Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Gary, Indiana
settlement_type = City
nickname = City in Motion, City of the Century, GI, Magic City of Steel, The Steel City, The "G"
motto = "We Are Doing Great Things"

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in the state of Indiana, USA

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Indiana
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Lake
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Rudolph Clay (D)
established_title = Founded
established_date = 1906
area_note =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_sq_mi = 57.26
area_total_km2 = 148.3
area_land_sq_mi = 50.23
area_land_km2 = 130.1
area_water_sq_mi = 7.03
area_water_km2 = 18.2
population_as_of = 2006
population_note =
population_total = 97,715
population_density_km2 = 789.8
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
latd = 41 |latm = 34 |lats = 51 |latNS = N
longd = 87 |longm = 20 |longs = 44 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 175.87 m – 180+
elevation_ft = 577 ft – 600+
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 46401-46411
area_code = 219
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 18-27000GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0434979GR|3
footnotes =

Gary is the largest city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is located in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is approximately 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population was 102,746 at the 2000 census, making it the fifth largest city in the state and the largest city statewide that was not a county seat. Gary was once the second largest city in Indiana, a position now relinquished to Fort Wayne. It borders Lake Michigan and is known for its large steel mills, high crime rate, and liberal political leaning, with one study rating it the second-most liberal city in the United States. [ [ Study Ranks America’s Most Liberal and Conservative Cities ] ]


The city was founded in 1906 by the United States Steel Corporation as the home for its new plant. The city was named after the chairman of U.S. Steel, Elbert H. Gary.

Among U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, Gary has the highest percentage of African-American residents (as of the 2000 U.S. census). Gary had one of the nation's first African-American mayors, Richard G. Hatcher, and hosted the ground-breaking 1972 National Black Political Convention. At the same time, Gary suffered from many affluent and middle-class residents leaving Gary and relocating to the surrounding towns and cities. Because of the loss of jobs in the city, many people left the area altogether for regions with employment.

Gary's fortunes have risen and fallen with those of the steel industry. In the 1960s, like many other American urban centers, Gary entered a downward spiral of decline. Gary's decline was brought on by the growing competitiveness in the steel industry, which had caused U.S. Steel to layoff many workers from the Gary area. Crime increased, including use and trade in illegal drugs.

U.S. Steel continues to be a major steel producer, but with only a fraction of its former level of employment. While Gary has failed to re-establish a manufacturing base since its population peak, two casinos opened along the Gary lakeshore in the 1990s. Today, Gary faces numerous difficulties, including unemployment, major economic problems, and a high rate of crime, though the city has made some progress in addressing these issues since the 1990s.

Meredith Willson's 1957 Broadway musical "The Music Man" featured the song, "Gary, Indiana", describing Gary Conservatory as the alleged alma mater of lead character Professor Harold Hill ("Gary Music Conservatory, Class of '05!"). The joke in Hill's claim, of course, is that the City of Gary wasn't founded until 1906. Wilson's musical, set in 1912, later was the basis of a theatrical film (1962) and a made-for-television film (2003).

Recent history

Three-term Democratic Mayor Scott King resigned from office in March, 2006, citing a desire to return to private law practice, and the financial rewards involved therein. [ [ NWI Times] ] Then-deputy mayor and former Calumet Township Trustee Dozier T. Allen Jr. became acting mayor, pending a formal election by local Democratic party officials. On April 4, 2006, local officials chose former Lake County Commissioner and King rival Rudolph Clay to fill the remaining 21 months of King's term.

After celebrating its 100th year in 2006, the city of Gary finally shows evidence of rebound from years of economic depression. Many buildings that have been left vacant for years are now finally slated for demolition and development. [ [ Gary, Indiana] ] Many new homes have been built through the HOPE VI grant from HUD.

The Gary Chicago International Airport has recently secured nearly 100 million dollars in grants and private donations. The FAA approved GYY's master plan which includes the expansion of runways, land acquistition for a larger terminal, an integrated transportation center, and provision for a third runway. The first part of the plan requires that the EJ&E line, which runs at the end of the runway, be relocated.

After being at the top (or very near the top) of the list a few times, Gary was rated the 17th most dangerous city in the United States according to Morgan Quitno's 2007 analysis of crime rates ("City Crime Rankings, 14th Edition"), down from 10th highest in the 2006 edition. This is indicative of the progress Gary has made in reducing crime since the 1990s.Fact|date=May 2008 The city recorded 51 homicides in 2006, a 13.5 percent decrease from the previous year. In 2007, Gary had 71 homicides — almost a 40 percent increase over 2006.

