|Motto: "Smart choice"|
Location in the State of Iowa
|• Mayor||Ann Campbell|
|• City||24.27 sq mi (62.86 km2)|
|• Land||24.21 sq mi (62.70 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)|
|Elevation||942 ft (287 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||60,634|
|• Rank||8th in Iowa|
|• Density||2,435.6/sq mi (940.4/km2)|
|• Metro||89,542 (estimate based on Story County)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−5)|
|ZIP code(s)™||50010, 50011-50013 (UNIQUE ZIP Codes™-for Iowa State University), 50014|
|GNIS feature ID||0454167|
Ames is a city located in the central part of the U.S. state of Iowa in Story County. Lying approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines, it had a 2010 population of 58,965. The U.S. Census Bureau designates the Ames metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County; combined with the Boone, Iowa micropolitan statistical area (Boone County, Iowa), the pair make up the larger Ames-Boone combined statistical area. While Ames is the largest city in Story County, the county seat is in the nearby city of Nevada 8 miles (13 km) east of Ames.
Ames is the home of Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU), a public research institution with leading Agriculture, Design, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine colleges. ISU is the nation's first designated land-grant university, and the birthplace of the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, the world's first electronic digital computer. Ames hosts one of two national sites for the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which comprises the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics. Ames is also the home of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center. NADC is the largest federal animal disease center in the U.S., conducting research aimed at solving animal health and food safety problems faced by livestock producers and the public. Ames has the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
In 2010, Ames was ranked ninth on CNNMoney.com "Best Places to Live" list.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Arts and culture
- 6 Sports
- 7 Parks and recreation
- 8 Education
- 9 Media
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Notable people
- 12 Other topics
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The city was founded in 1864 as a station stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad and was named after 19th century U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in the building of the transcontinental railroad. Ames was founded by local resident Cynthia Olive Duff (née Kellogg) and railroad magnate John Insley Blair, near a location that was deemed favorable for a railroad crossing of the Skunk River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.27 square miles (62.86 km2), of which 24.21 square miles (62.70 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
Ames is located on Interstate 35, U.S. Route 30 & 69, and the cross country line of the Union Pacific Railroad, roughly 30 miles (48 km) north of the state capital Des Moines. Two small streams run through the town: the South Skunk River and Squaw Creek.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
Campustown is the neighborhood directly south of Iowa State University Central Campus bordered by Lincoln Way on the north. Campustown is a high-density mixed-use neighborhood that is home to many student apartments, nightlife venues, restaurants, and numerous other establishments, most of which are unique to Ames.
Ames has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa). On average, the warmest month is July and the coldest is January. The highest recorded temperature was 102 °F (39 °C) in 1988 and the lowest was −28 °F in 1996.
|Climate data for Ames, Iowa|
|Record high °F (°C)||67
|Average high °F (°C)||30
|Average low °F (°C)||12
|Record low °F (°C)||−26
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||.74
|Source: Weather Channel|
|Source:"American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. and Iowa Data Center
As of the census of 2010, there were 58,965 people, 22,759 households, and 9,959 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,435.6 inhabitants per square mile (940.4/km2). There were 23,876 housing units at an average density of 986.2 per square mile (380.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.5% White, 3.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 8.8% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.
There were 22,759 households of which 19.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 56.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the city was 23.8 years. 13.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 40.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.9% were from 25 to 44; 15% were from 45 to 64; and 8.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.0% male and 47.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 50,731 people, 18,085 households, and 8,970 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,352.3 people per square mile (908.1/km²). There were 18,757 housing units at an average density of 869.7 per square mile (335.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.34% White, 7.70% Asian, 2.65% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.76% Pacific Islander and other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.
There were 18,085 households out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.85.
Age spread: 14.6% under the age of 18, 40.0% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 13.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 109.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,042, and the median income for a family was $56,439. Males had a median income of $37,877 versus $28,198 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,881. About 7.6% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
Ames is the larger principal city of the Ames–Boone CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Ames metropolitan area (Story County) and the Boone micropolitan area (Boone County), which had a combined population of 106,205 at the 2000 census.
