Dubuque, Iowa: Wikis


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Dubuque, Iowa
—  City  —
Downtown Dubuque, Iowa, Oct 2008.


Nickname(s): "Dub City", "The 563" "Dubz", "Gutta Town", "The Key City", "City of Five Flags", "Masterpiece on the Mississippi"
Motto: "Showing the Spirit"
Location in the State of Iowa
Coordinates: 42°30′16″N 90°41′13″W / 42.50444°N 90.68694°W / 42.50444; -90.68694
Country  United States
State  Iowa
County Dubuque
Incorporated 1833
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Roy D. Buol
 - City manager Michael C. Van Milligen
 - City 27.7 sq mi (71.8 km2)
 - Land 26.5 sq mi (68.6 km2)
 - Water 1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
Elevation 617 ft (188 m)
Population (2008)[1][2]
 - City 57,250
 Density 2,178.2/sq mi (841.1/km2)
 Metro 92,724
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 52001–52004, 52099
Area code(s) 563
FIPS code 19-22395
GNIS feature ID 0456040
Website www.cityofdubuque.org

Dubuque IPA: /dəˈbjuːk/ is a city in and the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States,[3] located along the Mississippi River. In 2008 its population was estimated at 57,250, making it the eighth-largest city in the state[1] and the county's population was estimated at 92,724.[2]

The city lies at the junction of three states: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, a region locally known as the Tri-State Area. It serves as the main commercial, industrial, educational, and cultural center for the area. Geographically, it is part of the Driftless Area, a portion of North America that escaped all three phases of the Wisconsinian Glaciation.

It is one of the few large cities in Iowa with hills, and is home to a large tourist industry, driven by the city's unique architecture, and river location. Also, it is home to five institutions of higher education, making it a center for culture and learning.

While Dubuque has long been a center of manufacturing, the economy has recently witnessed rapid growth and diversification in other areas. In 2005, it led the state and the Midwest in job growth, ranking as the 22nd fastest-growing economy nationally.[4] Today, alongside industry, the city has large health care, education, tourism, publishing, and financial service sectors.

Dubuque has received a number of special designations. In March 2007, the city was recognized as one of the "100 Best Communities for Young People" by the America's Promise Youth Foundation.[5] In April 2007, the city was voted 15th in the "Best Small Places For Business and Careers" ranking by Forbes Magazine, climbing 60 spots from 2006.[6] In 2006, Money Magazine named Dubuque as having the shortest commute time all U.S cities at only 11.8 minutes.[7] In June 2007, Dubuque won the All-America City Award, one of 10 cities nationally to do so.[8] In June 2008, Dubuque was named as the "Most Livable" Small City by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM).[9] In 2009, Dubuque was named the 8th best small metro area to launch a small business by CNNMoney.com.



Julien Dubuque

The City of Dubuque is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. The first Europeans to explore the area were Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, who travelled along the river in 1673. They were commissioned by the colony of New France to map the unexplored region. The entire area was claimed for France in 1682 by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who named it "Louisiane" in honor of French King Louis XIV. Following the 1763 French defeat in the Seven Years' War, Spain gained control of Louisiana.[10] The first permanent settler to what is now Dubuque was a Quebecker pioneer, Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. In 1788, he received permission from the Spanish government and the local Fox tribe of American Indians to mine the area's rich lead deposits.[11] Control of Louisiana (and Dubuque's mines) shifted back to France in 1800, then to the United States in 1803, following the Louisiana Purchase. Dubuque died in 1810, but the wealth of minerals drew a number of new pioneers and settlers, mostly Frenchmen and other Europeans.

Saint Mary's, one of 11 Catholic churches in Dubuque.

The current City of Dubuque, named after Julien Dubuque, was settled at the southern end of a large, flat plain adjacent to the Mississippi River. The city was officially chartered in 1833, located in then-unorganized territory. The region was designated as the Iowa Territory in 1838, and was included in the newly-created State of Iowa in 1846. After the lead resources were exhausted, the city became home to numerous industries. Because of its proximity to forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Dubuque became a center for the timber industry, and was later dominated by various millworking businesses. Between 1860 and 1880, Dubuque was one of the 100 largest urban areas in the United States.[12] Also important were boat building, brewing, and later, the railroad industry. Iowa’s first church was built by Methodists in 1834. Since then, Iowans have followed a variety of religious traditions.[13] Throughout the 1800s, and into the early 1900s, thousands of poor German and Irish Catholic immigrants came to work in the manufacturing centers. The city's Roman Catholic presence became so predominant that it was designated as the seat of the newly-established Archdiocese of Dubuque, and numerous convents, abbeys, and other religious instititutions were built. Much of the population remains Catholic to this day.

