Peoria (/piˈɔːriə/ pee-OR-ee-ə) is the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, and the largest city on the Illinois River. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, and is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois (and the third largest outside the Chicago metropolitan area), with a population of 115,007. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 373,590 in 2011. Until 2018, Peoria was the global and national headquarters for Caterpillar Inc., one of the 30 companies composing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and listed on the Fortune 100; in the latter year, the company relocated its headquarters to Deerfield, Illinois.
Peoria City Hall
Location of Peoria in Peoria County, Illinois.
Location of Illinois in the United States
|• Mayor||Jim Ardis|
|• City Manager||Patrick Urich|
|• City||50.45 sq mi (130.67 km2)|
|• Land||48.23 sq mi (124.92 km2)|
|• Water||2.22 sq mi (5.75 km2)|
|Elevation||509 ft (155 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,369.12/sq mi (914.73/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
29 total ZIP codes:
Peoria is one of the oldest settlements in Illinois, as explorers first ventured up the Illinois River from the Mississippi. The lands that eventually would become Peoria were first settled by Europeans in 1680, when French explorers René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti constructed Fort Crevecoeur. This fort would later burn to the ground, and in 1813 Fort Clark, Illinois was built. When the County of Peoria was organized in 1825, Fort Clark was officially named Peoria.
Peoria was named after the Peoria tribe, a member of the Illinois Confederation. The original meaning of the word is uncertain. A 21st-century proposal suggests a derivation from a Proto-Algonquian word meaning "to dream with the help of a manitou."
Peoria, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, was named after Peoria, Illinois because the two men who founded it in 1890 − Joseph B. Greenhut and Deloss S. Brown − wished to name it after their hometown.
According to the 2010 census, Peoria has a total area of 50.23 square miles (130.10 km2), of which 48.01 square miles (124.35 km2) (or 95.58%) is land and 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2) (or 4.42%) is water.
Peoria has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), with cold, snowy winters, and hot, humid summers. Monthly daily mean temperatures range from 22.5 °F (−5.3 °C) to 75.2 °F (24.0 °C). Snowfall is common in the winter, averaging 26.3 inches (67 cm), but this figure varies considerably from year to year. Precipitation, averaging 36 inches (914 mm), peaks in the spring and summer, and is the lowest in winter. Extremes have ranged from −27 °F (−33 °C) in January 1884 to 113 °F (45 °C) in July 1936.
The city of Peoria is home to a United States courthouse and the Peoria Civic Center (which includes Carver Arena). The world headquarters for Caterpillar Inc. was based in Peoria for over 110 years until announcing their move to Deerfield, Illinois in late 2017. Medicine has become a major part of Peoria's economy. In addition to three major hospitals, the USDA's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, formerly called the USDA Northern Regional Research Lab, is located in Peoria. This is one of the labs where mass production of penicillin was developed.
Grandview Drive, which Theodore Roosevelt purportedly called the "world's most beautiful drive" during a 1910 visit, runs through Peoria and Peoria Heights. In addition to Grandview Drive, the Peoria Park District contains 9,000 acres (36 km2) of parks and trails. The Illinois River Bluff Trail connects four Peoria Park District parks: Camp Wokanda, Robinson Park, Green Valley Camp, and Detweiller Park, and the Rock Island Greenway (13 miles) connects to the State of Illinois Rock Island trail traveling north to Toulon, IL and also connects southeast to East Peoria, IL and to the Morton Community Bikeway. Other parks include the Forest Park Nature Center, which features seven miles of hiking trails through prairie openings and forested woodlands, Glen Oak Park, and Bradley Park, which features Frisbee golf as well as a dog park. Peoria has five public golf courses as well as several private and semi-private golf courses. The Peoria Park District, the first and still largest park district in Illinois, was the 2001 Winner of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation for Class II Parks.
Museums in Peoria include the Pettengill-Morron House, the John C Flanagan House of the Peoria Historical Society, and the Wheels o' Time Museum. A new Museum Square, opened on October 12, 2012, houses the Peoria Riverfront Museum, a planetarium, and the Caterpillar World Visitors Center.
The Peoria Art Guild hosts the Annual Art Fair, which is continually rated as one of the 100 top art fairs in the nation.
