, SR 801, and SR 802) will make their way into the system as they are needed.

[edit] Sister cities

Sign showing Phoenix’s sister cities

Phoenix, Arizona, has ten sister cities, as designated by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission:[75]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Munro, P et al. A Mojave Dictionary Los Angeles: UCLA, 1992
  2. ^ “Philadelphia Inquirer. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places Over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2009 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009”. United States Census Bureau. 
  3. ^ “Find a County”. National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ “Average Weather for Phoenix, AZ – Temperature and Precipitation”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  5. ^ a bOut of the Ashes, Early Life along the Salt River.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  6. ^ Tempe history timeline.” 1866 entry discussing early farm camp. Tempe Historical Museum. Retrieved on January 20, 2008.
  7. ^Out of the Ashes, Phoenix is Born.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  8. ^Out of the Ashes, Selecting a Town site.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  9. ^ a bOut of the Ashes, The Great Sale.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  10. ^Out of the Ashes, Whole Town Worth $550.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  11. ^Out of the Ashes, Incorporation in 1881.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  12. ^ a bOut of the Ashes, Transportation: Horses and Rails.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  13. ^SRP: Historical timeline.” Salt River Project. Retrieved on November 30, 2006.
  14. ^Out of the Ashes, Roosevelt and Reclamation.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  15. ^Out of the Ashes, Establishing a Council-Manager Government.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  16. ^ a bOut of the Ashes, Growing into a Metropolis.” City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.
  17. ^ “Papago Park Facts”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  18. ^The 1980 “Hattie B.” Flood Relief Train.” Retrieved on January 19, 2008.
  19. ^ “In Pictures: America’s Fastest-Growing Cities from”. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  20. ^ “Obama expected to announce foreclosure plan –”. CNN. February 17, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  21. ^ Nora Burba Trulsson, “Phoenix Rising,” Sunset (March 2005) pp 27+.
  22. ^ “US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990”. United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^Arizona does not need daylight saving time.” Arizona Daily Star. Published on May 19, 2005. Retrieved on December 15, 2006.
  24. ^ “Climatology of heat in the southwest”. National Weather Service. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  25. ^ “University of Phoenix – Phoenix Campus”. University of Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  26. ^ “WXPART4”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  27. ^ Mean Number of Days With Minimum Temperature 32 °F (0 °C) or Less. National Climatic Data Center. June 23, 2004. Last Retrieved February 16, 2006.
  28. ^ Haldiman, Philip (2010-12-30). “Phoenix-area residents report snow falling across Valley”. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  29. ^ “PHOENIX WSFO AP, ARIZONA NCDC 1971-2000 Monthly Normals”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  30. ^ “Climatography of the United States No. 20 1971–2000: PHOENIX SKY HRBR INTL AP, AZ” (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2004. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  31. ^ “Monthly Averages for Phoenix, AZ – Temperature and Precipitation”. The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  32. ^ “Climatological Normals of Phoenix”. Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  33. ^Village Planning Committees.” Phoenix City Government. January 9, 2007. Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  34. ^ “The Village Planning Handbook” (PDF). City of Phoenix. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  35. ^Village Planning Committees.” Phoenix City Government. March 21, 2008. Retrieved on April 15, 2008.
  36. ^ Arizona Republic: “Phoenix drops to sixth largest city.” Lynh Bui. March 13, 2011.
  37. ^ a b “Phoenix, Arizona Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2006–2008”. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  38. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 14.
  39. ^ “Subcounty population estimates: Arizona 2000–2007” (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-04-25. [dead link][dead link]
  40. ^ “Phoenix (city) MapStats from FedStats”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  41. ^ Asthana, Anushka (August 21, 2006). “Changing Face of Western Cities”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  42. ^ Religion demographic data from The Association of Religion Data Archives.
  43. ^ Daniel Bubb, “McCarran International and Phoenix Sky Harbor International: Airport Expansion, Tourism, and Urbanization in the Modern Southwest,” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Dec 2002, Vol. 45 Issue 4, pp 125–142
  44. ^Contact Us.” Mesa Air Group. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
  45. ^ “AZCentral: Phoenix Rental Market Showing Signs of Rebound”. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  46. ^ Matthew G. McCoy, “Base Instinct: Phoenix and the Fight Over Luke Field, 1946–1948,” Military History of the West, 2003, Vol. 35, pp 57–76
  47. ^ Frank, Patrick (2011). Prebles’ ARTFORMS. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0205797539
  48. ^ Indianapolis Monthly‎ (June 2004) p. 40
  49. ^ “RL Hopes to Move West”. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  50. ^Nielsen Reports 1.3% increase in U.S. Television Households for the 2007–2008 Season.” Nielsen Media Research. (September 22, 2007) Retrieved on March 3, 2008.
  51. ^Titles with locations including Phoenix, Arizona, USA.” IMDb. Retrieved on May 3, 2007.
  52. ^ a b | Official Site of the City of Phoenix- About the Phoenix City Council
  53. ^ | Official website of the City of Phoenix- Mayor Home
  54. ^ | Official website of the City of Phoenix- What Type of Government Does Phoenix Have?
  55. ^ Human Rights Campaign
  56. ^ “”City of Phoenix”, City Web Site Recognized for Transparency in Government Information, April 8, 2010″. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  57. ^Safe Schools/Secure Facilities.” Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. Retrieved on August 13, 2010.
  58. ^ Ferraresi, Michael (2010-01-06). “Phoenix shootings leave 3 dead in 1st murders of ’10”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  59. ^ Ferraresi, Michael (2009-11-12). “Fewer murders expected in Phoenix”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  60. ^ “Cities with the worst auto theft”. Retrieved 4 July 2009. [dead link]
  61. ^ “‘Hot spots’ for stolen cars”. November 30, 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  62. ^ Stern, Ray (2009-04-15). “Auto Theft Down in Phoenix and Tucson; Arizona DPS Takes Credit – Phoenix News – Valley Fever”. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  63. ^ “Kidnapping Capital of the U.S.A.”. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  64. ^ . 28 June 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  65. ^Schools in Phoenix.”
  66. ^ FT REPORT – BUSINESS EDUCATION: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: THE TOP TEN SCHOOLS IN SELECTED CATEGORIES[dead link] “Best in international business: 1.- Thunderbird”
  67. ^ “Ministry Phiosophy”. Phoenix Seminary. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  68. ^ “Statement of Faith”. Phoenix Seminary. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  69. ^Airports Council International Passenger Traffic, 2007 Final.” Airports Council International. Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  70. ^Sky Harbor International Airport Domestic Destinations[dead link].” Sky Harbor International Airport. Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  71. ^Sky Harbor International Airport International Destinations.” Sky Harbor International Airport. Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  72. ^ a b “Most bicycle commuters”. Bikes At Work Inc.. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  73. ^ “Welcome”. Valley Metro. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  74. ^MAG Regional Bike Map 2005[dead link].” Maricopa Association of Governments. Retrieved on April 21, 2006.
  75. ^ Sister Cities information obtained from the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission.” Retrieved on April 21, 2006.
  76. ^ Jérôme Steffenino, Marguerite Masson. “Ville de Grenoble – Coopérations et villes jumelles”. Retrieved 2009-10-29. [dead link]