Early in the 20th Century, Dubuque was one of several places which saw a brass era automobile company, in this case Adams-Farwell; like most others, it folded. Subsequently, although Dubuque grew significantly, industrial activity remained the mainstay of the economy until the 1980s. During that time, a series of changes in manufacturing, and the onset of the "Farm Crisis" led to a large decline in the sector, and the city's economy as a whole. However, the economy diversified rapidly in the 1990s, shifting away from heavy industry. Today, tourism, high technology, and publishing are among the largest and fastest-growing businesses. Dubuque attracts well over 1,500,000 tourists annually, and this number continues to increase. Some of the more important changes include the ongoing construction of the America's River Project's tourist attractions in the Port of Dubuque, the expansion of the city's colleges, and the continued growth of shopping centers, like Asbury Plaza.


One of the Fourth Street Elevator cars.

Dubuque is located at 42°30′16″N 90°41′13″W / 42.50444°N 90.68694°W / 42.50444; -90.68694 (42.504321, -90.686865)[14].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.7 square miles (71.8 km²), of which, 26.5 square miles (68.6 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²) of it (4.44%) is water.



Downtown Dubuque is the location of the city's central business district and many of its government and cultural institutions. It is the center of Dubuque's transportation and commercial sectors, and functions as the hub to the various outlying districts and neighborhoods. It is located in the east-central portion of the city, along the Mississippi River, and includes all of the area north of Maus Park, south of 17th Street, east of the bluffline, and west of the river.

The area is made up of several distinct neighborhoods, each of which has a unique history and character. These neighborhoods include: Cable Car Square/Cathedral Square, the Central Business District, Jackson Park/Upper Main, Lower Main, and the Warehouse District. An area of special note within Downtown Dubuque is the Port of Dubuque, which has seen a massive amount of new investment and new construction. The downtown area includes a number of significant buildings, many of which are historic, reflecting the city's early and continuing importance to the region. Important sites downtown include:

North End

Eagle Point Park in Dubuque's North End.

Dubuque's North End area was first settled in the late 1800s by working-class German immigrants to the city. The German-American community in Dubuque sought to establish their own German Catholic churches, separate from the Irish Catholic churches in Dubuque's downtown and South End. Today, the area still retains its working-class roots, and is still home to some of the largest factories operating in Dubuque.

The North End is roughly defined, but generally includes all of the territory north of 17th Street, and east of North Grandview Avenue and Kaufmann Avenue. The area is made up of two main hills (west of Central Avenue, and west of Lincoln Avenue), and two main valleys, the Couler Valley (between the two hills), and the "Point" neighborhood, adjacent to the Mississippi River. It is home to Dubuque's two main cemeteries, Linwood Cemetery (established for Protestants), and Mt. Calvary Cemetery (established for Catholics).

Other important sites in the North End include:

South End

The South End has been the traditional neighborhood of Irish-Americans in the city, and became known as "Little Dublin," specifically centered around southern portions of Downtown Dubuque. Remnants of Irish culture still survive in the South End, with Irish pubs such as Murph's South End Tap, the Busted Lift, and stores such as Shamrock Imports still operating in the area. Irish culture in Dubuque also revolves around the city's Irish Catholic churches, namely: St. Columbkille's, St. Patrick's, and St. Raphael's Cathedral.

Today, the South End is much larger, and includes all of the land south of Dodge Street, east of Fremont Avenue (but including areas of west of it), and north of the Key West area. The South End has many of the city's "old money" neighborhoods, especially along South Grandview and Fremont Avenues, and around the Dubuque Golf & Country Club. Many South End neighborhoods have a more spacious and park-like appearance, contrasting with the more urban North End.

Other Important sites in the South End include:

West End

Dubuque's West End is a large, mostly suburban area settled almost entirely after the Second World War. Development was spurred by the onset of the massive baby boom generation, and sharply higher demand for new housing in the city. Expansion began with the construction of the "John Deere Homes" in the Hillcrest Park neighborhood, which were financed by Deere & Company for its workers. Soon after, many large shopping centers were built, including Plaza 20, and the then-largest enclosed shopping mall in Iowa, Kennedy Mall.

Today, the area continues to expand at a rapid pace, with new subdivisions and shopping centers stretching out for miles from the city's downtown. The West End is not clearly defined, but is generally considered to include all of the suburban-style growth west of North Grandview Avenue, the University of Dubuque, and the Valentine Park neighborhood. The area is home to a wide variety of mostly middle-class neighborhoods and city parks, but also includes many of the city's largest schools, industrial parks, and all of its large shopping centers. The expansion of the area has also led to rapid growth in suburban Asbury and exurban Peosta, Iowa, both of which adjoin the West Side.

Other Important sites in the West End include:


Dubuque has a continental climate, which gives it four distinct seasons. However, local weather is often not as extreme as that found in other parts of the Midwest, such as Minnesota or Wisconsin. Spring is usually wet and rainy, summers are sunny and warm, autumn is pleasant and mild, and winters are typically cloudy and snowy. The variation in temperature and precipitation allows for everything from beach-going in the summertime to skiing in the winter.