Dallas-based HomeVestors of America released their "Top 10 Markets for Real Estate Investing" list on 9 December, 2006. Gary earned the number one position on this list, which represents activity of investors who purchase homes below market and then sell. [ [ Milwaukee] ] Also, "Forbes" Magazine recently listed Gary 39th on their Top 100 Best Cities for Jobs in 2008. The ranking was up from 89th in 2006 and 84th in 2007. [ [ Gary area gets high marks / ] ]

In March, 2008 the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief and a police sergeant were all indicted by the federal court for violating the civil rights of a Gary resident.


Gary is located at coor dms|41|34|51|N|87|20|44|W|city (41.580786, -87.345449).GR|1 According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 57.2 square miles (148.3 km²), of which, 50.2 square miles (130.1 km²) of it is land and 7.0 square miles (18.2 km²) of it (12.25%) is water. The city sits on the southern end of the former lake bed of the prehistoric Lake Chicago, and the current Lake Michigan. Most of the city's soil nearly one foot below the surface is pure sand. The sand beneath Gary, and on its beaches, is of such high quality that in years past it was mined for the manufacture of glass.

Gary is "T" shaped,Fact|date=May 2008 with its northern border on Lake Michigan. At the Northwesternmost section Gary borders Hammond and East Chicago. The town of Miller Beach, considered by Gary to be its easternmost neighborhood, borders Lake Station and Portage. Gary's southernmost section borders Hobart and Merrillville.


Gary, like Chicago, has a variable climate. In July and August, the warmest months, high temperatures average 84 °F (29 °C) and peak just above 100 °F (38 °C) and low temperatures average 63 °F (17 °C). In January and February, the coldest months, high temperatures average around 29 °F (-2 °C) and low temperatures average 13 °F (-11 °C), with at least a few days of temperatures dipping below 0 °F (-18 °C). The weather of Gary is greatly regulated by its proximity to Lake Michigan, as it sits at the lake's southernmost point. Weather varies yearly. Tornadoes strike annually, though the city has generally avoided major damage. In summer months Gary is quite humid. The city's yearly precipitation averages about 40 inches. Summer is the rainiest season, with rainfall of short duration and very loud, drawn-out thunderstorms. Winters vary but are predominantly snowy with regular blizzards. Snowfall in Gary can average 24 to 36 inches per winter, but sometimes large blizzards hit because of "lake effect snow," a phenomenon wherein large amounts of water evaporated from the lake deposits onto the shoreline areas inordinate amounts of snow.

Climate Chart

Infobox Weather
imperial_first= yes
single_line= yes
location =Gary, IN
Jan_Hi_°F =30.4
Feb_Hi_°F =35.1
Mar_Hi_°F =46.6
Apr_Hi_°F =57.6
May_Hi_°F =69.8
Jun_Hi_°F =79.8
Jul_Hi_°F =83.9
Aug_Hi_°F =81.3
Sep_Hi_°F =75.6
Oct_Hi_°F =63.8
Nov_Hi_°F =48
Dec_Hi_°F =35.7
Year_Hi_°F =59

Jan_Lo_°F =13.9
Feb_Lo_°F =17.7
Mar_Lo_°F =28
Apr_Lo_°F =37.5
May_Lo_°F =47.8
Jun_Lo_°F =57.5
Jul_Lo_°F =63
Aug_Lo_°F =61.3
Sep_Lo_°F =53.5
Oct_Lo_°F =42
Nov_Lo_°F =30.8
Dec_Lo_°F =20.4
Year_Lo_°F =39.5

Jan_Hi_°C =-0.9
Feb_Hi_°C =1.7
Mar_Hi_°C =8.1
Apr_Hi_°C =14.2
May_Hi_°C =21
Jun_Hi_°C =26.5
Jul_Hi_°C =28.8
Aug_Hi_°C =27.4
Sep_Hi_°C =24.2
Oct_Hi_°C =17.6
Nov_Hi_°C =8.9
Dec_Hi_°C =2

Jan_Lo_°C =-10
Feb_Lo_°C =-7.9
Mar_Lo_°C =-2.2
Apr_Lo_°C =3
May_Lo_°C =8.8
Jun_Lo_°C =14.2
Jul_Lo_°C =17.2
Aug_Lo_°C =16.3
Sep_Lo_°C =11.9
Oct_Lo_°C =5.5
Nov_Lo_°C =-0.6
Dec_Lo_°C =-6.4
Year_Lo_°C =4.2

