About the Evansville, Indiana Area
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Evansville, IndianaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Evansville (pronounced /ˈɛvənzˌvɪl/) is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana and the largest city in Southern Indiana. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 121,582, and a metropolitan population of 342,815. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County and the regional hub for the Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois tri-state area.
Settled in 1812, the city is situated on a gentle horseshoe bend on the Ohio River and often referred to as "River City." One of the most popular attractions in the region is Casino Aztar, the first riverboat casino in the state of Indiana. Evansville is also home to both the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana.
The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. In 2004 Evansville was named an "All-America City" by the National Civic League.
Geography and climate
Evansville is located at 37°58'38" North, 87°33'2" West (37.977166, -87.550566). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 105.6 kilometers² (40.8 sq mi). 105.4 kilometers² (40.7 sq mi) of it is land and 0.2 kilometers² (0.1 sq mi) of it is water. The total area is 0.15% water.
The city faces the Ohio River along its southern boundary. Most of the city lies in a shallow valley surrounded by low rolling hills. The west side of the city is built on these rolling hills and is home to Burdette Park, Mesker Amphitheatre, and Mesker Park Zoo. The eastern portion of the city developed in the valley and is protected by a series of levees that closely follow the path of Interstate 164. A notable landmark on the east side is the 240-acre (1.0 km²) Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve.
The Evansville-Henderson, IN-KY Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the 140th largest in the United States, includes four Indiana counties (Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick) and two Kentucky counties (Henderson, and Webster). The metropolitan area does not include Owensboro, Kentucky, which is an adjacent metropolitan area about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Evansville. This area is sometimes referred to as "Kentuckiana," although "Tri-State" is more commonly used by the local media.
Evansville has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa, just north of the humid subtropical line) and four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool to cold. Average temperatures range from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 78 °F (26 °C). Annual rainfall averages 42 inches (1,100 mm) and annual snowfall averages 13 inches.
According to the census of 2000, there are 121,582 people and 30,527 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,153.4 per kilometer² (2,987.0 per sq mi). There are 57,065 housing units at an average density of 541.3 per kilometer² (1,402.0 per sq mi). The racial makeup of the Evansville is 86.24% White, 10.92% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. 85.59% of the population is non-Hispanic white.
There are 52,273 households out of which 26.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% are married couples living together, 13.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% are non-families. 35.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population consists of 22.7% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 88.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,963, and the median income for a family is $41,091. Males have a median income of $30,922 compared to $21,776 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,388. 13.7% of the population and 10.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 19.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series, four double pops performances, and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances. The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.
A wide variety of concerts, plays, and other special events are held at the 2,500-seat auditorium at The Centre downtown. Outdoor concerts and special events are held at the 8,500-seat Mesker Amphitheatre on the city's west side. Larger concerts, sporting events, and special events are held at the 12,500-seat Roberts Municipal Stadium on the city's east side.
Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana's longest running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country. From its humble beginnings at the old Central High School auditorium, Evansville Civic Theatre has had many homes – Memorial Coliseum, Bosse High School, the Rose Room of the McCurdy Hotel, the Elks Ballroom, and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1974, Evansville Civic Theatre acquired the historic Columbia Movie Theater as its permanent home.
Evansville also has a small independent music scene, with local bands playing mainly at Club 1123, and the new venue, Boney Junes.
The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is a street fair held in the area west of downtown Evansville. It is held on the first full week of October and draws nearly 150,000 people. The main attraction of the festival is the food, with offerings of standards like elephant ears and corn dogs to the more unusual, such as chocolate-covered crickets, brain sandwiches, and alligator stew. Paul Harvey once remarked that only Mardi Gras in New Orleans is larger than the Fall Festival.
Each July the city plays host to the Evansville Freedom Festival. It includes the "Thunder on the Ohio" hydroplane races, a firework extravaganza over the Ohio River, and more. The United States Navy's Blue Angels have been an added attraction in recent years along with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
On the last weekend of August, the popular Frog Follies takes place, when over 4,000 street rods converge on the Vanderburgh County 4-H fairgrounds north of the city.
Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States. From 1100 to 1450 A. D., a town near this site was home to people of the Middle Mississippian culture. Several thousand people lived in this town protected by a stockade made of wattle and daub. Because Angel Mounds was a chiefdom (the home of the chief), it was the regional center of a large community.
The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science is home to one of southern Indiana's most established and significant cultural centers. It holds the Koch Planetarium, the oldest in Indiana. Also on the campus is the Evansville Museum Transportation Center, which features transportation in southern Indiana from the latter part of the Nineteenth Century through the mid-Twentieth Century.
The Reitz Home Museum is Evansville's only Victorian House Museum. It is noted as one of the country's finest examples of Second French Empire architecture. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
In October 2005 the USS LST 325 moored in Evansville and was turned into a museum (USS LST Ship Memorial) in recognition of the city's war effort. During World War II, Evansville produced 167 LSTs (and 35 other craft), making it the largest inland producer of LSTs in the nation. The USS LST 325 is the last navigable tank landing ship in operation.
The new Children's Museum of Evansville opened its doors to the public in September 2006. The museum is the result of two years of planning and was constructed in the historic Central Library downtown. The Art Deco building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum offers visitors three floors of interactive exhibits and galleries.
Parks and zoos
The city oversees the operation of 65 parks and 21 special facilities encompassing more than 2,300 acres (9 km²) of land in the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County. Among these are three popular 18-hole public golf courses and one 9-hole golf course.
Located on nearly 200 acres (0.8 km²) of rolling hills in western Vanderburgh County, Burdette Park features an aquatic center with water slides, three pools, and a snack bar. It also offers a BMX racing track, batting cages, softball diamonds, miniature golf, tennis courts, and locations for fishing.
Evansville's Mesker Park Zoo opened in 1928. Set on a spacious 50 acre park, the zoo features over 600 animals roaming freely in natural habitats surrounded by exotic plants, wildflowers, and trees.
Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve is a National Natural Landmark with nearly 200 acres (0.8 km²) of virgin bottomland hardwood forest. It is the largest tract of virgin forest located inside any city limits within the United States. The Nature Center features exhibits, events, wildlife observation areas, meeting rooms, library, and gift shop.
Although high school athletics are a constant source of local patronage, the University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana regularly draw thousands of spectators to NCAA Division I and Division II sporting events. University of Evansville plays at Roberts Stadium. University of Southern Indiana plays at the USI PAC.
The Evansville Otters baseball team has played at historic Bosse Field in the Frontier League since 1995. Bosse Field opened in 1915 and is the third oldest baseball stadium still in use in the United States.
Evansville offers modern sports facilities for both soccer and ice skating events. The Goebel Soccer Complex is a $3.4 million project that opened in the spring of 2004 on 70 acres of land and features nine Olympic-size irrigated Bermuda grass fields and one Olympic-size AstroPlay turf field. Swonder Ice Rink is a $12.5 million double-rink facility that opened in the fall of 2002 and features a fitness center, a skate park, and party rooms.
Evansville is also home to the the first Evansville school to win a football state championship in the 28-year history of the tournament, Evansville Mater Dei in 2000 as well as the 2007 Indiana Class 4A Football State Champions, F.J. Reitz High School, and the 2007 Indiana Boys Soccer State Champions and 2007 National Boys Soccer Champions, Reitz Memorial High School.
The only daily newspaper is the Evansville Courier & Press, which is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company. The newspaper also publishes the monthly Evansville Business Journal for the region and owns the paper in neighboring Henderson, Kentucky. [Evansville Living], a bi-monthly city magazine published by the Tucker Publishing Group, showcases the people, businesses, and community. Other publications include Maturity Journal, a free monthly newspaper aimed at senior citizens, News4U, a free monthly entertainment magazine, and [Club Evansville], a magazine aimed at the youth of Evansville.