Climate data for Dubuque, Iowa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 25
Average low °F (°C) 9
Precipitation inches (cm) 1.3
Source: Weatherbase [15] Jan 2007


Dubuque has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The Fourth Street Elevator is located in Downtown Dubuque. This elevator, which is the shortest and steepest railroad in existence, takes passengers up and down one of the large bluffs that dominate the city. Also, the Dubuque County Courthouse, with its Beaux-Arts architecture, is on the register. The Julien Dubuque Bridge is a National Historic Landmark, as is the Shot Tower, which was used to produce lead shot and is one of the few such towers left in existence. Dubuque's Linwood Cemetery is noted for a number of famous people buried there, and the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens have won a number of awards. There are a number of notable parks, particularly Eagle Point Park and the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.

The Grand River Center overlooks the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque.

Dubuque's waterfront features the Ice Harbor, where the Diamond Jo Casino and William M. Black are based. Recently the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, and the Grand River Event Center have been built just north of the Ice Harbor. Land for this project was acquired from several businesses through condemnation of their properties under eminent domain.

Dubuque is also the home of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. The Colts are a Drum Corps International Division I ensemble and tour the country each summer to attend drum corps competitions. Each summer the Colts and Dubuque host "Music on the March," a Drum Corps International-sanctioned marching competition at Dubuque Senior High School. Dubuque is the second-smallest city in the nation to support a Division I drum corps.

The Dubuque Thunderbirds are a Central States Hockey League Junior A hockey team that play at the Five Flags Center. The team replaced the original Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. The USHL announced in November 2009 that the city will once again be home to a USHL team during the 2010-11 hockey season, which will also be called the Fighting Saints.

The movies F.I.S.T. and Take This Job and Shove It were filmed in Dubuque as well as various scenes from Field of Dreams. About 25 miles west of the city is the town of Dyersville, Iowa. Dyersville is the home of the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier and of the Field of Dreams movie site.



Dubuque's daily newspaper is the Telegraph Herald, or the "TH", as it is known locally, which has a daily circulation of nearly 31,000.[16] There are several other important papers and journals that operate in the city, including Tri-State Business Times (monthly business paper), 365ink (bi-weekly cultural publication), VUE (entertainment paper), Julien's Journal (monthly local magazine), the Dubuque Advertiser (advertisement paper) and the "Tri-States Sports Look" (local sports publication).


Dubuque and surrounding areas are in the Cedar Rapids/Waterloo/Dubuque broadcast media market which is monitored by the A.C. Nielsen Company for audience research data for advertisers. For years Dubuque had a local TV news station (KFXA/KFXB Fox 28/40), the station in 2004, as that affiliate became a CTN station. Currently, the Dubuque-based TV news is covered by KWWL-TV7 (Waterloo, IA), and KCRG-TV9 (Cedar Rapids, IA) both operate news bureaus in the city, and most of the city's major stories are covered by those stations. Since the closing of KFXA/KFXB, KWWL-TV has captured a majority of the local news market in Dubuque.[17]

AM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold)[18][19][20]

FM radio stations

(Strongest signal stations in bold)[18][19][20]

  • WGLR 97.7 "97.7 Country", country
  • KDST 99.3 "Real Country 99.3", country
  • KCTN 100.1 "Today's Best Country", country
  • WVRE 101.1 "The River", country
  • KSUI 101.7 "Classical Music and More", Iowa Public Radio
  • KXGE 102.3 "Eagle 102", classic rock
  • WJOD 103.3 "New Country 103", country
  • KLYV 105.3 "Today's Hit Music Y105", Top 40
  • KIYX 106.1 "Superhits 106", classic hits
  • WPVL 107.1 "Xtreme 107.1", Top 40
  • WDBQ-FM 107.5 "Q107.5", classic hits
  • KLCR "Loras College Radio", college radio


For many years, Dubuque's economy was centered on manufacturing companies such as Deere and Company and Flexsteel Industries. While industry still plays a major role in the city, the economy has diversified a great deal in the last decade. Today, health care, education, tourism, publishing, and financial services are all important sectors of the city's expanding business climate. There are several major companies which are either headquartered in Dubuque, or have a significant presence in the city.

  • Dubuque's ten largest non-government employers include:[21][22]

Some other companies with a large presence in the area include: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Diamond Jo Casino(400), ThermoFisher (400), A.Y. McDonald Mfg. (375), Nordstrom (250), Alliant Energy, Swiss Valley, The Metrix Company, Tschiggfrie Excavating Co., and Cottingham & Butler. And recently announced, IBM will be moving into the old Roshek Building in downtown Dubuque.

In recent years, Dubuque's economy has grown very rapidly. In fact, in 2005, the city had the 22nd-highest job growth rate in the nation,[4] far outpacing the rest of Iowa. This ranking placed the city in a level of growth similar to Austin, Texas, and Orlando, Florida, among others. The city created over 10% of the new jobs in Iowa in 2005.[23] Also, the number of jobs in Dubuque County has reached new all-time highs, with over 57,000 people working in non-farming jobs. Many new and existing businesses have announced significant expansion plans, including: Sedgwick CMS, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Deere and Company, Cottingham & Butler, Quebecor World Inc., Namasco, and many others.


