Aurora, Colorado: Wikis

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City of Aurora
—  City  —
View of Buckley Air Force Base

Seal
Nickname(s): The Gateway to the Rockies
Location in Arapahoe County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates: 39°41′45″N 104°48′29″W / 39.69583°N 104.80806°W / 39.69583; -104.80806Coordinates: 39°41′45″N 104°48′29″W / 39.69583°N 104.80806°W / 39.69583; -104.80806
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
Counties Arapahoe County[1]
Adams County
Douglas County
Platted 1891 as Fletcher
Incorporated (town) 1903-05-05, as the Town of Fletcher[2]
Incorporated (city) 1929 as the City of Aurora[3]
Government
 - Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 - Mayor Ed Tauer (R)
Area
 - Total 142.7 sq mi (369.7 km2)
 - Land 142.5 sq mi (369.1 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 5,471 ft (1,648 m)
Population (2008)[4]
 - Total 319,057
 Density 1,939.6/sq mi (789/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes 80010-80019, 80040-80047 (all but 80045 PO Boxes), 80247[5]
Area code(s) Both 303 and 720
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID 0204737
Highways I-70, I-225, US 40, SH 30, SH 83, SH 88, E-470
Website City of Aurora
Third most populous Colorado city

Aurora is a Home Rule Municipality spanning Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties in Colorado. The city is the third most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 58st most populous city in the United States. The city had an estimated population of 319,057 in 2008-07-01.[4] The city and its western neighbor are the principal cities of the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in 2007 had an estimated population of 2,464,866. (22nd most populous MSA),[6] the estimated population of the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area was 2,998,878 on 2007-07-01 (15th most populous CSA).[6][7]

Contents

History

It originated in the 1880s, as the town Fletcher, taking its name from Denver businessman Donald Fletcher who saw it as a real estate opportunity. He and his partners staked out four square miles east of Denver, but the town - and Colorado - struggled mightily after the Silver Crash of 1893. At that point Fletcher skipped town, leaving the community with a huge water debt. Inhabitants decided to rename their township Aurora in 1907, and it slowly began to grow in Denver’s shadow becoming the fastest growing city in the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Although Aurora has long been considered by many only as one of Denver's larger suburbs, its growing population in recent decades (now over half the size of the City of Denver) has led to efforts for co-equal recognition with its larger neighbor. A former mayor once expressed the somewhat whimsical notion that eventually the area would be called the "Aurora/Denver Metropolitan Area." However, such efforts are somewhat hampered by the lack of a large, historically important central business district in the city, which is largely suburban in character.

A large military presence has existed in Aurora since the early 20th century. In 1918, Army General Hospital #21 (later re-named Fitzsimons Army Hospital) opened, with the U.S. government expanding and upgrading the hospital facilities in 1941 just in time to care for the wounded servicemen of World War II.

Lowry Air Force Base was opened in 1938, straddling the border of Aurora and Denver. It eventually closed in 1994, and was redeveloped into a master-planned community featuring residential, commercial, business and educational facilities.

In 1942, the Army Air Corps built Buckley Field, which over the course of history has been renamed Naval Air Station, Buckley Air National Guard Base and finally Buckley Air Force Base. The base, home of the 460th Space Wing and the 140th Wing Colorado Air National Guard, is Aurora's largest employer.

World attention focused on Aurora for seven weeks during the fall of 1955, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. The hospital is also the 1943 birthplace of 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Decommissioned in 1999, the facility is part of the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver, and the Fitzsimons Life Science District. The Anschutz Medical Campus also includes the University of Colorado Hospital, which moved to Aurora from Denver in 2007, and The Children's Hospital. These facilities will employ a workforce of 32,000 at build-out.

In 2004, Aurora was honored as the Sports Illustrated magazine's 50th Anniversary "Sportstown" for Colorado because of its exemplary involvement in facilitating and enhancing sports. The city attracts more than 30 regional and national sports tournaments annually to Aurora's fields, which include the 220-acre Aurora Sports Park opened in 2003. Aurora's active populace is also reflected in the variety of professional athletes hailing from the city (see Notable People from Aurora below). Aurora's first semi-professional sports franchise, the Aurora Cavalry in the International Basketball League, began play in 2006 but folded by seasons end due to budget mishaps.[citation needed]

Aurora is split among three counties and lies distant from the respective county seats. A consolidated city and county government was considered in the mid-1990s but failed to win approval by city voters. The issue was reconsidered in 2006.[8] Colorado voters created the City and County of Denver in 1902 and the City and County of Broomfield in 2001. A consolidated city and county of Aurora would likely include areas not within the current city limits, but the new city-county boundaries would be set, restricting future expansion.

In 2008, Aurora was designated an All-America City by the National Civic League.

Geography and Transportation

Entering the Aurora City Limits at Montview Blvd. and Yosemite Street, looking east.

Aurora is located at 39°41′45″N 104°48′29″W / 39.69583°N 104.80806°W / 39.69583; -104.80806 (39.695887, -104.808101).[9] The city's official elevation, posted on signs at the city limits, is 5,471 feet (1,668 m). However, the city spans a difference in elevation of nearly 1,000 feet (300 m). The lowest elevation of 5,285 feet (1,611 m) is found at the point where Sand Creek crosses the city limit in the northwest corner of the city, while the highest elevation of 6,229 feet (1,899 m) is on the extreme southern border of the city in Arapahoe County, near the intersection of Inspiration and Gartrell Roads.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 142.7 square miles (369.7 km²), of which, 142.5 square miles (369.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (0.17%) is water.

