Mesa, Arizona

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Mesa
City
City of Mesa
Mesa Arts Center - West - 2009-09-16.JPG
Mesa Arts Center building in downtown Mesa
Flag of Mesa, Arizona.svg
Flag
Maricopa County Arizona Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Mesa Highlighted 0446000.svg
Location of Mesa in Maricopa County, Arizona
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Mesa
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°25′20″N111°49′22″W / 33.42222°N 111.82278°W / 33.42222; -111.82278 Coordinates: 33°25′20″N111°49′22″W / 33.42222°N 111.82278°W / 33.42222; -111.82278 [1]
CountryUnited States
State Arizona
County Maricopa
Founded1878
Government
   Mayor John Giles (R)
Area
[2]
  City138.83 sq mi (359.56 km2)
  Land138.07 sq mi (357.60 km2)
  Water0.76 sq mi (1.96 km2)
Elevation
[1]
1,240 ft (377.952 m)
Population
 (2010) [3]
  City439,041
  Estimate 
(2019) [4]
518,012
  RankUS: 35th
  Density3,686.23/sq mi (1,423.27/km2)
   Urban
3,629,114 (US: 11th)
   Metro
4,857,962 (US: 11th)
Time zone UTC−7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP codes
85200-85299
Area code(s) 480 602
FIPS code 04-46000
Website www.mesaaz.gov

Mesa ( /ˈmsə/ MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.

Contents

Mesa is the largest suburban city by population in the United States, [5] the third-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix and Tucson, the 35th-largest city overall in the US, and the largest city that is not a county seat. The city is home to 518,012 people as of 2019 according to the Census Bureau, which makes it more populous than major cities such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, or Miami. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University. It is also home to the largest relief airport in the Phoenix area, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is located in the southeastern corner of the city.

History

The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, whose name means "All Used Up" or "The Departed Ones", built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet (27 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles (26 km) across the desert. By A.D. 1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres (450 km2), transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D. 1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today. [6]

After the disappearance of the Hohokam and before the arrival of the early settlers little is known, as explorers did not venture into this area. By the late 19th century near present-day Mesa, U.S. Army troops relocated the Apache, opening the way for settlement. [7]

Mormon pioneer Daniel Webster Jones, with Henry Clay Rogers as his right-hand man, left St. George, Utah in March 1877. Jones had been asked by Mormon officials to direct a party of people in establishing a settlement in Arizona. They traveled south and settled on the north side of the present Mesa area. This settlement was initially known as Fort Utah and later as Jonesville. It was located about where Lehi Road is now. In 1883 it was named Lehi at the suggestion of Brigham Young, Jr. [8]

About this same time, another group dubbed the First Mesa Company arrived from Utah and Idaho. Their leaders were named Francis Martin Pomeroy, Charles Crismon, George Warren Sirrine and Charles I. Robson. Rather than accepting an invitation to settle at Jones' Lehi settlement, they moved up onto the mesa that serves as the city's namesake. They dug irrigation canals and used some of the original Hohokam canals. By April 1878, water was flowing through them. [9] The Second Mesa Company arrived in 1879 and settled to the west of the First Mesa Company because of more available farmland. This settlement was called originally called Alma and later Stringtown. It was located about where Alma School Road is now. [10]

On July 17, 1878, Mesa City was registered as a 1-square-mile (2.6 km2) townsite. The first school was built in 1879. In 1883, Mesa City was incorporated with a population of 300 people. Dr. A. J. Chandler, who would later go on to found the city of Chandler, worked on widening the Mesa Canal in 1895 to allow for enough flow to build a power plant. In 1917, the city of Mesa purchased this utility company. The revenues from the company provided enough for capital expenditures until the 1960s. During the Great Depression, WPA funds provided paved streets, a new hospital, a new town hall and a library. [11]

After the founding of the city the elected official that most impacted the municipality was George Nicholas Goodman. He was mayor 5 different times [12] in parts of 3 different decade (1938–1942, 1946–1948, 1952–1956) (see: List of mayors of Mesa, Arizona). As mayor he was directly involved in the process of acquiring land for both Falcon Field and Williams Field. [12]

With the opening of Falcon Field and Williams Field in the early 1940s, more military personnel began to move into the Mesa area. With the advent of air conditioning and the rise of tourism, population growth exploded in Mesa as well as the rest of the Phoenix area. Industry—especially early aerospace companies—grew in the 1950s and 1960s. As late as 1960, half of the residents of Mesa made a living with agriculture, but this has declined substantially as Mesa's suburban growth continued on track with the rest of the Phoenix metro area. [13]

Geography

Defining east and west Mesa

Due to Mesa's extremely long east to west travel distance, in excess of 18 miles (29 km) [14] and large land area 133.13 square miles (344.8 km2), locations in Mesa are often referred to as residing within either Mesa or East Mesa. [15] [16] [17]