Historical Population
Year Pop.  %±
1850 3,108
1860 13,000 318.3%
1870 18,434 41.8%
1880 25,254 37.0%
1890 30,311 20.0%
1900 36,297 19.7%
1910 38,494 6.1%
1920 39,141 1.7%
1930 41,679 6.5%
1940 43,892 5.3%
1950 49,671 13.2%
1960 56,606 14.0%
1970 62,309 10.1%
1980 62,374 0.1%
1990 57,538 −7.8%
2000 57,686 0.3%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. 
Saint Raphael's Cathedral, the oldest church in Iowa

As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 57,686 people, 22,560 households, and 14,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,178.2 people per square mile (841.1/km²). There were 23,819 housing units at an average density of 899.4/sq mi (347.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.15% White, 1.21% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 1.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 22,560 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,785, and the median income for a family was $46,564. Males had a median income of $31,543 versus $22,565 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,616. About 5.5% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.


A stained glass image of Bishop Mathias Loras.

Since its founding, Dubuque has had, and continues to have, a strong religious tradition. Local settlers established what would become the first Christian church in Iowa, St. Raphael's, in 1833.[25] The city also played a key role in the expansion of the Roman Catholic Church into the Western United States, as it was the administrative center for Catholics in what is now Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.[26] Many important Catholic religious leaders have lived in Dubuque, including Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, Bishop Mathias Loras, Clement Smyth, and Mother Mary Frances Clarke.[25]

The modern religious character of the city is still dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. Although sources vary, Catholics make up between 65-85% of city residents,[27][28] with even higher percentages in the surrounding rural areas. This contrasts with the remainder of Iowa, which is only 23% Catholic.[29] The city proper is home to 52 different churches (11 Catholic, 40 Protestant, 1 Orthodox), and 1 Jewish Synagogue (Reform[30]).[31] In addition to churches, 5 religious colleges, 4 area convents, and a nearby abbey and monastery add to the city's religious importance. Most of non-Catholic population in the city belongs to various Protestant denominations. Dubuque is home to three theological seminaries: St. Pius X seminary, pre-theology for Roman Catholic men discerning a call to ordained priesthood, the University of Dubuque, with the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Wartburg Theological Seminary, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These latter two institutions train both lay and ordained ministers for placements in churches nationwide.

Dubuque is also the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, which directly administers 1/3 of Iowa's territory for the church, and is the head of the Ecclesiastical Province of Dubuque, the entire state of Iowa.[32]

Law and government

The City of Dubuque operates on the council-manager form of government, employing a full-time city manager and part-time city council. The city manager, Michael C. Van Milligen, runs the day-to-day operations of the city, and serves as the city's executive leader. Policy and financial decisions are made by the city council, which serves as the city's legislative body.

The council comprises the mayor, Roy D. Buol, who serves as its chairman, 4 ward-elected members, and 2 at-large members. The city council members are: Kevin Lynch (Ward 1), Karla Braig (Ward 2), Joyce E. Connors (Ward 3), Dirk Voetberg (Ward 4), Ric Jones (at-large), and David Resnick (at-large). The city council meets at 6:30 P.M. on the first and third Mondays of every month in the council chamber of the Historic Federal Building. The city is divided into 4 electoral wards and 21 precincts, as stated in Chapter 17 of the Dubuque City Code.[33][34]

In the Iowa General Assembly, Dubuque is represented by Senator Mike Connolly (D) in the Iowa Senate, and Representatives Pam Jochum (D), and Pat Murphy (D) in the Iowa House of Representatives. At the federal level, it is within Iowa's 1st congressional district, represented by Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dubuque, and all of Iowa, are represented by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R) and Tom Harkin (D).

City Council of Dubuque, Iowa
Area Name
Mayor Roy D. Buol
At-Large David Resnick
At-Large Ric Jones
First Ward Kevin Lynch
Second Ward Karla Braig
Third Ward Joyce E. Connors
Fourth Ward Dirk Voetberg

Political climate

For most of its history, the people in Dubuque have been mostly Democratic. This was due to the large numbers of working-class people and Catholics living in the city. At times, Dubuque was called "The State of Dubuque" because the political climate in Dubuque was very different from the rest of Iowa.

For the most part, Dubuque has maintained itself as a Democratic stronghold, even in recent years.


The front of Emmaus Bible College

Public education

Dubuque is served by the Dubuque Community School District, which covers roughly the eastern half of Dubuque County and enrolls 10,735 students in 20 school buildings as of 2006. The district has 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 3 high schools, and 1 preschool complex. It is among the fastest-growing school districts in Iowa, adding over 1,000 students in the last five years.

Public high schools in Dubuque include:

Private education

The city also has a large number of students who attend private schools. Most private schools are run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. The Archdiocese oversees the Holy Family Catholic Schools, which operates 11 schools in the city, including 9 early childhood programs, 4 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school. As of 2006, Holy Family enrolled 1,954 students in grades K-12.

Dubuque also has an elementary school serving the Lutheran community, Dubuque Lutheran School (LCMS affiliated).