Three cultural institutions are located in Glen Oak Park. The Peoria Zoo, formerly Glen Oak Zoo, was expanded and refurbished in recent years. Finished in 2009, the new zoo improvements more than triple the size of the zoo and feature a major African safari exhibit.
The Peoria Santa Claus Parade, which started in 1888, is the oldest running holiday parade in the United States.
Peoria Symphony Orchestra is the 10th oldest in the nation. Peoria is also home to the Peoria Municipal Band, the Peoria Area Civic Chorale, the Youth Music Illinois (formerly known as Central Illinois Youth Symphony), and the Peoria Ballet. Several community and professional theaters have their home in and around Peoria, including the Peoria Players, which is the fourth-oldest community theater in the nation and the oldest in Illinois. Corn Stock Theatre is another community theater company in Peoria, and is the only outdoor theater company in Central Illinois.
|Peoria Chiefs||Midwest League||Baseball||Dozer Park||1983||1 (2002)|
|Peoria Rivermen||Southern Professional Hockey League||Ice Hockey||Carver Arena||2013||0|
|Peoria Push Roller Derby||WFTDA Apprentice League||Roller Derby||Expo Gardens||2010||0|
|Peoria Rugby Football Club||D4 Midwest League||Rugby||Catholic Charities||1958||0|
The area has 14 commercial radio stations with six owners among them; four non-commercial full-power radio stations, each separately owned; five commercial television stations with two operating owners among them; one non-commercial television station; and one daily newspaper (Peoria Journal Star).
NOAA Weather Radio station WXJ71 transmits from East Peoria and is licensed to NOAA's National Weather Service Central Illinois Weather Forecast Office at Lincoln, broadcasting on a frequency of 162.475 mHz (channel 4 on most newer weather radios, and most SAME weather radios). The station activates the SAME tone alarm feature and a 1050 Hz tone activating older radios (except for AMBER Alerts, using the SAME feature only) for hazardous weather and non-weather warnings and emergencies, along with selected weather watches, for the Illinois counties of Fulton, Knox, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. Weather permitting, a tone alarm test of both the SAME and 1050 Hz tone features are conducted every Wednesday between 11 AM and noon.
The Civic Center hosts the IHSA State Chess Championship, which claims to be the largest chess team tournament in the United States: Beginning in 2018, the teams were narrowed to 128 by the use of sectional elimination competitions, and as of 2018 the tournament has about 1500 players, including up to 8 players and 4 alternates per team.
Renaissance Park was originally designated as a research park, originally established in May 2003 as the Peoria Medical and Technology District. It consisted of nine residential neighborhoods, Bradley University, the medical district, former location of the Caterpillar world headquarters, and the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center opened in August 2007 and provides both dry and wet labs, as well as conference and office space for emerging start-up companies. Over $2 billion in research is conducted in Peoria annually. While the Renaissance Park research park project never came to full fruition, many of the original ideas from the original Renaissance Park concept still continue on a smaller level via The Renaissance Park Community Association.
Peoria's first major industry was started in 1830 by John Hamlin and John Sharp, who constructed the flour mill on Kickapoo Creek. In 1837, another industry was begun with E.F. Nowland's pork planting industry. Many other industries started slowly in Peoria including carriage factories, pottery makers, wholesale warehousing, casting foundries, glucose factories, ice harvesting, and furniture makers.
Peoria became the first world leader for distilleries thanks to Andrew Eitle (1837) and Almiron S. Cole (1844).
At this time, agricultural implement production declined, which led the earth moving and tractor equipment companies to skyrocket and make Peoria in this field the world leader. In 1925, Caterpillar Tractor Co. was formed from the Benjamin Holt Co. and the C.L. Best Tractor Co. Robert G. LeTourneau's earth moving company began its production of new scrapers and dozers in 1935 which evolved into Komatsu-Dresser, Haulpak Division.