Jan_Precip_in =1.9
Feb_Precip_in =1.52
Mar_Precip_in =2.73
Apr_Precip_in =3.58
May_Precip_in =3.92
Jun_Precip_in =4.47
Jul_Precip_in =3.52
Aug_Precip_in =3.76
Sep_Precip_in =3.64
Oct_Precip_in =2.97
Nov_Precip_in =3.49
Dec_Precip_in =2.52
Year_Precip_in =38

Jan_Precip_mm =48.3
Feb_Precip_mm =38.6
Mar_Precip_mm =69.3
Apr_Precip_mm =90.9
May_Precip_mm =99.6
Jun_Precip_mm =113.5
Jul_Precip_mm =89.4
Aug_Precip_mm =95.5
Sep_Precip_mm =92.5
Oct_Precip_mm =75.4
Nov_Precip_mm =88.6
Dec_Precip_mm =64
Year_Precip_mm =965.2

source = []

accessdate = 2008-07-28


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 102,746 people, 38,244 households, and 25,623 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,045.5 people per square mile (789.8/km²). There were 43,630 housing units at an average density of 868.6/sq mi (335.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.03% African American, 11.92% White, 0.21% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.97% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. 4.93% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 38,244 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.2% were married couples living together, 30.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,195, and the median income for a family was $32,205. Males had a median income of $34,992 versus $24,432 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,383. About 22.2% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.9% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.



Aetna is located on Gary's far east side along the Dunes Highway. Aetna was developed in the 1930s and is home to an impressive collection of art deco architecture. The eastern edge of Aetna is marked by wilderness and borders Miller Beach and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Ambridge is located on Gary's near west side along 5th Avenue. Ambridge was developed for workers at the nearby steel plant in the 1910s and 1920's, and is named after the American Bridge Works, which was a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. The neighborhood is home to a huge stock of prairie style and art deco homes. The Gary Masonic Temple is located in the neighborhood along with the Ambassador Apartment building. Located just south of Interstate 90, the neighborhood can be seen while passing Buchanan Street.

Black Oak is located on the far southwest side of Gary, in the vicinity of the Burr Street exit to the Borman Expressway. It was annexed in the 1970s. Prior to that was associated with Hammond, and the area has Hammond telephone numbers. The community was convinced by Mayor Hatcher that they would benefit from better services provided by the city, than those through the county.

Brunswick is located on Gary's far west side. The neighborhood is located just south of Interstate 90 and can be seen from the expressway. The Brunswick area includes the old Tri-City Plaza shopping center on West 5th Avenue (U.S. 20). The area is located just south of the Gary Chicago International Airport.

Downtown is the heart of Gary and is home to a number of office buildings. Interstate 90 divides downtown Gary from the United States Steel Plant. Downtown Gary was developed in the 1920s and houses several pieces of impressive architecture, including several structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A new office building was constructed in the downtown in recent years, as was a new baseball stadium for the Gary SouthShore RailCats. A significant number of older structures have been demolished in recent years, but a number of abandoned buildings remain in the downtown area, including historic structures like Gary's Union Station and City Methodist Church.

Glen Park is located on Gary's south side, made up mostly of mid-twentieth century houses. Glen Park is divided from the remainder of the city by the Borman Expressway. The northern portion of Glen Park is home to Gary's Gleason Park Golf Course and the campus of Indiana University Northwest. The far western portion of Glen Park is home to the Village Shopping Center.

Ivanhoe was a housing project located on Gary's west side along 11th Avenue west of Chase Street. Closed in the summer of 2007, the facility was "sealed off" by a chain link fence.

Marshalltown is a subdivision located on Gary's east side along Central Avenue and 21st Avenue to the east of Martin Luther King Drive. One of the newest neighborhoods in Gary, it was also one of the last to begin a conversion to subsidized residency.

Midtown is located to the south of Downtown Gary, along Broadway.

Miller Beach also known through the years as Miller Station or just simply as Miller, is a neighborhood on Gary's far east side. The original town of Miller predated the city of Gary by more than half a century. Miller developed around the old stagecoach stop and train station known, as early as the 1840s, as Miller's Junction. Miller Town Hall stands on the corner of Grand Boulevard and Miller Avenue at Old Hobart Road. The Historic Miller Schoolhouse, no longer used, still stands in Miller on Lake Street near the Miller South Shore train station.

Tarrytown is a subdivision located on Gary's west side between Whitcomb Street and Clark Road.

Tolleston is one of Gary's oldest neighborhoods, predating much of the rest of the city. It was named for an old settlement along the railroads of the area. The area is to the west of downtown Gary and south of the Ambridge area.