Private high schools in Dubuque:

Higher education

Dubuque is also home to a large number of higher education institutions. Loras College and Clarke College are both 4-year schools associated with the Roman Catholic Church. They are 2 of the 3 colleges operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. Protestant colleges in the city include the University of Dubuque, which is associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), and Emmaus Bible College, connected with the Plymouth Brethren movement. There are also 3 theological seminaries operating in the city, the St. Pius X Seminary (Roman Catholic,associated with Loras College), the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), and Wartburg Theological Seminary (Lutheran ELCA). Other schools in the area include Northeast Iowa Community College, which operates its largest campus in nearby Peosta, Iowa and has a satellite campus in Dubuque, and Capri Cosmetology College, in Dubuque.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is another major university located in the region, about 20 miles northeast of Dubuque in Platteville, Wisconsin.


Health and medicine

Dubuque is the health care center of a large region covering eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and southwestern Wisconsin. The city is home to two major hospitals that, together, have 421 beds. Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque is the largest hospital in the city with 263 beds,[35] and one of only three in Iowa to achieve "Magnet Hospital" status. Magnet Hospitals must meet and maintain strict standards, deeming them some of the best medical facilities in the country.[36] Mercy specializes in various cardiac-related treatments, among other things. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Dubuque's other hospital is The Finley Hospital, which is a member of the Iowa Health System's network of hospitals. Finley is JCAHO accredited, and currently has 158 beds.[37] It is unofficially Dubuque's "cancer hospital," as it has significant oncology-related facilities, including the Wendt Regional Cancer Center.[38] The hospital campus has expanded in recent years, with the construction of several new buildings.

Among other health care facilities, the city is home to two major outpatient clinics. Medical Associates Clinic is the oldest multi-specialty group practice clinic in Iowa, and currently operates two major outpatient clinics in Dubuque, its "East" and "West" campuses. It is affiliated with Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque, and also operates its own HMO, Medical Associates Health Plans.[39] Affiliated with the Finley Hospital is Dubuque Internal Medicine, which is Iowa's largest internal medicine group practice clinic.[40]



Dubuque is served by 4 U.S. Highways (20, 151, 61, 52) and 2 state highways (3, 32). Highway 20, is the city's busiest east-west thoroughfare, connecting to Rockford (and I-39/I-90) and Chicago, Illinois to the east, over the Julien Dubuque Bridge. In the west, it connects to Waterloo, Iowa. Highways 151, 61, and 52 all run north-south through the city, with a shared expressway between the three for part of the route. Highways 61 and 52 both connect Dubuque with the Twin Cities (Minnesota) to the north, with 61 connecting to Davenport, Iowa (and I-74/I-80), and 52 connecting to Clinton, Iowa to the south. Highway 151 connects Dubuque with Madison, Wisconsin (and I-39/I-90/I-94) (via the Dubuque-Wisconsin Bridge) to the northeast and Cedar Rapids, Iowa to the southwest. Dubuque has 4-lane, divided highway connections with Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Madison, and Waterloo.

Iowa State Highway 3 begins in Dubuque along a shared route with Highway 52, and connects the city with central and western Iowa. Iowa State Highway 32, locally known as the "Northwest Arterial," acts as a beltway for parts of the North End and West Side. Eventually, this 4-lane highway will be extended southeast, to connect with highways 151 & 61 near Key West, Iowa and the Dubuque Regional Airport. This section will be called the "Southwest Arterial."


The Dubuque Regional Airport

Dubuque and its region is served by the general-aviation Dubuque Regional Airport (IATA: DBQICAO: KDBQ). The airport currently has one carrier, American Eagle Airlines, (a division of American Airlines) which operates 3 non-stop jet flights daily to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Northwest Airlines regional partner Mesaba operating under Northwest Airlink used to have daily service to Dubuque. Northwest operated twice daily flights to and from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (IATA: MSPICAO: KMSP) using Saab 340 aircraft[41]. These flights began June 2008 and ended on August 31, 2009. Northwest Airlines once offered service to Dubuque prior to 9/11.

The airport's operator, the City of Dubuque, continues to court additional carriers to add service to the airport. This will likely happen, since the Dubuque Regional Airport has reported steadily increasing passenger numbers over the years, and, up until recently, had service from 3 different carriers (prior to 9/11). In early November 2007, it was announced that October 2007 was the best month ever for American Eagle airline at the Dubuque Regional Airport, according to Robert Grierson, Dubuque Regional Airport manager. "We had 4,510 total revenue passenger enplanements; that is a record for American Eagle in Dubuque," said Grierson. "American Eagle averaged a 79.82 percent enplanement load factor. Load factors are determined by how many revenue passengers were on the plane versus how many seats are available."

In the coming years, a $23 million new terminal will be built to modernize and expand the airport.[42]

Mass transit

In Dubuque, public transportation is provided by the city-owned KeyLine Transit System. KeyLine operates 4 bus lines, downtown trolleys, and on-demand paratransit service throughout the city. Most lines run in a general east-west direction, moving passengers between outlying neighborhoods and shopping centers and the downtown central business district. The system has 3 major transfer stations: Downtown Dubuque (West 9th & Main Streets), Midtown (North Grandview & University Avenues), and the West Side (Kennedy Circle/John F. Kennedy Road).