Ames is home of Iowa State University of Science and Technology, a public land-grant and space-grant research university, and member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. At its founding in 1858, Iowa State was formerly known as the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Ames is the home of the closely allied U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center (See Ames strain), the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory (a major materials research and development facility), and the main offices of the Iowa Department of Transportation. State and Federal institutions are the largest employers in Ames.
Other area employers include a 3M manufacturing plant; Danfoss (Power Solutions), a hydraulics manufacturer; Barilla, a pasta manufacturer; Ball, a manufacturer of canning jars and plastic bottles; Renewable Energy Group, America's largest producer of biomass-based diesel; and the National Farmers Organization.
According to Ames's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Iowa State University||15,211|
|2||Mary Greeley Medical Center||1,376|
|3||City of Ames||1,161|
|4||Iowa Department of Transportation||962|
|8||Ames Community School District||650|
Arts and culture
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
Velma Wallace Rayness Ames, Iowa was home to Gerard M. and Velma Wallace Rayness. Both artists taught art and were nationally recognized artists. Their art was exhibited nationally as well as abroad. Gerard died in the 1940s. Velma Wallace Rayness died in 1977. Velma Wallace Rayness usually signed her paintings "V.W. Rayness"
- Ames Historical Society
- Collects, preserves, and provides access to evidence of the history of Ames and its immediate vicinity from pre-settlement times to the present
- Hayward Hostel
- Longtime drinking establishment for generations of Iowa State students and Alumni. Currently, under new management and improvements have been made to the basement section to facilitate a larger number of residents.
- Brunnier Art Museum (Scheman Building)
- Ames Public Library
- The Ames Public Library is a Carnegie library founded on October 20, 1904. It currently has 1,386,273 items in circulations, including 799,349 books, and 586,924 multimedia items.
- The Octagon Center for the Arts
- The Center includes galleries, art classes, art studios, and retail shop. They sponsor the local street fair, The Octagon Arts Festival. Also have the Annual National Juried Exhibition Clay, Fiber, Paper Glass Metal, Wood.
- The Space for Ames
- Formally known as the Ames Progressive, The Space for Ames is a community space that serves as an art gallery, music venue and classroom for community workshops.
- The city is featured in the bestselling book The Girls from Ames written by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. It examines the lives and friendships of several young girls who grew up in Ames and have moved on with their adult lives but still remain close.
- The city was featured in the episode "Heartache" of the television show Supernatural.
- The character "Kate Austen" from the television show Lost is from Ames.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
- Iowa Sports Foundation.
The Iowa State University Cyclones play a variety of sports in the Ames area. The Cyclones' football team plays at Jack Trice Stadium near Ames. Also, the Cyclones' Men's and Women's Basketball teams and Volleyball team play at Hilton Coliseum just across the street from Jack Trice Stadium. The Iowa State Cyclones are a charter member of the Big 12 Conference in all sports and compete in NCAA Division I-A.
The Ames Figure Skating Club provides recreational to professional level skating opportunities. The club sponsors the Learn to Skate Program. Coaches provide on and off ice lessons or workshops. The club hosts the figure skating portion of the Iowa Games competition every summer. In the fall the club hosts Cyclone Country Championships. Every year the club puts on the Winter Gala. The big event is the annual Spring Ice Show where young to adult skaters can perform their best moves.
Parks and recreation
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
The Ames area has a large number of parks and arboretums.