The city has 32 radio stations that include adult contemporary, big band, classical, inspirational, jazz, rock, country, oldies, and easy listening formats. The University of Evansville's WUEV FM is a non-commercial station that plays a variety of alternative, classical, and jazz music. If your looking for ESPN radio it can be found on 106.7 FM. Other notable radio stations include alternative/hard rock station 103 GBF (also known as "the River City Rocker") and pop music stations such as Hot 96 WSTO and 106.1 Kiss FM.
Evansville is the 101st-largest television market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research. The designated market area consists of 30 counties in Southestern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana, and Northwestern Kentucky.
The major local broadcast television stations are:
The cable Public Access Television channels are:
Law & government
The Mayor of Evansville, Jonathan Weinzapfel, serves as the chief executive officer. A nine-member elected City Council is the legislative branch of city government. The City of Evansville is the county seat for Vanderburgh County. In recent years some parties have pushed for unifying the Evansville city and Vanderburgh County governments, as was done in the Indianapolis merger with Marion County in 1970. The current proposal calls for a Mayor and Deputy Mayor, who would be appointed by the mayor; and a 15 member Metro Council composed of three at-large members and 12 members elected by the public.
Vanderburgh County's delegation to the Indiana State House of Representatives comprises four representatives: Dennis Avery (District 75), Trent van Haaften (District 76), Phil Hoy (District 77), and Suzanne Crouch (District 78). Evansville and Vanderburgh County are represented by two state senators. In general, the southern third of the county and Armstrong Township are part of District 49, currently held by Larry Lutz. The county's west side is also in District 49. Most of the county is in District 50, which extends to the east, a seat held by Vaneta Becker.
The city and county are divided into a nationally recognized public school system of 20 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and five public high schools. In addition there are four parochial schools, one private, and one charter school. Signature School was listed as the 54th best public high school in the nation on Newsweek's Top 100 High School list in 2006. It was the only school in Indiana to break the top 100.
*Evansville Day School offers grades JPK-12. The school's enrollment including all grades is 325.
**Faith Heritage Christian School offers grades K-12. The school's enrollment including all grades is 105.
The city is home to two major universities, the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana (USI). The Indiana University School of Medicine also has a presence in the city with the Evansville Center for Medical Education on the campus of USI. Other campuses in the city include Ivy Tech Community College, ITT Tech, Indiana Business College, and Oakland City University's School of Adult and Extended Learning. The main campus of Oakland City University is located just north of the city in Gibson County.
Immediate access to all major forms of transportation makes Evansville an important factor in Indiana's global economy. The city boasts an excellent road, rail, water, and air transportation system.
It is bounded on the north by Interstate 64, extending west to St. Louis, Missouri, and east to Louisville, Kentucky. Interstate 164 provides a convenient link from Interstate 64 to the city's thriving eastside retail district and a direct route to the downtown business district. Interstate 69 will soon be extended to Evansville, creating a new international trade corridor from Canada to the Rio Grande Valley. Engineering design began in 1997 and construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008.
The Evansville Regional Airport, housed in a 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m²) terminal, offers over 50 flights a day to destinations around the country. A complimentary shuttle service is offered from the airport to major hotels. The Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) provides bus transportation to all sections of the city.
Evansville is the regional center for a large trade area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The broad economic base of the region has helped to build an economy which is known for its stability, diversity, and vitality. Major industries today include manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, retailing, health care, and finance and business services. In 2007 the metropolitan area was ranked 88th in the nation in terms of growth and economic impact.
Corporate headquarters include Accuride, Atlas Van Lines, Berry Plastics, Old National Bank, Shoe Carnival, and Vectren. The city is also home to American General Finance, a division of AIG, and Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Major manufacturing operations in and around the city include AK Steel in Rockport, Alcoa in Newburgh, GE Plastics in Mt. Vernon, Toyota in Princeton, and Whirlpool Corporation in Evansville.
The city's economy was expanded by Casino Aztar's entertainment facility in 1995. The main complex consists of a 2,700 passenger riverboat casino, a 250-room hotel, a 1,660 vehicle parking garage, and pavilion housing pre-boarding facilities, retail shops, restaurants, and lounge area. An adjacent entertainment district features a 100-room boutique hotel and additional restaurants.
