Cedar Rapids, Iowa

From Academic Kids

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City Hall, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Downtown Cedar Rapids, including Mays Island

Cedar Rapids is a city located in Linn County, Iowa. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 120,758. It is the county seat of Linn County. The city is named after the Cedar River. Cedar Rapids is the home of Coe College, Mount Mercy College, Hamilton College, and Kirkwood Community College.

Cedar Rapids has been residence to famous figures, including American artist Grant Wood, the Wright Brothers, journalist and historian William L. Shirer, writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten, and Dr. Alexander Lippisch. See also Notable natives on this page.

A unique attribute of Cedar Rapids is that its city hall and county courthouse are located on Mays Island, an island on the Cedar River running through the city. Paris, France and Osaka, Japan are believed to be the only other cities in the world to have their municipal buildings located on an island in a river.



Cedar Rapids is located at 41°58'59" North, 91°40'7" West (41.983100, -91.668529)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 166.8 km² (64.4 mi²). 163.5 km² (63.1 mi²) of it is land and 3.3 km² (1.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.99% water.

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Location of CedarRapids, Iowa

ZIP codes

Cedar Rapids is divided into five ZIP Codes. 52401 covers the northeast part of the city, 52402 the eastern part, 52403 the southeast part, 52404 the northeast part, and 52405 the northwest part of Cedar Rapids. 52405 is also the ZIP code for post office boxes.

Streets and addresses

The city is divided into four quadrants. For addresses, from north to south the city is divided by 1st Avenue (Business Highway 151), and east to west by the Cedar River. A street address in Cedar Rapids usually consists of the house number, the street name, and the quadrant. For example, 123 Example St NW. The quadrants are one of four labels; NE, SE, SW, or NW. The only exception would be government addresses on Mays Island, which will have either E or W as the quadrant label.

It is noted by natives that the methodology for quadrant designation leaves something to be desired, since 1st Avenue and the Cedar River (as well as the downtown area) tend to run diagonally instead of straight north/south/east/west. Thus, the area designated NE is geographically the northern section from east to west. NW is a small western contingent, SE is the eastern contingent, and SW is the southern contingent. There are some areas in western Cedar Rapids where some NW addresses are actually south of some SW addresses.


Cedar Rapids is served by The Eastern Iowa Airport, a regional airport that connects with other regional and international airports.

Interstate 380, part of the Avenue of the Saints, runs north-south through Cedar Rapids. U.S. Highways 30, 151, and 218 and Iowa Highways 13 and 100 also serve the city.

The city is also served by public transportation consisting of buses and taxis, as well as a series of skywalks connecting several downtown buildings for foot traffic.

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Tree of Five Seasons sculpture, downtown Cedar Rapids


Located near the center of the city along the Cedar River is the historical Czech Village, a business district composed of several ethnic businesses and historical buildings, thus helping to maintain the city's Czech heritage. As well as the Czech Village, Cedar Rapids is home to National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. In 2003, the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa opened its doors. Cedar Rapids is also home to the historical 26 acre (105,000 m²) Brucemore Estate, on which sits a 21-room mansion.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 120,758 people, 49,820 households, and 30,838 families residing in the city. The population density is 738.4/km² (1,912.6/mi²). There are 52,240 housing units at an average density of 319.4/km² (827.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 91.86% White, 3.71% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.77% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 1.71% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 49,820 households out of which 29.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% are married couples living together, 10.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% are non-families. 30.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.36 and the average family size is 2.96.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $43,704, and the median income for a family is $54,286. Males have a median income of $37,217 versus $26,251 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,589. 7.5% of the population and 4.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.8% of those under the age of 18 and 6.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


City commission government

Currently, Cedar Rapids uses the city commission form of government. It is one of the few larger cities to operate under this model. In Cedar Rapids, the council is made up of a public safety commissioner, a streets commissioner, a finance commissioner, a parks commissioner, and a mayor. The council members work on a full-time basis, and serve two year terms. The council members are considered department heads. The current mayor of Cedar Rapids is Paul Pate. After 2005 the city will change to a mayor-council-manager form of government.

New Form of Government

In 2005 a movement began to change the commission form. A panel was created to study the issue, and has recommended that voters be presented with three options:

  • Stay with the current commission form of government.
  • Adopt a "strong mayor form" where the council would be part time, the mayor would be full time, and a city manager would run the day to day affairs of the city.
  • Adopt a "weak mayor form" of government, in this form the mayor and council would both work on a part time basis. A full time city manager would run the day to day operations of the city.

In 1994, voters were also asked if they would like to change the form of government. At that time voters decided to keep the commission form.

On June 14, 2005 voters went to the polls to decide whether to adopt a new form of government or continue with the commission form. This time voters decided to change the government - 17,064 voted to change the government to 7,741 who wanted to stay with the commission form.

The new form of government will feature a part time council made of eight members and a part time mayor. The city will be divided into five wards, and one council member will be elected from each ward. The remaining three members will be elected on an at-large basis. Initally the terms for some of the council members will be shorter so that the elections will be staggered. In the following election cycle the term for the council members will be four years long. The mayor will also have a four year term. The mayor will be paid $30,000 and the members of the council will be paid $15,000.

The current city council still has to decide how to best divide the city into five wards. Once this is done candidates will be able to run for election in November. After this election, the new council and mayor will hire a city manager to run the day to day affairs of the city. Department heads will report to the city manager, who will have the authority to hire and fire these heads - except in the case of the police and fire chiefs which would require council approval for hiring and firing.

Business and industry

Cedar Rapids is home to several large businesses and industries, including Alliant Energy, Rockwell Collins, Quaker Oats, Aegon, McLeodUSA, and ADM, just to name a few, along with hundreds of smaller and personal businesses. One reason behind the high number of large industries is the fact that Cedar Rapids is part of the Iowa Technology Corridor, a region of the state that also includes Iowa City. Much of Iowa's technological businesses and industries operate from this corridor.


Cedar Rapids is home of the minor-league baseball team Cedar Rapids Kernels, the ice hockey team Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and the basketball team Cedar Rapids Ball Hogs.

Notable natives

External links


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