- Ada Hayden Heritage Park
- Ames Dog Park
- Bandshell Park
- Charles & June Calhoun Park
- Daley Park & Greenbelt
- Furman Aquatic Center
- Gateway Park
- Greenbriar Park
- Homewood Golf Course
- Skate Park
- Squaw Creek (Community Gardens)
- Brookside Park
- Daley Park & Greenbelt
- Emma McCarthy Lee Park
- Inis Grove Park
- Moore Memorial Park
- River Valley Park
- Bandshell Park
- Christofferson Park
- Duff Park
- Franklin Park
- Hutchison Park
- Lloyd Kurtz Park
- Moore Park (On Beach Ave)
- Old Town Park
- O'Neil Park
- Parkview Park
- Patio Homes West Park
- Roosevelt Park
- Stuart Smith Park
- Teagarden Park
- Public high school in Ames
Ames High School: Grades 9–12
- Public elementary/middle schools in Ames
- David Edwards Elementary: K-5
- Abbie Sawyer Elementary School: Grades K-5
- Kate Mitchell Elementary School: Grades K-5
- Warren H. Meeker Elementary School: Grades K-5
- Gertrude Fellows Elementary School: Grades K-5
- Ames Middle School: Grades 6–8
- Private schools in Ames
Iowa State University
Iowa State University of Science and Technology, more commonly known as Iowa State University (ISU), is a public land-grant and space-grant research university located in Ames. Iowa State has produced a number of astronauts, scientists, Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and a variety of other notable individuals in their respective fields. Until 1945 it was known as the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The university is a member of the American Association of Universities and the Big 12 Conference.
In 1856, the Iowa General Assembly enacted legislation to establish the State Agricultural College and Model Farm. Story County was chosen as the location on June 21, 1859, from proposals by Johnson, Kossuth, Marshall, Polk, and Story counties. When Iowa accepted the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862, Iowa State became the first institution in nation designated as a land-grant college. The institution was coeducational from the first preparatory class admitted in 1868. The formal admitting of students began the following year, and the first graduating class of 1872 consisted of 24 men and 2 women.
The first building on the Iowa State campus was Farm House. Built in the 1860s, it currently serves as a museum and National Historic Landmark. Today, Iowa State has over 60 notable buildings, including Beardshear Hall, Morrill Hall, Memorial Union, Catt Hall, Curtiss Hall, Carver Hall, Parks Library, the Campanile, Hilton Coliseum, C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Fisher Theater, Jack Trice Stadium, Lied Recreation Center, numerous residence halls, and many buildings specific to ISU's many different majors and colleges. Iowa State is home to 28,080 students (Spring 2012) and makes up approximately one half of the city's population.
- Online and newsprint
- Ames Tribune, Tuesday-Sunday paper produced in Ames.
- Iowa State Daily, independent student newspaper produced at Iowa State University.
- The Des Moines Register also provides extensive coverage of Iowa news and sports to Ames.
- Radio stations licensed to Ames
- KURE, student radio operated at Iowa State University.
- WOI-FM, Iowa Public Radio's flagship "Studio One" station, broadcasting an NPR news format during the day and a music format in the evening, owned and operated at Iowa State University.
- WOI (AM), Iowa Public Radio's flagship station delivering a 24-hour news format consisting mainly of NPR programming, owned and operated at Iowa State University.
- KMYR, Adult Contemporary station licensed to Ames, but operated in Des Moines.
- KCYZ, Hot Adult Contemporary station owned and operated by Clear Channel in Ames.
- KASI, news/talk station owned and operated by Clear Channel in Ames.
- KHOI, Community Radio station licensed to Story City with studios in Ames. KHOI broadcasts music and local public affairs programs and is affiliated with the Pacifica Radio network.
Ames is also served by stations in the Des Moines media market, which includes Clear Channel's 50,000-watt talk station WHO, music stations KAZR, KDRB, KGGO, KKDM, KDXA, KHKI, KIOA, KJJY, KRNT, KSPZ and KSTZ, talk station KWQW, and sports station KXNO,
Like radio, Ames is served by the Des Moines media market. WOI-DT, the ABC affiliate in central Iowa, was originally owned and operated by Iowa State University until the 1990s. The station is still licensed to Ames, but studio's are located in West Des Moines. Other stations serving Ames include KCCI, KDIN-TV, WHO-DT, KCWI-TV, KDMI, KDSM-TV and KFPX.
The town is served by U.S. Highways 30 and 69 and Interstate 35. Ames is the only town in Iowa with a population of greater than 50,000 that does not have a state highway serving it. As of 2015[update], Ames does not have any roundabouts, though a project to create three roundabouts is planned.