According to Peoria's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|2||Advanced Technology Services||1,500+|
|3||UnityPoint Health – Methodist||1,500+|
|4||OSF Saint Francis Medical Center||1,500+|
|5||Peoria Public Schools District 150||1,500+|
|7||HGS||1,000 – 1,500|
|8||Bradley University||1,000 – 1,500|
|9||Peoria County||1,000 – 1,500|
|10||United States Postal Service||1,000 – 1,500|
|11||University of Illinois College of Medicine||1,000 – 1,500|
|12||Ameren||500 – 1,000|
|13||Citizens Equity First Credit Union||500-1,000|
|14||City of Peoria||500-1,000|
|15||Illinois Central College||500-1,000|
|16||Keystone Steel & Wire||500-1,000|
As of the census of 2010, there were 115,021 people and 47,202 households residing in the city. The population density was 2,543.4 people per square mile (982.1/km²). There were 52,621 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 62.4% White, 26.9% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.6% Asian, and 3.6% of mixed races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.9% of the population. The city has a sizable, established Lebanese population with a long history in local business and government.
There were 45,199 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. Individuals made up 33.2% of all households, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.04.
The city population was 25.7% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.
|City Councilperson – District 1||Denise Moore|
|City Councilperson – District 2||Chuck Grayeb|
|City Councilperson – District 3||Timothy Riggenbach|
|City Councilperson – District 4||Jim Montelongo|
|City Councilperson – District 5||Casey L. Johnson|
|City Councilperson – At Large||Chuck Weaver|
|City Councilperson – At Large||Beth Akeson|
|City Councilperson – At Large||Ryan Spain|
|City Councilperson – At Large||Elizabeth Jensen|
|City Councilperson – At Large||W. Eric Turner|
|City/Township Clerk||Beth Ball|
|City Treasurer/Township Collector||Patrick Nichting|
|Township Supervisor||Frank Abdnour|
|Township Assessor||Bonnie D. Gavin|
The Township of the City of Peoria (sometimes called City of Peoria Township) is a separate government from the City of Peoria, and performs the functions of civil township government in most of the city.
Peoria is served by four public K-12 school districts:
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria runs six schools in the city: five grade schools and Peoria Notre Dame High School. Non-denominational Peoria Christian School operates a grade school, middle school, and high school.
In addition, Concordia Lutheran School, Peoria Academy, Christ Lutheran School, and several smaller private schools exist.
Bradley University, Midstate College, Methodist College, OSF St. Francis College of Nursing, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, the Downtown and North campuses of Illinois Central College, and the Peoria campus of Robert Morris University are based in the city. Additionally, Eureka College and the main campus of Illinois Central College are located nearby in Eureka and East Peoria, respectively.
The health-care industry accounts for at least 25% of Peoria's economy. The city has three major hospitals: OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, UnityPoint Health – Methodist, and UnityPoint Health – Proctor. In addition, the Children's Hospital of Illinois, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, and the Midwest Affiliate of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are located in the city. The hospitals are all located in a medical district around the junction of Interstate 74 and Knoxville Avenue, adjacent to downtown in the southeast of the city, except for UnityPoint Health – Proctor in the geographic center of the city. The surrounding towns are also supported by UnityPoint Health – Proctor, Pekin Hospital, Advocate Eureka Hospital, and the Hopedale Medical Complex. The Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was created from the "Peoria Plan for Human Rehabilitation," a model for medical and occupational rehabilitation launched in 1943 to integrate returning World War II veterans back into the workplace.
The Peoria area is served by three Interstate highways: Interstate 74, which runs from northwest to southeast through the downtown area, Interstate 474, a southern bypass of I-74 through portions of Peoria and the suburbs of Bartonville and Creve Coeur, and Interstate 155, which runs south from I-74 in Morton to Interstate 55 in Lincoln which connects to Springfield and St. Louis. I-74 crosses over the Illinois River via the Murray Baker Bridge, while I-474 crosses via the Shade-Lohmann Bridge. The nearest metropolitan centers accessible on I-74 are the Quad Cities to the west, and Bloomington-Normal to the east.
In addition, U.S. Route 150 serves as the main arterial for the northern portion of the Peoria area, becoming War Memorial Drive before heading west towards Kickapoo. It enters from the McClugage Bridge; east of the bridge, U.S. 150 runs southeast to Morton.
The following state routes run through Peoria:
The planned Illinois Route 336 project will also connect Illinois 336 with I-474 between Illinois 8 and Illinois 116. Construction on the segment nearest Peoria has not started, nor has funding been allocated.
