|City of Evansville, Indiana|
|— City —|
Downtown Evansville at nightfall in 2008.
|Nickname(s): the Ville, River City, Epatch,
Pocket City, Indiana's Crescent City
Location in the state of Indiana
|Townships||Center, German, Knight, Perry, Pigeon|
|- Mayor||Jonathan Weinzapfel (D)|
|- City||40.8 sq mi (105.6 km2)|
|- Land||40.7 sq mi (105.4 km2)|
|- Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|- Metro||2,367 sq mi (6,130.5 km2)|
|Elevation||387 ft (118 m)|
|- Density||2,987.3/sq mi (1,153.4/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|- Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||47701-47706, 47708, 47710
47744-47750, 47755, 47777
|GNIS feature ID||0434258|
Evansville is a city in the the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Indiana, the third-largest city in Indiana after Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. The largest city in Southern Indiana, the city had a total population of 121,582, and a metropolitan population of 342,815 as of the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Vanderburgh County and the regional hub for the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky 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. In 2008 it was voted the best city in the country in which "to live, work, and play" by the readers of Kiplinger, and in 2009 the 11th best.
Settled by immigrants some 200 years ago, the city of Evansville is situated on a gentle horseshoe bend on the Ohio River. As testament to the Ohio's grandeur, the early French explorers named it La Belle Riviere ("The Beautiful River"). On March 27, 1812, Hugh McGary, Junior, bought land for the settlement which he called McGary's Landing. In 1814, to attract more people, McGary renamed his village "Evansville" in honor of Colonel Robert Morgan Evans (1783-1844), an officer under then General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. McGary, Evans, and James W. Jones revised the 1814 town plan of lots and streets in 1817. Vanderburgh County was created in 1818, and Evansville was made the county seat .
Evansville soon became a thriving commercial town, with an extensive river trade. It was incorporated in 1819 and received a city charter in 1847. The building of the Wabash and Erie Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Ohio River, greatly accelerated the city's growth. The canal was finally completed in 1853, the same year that Evansville's first railroad, Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, was opened to Terre Haute. By the U.S. census of 1890 Evansville ranked as the 56th largest urban area in the United States, a rank it gradually fell from in the early 1900s.
The first highway 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,almost half of the P47s made during the war, 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 miles (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."
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 with the Pigeon Creek flowing from downtown 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 Metropolitan Area, the 142nd 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 Area" or "Tri-State" are more commonly used by the local media.
There is a chance that another Kentucky county, Union, and two Illinois counties, White and Wabash, may be added on in the 2010 census as a significant amount of all three counties' populations commute to jobs in Vanderburgh County or any of the other five counties. Another Indiana County, Spencer, may find itself in both the Evansville and Owensboro areas. There is also a chance that the Owensboro and Evansville Metros could become the Evansville-Owensboro, IL-IN-KY Combined Statistical Area in 2010 as travel time decreases and interaction increases with improved infrastructre between the two areas and many of the micropolitan areas to the north and south like Interstate 69, the expansion of the 6-lane Lloyd Expressway to the west and east as well as the new U.S. 231 Corridor.
Evansville has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool to cold. Average temperatures range from 33 degrees Fahrenheit to 78 °F (26 °C). Annual rainfall averages 42 inches (1,100 mm) and annual snowfall averages 13 inches (330 mm). Evansville is one of the few major cities in the Midwest where it has been known for an entire winter to pass without any measurable snowfall (this occurred, for example, in 1983).
|Record high °F (°C)||74
|Average high °F (°C)||42
|Average low °F (°C)||25
|Record low °F (°C)||-17
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.14
|Source: The Weather Channel. September 2008|
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 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.
The New Harmony Theatre is a professional theatre produced by the University of Southern Indiana and operating under an agreement with the Actors Equity Association. Well known actors such as Polly Holliday and Louis Zorich have appeared on the NHT stage, which presents a three play season every summer. The University of Southern Indiana also features a robust theatre program with a professional repertory season in the Fall.
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 – Soldiers and Sailors 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.
The University of Evansville also maintains a prestigious theater program, which features four mainstage and two studio productions a year. A small independent music scene can also be found with local bands playing nightclubs such as Club 1123 and 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.
Evansville also hosts Thunder on the Ohio each August. Thunder on the Ohio is a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season. The race is typically held in August on the Ohio River in downtown Evansville. Evansville has hosted Thunder on the Ohio since 1979. The winner of Thunder on the Ohio receives the Four Freedoms Trophy, which is named after the nearby Four Freedoms Monument which rests along the Ohio River. The race has frequently been broadcasted on ESPN and the SPEED television network.
The Germania Männerchor Volksfest is a three day German heritage festival which takes place every July in the historic Germania Mannerchor building on the cities west side. The festival includes food, drink, dance and music. Many of the cities residents with German ancestry also wear historic German attire.
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.
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 (200,000 m2) park, the zoo features over 700 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 (USI) regularly draw thousands of spectators to NCAA Division I, and Division II sporting events, respectively. Evansville basketball currently plays at Roberts Stadium, but is set to move to a new downtown arena in 2011. USI plays on campus at the USI PAC.
