Fort Pierce, Florida
|Fort Pierce, Florida|
|Nickname(s): Sunrise City, Port Fierce, The Fort|
Location in St. Lucie County and the state of Florida
|• Total||20.7 sq mi (53.8 km2)|
|• Land||14.7 sq mi (38.2 km2)|
|• Water||6 sq mi (15.6 km2)|
|Elevation||16 ft (5 m)|
|• Density||2,544.9/sq mi (982.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0307964|
Fort Pierce is a city in and the county seat of St. Lucie County, Florida, United States. It is also known as the Sunrise City, sister to San Francisco, California, the Sunset City. The population was 41,590 at the 2010 census. As of 2012, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 42,645. In 2000, Fort Pierce was rated the highest in the United States for having the worst crime rate based on city size and population. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Uniform Crime Report (UCR), Fort Pierce's overall crime rate has dropped 63% since 1985, and the violent crime rate has dropped 70% since 1997.
Fort Pierce was awarded the 2005 City of Excellence Award by the Florida League of Cities for overall excellence in city government and in 2011, Main Street Fort Pierce, Inc. received the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in downtown.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Ais people. Beginning in the 16th century the whole area of east Florida was known as "Los Musquitos." In 1828, Mosquito County was formed, and soon afterwards, the passage of the Armed Occupation Act, encouraged Florida settlers to locate south of Ormond Beach and Ocala. A group of people including William F. Russell, Ossian B. Hart, John Barker, Mills O. Burnham, and John Heermans settled the area and named the settlement Susanna. Mosquito County was later divided into Orange and St. Lucia County. However St. Lucia County would only exist between the years of 1844, and 1855, when the entire county was renamed Brevard. The present day county of St. Lucie would be re-established in 1905.
Fort Pierce was named after Lt. Col. Benjamin K. Pierce, President Franklin Pierce's brother, who established a U.S. Army fort here during the second Seminole War in 1838. But it would take more than 60 years for the area to become officially the City of Fort Pierce.
On Dec. 29, 1900, a notice was posted calling all registered voters to assemble at Davis Hall, Fort Pierce, Brevard County, Florida, on February 2, A.D. 1901, for the purpose of organizing a municipal government. On that date, 54 of the 66 voters who resided in the proposed village voted to incorporate. They elected A.C. Dittmar as mayor, appointed D.L. Alderman, A.Y.W. Hogg, P.P. Cobb, L.L. Carlton and F.M. Tyler as the City's five aldermen. H.I. Klopp was elected as city clerk and D.S. Carlton as marshal. Those 66 residents have now grown to more than 40,000. 
During the city's centennial celebration, a time capsule was installed in the lobby of the city hall. This time capsule has an attractive sculpture atop of it.
Fort Pierce is located at (27.438817, -80.335471).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 mi² (53.8 km²), of which 14.7 square miles (38.2 km²) is land and 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²) of it (35.00%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 41,852 people, 15,170 households, and 9,418 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,021.9 people per square mile (982.7/km²). There were 17,170 housing units at an average density of 1,164.7/sq mi (449.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 40.9% African American, 45.3% White, 0.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino were 21.6% of the population.
There were 15,170 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.50.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 20 to 24, 13.3% from 25 to 34, 13.0% from 45 to 54, 9.8% from 55 to 64 and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.2 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,869, and the median income for a family was $36,337. Males had a median income of $32,412 versus $26,349 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,782. 30.2% of the population were below the poverty line.
The city of Fort Pierce has a mayor-council form of local government. The offices of commissioner and mayor are nonpartisan, and have a term of four years.
The Experimental Oculina Research Reserve preserves the Oculina Banks, a reef of ivory bush coral (Oculina varicosa) off the coast of Fort Pierce, Florida. In 1984, a 92 square-nautical-mile (316 km²) portion of these reefs was designated the "Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern". In 1994, the area was closed to all manner of bottom fishing and was redesignated as a research reserve. In 2000, the marine protected area was expanded to 300 square nautical miles (1,030 km²) and prohibited all gears that caused mechanical disruption to the habitat. The city is also known for its large manatee population.