Also of note are ongoing discussions about extending passenger rail service to Dubuque on a proposed Dubuque-Chicago rail line. The proposal was one of 10 major projects citizens identified in the "Envision 2010" community planning process.

Sister cities

Dubuque is a sister city with the following:

Famous Dubuquers

Notables who attended Dubuque colleges

Other notables with Dubuque associations

See also


  1. ^ a b "Population Estimates and Rankings for Population, Numerical Change, and Percent Change for Iowa's Incorporated Places: 2000-2008" (PDF). Iowa Data Center. http://data.iowadatacenter.org/datatables/PlacesAll/plestpopranking20002008.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b United States Census Bureau. "Cumulative Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2008/CBSA-EST2008-07.xls. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Dubuque Job Growth Ranking". http://www.greaterdubuque.org/news/dubuque_top_job_growth.html. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  5. ^ "100 Best communities for young people". http://www.americaspromise.org/100Best.aspx?id=968. Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  6. ^ "2007 Dubuque Business Ranking: Forbes Magazine". http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/5/07bestplaces_Best-Small-Places-For-Business-And-Careers_Rank.html. Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Commute times by city". http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2006/top25s/shortcommute.html. Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  8. ^ "All America Cities 2007". http://www.ncl.org/aac/2007/2007%20AAC%20Winners.htm. Retrieved June 13, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Most Livable Cities 2008" (PDF). http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/CITYLIVENG.pdf. Retrieved July 11, 2008. 
  10. ^ "French Colonization of the Americas: Louisiana". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_colonization_of_the_Americas#Louisiana. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Julien Dubuque". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julien_Dubuque. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990". http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0027/twps0027.html. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  13. ^ Iowa. http://books.google.com/books?id=IVcfZvCXxI0C&pg=PA62&dq=iowa+high+school+football&ei=6kiySuixNZ-SMtyXkPMD#v=onepage&q=iowa%20high%20school%20football&f=false. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  14. ^ "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. 
  15. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Dubuque, Iowa". http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=074527&refer=. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Telegraph Herald: Circulation". http://www.inanews.com/apps/displaypapers.php?mod=About&action=City. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  17. ^ "Dubuque news stories by KWWL/KCRG". http://www.uiowa.edu/~cyberlaw/lem05/KGAN-PTD-1223.doc. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  18. ^ a b "Radio Locator: Dubuque radio stations". http://www.radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/locate?select=city&city=Dubuque&state=IA&sid=&x=21&y=6. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  19. ^ a b "Radio Station World: Dubuque radio stations". http://radiostationworld.com/locations/United_States_of_America/Iowa/radio.asp?m=dub. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  20. ^ a b "On The Radio: Dubuque radio stations". http://www.ontheradio.net/metro/Dubuque_IA.aspx. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  21. ^ "Dubuque's 10 largest (non-gov.) employers: 2005" (PDF). http://iwin.iwd.state.ia.us/pubs/region01/dubuque.pdf. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Top Dubuque Employers". http://www.greaterdubuque.org/workforce.html. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Dubuque Job Growth: 2005" (PDF). http://www.cityofdubuque.org/uploads/manager/BudgetFY2008Web.pdf. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  24. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  25. ^ a b "Archdiocese of Dubuque: History". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_Archdiocese_of_Dubuque#Prior_to_the_Founding_of_the_Diocese. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  26. ^ "Archdiocese of Dubuque: History". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archdiocese_of_Dubuque#The_Early_Years_of_the_Diocese. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  27. ^ "Association of Religion Data Archives: Dubuque County". http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/counties/19061_2000.asp. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  28. ^ "HDR: Current Developments". http://www.encompassworld.com/publications/article_hdr.doc. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Iowa: Religious makeup". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa#Religion. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  30. ^ "Temple Beth El." Retrieved on 2008-07-12.
  31. ^ "Churches in Dubuque". http://www.usachurch.com/iowa/dubuque/churchSearch.do;jsessionid=3BEED3C836A76EB9641B1D1BF371C09F. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  32. ^ "Archdiocese of Dubuque information". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archdiocese_of_Dubuque. Retrieved January 13, 2007. 
  33. ^ "Dubuque City Code". Retrieved August 5, 2007. 
  34. ^ "City of Dubuque Ward and Precinct Map" (PDF). http://www.cityofdubuque.org/uploads/manager/WardMap2005.pdf. Retrieved August 5, 2007. 
  35. ^ "Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque: Licensed beds". http://www.mercydubuque.com/about/licensedbeds.shtml. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque: Magnet status". http://www.mercydubuque.com/. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  37. ^ "The Finley Hospital: Licensed beds". http://www.finleyhospital.org/body.cfm?id=402. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  38. ^ "The Finley Hospital: Oncology Department". http://www.finleyhospital.org/body.cfm?id=39. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  39. ^ "Medical Associates Clinic: Information". http://www.mahealthcare.com/clinic.htm. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  40. ^ "Dubuque Internal Medicine: Information". http://www.dubuqueinternalmed.com/index.phtml. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  41. ^ The Dubuque Regional Airport
  42. ^ "Dubuque Regional Airport: New Terminal" (PDF). http://www.cityofdubuque.org/uploads/manager/BudgetFY2008Web.pdf. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  43. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LoomAc20.htm
  44. ^ SANDYE VOIGHT (September 18, 2003). "Poet making trek back to his Dubuque roots; Schmitz will give a reading tonight at the Carnegie-Stout Library". Dubuque Telegraph - Herald. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-11103453.html. 