The Evansville Otters minor league professional 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 and was the principal filming location for the movie A League of Their Own.
The Evansville IceMen minor league professional ice hockey team has played at Swonder Ice Arena in the All American Hockey League since 2008. The IceMen have accepted a membership into the IHL, and will begin playing there within 2 years. Other teams in the IHL are the Flint Generals, Muskegon Lumberjacks, Port Huron Icehawks, Bloomington Prairie Thunder, Dayton Gems, and defending Turner Cup Champion Fort Wayne Komets.
Evansville is home to two Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) leagues: the Demolition City Roller Derby, and Rollergirls of Southern Indiana. In the WFTDA, member leagues create "travel" teams who play against each other in regional matches, although some leagues that are not WFTDA members have independently arranged their own travel teams and inter-league bouts. The Evansville travel teams for the Demolition City Roller Derby are the Dynamite Dolls and the Destruction Dames. The Evansville travel team for the Rollergirls of Southern Indiana is the Rollergirls of Southern Indiana.
Every summer, Evansville plays host to the top tier boat racing circuit of H1 Unlimited when it hosts Thunder on the Ohio along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville. Evansville has hosted Thunder on the Ohio continuously since 1979. Evansville had previously hosted Thunder on the Ohio from 1938 to 1940.
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 (280,000 m2) of land and features nine Olympic-size irrigated Bermuda grass fields and one Olympic-size AstroPlay turf field. Additionally, the EVSC Double Cola Fields provides twin soccer fields and stadium seating for high school regular season and postseason matches. Swonder Ice Arena 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. The schools of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation use Lloyd Pool for all of their swimming and diving meets in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference.
|Evansville Otters||Baseball||1995||Frontier League||Bosse Field|
|Evansville IceMen||Hockey||2008||All American Hockey League||Swonder Ice Arena|
|Ohio River Bearcats||American football||2008||Great Midwest Football League||Reitz Bowl & Central Stadium|
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, and News4U, a free monthly entertainment magazine
The city has 32 radio stations that include adult contemporary, big band, classical, inspirational, jazz, rock, country, oldies, pop, 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. 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 102nd-largest television market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research. The designated market area consists of 30 counties in Southeastern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana, and Northwestern Kentucky. The 2007 population estimate of this 30-county region is nearly one million people.
The major local broadcast television stations are:
The cable Public Access Television channels are:
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 the democratic party has 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 from individual districts.
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 Robert Deig. 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, two charter, and one private school. Signature School was listed as the 27th best public high school in the nation on Newsweek's Top 100 High School list in 2009. It was the only school in Indiana to break the top 100.
On November 4, 2008 voters approved a $149 million bond issue for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. A long list of projects includes a new $58.2 million high school for 2,000 students and an adjacent $27 million middle school for 1,000 students.
|School||Type||Enrollment||Mascot (I/A)||Colors (I/A)||IHSAA Class (I/A)||Athletic Conference|
|Central High School||Public||1,754||Bears||AAAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|North High School||Public||1,661||Huskies||AAAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|Francis Joseph Reitz High School||Public||1,495||Panthers||AAAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|William Henry Harrison High School||Public||1,414||Warriors||AAAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|Benjamin Bosse High School||Public||873||Bulldogs||AAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|Francis Joseph Reitz Memorial High School||Catholic||791||Tigers||AAA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center *||Trade School||788||None||None||Not ParticipatIng||None|
|Mater Dei High School||Catholic||613||Wildcats||AA(A)||Southern Indiana Athletic|
|Evansville Day School **||Private||69||Eagles||A||Independent|
|Faith Heritage Christian School ***||Private||51||Unknown||Unknown||Not Participating||None|
** 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 125.
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, Harrison 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 Oakland City, Indiana.
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.
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, Mead Johnson, Old National Bank, Shoe Carnival, and Vectren. The city is also home to American General Finance, a division of AIG. Major manufacturing operations around the city include AK Steel in Rockport, Alcoa in Newburgh, SABIC in Mount Vernon, and Toyota in Princeton.
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 economic downturn beginning in 2008 hurt Evansville with contractions by some of the area's largest employers. Toyota laid off all temporary workers and offered a buyout to its permanent employees. The company temporarily shut down its production lines as production of the Tundra pickup truck was transferred to Texas and the Highlander production was moved to Princeton. On August 28, 2009 Whirlpool Corporation announced they are moving operations from Evansville to Mexico, laying off 1,100 hourly employees. The city was able to retain 300 salaried positions for a production design center.
The City of Evansville offers a pro-business tax structure for companies locating inside the Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone. Established in 1984 as one of only five 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.
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 historic Greyhound Bus station for its vending machines, the YWCA tea room for lunch, and the Hilltop Inn for a brain sandwich and burgoo. Other shows have included Ghost Hunters which investigated Willard Library's "Gray Lady" ghost and Storm Stories on The Weather Channel documented the devastating tornado that struck the city in 2005.