Ames was serviced by the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad via a branch from Kelley to Iowa State University and to downtown Ames. The tracks were removed in the 1960s. The Chicago and North Western Transportation Company twin mainline runs east and west bisecting the town and running just south of the downtown business district. The C&NW used to operate a branch to Des Moines. This line was removed in the 1980s when the Spine Line through Nevada was purchased from the Rock Island Railroad after its bankruptcy. The Union Pacific, successor to the C&NW, still runs 60–70 trains a day through Ames on twin mainlines, which leads to some traffic delays. There is also a branch to Eagle Grove that leaves Ames to the north. The Union Pacific maintains a small yard called Ames Yard east of Ames between Ames and Nevada. Ames has been testing automatic train horns at several of its crossings. These directional horns which are focused down the streets are activated when the crossing signals turn on and are shut off after the train crosses the crossing. This system cancels out the need for the trains to blow their horns. Train noise had been a problem in the residential areas to the west and northwest of downtown.
Ames Municipal Airport is located 1-mile (1.6 km) southeast of the city. The current (and only) FBO is Hap's Air Service, a company which has been based at the airport since 1975. The airport has two runways – 01/19, which is 5,700 by 100 feet (1,737 m × 30 m), and 13/31, which is 3,492 by 100 feet (1,064 m × 30 m).
The City of Ames offers a transit system throughout town, called CyRide, that is funded jointly by Iowa State University, the ISU Government of the Student Body, and the City of Ames. Rider fares are subsidized through this funding, and are free for children under five. Students pay a set cost as part of their tuition.
Ames is served by Mary Greeley Medical Center, a 220-bed regional referral hospital which is adjacent to McFarland Clinic PC, central Iowa's largest physician-owned multi-specialty clinic, and also Iowa Heart Center.
- Harrison Barnes, No. 1 ranked high school basketball recruit from class of 2010, Ames HS graduate, drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2012.
- Robert Bartley, editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; raised in Ames and ISU graduate
- Ruth Bascom, mayor of Eugene, Oregon
- Juan Sebastián Botero, soccer player
- Wally Bruner, ABC News television host
- John E. Buck, sculptor
- George Washington Carver, inventor, Iowa State University alumnus and professor
- Laurel Blair Salton Clark, astronaut, died on STS-107
- Kip Corrington, NFL player
- Ann Cotten, poet, born in Ames, grew up in Vienna
- John Darnielle, musician from indie rock band The Mountain Goats; former Ames resident
- David M. Dobson, creator of Snood video game; grew up in Ames
- Charles W. "Chuck" Durham, civil engineer, philanthropist, civic leader, former CEO and chairman Emeritus of HDR, Inc.; raised in Ames
- Envy Corps, indie rock band
- Jane Espenson, writer and producer for television, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: The Next Generation, grew up in Ames
- Brian Evenson, author
- Michael Gartner, former president of NBC News; retired to own and publish the Ames Tribune
- Lyle Goodhue, scientist, lived and studied here 1925–1934
- Leslie Hall, electronic rap musician/Gem Sweater collector, born in Ames in 1981
- Terry Hoage, NFL player
- Fred Hoiberg, retired NBA basketball player; raised in Ames, ISU graduate, former ISU basketball coach and current coach of the Chicago Bulls
- Michelle Hoover, author, born in Ames
- Fern Kupfer, author
- Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate; raised in Ames and ISU graduate
- Margaret Lloyd, opera singer
- Doug McDermott, current NBA player with the Chicago Bulls; 3-time All-American at Creighton University and consensus NCAA Division I men's basketball player of the year in 2014
- Edward Mezvinsky, former US Congressman who led the impeachment of Richard Nixon; father-in-law of Chelsea Clinton; raised in Ames
- Neva Morris, at her death (2010) second-oldest person in the world and oldest American at the age of 114 years; lived in Ames her entire life
- Laurel Nakadate, American visual artist
- Yong Chin Pak, ISU martial arts instructor and Pan-Am and Goodwill Games coach
- Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski mysteries; born in Ames in 1947
- Velma Wallace Rayness (1896–1977) author and artist, painted "Roof Tops in Fall"
- Cael Sanderson, U.S. Olympic gold medalist; undefeated, four-time NCAA wrestling champion; former ISU wrestling coach and alumnus
- Peter Schickele, musician, born in Ames in 1935
- Dan Shechtman, awarded 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the discovery of quasicrystals"; Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University (2004–present) and Associate at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory
- Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist; former instructor at ISU (1981–1996); used ISU as the basis for her novel Moo
- Brian Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, born July 16, 1959
- Ken Smith, architect; ISU graduate in landscape architecture
- George W. Snedecor, statistician, founder of first academic department of statistics in the United States at Iowa State University
- Neal Stephenson, author, grew up in Ames
- Evan Stone, pornographic actor
- Billy Sunday, evangelist and Major League Baseball player; born in Ames in 1863
- Fred Tisue, Olympian water polo player
- Bob Walkup, mayor of Tucson, Arizona
- Hugh Young, coauthor of University Physics textbook
Iowa is a political "battleground state" that has trended slightly Democratic in recent years, and Ames, like Iowa City, also trends Democratic. Because Iowa is the first caucus state and Ames is a college town, it is the site of many political appearances, debates and events, especially during election years.
From 1979 through 2011, Ames was the location of the Ames Straw Poll, which was held every August prior to a presidential election year in which the Republican presidential nomination was undecided (meaning there was no Republican president running for re-election—as in 2011, 2007, 1999, 1995, 1987, and 1979). The poll would gauge support for the various Republican candidates amongst attendees of a fundraising dinner benefiting the Iowa Republican Party. The straw poll was frequently seen by national media and party insiders as a first test of organizational strength in Iowa. In 2015, the straw poll was to be moved to nearby Boone before the Iowa Republican Party eventually decided to cancel it altogether.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- 2010 Census Urban Area List
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- United States Census Bureau. "Cumulative Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". Retrieved July 1, 2009.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Iowa State University Time Line, 1858–1874. Iowa State University Website.
- The First Electronic Computer by Arthur W. Burks
- "USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Animal Health – Veterinary Services". Aphis.usda.gov. August 13, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "National Animal Disease Center : Home". Ars.usda.gov. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "Best Places to Live 2010". CNN.
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 37.
- "Ames Origin". Ames Historical Society. Retrieved Mar 21, 2014.
- Average weather for Ames Weather Channel Retrieved April 8, 2008
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components, Office of Management and Budget, May 11, 2007. Accessed August 1, 2008.
- Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Compontents, Office of Management and Budget, May 11, 2007. Accessed August 1, 2008.
- Combined Statistical Areas and Component Core Based Statistical Areas, Office of Management and Budget, May 11, 2007. Accessed August 1, 2008.
- City of Ames CAFR
- Ames Historical Society. "AHS website". Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- University of Iowa (2010). "Home – Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project". Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- Ames Public Library. "History of APL". Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- Ames Public Library (2009). "Facts & Figures". Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- "Art Matters". Octagon Center for the Arts. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "Events". Ames Progressive. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- Danielson, Dar. "Nobel Prize winner returns to Iowa State to talk about the experience". Radio Iowa. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
- "FINAL ENROLLMENT – SPRING 2012" (PDF). ISU Registrar's Office. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Erickson, Melissa (January 14, 2015). "University Boulevard plans include Ames' first roundabouts". Ames Tribune 147 (170). pp. A1, A4.
- "Where We Are Located." Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
- "Contemporary Authors Online". Biography in Context. Gale. 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- "Gerard and Velma Rayness Papers, 1861–1979, undated". Iowa State University. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- "Iowa Saturday". CNN. August 14, 1999.
- "The Iowa Straw Poll is dead". The Des Moines Register. June 12, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ames, Iowa.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ames.|
- Official Ames City Website
- Ames Campustown official site
- The Main Street Cultural District
- City Data Detailed Statistical Data and more about Ames