Westbrook is an apartment complex on the west side of the city between Taft and Chase Streets, adjacent to the old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks, and the neighborhood surrounding that complex. It lies just to the north of Tolleston.


The city of Gary has had a checkered history when it comes to education. As a result, test scores have fallen well below the national average of late. In response, multiple charter schools have been founded throughout the city as an alternative to the public schools. Since that time student performance has improved and the Gary Community School Corporation has built new elementary schools.

Primary/secondary education

There are three school districts serving the city as well as multiple charter schools located within the city.

Most public schools in Gary are administered by the Gary Community School Corporation. The other public schools within the city are administered by Lake Ridge Schools Corporation. Some Gary residents in the outskirts attend schools administered by the River Forest Community School Corporation.

*Gary Charter Schools

Higher education

Gary is home to two regional state college campuses:
*Indiana University Northwest
*Ivy Tech Community College Northwest


*Newspapers — Gary is served by two major newspapers based outside the city, as well as a Gary-based, largely African-American interest paper. These papers provide regional topics, and cover events in Gary.
**"Post-Tribune", which was originally located in Gary. Offices and facilities for the "Post-Tribune" are now based in Merrillville, a suburb of Gary.
**"The Times", previously known as the "Hammond Times". Offices and facilities for "The Times" are in nearby Munster.
**"The Gary Crusader", based in Gary and largely focused on black or African-American interests and readership.

*Broadcast — Gary is served by five local broadcasters plus government access and numerous Chicago area radio and stations, and by other nearby stations in Illinois and Indiana.
**W18AT (Channel 18) a repeater of WHME of South Bend, a LeSEA affiliate.
**WPWR (Channel 50) is the Chicago My Network TV affiliate, but is licensed to Gary. Studios and transmitters are co-located with WFLD's in Chicago, and like WFLD, WPWR is owned by Fox Television Stations.
**WYIN (Channel 56) is a PBS affiliate licensed to Gary. Their studios are in Merrillville.
**WGVE (FM 88.7) is owned by the Gary Community School Corporation, and is used primarily as a teaching facility. Programming is maintained by students in the broadcast program at the Gary Career Center. WGVE also carries limited NPR programming.
**WLTH (AM 1370) carries syndicated talk programming, and is owned by Pluria Marshall Jr.
**WWCA (AM 1270) is presently a Relevant Radio owned-and-operated radio station, carrying programming from the Catholic-oriented Relevant Radio network.


The following sports franchises are based in Gary:

* The Gary SouthShore RailCats are a Northern League, professional baseball team. The team plays in Gary's U.S. Steel Yard baseball stadium. The RailCats were the 2005 and 2007 Northern League Champions.

* The Gary Steelheads, are an International Basketball League, professional basketball team that has played in the IBL, CBA and USBL. The team plays in Gary's Genesis Convention Center.


* Gleason Park
* Marquette Park


* NICTD (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District) operates the South Shore Line, a commuter rail system (one of the United States' last original operating interurban railway systems), running between Chicago and South Bend.

* GPTC (Gary Public Transportation Corporation) a commuter bus system that offers service to numerous stops throughout the city and neighboring suburbs. GPTC also has express service to locations outside of the city including connections to Chicago transit. Front door pickup is available for disabled citizens at no extra cost.

* GYY (Gary/Chicago International Airport) is operating as the "third airport" for the Chicago area. It is currently undergoing much federally funded expansion, and the administration is courting airlines aggressively. Boeing already bases their corporate fleets here.Fact|date=June 2008 The National Guard is intending to base their Chicago area air operation there as well,Fact|date=June 2008 which would add much needed security to the airport, taking away some of the stigma of an airport in Gary.

* Interstate 90, Interstate 80, Interstate 94, and Interstate 65 run through Gary, as well as U.S. Routes 12 and 20 and Indiana State Road 312 and Indiana State Road 912.

