About Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. It is the state's seventh largest city with a population of 114,024 as of the 2000 Census, of which 36,892 (32%) are university or college students. The city, which is part of the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI CSA, is named after the spouses of the city's founders and for the stands of trees in the area. Ann Arbor was founded in January 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, both of whom were land speculators. On May 25, 1824, the town plot was registered with Wayne County as "Annarbour". The city became the seat of Washtenaw County in 1827, and was incorporated as a village in 1833. The town became a regional transportation hub in 1839 with the arrival of the Michigan Central Railroad, and was char-

tered as a city in 1851. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as a center for liberal politics. During the 20th century, the economy of Ann Arbor underwent a gradual shift from a manufacturing base to a service and technology base, which accelerated in the 1970s and 1980s. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, established in 1837. As the dominant institution of higher learning in the city and one of the top public universities in the world, the university provides Ann Arbor with a distinct college-town atmosphere. The university shapes Ann Arbor's economy significantly as it employs about 30,000 workers, including about 7,500 in the medical center. The city's economy is also centered on hightechnology, with several companies drawn to the area by the university's research and development money, and by its graduates. On the other hand, Ann Arbor has increasingly found itself grappling with the effects of sharply rising land values and gentrification, as well as

urban sprawl stretching far into the outlying countryside.

Visit Us
Many Ann Arbor cultural attractions and events are sponsored by the University of Michigan. Several performing arts groups and facilities are on the university's campus, as are museums dedicated to art, archaeology, and natural history and sciences (see Museums at the University of Michigan). Regional and local performing arts groups not associated with the university include the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre; the Arbor Opera Theater; the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra; the Ann Arbor Ballet Theater; the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet (established in 1954 as Michigan's first chartered ballet company); and Performance Network, which operates a downtown theater frequently offering new or nontraditional plays.

The museum
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, located in a renovated and expanded historic downtown fire station, contains more than 250 interactive exhibits featuring science and technology. Multiple art galleries exist in the city, notably in the downtown area and around the University of Michigan campus. Aside from a large restaurant scene in the Main Street, South State Street, and South University Avenue areas, Ann Arbor ranks first among U.S. cities in the number of booksellers and books sold per capita. The Ann Arbor District Library 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 held on downtown streets, which began in 1960. Scheduled on Wednesday through Saturday in the third week of July, the fairs draw upward of half a million visitors. • One event that is not related to visual and performing arts is Hash Bash, held on the first Saturday of April, ostensibly in support of the reform of marijuana laws. It has been celebrated since 1971.

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