Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. It is the state's seventh largest city with a population of 114,024 as of the 2000 census, of which 36,892 (32%) are college or graduate students. Supposedly named for the spouses of the city's founders and for the stands of trees in the area, Ann Arbor is best known as the location of the main campus of the University of Michigan, which moved from Detroit in 1837. The University of Michigan Medical Center, the preeminent health facility in the city, took the #12 slot in the 2006 U.S. News and World Report for hospitals.
Other local colleges and universities are Cleary University, a private business school; Concordia University, a Lutheran liberal-arts institution; and Washtenaw Community College. Ave Maria School of Law, a Catholic institution established by Domino's Pizza cofounder Tom Monaghan, opened near northeastern Ann Arbor in 2000. There were plans to establish Ave Maria University on land occupied by Domino's Farms. However, due to conflicts with local zoning authorities, the new campus is under construction near Naples, Florida.
The city's economy, which was once noted for production of agricultural implements, carriages, furniture, pianos, organs, pottery, and flour, is now dominated by education, high tech, and biotechnology. Average home prices and property taxes are well above the state and national medians. A center for left-wing politics, the city is also known for its large number of restaurants and performance venues.
Many Ann Arbor cultural attractions and events are sponsored by the University of Michigan. Several performing arts groups and facilities are on the university's campus, as are museums dedicated to art, archaeology, and natural history and sciences. Regional and local performing arts groups not associated with the university include the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre; the Arbor Opera Theater; the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra; the Ann Arbor Ballet Theater; the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet (established in 1954 as Michigan's first chartered ballet company); and Performance Network, which operates a downtown theater frequently offering new or nontraditional plays.
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, located in a renovated and expanded historic downtown fire station, contains more than 250 interactive exhibits featuring science and technology. Artrain, on North Main Street, is a traveling art museum located on a train. Other art galleries exist in the city, notably in the downtown area and around the University of Michigan campus. Aside from a large restaurant scene in the Main Street, South State Street, and South University Avenue areas, Ann Arbor ranks first among U.S. cities in the number of booksellers and books sold per capita. The Ann Arbor District Library maintains four branch outlets in addition to its main downtown building; in 2008 a new branch building is set to replace the branch located in Plymouth Mall. The city is also home to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
Ann Arbor Art Fairs, a set of four concurrent juried fairs held on downtown streets, which began in 1960. Scheduled on Wednesday through Saturday in the third week of July, draws upward of half a million visitors.
Ann Arbor has a major scene for college sports, notably at the University of Michigan, a member of the Big Ten Conference. Several well-known college sports facilities exist in the city, including Michigan Stadium, the largest American football stadium in the world with a 107,501 seating capacity. The stadium is colloquially known as "The Big House." Crisler Arena and Yost Ice Arena play host to the school's basketball and ice hockey teams, respectively. Concordia University, a member of the NAIA, also fields sports teams.
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