Mesa employs a grid system for street numbering that is different from that used in Phoenix and other portions of the metropolitan area. Center Street, running north to south, bisects Mesa into eastern and western halves and serves as the east and west numbering point of origin within Mesa. Streets west of Center St., such as W. University Drive or W. Main St. are considered to be in West Mesa, whereas streets east of Center St., such as E. University or E. Main St., are considered to be in East Mesa. [18]

Mesa Drive, running north to south and bisecting Mesa into east and west sections, is located 0.5 miles (800 m) east of Center Street, and serves as the zip code boundary between the 85281, 85201, 85202, and 85210 zip codes of Western Mesa and the 85203, 85204, 85205, 85206, 85207, 85208, 85209, 85212, 85213, 85215, 85220, and 85242 zip codes of Eastern Mesa. [19]

Country Club Drive, running north to south and bisecting Mesa into east and west sections, is located 0.5 miles (800 m) west of Center St, and serves as the jurisdictional boundary between Arizona's 5th and 6th congressional districts. [20] Note that this same road (as Arizona Avenue) serves as the official east and west numbering point of origin within the city of Chandler, located south of Mesa.

Climate

Located in the Sonoran Desert, Mesa has a hot desert climate (Köppen: BWh), with mild winters and very hot summers. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 106 °F (41 °C) and an average low of 77 °F (25 °C). The coldest month is December, with an average high of 67 °F (19 °C) and an average low of 40 °F (4 °C). [21]

Climate data for Mesa, Arizona
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)89
(32)
95
(35)
99
(37)
106
(41)
118
(48)
116
(47)
119
(48)
115
(46)
113
(45)
107
(42)
97
(36)
86
(30)
119
(48)
Average high °F (°C)67
(19)
71
(22)
77
(25)
85
(29)
94
(34)
104
(40)
106
(41)
104
(40)
99
(37)
89
(32)
75
(24)
67
(19)
87
(30)
Average low °F (°C)41
(5)
45
(7)
49
(9)
54
(12)
61
(16)
70
(21)
77
(25)
76
(24)
70
(21)
59
(15)
47
(8)
40
(4)
57
(14)
Record low °F (°C)15
(−9)
19
(−7)
24
(−4)
30
(−1)
37
(3)
43
(6)
54
(12)
51
(11)
40
(4)
30
(−1)
22
(−6)
17
(−8)
15
(−9)
Average precipitation inches (mm)1.01
(26)
1.03
(26)
1.19
(30)
0.33
(8.4)
0.17
(4.3)
0.06
(1.5)
0.89
(23)
1.14
(29)
0.89
(23)
0.81
(21)
0.77
(20)
0.98
(25)
9.27
(237.2)
Source: The Weather Channel [21]
Climate data for Mesa
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Mean daily daylight hours10.011.012.013.014.014.514.013.512.511.510.510.012.2
Source: Weather Atlas [22]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1900 722
1910 1,692134.3%
1920 3,03679.4%
1930 3,71122.2%
1940 7,22494.7%
1950 16,790132.4%
1960 33,772101.1%
1970 63,04986.7%
1980 152,404141.7%
1990 288,10489.0%
2000 396,37537.6%
2010 439,04110.8%
Est. 2019518,012 [4] 18.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [23]

According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows: [24]

As of the census of 2010, there were 439,041 people, 146,643 households, and 99,863 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,171.3 people per square mile (1,224.4/km2). There were 175,701 housing units at an average density of 1,405.7 per square mile (542.8/km2).

The racial make-up of the city was 81.6% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 2.2% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 9.3% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 24.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 146,643 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.20.

The age distribution was 27.3% under 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,817, and the median income for a family was $49,232. Males had a median income of $35,960 versus $27,005 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,601. About 6.2% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Top employers

According to the City's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [25] the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of employees
1 Banner Health System 8,321
2 Mesa Public Schools 8,184
3City of Mesa4,492
4 Boeing 4,336
5 Walmart 2,455
6 Drivetime Automotive Group Inc 1,422
7 24-7 Intouch 1,400
8 Frys Food Stores 1,338
9 AT&T 1,276
10 The Home Depot 1,137

Cultural attractions

LDS Mesa Arizona Temple with Christmas lights Mesa Template at night.jpg
LDS Mesa Arizona Temple with Christmas lights
Mesa Grande Ruins Mesa-Mesa Grande Ruins-5.JPG
Mesa Grande Ruins

Historic properties in Mesa

Numerous properties in the city are considered to be historical and have been included either in the National Register of Historic Places [26] or the listings of the Mesa Historic Properties.