External links

Coordinates: 42°30′16″N 90°41′13″W / 42.504321°N 90.686865°W / 42.504321; -90.686865

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Dubuque article)

From Wikitravel

Dubuque [1], founded in 1833, is the oldest city in Iowa. A port on the upper Mississippi River, it is situated along scenic bluffs facing the river, and has its roots in a mining and trading settlement established in the area by Quebec-born entrepreneur Julien Dubuque in 1788. The city's population is 57,686 (2000 Census).


Dubuque grew rapidly during the 19th century, due to its lead-mining, lumber-milling, brewing, metal-working, and river-trade-related industries. It was Iowa's largest city for most of the 1800s, and as a result contains many historically significant structures, many of which have been carefully maintained or restored.

Much of the city's character was established by heavy German and Irish immigration from the 1840s to the 1890s, with the Germans tending to settle in the "North End" and the Irish in the "South End." Large Catholic parishes associated with each group were established, and large, impressive 19th-century church buildings remain to this day. The large Catholic presence caused Dubuque to be elevated to the status of a Catholic archdiocese in 1893, and it is still the smallest US city to hold this distinction.

Noteworthy church buildings include St. Raphael Cathedral, St. Mary (with its jewel-like Bavarian stained-glass windows), Sacred Heart,Holy Trinity, Holy Ghost, St. Columbkille, and the Basilica of St. Francis in nearby Dyersville. St. Luke's Methodist Church contains a significant collection of Tiffany-designed stained-glass windows in a striking Romanesque Revival structure.

Dubuque, as a small industrial center, saw its economy falter in the 1980s as industries downsized or relocated. The city has made a concerted effort to attract tourists, with the establishment of historic districts, museums, a greyhound racing park, a casino, a riverside hotel and conference center, and a new (2003) Smithsonian-affiliated museum devoted to the history and biology of the Mississippi River.

Get in

By plane

Dubuque is served by the Dubuque Regional Airport (IATA: DBQ) [2], located 7 miles south of downtown. Air service is provided by American Eagle [3] and Northwest Airlink [4], connecting to and from Chicago O'Hare and Minneapolis/St. Paul respectively. American Eagle has 4 flights per day to and from the city, Northwest Airlink has 2. To get downtown, just stay on U.S. Hwy 61 all the way in (a 15 min trip). There are 2 car rental agencies (Avis and National) with offices in the airport terminal.

By car

Dubuque is connected to most of the surrounding cities by 4-lane highways.

  • From the NORTH (Twin Cities/Minneapolis): Take U.S. Highway 52 (2-lane)
  • From the NORTHEAST (Madison/Milwaukee): Take U.S. Highway 151 (4-lane)
  • EAST (Rockford/Chicago): Take U.S. Highway 20 (mostly 4-lane, some 2-lane)
  • SOUTH (Quad Cities/Davenport): Take U.S. Highway 61 (4-lane)
  • SOUTHWEST (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City): Take U.S. Highway 151 (4-lane)
  • WEST (Waterloo): Take U.S. Highway 20 (4-lane)

By bus

Dubuque is 183 miles west of Chicago via I-90 and US 20, 90 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin, via US 151, 70 miles north of the Quad Cities via US 61, and 189 miles northeast of Des Moines via US 65, US 30, and US 151. Although Dubuque is not on the Interstate Highway System, US Highways 20, 61, and 151 are modern, four-lane, divided highways which connect the city to the interstate web.

Dubuque is served by American Airlines' American Eagle service at the Dubuque Regional Airport [5]

Get around

Once in Dubuque, most people travel by car as public transport is limited. There are a handful of major car rental offices in the city.

The City of Dubuque also operates a public bus system. KeyLine Transit operates 4 bus routes and a trolley route (in the summer) downtown. The buses generally operate in a east-west orientation, with major transfer stations downtown (W 9th and Main Sts.), midtown (N Grandview and University Aves.), and on the west side (Kennedy Cir./John F. Kennedy Rd.). Most buses operate on 45 min-1-hour long loops.

  • Bus Schedule [6]
  • Bus System Map [7]

Bus fares are between 50¢-$1. Discount tickets are available for students, elderly, and the handicapped, available at +1 563 589-4196 or KeyLine office at 2401 Central Ave.

When driving downtown watch for one-ways because they are poorly marked. Also many turn lanes can become confusing with lanes just ending or turning into turn lanes without warning.