Notable people


*Avery Brooks, (born in Evansville) actor, director, best known for ""
*Mike Epps, actor and comedian
*Morgan Freeman, (born in Memphis) Academy Award-winning American actor and film director
*The Jackson Family, singers, musicians
**Michael Jackson
**Janet Jackson
**Jermaine Jackson
**LaToya Jackson
**Tito Jackson
**Marlon Jackson
**Randy Jackson
**Jackie Jackson
**Rebbie Jackson
*Big Daddy Kinsey, musician
*Donald Kinsey, musician
*Art LaFleur, actor
*Barney Liddell, big-band trombonist best known on "The Lawrence Welk Show"
*Karl Malden, (born in Chicago) Academy Award-winning actor
*William H. Marshall, film actor, director, opera singer
*Kym Mazelle, singer
*James McCracken, opera singer
*Karen McDougal, actress, model, 1998 "Playboy" Playmate of the year
*Ralph McQuarrie, Academy Award-winning conceptual designer, best known for his work on the "Star Wars" films
*Jesse Powell, soul singer
*Ronnie Rancifer, original keyboardist for The Jackson 5
*Jimmy Reed, a major player in the field of electric blues
*The Spaniels, were an American R&B doo-wop group, best known for the hit "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight".
*Herschel Sparber, actor, voice over artist and Broadway performer, best known for ""
*Jevetta Steele, African American gospel music singer
*Ernest Lee Thomas, actor famous for his role as Roger on the sitcom "What's Happening!!" and its sequel, "What's Happening Now!!"
*Victor Varnado, standup comedian and actor
*Deniece Williams, singer and songwriter


*Willie McCarter, former NBA Player (Drake University)
*Gerald Irons, NFL player (Oakland Raiders)
*Dick Barnett, NBA player
*Rae Blaemire, former baseball player
*Brian Blair (aka "B. Brian Blair"), professional wrestler
*Lyman Bostock, former baseball player shot down when he was 28 years old
*Wallace Bryant, former NBA player
*Vic Bubas, former Duke University basketball head coach
*Mike Farmer, former baseball player
*Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics
*Harry Flournoy, college basketball player
*Joseph Gates, former baseball player, first base coach Gary SouthShore RailCats
*Winston Garland, former NBA player (1987-1995)
*Tom Harmon, Heisman trophy-winning football player
*LaTroy Hawkins, baseball player, currently with the Houston Astros
*Eric Hillman, former baseball player
*Tank Johnson, NFL player (Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle)
*Wallace Johnson, former baseball player, third base coach Chicago White Sox
*Alex Karras, football player with the Detroit Lions
*Ron Kittle, baseball player, with Chicago White Sox
*Bob Kuechenberg, former NFL player (Miami Dolphins offensive lineman)
*Angel Manfredy, profession boxer
*Milt May, former baseball player
*Lloyd McClendon, baseball coach; hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers
*Brandon Moore, football player for the New York Jets
*Dan Plesac, baseball player, pitcher
*Glenn Robinson, American basketball player in the NBA, currently inactive
*Hank Stram, NFL coach, best known for tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs
*Nick Strincevich, former baseball player, one of the oldest living Major League Baseball players
*Sharmell Sullivan (better known as Queen Sharmell), Diva and manager for TNA
*Alfie Turcotte, former NHL player
*Fred Williamson, star defensive back in the AFL
*Tony Zale, "The Man of Steel", an American boxer

Academic, science and technology

*Frank Borman, Astronaut on Gemini 7 and Apollo 8, CEO of Eastern Air Lines
*Robert Kearns, university professor, engineer, and inventor
*Myron W. Krueger, computer graphics pioneer
*Carlton Long, Rhodes Scholar
*Paul Samuelson, economist, recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal (1947) and the Nobel prize (1970)
*Joseph Stiglitz, economist, recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal (1979) and the Nobel prize (2001)

Politics and law

*Joseph E. Finerty, former mayor of Gary
*Richard G. Hatcher, former mayor of Gary, first black mayor of Gary and of any city in Indiana
*Michael King, black conservative commentator, columnist and television producer
*Pete Visclosky, U.S. Representative from Indiana's First Congressional District

Other fields

*William Albright, American composer and organist
*Dan Barreiro, radio talk show host
*Alan Roger Currie, author, "Mode One: Let The Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking"
*Walter Hellman, born in Sweden and lived in Gary; checkers champion
*Christopher Peterson, convicted serial killer; currently maintains his innocence
*Todd Wagner, billionaire entrepreneur; co-founded and now owns 2929 Entertainment

Sister City

*flagicon|China Fuxin, China [ [,gcouncil.article Fuxin, Gary now sisters /] ]

ee also

*Chicago Metropolitan Area
*Northern Indiana


External links

* [ City of Gary, Indiana Official Page]
* [ Photos galleries of Gary, Indiana from 2005]
* [ U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection, 1906-1971]
* [ The Miller Beach web site]
* [ MillerBeachDays]
* [ Dave's Den] - providing extensive coverage on the history and development of the City of Gary
* [ Some more current photos of Gary's buildings]

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