Aurora straddles Interstate 70, Interstate 225 and the E-470 beltway. The Regional Transportation District's light rail transit system was extended to serve the southwestern edge of Aurora on November 17, 2006. The H Line stops at Aurora's Dayton and Nine Mile Stations; a comprehensive network of feeder buses in southern Aurora serve the latter. An extension of light rail along I-225 through the city is planned to connect with a commuter rail line between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport (DIA), both scheduled for completion by 2015. Much of Aurora is more convenient to DIA than Denver itself. This proximity is a factor in the expected growth of the E-470 corridor directly south of DIA, projected to eventually accommodate 250,000 additional Aurora residents.

Education

Government

The city of Aurora operates under a council/manager form of government. The Aurora City Council is composed of a mayor and ten council members. Six members are elected from districts the other four are elected at large. The mayor is elected by the entire city.

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Neighborhoods

Aerial view of Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora before closure. Photo dated 1973.

Aurora is composed of dozens of neighborhoods, districts and (current and former) military installations. Among them:

  • Aurora Heights
  • Aurora Highlands
  • Aurora Hills
  • Aurora Knolls
  • Beacon Point
  • Brookvale
  • Buckley Air Force Base
  • Chaddsford Village
  • Chambers Heights
  • Chelsea
  • Conservatory
  • Corning
  • Crestridge
  • Cross Creek
  • The Dam East
  • Del Mar
  • The Dam West
  • Eastridge
  • Fitzsimons Campus
  • Fox Hill
  • Greenfield
  • Hallcraft's Village East
  • Havana Heights
  • Heather Ridge
  • Heritage at Eagle Bend
  • Highpoint
  • Hillside at Del Mar
  • Hoffman Heights
  • Hutchinson Heights
  • Jackson Farm
  • Kingsborough
  • Lowry Campus (formerly Lowry Air Force Base)
  • Meadowood Meadowood
  • Mission Viejo Mission Viejo
  • Morris Heights
  • Murphy Creek
  • Original Aurora (the Fletcher townsite, Aurora's "downtown")
  • Peoria Park
  • Pheasant Run
  • Piney Creek
  • Ptarmigan Park
  • Queensborough
  • Saddle Rock
  • Settler's Village
  • Serenity Ridge
  • Seven Hills
  • Stapleton (a portion of the redevelopment of Denver's former airport lies in Aurora, directly north of Original Aurora)
  • Sienna
  • Smoky Hill 400
  • Smoky Ridge
  • Sterling Hills
  • Stricker's House
  • Summer Valley Ranch
  • Tallgrass
  • Tallyn's Reach
  • The Timbers
  • Tollgate Run at Kingsborough
  • Tollgate Village
  • Tuscany
  • Village East
  • Waters Edge
  • Wheatlands
  • Woodgate
  • Woodrim

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 202
1910 679 236.1%
1920 983 44.8%
1930 2,295 133.5%
1940 3,437 49.8%
1950 11,421 232.3%
1960 48,458 324.3%
1970 74,974 54.7%
1980 158,588 111.5%
1990 222,103 40.1%
2000 276,393 24.4%
Est. 2007 297,835 [11] 7.8%

As of the 2000 Census[4], there were 276,393 people, 105,625 households, and 68,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,939.6 people per square mile (748.9/km²). There were 109,260 housing units at an average density of 766.7/sq mi (296.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.9% White, 14.5% African American, 0.8% Native American, 4.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 8.1% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.8% of the population.

There were 105,625 households out of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,507, and the median income for a family was $52,551. Males had a median income of $35,963 versus $30,080 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,095. About 6.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Mexicana de Aviación operates an office at 12134 East Mississippi Avenue.[12]

Arts & Culture

  • Aurora Fox Arts Center
  • Aurora History Museum
  • Aurora Symphony Orchestra
  • East End Arts District
  • Shadow Theatre

Notable people from Aurora

Sister cities

Aurora has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

In addition, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (consisting of the city and 51 other local governments) has established a "sister city" relationship with the Baghdad Governorate, one of Iraq's eighteen provinces.

Surrounding municipalities

North: Denver
West: Denver, Centennial Aurora
South: Greenwood Village, Centennial, Foxfield, Parker

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. 2007-02-27. http://www.dola.state.co.us/dlg/local_governments/municipalities.html. Retrieved 2007-02-27. 
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/muninc.html. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Aurora History". City of Aurora, Colorado. http://www.auroragov.org/AuroraGov/Visitors/About_Aurora/005079?ssSourceNodeId=871&ssSourceSiteId=621. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  4. ^ a b c "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Colorado" (CSV). 2000-2008 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2008-04-08.csv. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  5. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. August 19, 2007. http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/citytown.jsp. Retrieved August 19, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Rankings for Metropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metropop/2005/cbsa-04-fmt.csv. Retrieved December 13, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metropop/2005/cbsa-06-fmt.csv. Retrieved December 13, 2006. 
  8. ^ http://www.aurorasentinel.com/main.asp?SectionID=8&SubSectionID=8&ArticleID=11778 aurorasentinel.com
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ http://www1.auroragov.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/article-publication/007271.pdf auroragov.org
  11. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2008-01-08.csv
  12. ^ "USA/Canada Offices." Mexicana de Aviación. Retrieved on January 28, 2009.

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