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Ann Arbor, Michigan Ann Arbor underwent a gradual shift from a and facilities are on the university’s campus,

manufacturing base to a service and technol- as are museums dedicated to art, archaeology,
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of ogy base, which accelerated in the 1970s and and natural history and sciences (see Museums
Michigan and the county seat of Washt- 1980s. at the University of Michigan). Regional and
enaw County. It is the state’s seventh local performing arts groups not associated
largest city with a population of 114,024 Ann Arbor is home to the University of with the university include the Ann Arbor Civ-
as of the 2000 Census, of which 36,892 Michigan, established in 1837. As the domi- ic Theatre; the Arbor Opera Theater; the Ann
(32%) are university or college students. nant institution of higher learning in the city Arbor Symphony Orchestra; the Ann Arbor
The city, which is part of the Detroit-Ann and one of the top public universities in the Ballet Theater; the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet (es-
Arbor-Flint, MI CSA, is named after the world, the university provides Ann Arbor tablished in 1954 as Michigan’s first chartered
spouses of the city’s founders and for the with a distinct college-town atmosphere. The ballet company); and Performance Network,
stands of trees in the area. university shapes Ann Arbor’s economy sig- which operates a downtown theater frequently
nificantly as it employs about 30,000 work- offering new or nontraditional plays.
Ann Arbor was founded in January 1824 ers, including about 7,500 in the medical
by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, both of center. The city’s economy is also centered The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, located in
whom were land speculators. On May 25, on high-technology, with several compa- a renovated and expanded historic downtown
1824, the town plot was registered with nies drawn to the area by the university’s fire station, contains more than 250 interac-
Wayne County as “Annarbour”. The city research and development money, and by its tive exhibits featuring science and technology.
became the seat of Washtenaw County in graduates. On the other hand, Ann Arbor has Multiple art galleries exist in the city, notably
1827, and was incorporated as a village increasingly found itself grappling with the in the downtown area and around the Univer-
in 1833. The town became a regional effects of sharply rising land values and gen- sity of Michigan campus. Aside from a large
transportation hub in 1839 with the arrival trification, as well as urban sprawl stretching restaurant scene in the Main Street, South
of the Michigan Central Railroad, and far into the outlying countryside. State Street, and South University Avenue
was chartered as a city in 1851. During areas, Ann Arbor ranks first among U.S. cities
the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a Many Ann Arbor cultural attractions and in the number of booksellers and books sold
reputation as a center for liberal politics. events are sponsored by the University of per capita. The Ann Arbor District Library
During the 20th century, the economy of Michigan. Several performing arts groups maintains four branch outlets in addition to
its main downtown building; in 2008 a new
branch building replaced the branch located in
Plymouth Mall. This new branch is called the
Traverwood Branch, and opened on June 30,
2008. The city is also home to the Gerald R.
Ford Presidential Library.

Sunday Morning by Carl Milles in Ann Arbor


Several annual events – many of them centered
on performing and visual arts – draw visitors
to Ann Arbor. One such event is the Ann Arbor
Art Fairs, a set of four concurrent juried fairs Customer Service Center
held on downtown streets, which began in (Located diagonally across the street
1960. Scheduled on Wednesday through Sat- from City Hall)
urday in the third week of July, the fairs draw City Center Building, 1st Floor
upward of half a million visitors. One event
220 East Huron
that is not related to visual and performing
arts is Hash Bash, held on the first Saturday of
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
April, ostensibly in support of the reform of (734) 994-2700
marijuana laws. It has been celebrated since Fax: (734) 994-1765
1971. E-mail: customerservice@a2gov.org

A person from Ann Arbor is called an “Ann


Arborite”, and many long-time residents call
themselves “townies”. The city itself is often
called A² (“A-squared”) or A2 (“A two”), and,
less commonly, Tree Town. Recently, some
youths have taken to calling Ann Arbor Ace
Deuce or simply The Deuce. With tongue-in-
cheek reference to the city’s liberal political
leanings, some occasionally refer to Ann Arbor
as The People’s Republic of Ann Arbor or 25
square miles surrounded by reality, the latter
phrase being adapted from Wisconsin Gov-
Ann Arbor,
Michigan
ernor Lee Dreyfus’s description of Madison,
Wisconsin. Ann Arbor sometimes appears
on citation indexes as an author, instead of a
location, often with the academic degree MI,
a misunderstanding of the abbreviation for
Michigan.