Tempe ( /tɛmˈpiː/, US dict: tem-ˈpē; Oidbaḍ in Pima), also known as Hayden’s Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is the location of US Airways Group’s corporate headquarters, and of Arizona State University’s oldest and largest “Tempe” campus.
Tempe between 1870 and 1880.
The Hohokam initially lived in this area and built canals to support their agriculture. They abandoned their settlements during the 15th century, with a few individuals and families remaining nearby.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 miles northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built further down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867-68.) The two settlements were ‘Hayden’s Ferry’, named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and ‘San Pablo’, and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe’s name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
In 1885, the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature chose Tempe for the site of the Territorial Normal School, which became Arizona Normal School, Arizona State Teachers College, Arizona State College and finally Arizona State University.
The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation’s growing transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became an economic hub for the surrounding agricultural area. The city incorporated in 1894.
The completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would be prosperous cities in the future. Less than a year later, Arizona was admitted as the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley continued to develop.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tempe has expanded not only as a suburb of Phoenix, but also a center of education and commerce in its own right.
Tempe is the headquarters and executive office of two Fortune 500 companies US Airways (formerly America West Airlines) and Insight Enterprises. Limelight Networks, LifeLock, First Solar, the Salt River Project, Circle K, Fulton Homes and Mobile Mini are also headquartered in Tempe. Cold Stone Creamery was originally headquartered in Tempe and location #0001 is still in operation today at 3330 S McClintock Drive in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is also home to the largest campus of Arizona State University. It was the longtime host of the Fiesta Bowl, although the BCS game moved to University of Phoenix Stadium, located in Glendale, in 2007. Tempe now hosts the Insight Bowl. Edward Jones Investments has a regional headquarters in Tempe. China Airlines operates the Phoenix office in Tempe.
Tempe houses several great performance venues including Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Center for the Arts.
On New Year’s Eve, the city hosts the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party, one of the nation’s largest New Year’s Eve parties. The event typically has a national band heading a concert, along with several other local and national bands. Gammage Auditorium was also the site of one of the three Presidential debates in 2004, and Super Bowl XXX was played at Sun Devil Stadium. Additionally, Tempe is the spring training host city of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
One of Arizona’s largest shopping malls, Arizona Mills, sits near the border with the town of Guadalupe. The city also serves as the first Arizona IKEA branch location, also near the southern boundary. Tempe Marketplace a large open air mall featuring live music and water and laser shows is located just southeast of Tempe Town Lake. Tempe can boast an array of wholesalers and manufacturers including Gummow Manufacturing, specializing in handcrafted wholesale Native American Jewelry, Mill Avenue, located just west of Hayden Butte, is a shopping and entertainment area in the city popular with pedestrians and students. With the completion of Tempe Town Lake, commercial and high-rise development along the reservoir quickly transformed the cityscape of Mill Avenue and the skyline of downtown Tempe.
Tempe is served by multiple school districts.
Most of Tempe is within the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District; however, other portions are served by the Kyrene School District (K-8), Scottsdale Unified School District (K-12), and Mesa Public Schools (K-12).
Tempe also contains one of the state’s three major universities, Arizona State University, the Maricopa County Community College District administrative offices and the headquarters of Rio Salado Community College.
Census Pop. %±
1890 897 564.4%
1900 885 −1.3%
1910 1,473 66.4%
1920 1,963 33.3%
1930 2,495 27.1%
1940 2,906 16.5%
1950 7,684 164.4%
1960 24,897 224.0%
1970 63,550 155.3%
1980 106,919 68.2%
1990 141,865 32.7%
2000 158,945 12.0%
2010 161,719 1.7%
As of the 2006 census estimate, there were 169,712 people, 63,602 households, and 33,645 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,959.4 people per square mile (1,528.8/km²). There were 67,068 housing units at an average density of 1,674.1 per square mile (646.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.51% White, 3.66% Black or African American, 2.01% Native American, 4.75% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 8.49% from other races, and 3.30% from two or more races. 17.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 63,602 households out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 21.3% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 106.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,361, and the median income for a family was $55,237. Males had a median income of $36,406 versus $28,605 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,406. About 7.5% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.6% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.
Tempe is an inner suburb, located between the core city of Phoenix and the rest of the East Valley. Due to this as well as being the home of the main campus of Arizona State University, Tempe has a fairly dense, urbanized development pattern in the northern part of the city with a growing skyline. Going south, development becomes less dense, consisting of single-family homes, strip malls and lower-density office parks.
Within Tempe are the Tempe Buttes. The Salt River runs west through the northern part of Tempe; part of the river is dammed in two places to create Tempe Town Lake.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the landlocked city has a total area of 40.2 square miles (104 km2). The city of Tempe is bordered by Mesa to the east, Scottsdale to the north, Phoenix and Guadalupe to the west, and Chandler to the south. 40.1 square miles (104 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it is water. The total area is 0.32% water including Tempe Town Lake.
Tempe is generally flat, except for Hayden Butte (generally known as A-Mountain for Arizona State University’s “A” logo located on its south face), located next to Sun Devil Stadium, Twin Buttes and Bell Butte on the western edge of Tempe, and Papago Park northwest of Tempe, inside Phoenix. Elevation ranges from 1,140 feet (350 m) at Tempe Town Lake to 1,495 feet (456 m) atop Hayden Butte.