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University City (colloquially, U. City) is an inner-ring suburb of the city of St. Louis in St. Louis County, in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 35,371 in 2010 census.
The city is one of the older suburbs in the St. Louis area, having been a streetcar suburb in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; much historic architecture remains in the southern, older portion of the city, particularly along Delmar Boulevard. The northern portions of the city, mostly developed after World War II, have more of a suburban feel with many shopping centers and other automobile-centered development.
University City has much municipal open space, the largest parcels being 85-acre (340,000 m2) Heman Park (which includes recreation and community centers and public pool facilities) and Ruth Park (a public golf course and nature trails). The city has four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The University City school district is separately managed from other school districts in the area.
University City's southern border is approximated by Northmoor. The eastern border is approximated by Skinker Boulevard. The western border is approximated by old McKnight, some of which is now Interstate 170.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.90 square miles (15.28 km2), all of it land.
The Delmar Loop, an entertainment, cultural and restaurant district, sits along Delmar Boulevard, parallel to and six blocks north of the northern boundary of the university. The city is also home to the University City Olive Link, known for its high concentration of East Asian businesses and considered as an outer-city replacement for the earlier ethnic neighborhood of Chinatown in the city of St. Louis.
The highest point of University City is the western terminus of Delmar Boulevard, at the tri-border of University City, Ladue, and Olivette.
The city also contains part of Midland Boulevard, which divides the watersheds of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. The River Des Peres rises in the hills near the University City and Clayton boundary, flows north, takes a strong turn at Ruth Park, and then runs through culverts southeast through the city of St. Louis to debouche in the Mississippi River.
Major roads and highways in University City are Interstate 170 (I-170), Missouri Route 340 (MO-340), Delmar Boulevard, Forest Park Parkway, Olive Boulevard and Skinker Parkway.
The city has long had a large middle-class Jewish presence. Jewish cemeteries and religious centers dot the city, such as Young Israel of St. Louis and Agudas Israel of St. Louis, serving University City residents and those of nearby Clayton, which also has a high concentration of Jewish residents.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,371 people, 16,154 households, and 8,484 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,995.1 inhabitants per square mile (2,314.7/km2). There were 18,021 housing units at an average density of 3,054.4 per square mile (1,179.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 50.8% White, 41.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.3% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.
There were 16,154 households of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 19.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 16% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.6% male and 53.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,428 people, 16,453 households, and 9,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,363.1 people per square mile (2,457.7/km²). There were 17,485 housing units at an average density of 2,972.6 per square mile (1,148.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.26% White, 45.35% African American, 0.16% Native American, 2.85% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.56% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population. The city is considered (by inhabitants) to be divided roughly into three zones from north to south. North of Olive is predominantly Black, from Olive to Delmar is mixed, and south of Delmar is predominantly White. Because of the city's racial composition, it has not been part of the integration busing program between the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
There were 16,453 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.6% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% 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 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $75,902, and the median income for a family was $90,539. Males had a median income of $55,588 versus $45,440 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,901. About 9.5% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
University City was founded by publisher Edward Gardner Lewis, who began developing the location in 1903 around his publishing complex for Woman's Magazine and Woman's Farm Journal. Historic buildings associated with municipal operations, including today's City Hall, were built by Lewis as facilities for his magazine enterprise. In 1906, the city incorporated and Lewis served as its first mayor.
The School District of University City operates public schools.
University City has one high school: University City High School. The city also has one middle school, Brittany Woods Middle School, and four elementary schools: Flynn Park, Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing and Jackson Park.
University City Public Library serves the community.
University City is home to the COCA, a center for contemporary arts that has a nationally recognized pre-professional dance training program. Alumni have danced for Trisha Brown, Cecil Slaughter, Houston Ballet, Ballet Hispanico New York, Mark Morris, Alvin Ailey, the national tours of Wicked and Cinderella, and Tarzan on Broadway.
University City has a public library at 6701 Delmar Boulevard. Established in 1939, the library houses more than 150,000 volumes as well as music and spoken recordings, videotape and DVD collections, and works of art. The library is open seven days a week, including five evenings. University City has 17 parks.
The largest park is Heman Park (85.26 acres).
In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish a new Chinatown to replace the downtown St. Louis Chinatown. A number of Asian grocery stores and restaurants exist along Olive Boulevard between I-170 and Skinker Boulevard in University City. The route contains mostly Chinese businesses, rather than residents. Although efforts were made to designate part of the area as "Chinatown", surrounding community members objected to the proposals. Also, the Missouri Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over part of Olive Boulevard and does not permit decorative archways or gateways spanning the roadway, as can be seen in other Chinatowns. As a result, there is no officially designated Chinatown in the St. Louis area.
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