Metro Peoria is served by ten common carrier railroads. Four are Class I railroads: BNSF, CNR, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. The last one, Union Pacific, has a north-south oriented line which skirts the west edge of the city but a line branches off of it to enter Peoria. One Class II/Regional, Iowa Interstate, serves the city, coming out of Bureau Junction, Illinois. Five Class III/Shortline railroads: Central Illinois Railroad, which operates a portion of the city-owned Peoria, Peoria Heights and Western Railroad; three Genesee and Wyoming-owned operations: Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway, which runs next to US 24 east to Logansport, Indiana (formally owned by Rail America), Illinois & Midland Railroad (the former Chicago and Illinois Midland, comes up from Springfield and Havana) and Tazewell and Peoria Railroad (leases the Peoria and Pekin Union Railway from its owners Canadian National, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific); Pioneer Railcorp's Keokuk Junction Railway (which now owns the Toledo, Peoria and Western's West End from Lomax and La Harpe in Western Illinois, plus the branch from Keokuk);
There is no passenger rail connecting Peoria to other urban centers, although this possibility and the possibility of rail service that connects St. Louis to Chicago (by way of Springfield, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and Pontiac) has been and is being investigated.
Public bus service is provided by the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District, which operates 21 bus routes under the name CityLink, that serve the city, Illinois Central College and much of East Peoria, Illinois, Peoria Heights, West Peoria, and points between Peoria and Pekin.
The General Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport is located west of Peoria. The airport is served by 4 passenger airlines (United, American, Delta, and Allegiant Air) and numerous cargo carriers. Nonstop destinations include Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix, and Charlotte. Cargo carriers serving Peoria include UPS and Airborne Express (now DHL).
The theme of Peoria as the archetypal example of middle American culture runs throughout American culture, appearing in movies and books, on television and radio, and in countless advertisements as either a filler place name, the representative of mainstream taste, hence the phrase "Will it play in Peoria?".
Three Illinois cities − Peoria, Moline and Rock Island − have consistently made the Top 10.
The Peoria mayoral election of 1997 took place on April 1 1997. Three-term incumbent Mayor James A. Maloof did not seek re-election. The election was won by Lowell "Bud" Grieves.2001 Peoria mayoral election
The Peoria mayoral election of 2001 took place on April 3 of that year. Incumbent Mayor Lowell "Bud" Greives did not seek re-election. The election was won by David P. Ransburg.2003 Peoria City Council election
The Peoria, Illinois City Council election of 2003 was held on April 1, 2003. Five At-Large seats of the 10 city council seats were up for election. Ten candidates were on the ballot. All those elected - W. Eric Turner, Jim Ardis, John D. Morris, Charles V. Grayeb, and Gary V. Sandberg - were incumbents.2005 Peoria City Council election
ThePeoria City Council election of 2005 was held on April 5, 2005. It consisted of election for the councilmen representing the city's five single-member constituencies. The seats represented half of the Council. The election was held on the same date as the Peoria, Illinois Mayoral election of 2005. The council is presided over by the mayor, who is elected independently.2005 Peoria mayoral election
The Peoria, Illinois mayoral election of 2005 was held to determine the Mayor of the City of Peoria from 2005 to 2009. Incumbent Mayor David P. Ransburg was defeated by At-Large Councilman Jim Ardis. Ardis was generally considered the conservative in the race, whereas Randsburg was seen as the more liberal.2007 Peoria City Council election
The Peoria City Council election of 2007 was held on April 14, 2007. The five At-Large of 10 city council seats were up for election. Ten candidates were on the ballot. Elected were incumbents Gary V. Sandberg and W. Eric Turner; and newcomers Ryan Spain, George Jacob, and Jim Montelongo. The Council is presided over by the Mayor, who is elected independently.2009 Peoria City Council election
ThePeoria City Council election of 2009 was held on April 7, 2009. It consisted of election for the councilmen representing the city's five single-member constituencies. The seats represented half of the Council. The election was held on the same date as the Peoria, Illinois Mayoral election of 2009. The council is presided over by the mayor, who is elected independently.2009 Peoria mayoral election
The Peoria mayoral election of 2009 saw incumbent Mayor Jim Ardis soundly re-elected with 91% of the vote. His opponent could not legally take office due to a felony conviction dating from the 1980s. Of the city's 93 precincts, Ardis won 91.2011 Peoria City Council election
The Peoria City Council election of 2011 was held on April 5, 2011. Five At-Large of 10 city council seatswere up for election. Ten candidates were on the ballot (The most possible to still avoid a primary). Newcomer Chuck Weaver won almost one-fourth of the vote.