  • National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium [8]
  • Ham House Museum [9] Preserved Italianate mansion of early river baron, with period furnishings.
  • Fenelon Place (4th Street) Elevator [10] Historic cable-car ride from Dubuque's river level to top of bluff.
  • Eagle Point Park [11] City park high on bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, renovated in the 1930s with many Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired structures.
  • Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens [12] 52-acre garden with emphasis on irises, dahlias, lilies, dwarf and unusual conifers; rose and herb gardens.
  • Mines of Spain State Recreation Area [13] Nature trails and an interpretive center.
  • Crystal Lake Cave [14] Limestone cavern first discovered by early lead miners.
  • Field of Dreams [15] Movie site 19 miles west, near Dyersville.
  • National Farm Toy Museum [16] 30,000 toy tractors and other farm toys, 19 miles west in Dyersville.
  • Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort 8700 W Chestnut Rd., Galena, IL +1 800 798-0098 [17].
  • Dubuque River Rides [18] Sightseeing and dinner cruises on the Mississippi River.
  • Heritage Trail [19] Scenic 26-mile bike/snowmobile trail from Dubuque to Dyersville, built on old Chicago Great Western railroad bed.
  • Sundown Mountain 17017 Asbury Rd., Asbury, +1 563 556-6676, [20] Ski resort just outside of Dubuque.
  • Diamond Jo Casino [21]
  • Dubuque Greyhound Park and Casino [22]


There are thousands of students who attend colleges in Dubuque. The largest are the city's 3 "liberal arts" colleges: Clarke College, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque. Collectively, the schools are known as the "Tri Colleges" and enjoy a friendly rivalry with one another. Other students attend the various religious institutions in the city, or Northeast Iowa Community College, which has campuses in Peosta, Iowa, and Downtown Dubuque.

  • Capri Cosmetology College [23] cosmetology college
  • Clarke College [24] 4-year Roman Catholic college
  • Divine Word College [25] Roman Catholic missionary college (Epworth, IA)
  • Emmaus Bible College [26] Evangelical seminary, college
  • Loras College [27] 4-year Roman Catholic college
  • Northeast Iowa Community College [28] 2-year community college
  • University of Dubuque [29] 4-year Presbyterian university
  • Wartburg Theological Seminary [30] Lutheran seminary
  • Cafe Manna Java [31], 269 Main St., +1 563 588-3105. Opened in 2002, Cafe Manna Java has been serving up authentic European style artisan style breads, pastries, espresso and drip coffee, Panini grilled sandwiches, wood-fired thin crust pizza using only premium ingredients, as well as a wide array of wine and beer. Set in the historic downtown area across from the Julien Inn.
  • Breitbach's Country Dining, As of 25 Dec, 2007 the restaurant was destroyed by fire. Re-opened 14 Jun, 2008 but again destroyed by fire 25 Oct, 2008.
  • Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, 350 Bell St., +1 563-690-4000, [32].  edit
  • Hotel Julien Dubuque, 200 Main St., +1 563-556-4200, [33].  edit
  • Timmerman's Hotel and Resort, 7787 Timmerman Dr., East Dubuque, IL, +1 815-747-3181, [34].  edit
  • MainStay Suites, 1275 Associates Drive, 1-563-557-7829, [35]. We are an extended stay hotel with fully equiped kitchens in every suite.  edit
  • Clarke Manor, 216 Clarke Drive, (563) 588-1182, [36].
  • Hancock House, 1105 Grove Terrace, (563) 557-8989, [37].
  • Mandolin Inn, 199 Loras Boulevard, (563) 556-0069, [38].
  • Redstone Inn, 504 Bluff Street, (563) 582-1894. [39].
  • Richards House, 1492 Locust Street, (563) 557-1492, [40].

Stay safe

Dubuque is a very safe city with a below-average crime rate. By and large, all areas of the city can be enjoyed day or night without fear of robbery or attack. Visitors are very common to the area, with the high number of tourist attractions and the presence of multiple colleges, and attacks on tourists are rare. The main tourist destinations and hotel locations are well-traveled and safe. However, as with any city of a certain size, there are some pockets of crime and a few predatory individuals are present.

  • For emergencies, call: 911
  • For non-emergencies, call the Dubuque Police Department: (563) 589-4410

Get out

Trips along the Great River Road [41] afford an appreciation of the upper Mississippi River valley's natural splendor, as you travel through dairy and corn country, down into tree-lined valleys, along limestone bluffs, all the while getting glimpses of the majestic river itself. This is not prairie Iowa - there's a great deal of scenic variety and interest. The drive north of Dubuque to McGregor, Iowa, via Sherrill, Balltown, and North Buena Vista, and the drive south through St. Catherine's, St. Donatus, Bellevue, and Sabula, are especially commendable.

Heading 19 miles east on US Highway 20 to Illinois takes the traveler to Galena, the "town that time forgot" and worth at least a day to soak up the atmosphere of a small town that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The historic former lead-mining and commercial center features numerous antique shops and restaurants, and the Ulysses S. Grant Home.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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