Parks and recreation

Mesa has over 2,280 acres of parkland in the city limits. Its largest is Red Mountain Park which spans 1,146 acres. It includes a lake, playgrounds, a basketball court and a cement volleyball court. [27]

Golf

Mesa is home to numerous championship golf courses, including the original course in town, Mesa Country Club. [28] This course was founded in the late 1940s by the original leaders of the town, and "Country Club Drive", the most prominent street in Mesa, was at one point the modest entrance to the club.[ citation needed ]

West Mesa

The Fiesta Mall is located in West Mesa, and owned by Westcor. Its anchors are Sears and Best Buy. It is located near several shopping centers, Mesa's Bank of America, [29] and other retail stores, banks, and restaurants. An expansion of the mall has been planned. [30]

Mesa Riverview is a new outdoor destination retail center in the northwestern corner of the city, near Loop 202 and Dobson Road. At build-out the center will include 1,300,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of retail space. [31] Its anchors include Bass Pro Shops, Cinemark Theaters, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.

East Mesa

Located in East Mesa is Superstition Springs Business Park. [32] It includes the Superstition Springs Center, a shopping mall owned by Macerich. It features an outdoor amphitheatre and fountain which convert to a stage. Anchor stores at the mall are Dillard's, JCPenney, and Macy's. Mission Community Church, previously known as Superstition Springs Community Church, was initially named after this business park. [33]

Education

Almost all of the city of Mesa is served by public schools operated by Mesa Public Schools; however, a small southern portion is served by the Gilbert Public Schools and the Queen Creek Unified School District, and a small western portion is served by the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District.

Pilgrim Lutheran School is a Christian Pre-K-8 school of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Mesa. [34]

Mesa is home to Mesa Community College, the largest of the Maricopa Community Colleges, which enrolls over 24,000 full and part-time students. The Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University lies in southeast Mesa. This satellite campus enrolls over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students in scientific and engineering fields. A. T. Still University operates an Osteopathic Medical School in Mesa. The aviation school CAE Global Academy Phoenix is located in Mesa.

After launching a higher education initiative in 2012, Mesa became home to branch campuses of five private, liberal arts institutions: Albright College, Westminster College, Benedictine University, Upper Iowa University and Wilkes University. [35] Two have since left (Albright College and Westminster College), while a third, Wilkes University, recently announced it would move entirely online. [36]

Transportation

Mesa City Hall in downtown Mesa Mesa City Hall.jpg
Mesa City Hall in downtown Mesa

Several area freeways serve the Mesa area, such as U.S. Route 60, locally known as the Superstition Freeway, which runs between Apache Junction and Phoenix. It is also served by SR 87 and bypass loops Loop 101, which skirts the western city limits as the Price Freeway, and Loop 202, which bypasses the city on the north and east. The main east-west arterial road in Mesa is Main Street (former US 60/70/80/89), serving Downtown Mesa. The primary north-south arterials include Country Club Drive, Gilbert Road, and Power Road.

Public transportation in Mesa is provided by Valley Metro via bus and light rail (Valley Metro Rail). The light rail section in Mesa spans about four miles from Sycamore/Main St in the west of the city, through downtown to Mesa Dr/Main St. Until July 2008, Mesa was the largest U.S. city with no public transit service on Sundays, but now has Sunday service available on Routes 40-Apache/Main, 61-Southern, 96-Dobson, 108-Elliot, 112-Country Club/Arizona, 156-Chandler/Williams Field, and 184-Power.

Air service in the city is provided by two airports. Falcon Field, located in the northeastern part of the area, was established as a training field for British RAF pilots during World War II and was transferred to the city at the end of the war. Falcon Field has 605 aircraft based there. [37] Boeing builds the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at a facility adjoining Falcon Field. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is located in the far southeastern area of the city, and provides alternate but limited air service when compared to Sky Harbor International Airport. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway was formerly Williams Gateway Airport, and before that, Williams Air Force Base, which closed in 1993. Williams Gateway was announced as a new Focus City for Allegiant Air. Service started October 25, 2007.

Notable people

Sister cities

Mesa has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also

Related Research Articles

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Hohokam ethnic group

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History of Phoenix, Arizona

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The East Valley is a multi-city region within the Phoenix metropolitan area of Arizona.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Mesa, Arizona, United States.

Timeline of Arizona

The following is a timeline of the history of the area which today comprises the U.S. state of Arizona. Situated in the desert southwest, for millennia the area was home to a series of Pre-Columbian peoples. By 1 AD, the dominant groups in the area were the Hohokam, the Mogollon, and the Ancestral Puebloans. The Hohokam dominated the center of the area which is now Arizona, the Mogollon the southeast, and the Puebloans the north and northeast. As these cultures disappeared between 1000–1400 AD, other Indian groups settled in Arizona. These tribes included the Navajo, Apache, Southern Paiute, Hopi, Yavapai, Akimel O'odham, and the Tohono O'odham.

City of Mesa Cemetery cemetery in Mesa, Arizona

The City of Mesa Cemetery is a historic cemetery located at 1212 N. Center Street in the city of Mesa, Arizona. It is the final resting place of various notable early citizens of Mesa. Among those who are interred in the cemetery are early pioneers, mayors, businessman, criminals and veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

References

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