Emerson (Gary)

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City Hall
City Hall
Location within the city of Gary
Location within the city of Gary
Coordinates: 41°36′10″N 87°19′56″W / 41.602869°N 87.332217°W / 41.602869; -87.332217Coordinates: 41°36′10″N 87°19′56″W / 41.602869°N 87.332217°W / 41.602869; -87.332217
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Lake County
City Gary
Founded 1906
Population (2000)[1]
 • Total 3,358
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 46402
Area code(s) 219

Emerson, also called Downtown East, is a neighborhood in north-central Gary, Indiana. Emerson and Downtown West combine to form what is known as Downtown Gary. It was part of the original plat built by the United States Steel Corporation. It is located East of Broadway, south of the Grand Calumet River, north of 9th Avenue and west of Interstate 65. As of 2000, Emerson had a population of 3,358.[1] Emerson borders directly on Downtown West to the west, but is separated from the Aetna and Pulaski neighborhoods to the east and south by an industrial corridor.[2]

The Emerson neighborhood suffers from extensive vacant lots and abandoned buildings. It has the least number of housing units in the city.[3] About 40% of the housing stock are owner-occupied.[1] There were 44 new housing units built between 5th and 6th Avenue.[1] Emerson is served by the Gary Main Post Office. In the past it was served by the now decaying E.A. Spaulding Elementary School and Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts both schools now stand vacant.[4] Emerson has two city parks Buffington Park and Idle Hour Park and the larger portion of Gateway Park.[5]

U.S. Steel Yard

Gary City Hall is located in Emerson along with the Indiana Department of Social Services building and the Calumet Township Trustee’s office. In 2001 the U.S. Steel Yard baseball stadium was built in an effort to stimulate a rebirth of the downtown. It was built on what was once a fairly blighted section of housing. Its construction was highly controversial. However, it has proven somewhat successful drawing fans from surrounding communities.[5] In September 2009, the one millionth fan walked into the U.S. Steel Yard.[6] Much of the commercial property along Broadway is now vacant. Some newer properties are located along 5th Avenue.

The neighborhood is served by the Indiana Toll Road directly to its north, which has exits at Broadway and 5th Avenue, by Interstate 65 to the east, which has an exit on 5th Avenue, and by US 12/20 also to the north. Public transportation is provided by the buses of the Gary Public Transportation Corporation, which run along Broadway and 5th Avenue.


  1. ^ a b c d City of Gary 2008, p. 145.
  2. ^ City of Gary 2008, p. 134.
  3. ^ City of Gary 2008, p. 112.
  4. ^ Carmen McCollum. "Some Gary school buildings to get a new life". Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  5. ^ a b City of Gary 2008, p. 146.
  6. ^ Steinberg, Neil (2009-09-13). "Gary shows signs of hope, revival". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2009-10-01.