The City of Evansville offers a unique pro-business tax structure for companies locating inside the Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone. Established in 1983 as one of only six enterprise zones in the State of Indiana, the 2.1-square-mile (5.4 km²) Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone offers inventory tax credits and other tax credits to eligible businesses.
Settled by immigrants some 200 years ago, the city of Evansville is situated on a gentle horseshoe bend on the Ohio River. The first cabin built in Evansville was built in 1809, home of George Miller. As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, the early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River"). Initially settled by Americans in 1812, the city was laid out in 1817. It was named in honor of Robert Morgan Evans (1783-1844), one of its founders, an officer under then General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812.
It soon became a thriving commercial town, with an extensive river trade. It was incorporated in 1819 and received a city charter in 1847. The completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Ohio River, greatly accelerated the city's growth. Evansville's first railroad company, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, was built in 1850.
By the U.S. census of 1890 Evansville ranked as the 56th largest urban area in the United States. It was surpassed by other developing cities in in the early 1900s.
The first bridge to cross the Ohio River and connect Evansville with Henderson, Kentucky, was built in 1932. After the devastating Ohio River flood of 1937, the city established the Evansville-Vanderburgh Levee Authority District. It built a system of earth levees, concrete walls, and pumping stations designed to protect the city.
During World War II, Evansville was the largest inland producer of LSTs (Tank Landing Ships). Evansville also produced a specific line of the P-47 Thunderbolt known as the P-47Ds. These planes were also produced in Farmingdale on Long Island, New York. The Evansville craft were given the suffix "-Ra" while the Farmingdale planes were given the suffix "-Re". Evansville produced a total 6,242 P-47s and 167 LSTs during the war.
In the early 1950s, industrial production in the city expanded at a rapid pace. Culturally, Evansville evolved in the 1950s with the construction of subdivisions on the outer reaches of the community. This shift in population led to other developments as shopping started to shift from the downtown area into suburban shopping centers. In 1963, Washington Square Mall became the first enclosed mall in the state of Indiana.
During the final third of the 20th century, Evansville became the commercial, medical, and service hub for the tri-state region. A 1990s economic spurt was fueled by the growth of the University of Southern Indiana, which now has 10,000 students. The arrival of giant Toyota and AK Steel plants, as well as Casino Aztar, Indiana's first gaming boat, also contributed to the growth of jobs.
On November 6, 2005, an F3 tornado struck the Evansville area and killed 25 people. The tornado began in Kentucky and crossed the Ohio River. It struck Ellis Park Racecourse, East Brook Mobile Home Park, and then Newburgh, leaving a of path of destruction for more than 40-mile (64 km). Nearly $85 million in damage was done. Following the Evansville Tornado of November 2005, the coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency noted, "I don't think I've ever seen a community of people come out so quickly to help each other. All communities come together after a disaster, but this one is exceptional."
Film and television
Game scenes in the 1992 film A League of Their Own were filmed at Bosse Field. It is the third oldest baseball stadium still in use in the United States (behind Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley Field in Chicago). The ballpark served as the homefield for the Racine Belles.
All exterior shots on the 1988-1997 sitcom Roseanne are still photographs taken in and around Evansville. The Connors' house is located at 619 South Runnymeade Avenue, and the Lobo Lounge is a pizzeria located at the corner of Edgar and Louisiana Streets. Matt Williams, the show's creator and producer, is a native of Evansville.
The Daily Show has featured Evansville in two episodes. The first featured a story about comedian Carrot Top's reopening the historic Victory Theatre. The second poked fun at former mayor Russel Lloyd Jr. for skipping out on a city meeting to attend Cher's Farewell Tour concert being performed on the same night at Roberts Stadium.
Evansville was also featured in Alton Brown's series Feasting on Asphalt. Alton and his crew visited the Greyhound Bus station to look at the vending machines, the YWCA tea room for lunch, and the Hilltop Inn for a brain sandwich and burgoo.
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