The climate of Ft. Pierce is generally a humid subtropical climate, although it closely borders a tropical savanna climate. Summertime temperatures range between 80 and 100 degrees F. Temperatures in the winter range between 55 and 80 degrees F, although some winter days can drop down below 40 degrees, but rarely fall below freezing.
Due to the devastation caused at the Ft Pierce City Marina by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004, FEMA mandated a plan to ensure that the rebuilt facility would be protected from future such events before FEMA would release funding for the repairs. Starting in 2012, construction began to create 12 artificial barrier islands including oyster beds, lime rock artificial reefs, mangrove fringes and coastal dune. The "core" of the islands was constructed of geotextile tubes (sometimes referred to as geotubes) manufactured by Flint and covered by a coastal marine mattress and then armor stone. The project was completed in 2013 after 6 years of planning, permitting and construction and a cost of $18 million.
Fort Pierce is served by the St. Lucie Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). The TPO is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), a federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organization responsible for transportation planning, programming, and financing of State and Federal Transportation Funds for the City of Fort Pierce. The TPO is governed by a TPO Board, which is composed of elected officials, representatives from the St. Lucie County School Board, and representatives from Community Transit, a division of The Council on Aging of St. Lucie, Inc. The original bus system started out as a demand response service bus in the 1990s, it only served St. Lucie County. Soon it expanded to a fixed route system, going to predetermined locations along a route. On June 3, 2002, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) approved funding, expanding the bus service to Martin County, and became the Treasure Coast Connector.
Public high schools in the city include Fort Pierce Central High School, Fort Pierce Westwood High School and Lincoln Park Academy. Private schools include John Carroll Catholic High School and Faith Baptist School. Private middle schools inside city limits include Saint Andrew's Academy and Saint Anastasia Middle School.
Indian River State College is also located in Fort Pierce.
- A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery
- Arcade Building
- Art Mundo at the Art Bank
- Boston House
- Dust Tracks of Zora Neale Hurston
- Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
- Heathcote Botanical Gardens
- Historic Lincoln Theater
- Historic Main Street
- Florida Power and Light Energy Encounter
- Lincoln Park Main Street
- Old Fort Pierce City Hall
- Old Fort Park
- Manatee Center
- Navy UDT-SEAL Museum (Fort Pierce was the original home of the Navy SEALs)
- Smithsonian Marine Ecosystem Exhibit
- St. Lucie County Marine Center
- St. Lucie County Regional History Center
- Sunrise Theatre
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
- Rick Ankiel, Major League Baseball player
- A.E. "Beanie" Backus, artist and painter
- Kimberly Bergalis, victim of first known case of clinical transmission of HIV
- Edwin Binney, co-founder of Crayola Crayons
- Jeff Blackshear, NFL guard for the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers
- Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Jamar Chaney, linebacker for Philadelphia Eagles
- Yamon Figurs, NFL and CFL wide receiver
- Mark Foley, former U.S. Congressman
- John Houghtaling (1916–2009), creator of the Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed.
- Zora Neale Hurston, author best known for the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Charles Johnson, MLB catcher for the Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Devil Rays
- Ladislav Karabin, retired Czechoslovakian hockey player, who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Daniel T. McCarty, 31st Governor of Florida
- Terry McGriff, MLB catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals
- Ryan McNeil, NFL defensive back
- Wonder Monds, NFL defensive back
- Larry Sanders, NBA forward/center for the Milwaukee Bucks
- Jeff Schwarz, MLB pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and California Angels
- Gary Stewart, country singer
- Matthew Underwood, actor best known for his role as Logan Reese on the Nickelodeon TV show Zoey 101
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- Gary Stewart (singer)
- City of Fort Pierce
- What to do in Fort Pierce
- A high resolution virtual tour of Fort Pierce
- National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce
- A high resolution virtual tour of the Navy SEAL Museum