[edit] Further reading

  • Larson, Kelli L.; Gustafson, Annie; Hirt, Paul (April 2009). “Insatiable Thirst and a Finite Supply: An Assessment of Municipal Water-Conservation Policy in Greater Phoenix, Arizona, 1980–2007”. Journal of Policy History 21 (2): 107–137. doi:10.1017/S0898030609090058
  • Johnson, G. Wesley, Jr. Phoenix in the Twentieth Century: Essays in Community History (1993)
  • Johnson, G. Wesley, Jr. Phoenix, Valley of the Sun (1982)
  • Luckingham, Bradford. Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (1995)
  • VanderMeer, Philip. Desert Visions and the Making of Phoenix, 1860–2009 (2010) ISBN 978-0-8263-4891-3
  • VanderMeer, Philip. Phoenix Rising: The Making of a Desert Metropolis (2002)

[edit] External links

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[show] Articles Relating to Phoenix and Maricopa County
[show]v·d·eMunicipalities and communities of Maricopa County, ArizonaCounty seat: PhoenixCities




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‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties

[show]v·d·ePhoenix Metropolitan AreaCore city

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[show]v·d·ePhoenix Points of Pride
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa · Arizona Center · Arizona State University at the West campus · Ben Avery Shooting Facility · Burton Barr Central Library · Camelback Mountain · Cricket Pavilion · Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center · Deer Valley Rock Art Center · Desert Botanical Garden · Encanto Park · Heard Museum · The Herberger Theater Center · Historic Heritage Square · Ro Ho En (Japanese Friendship Garden) · Mystery Castle · Orpheum Theatre · Papago Park/Hole-In-The-Rock · Phoenix Art Museum · Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area · Phoenix Zoo · Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park · Shemer Art Center and Museum · South Mountain Park · St. Mary’s Basilica · Symphony Hall · Telephone Pioneers of America Park · Tovrea Castle and Carraro Cactus Garden · US Airways Center · Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza · Wrigley Mansion
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Coordinates: 33°26′55″N 112°04′26″W / 33.4485°N 112.0738°W / 33.4485; -112.0738

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