Elected were Chuck Weaver, and Beth Akeson; and incumbents Ryan Spain, Gary V. Sandberg, and W. Eric Turner.
The Mayor, who is elected separately, presides over the Council.2013 Peoria City Council election
The Peoria City Council election of 2013 was held on April 9 of 2013 and consisted of 5 races for the five district seats on the city council. In only three of the five races did incumbents run for reelection, and only one was successful. The elections coincided with the unopposed reelection of Jim Ardis to a third term Mayor. The unopposed election for Mayor may have contributed to the very low voter turnout.2013 Peoria mayoral election
Incumbent Jim Ardis ran unopposed for his third term as Mayor of Peoria, Illinois. No candidates had filed for the primary, which was held on February 26, and so Ardis was re-election without opposition.Bradley University
Bradley University is a private university in Peoria, Illinois. Founded in 1897, Bradley University currently enrolls 5,400 students who are pursuing degrees in more than 100 undergraduate programs and more than 30 graduate programs in five colleges. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and 22 national accrediting agencies.East Peoria, Illinois
East Peoria is a city in Tazewell County, Illinois, United States. The population was 23,402 at the 2010 census. East Peoria is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, located across the Illinois River from downtown Peoria. It is home to many Caterpillar Inc. facilities.
The city is also the site of the home campus of Illinois Central College, a regional community college and the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. The main commercial area of East Peoria is just across the river from downtown Peoria. In concert with the renovation of old Caterpillar factories, the development of the downtown Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, and the renovation of Interstate 74 and of the area's bridges, East Peoria's downtown and urban area have developed as well. In 2011 and 2012, a major renovation of Washington Street and other downtown and city streets took place, and a full-service Holiday Inn Center featuring a high-level restaurant has been added. Ground was broken in June 2012 for the new Fondulac District Library, which opened in November 2013. The new East Peoria City Hall, adjacent to the library with a shared Civic Plaza, was built and dedicated in 2015.List of tallest buildings in Peoria
This is a list of the tallest buildings in Peoria, Illinois, by height.Peoria Civic Center
Peoria Civic Center is a convention center located in downtown Peoria, Illinois. It has an arena, theater, exhibit hall and meeting rooms. It was built in 1982 and completed an expansion to its lobby and meeting facilities in 2008. The site of the convention center was built where the former Jefferson Hotel once stood. The hotel was a site along the Underground Railroad.Peoria metropolitan area, Illinois
The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is an area consisting of five counties in Central Illinois, anchored by the city of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 379,186 (though a 2012 estimate placed the population at 380,447). The City of Peoria, according to the estimated 2014 US Census Bureau, has 115,828 people.WGLO
WGLO (95.5 FM, "95-5 GLO") is a radio station licensed to serve Pekin, Illinois, United States. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, which purchased the station from Townsquare Media.WGLO broadcasts a classic rock format to the Peoria, Illinois, area. The station is an affiliate of the syndicated Bob and Tom Show.WVEL
WVEL (1140 AM) is a daytimer radio station with a city of license of Pekin, Illinois, United States, and serving the Peoria, Illinois, area. The station is owned by Cumulus Media and licensed to Radio License Holding CBC, LLC, which purchased the station from Townsquare Media. It airs a Gospel music format and is known as "Central Illinois' Christian Voice." It is still a daytime-only station to protect WRVA (AM) and XEMR-AM from interference to their clear-channel stations.
WVEL was originally WSIV and signed on the air on 21 April 1946, increasing its power to 1000 watts on 1948. The station was assigned the WVEL call letters by the Federal Communications Commission on January 2, 1979.WZPW
WZPW (92.3 FM, "Peoria's 92.3") is a radio station in Central Illinois with a rhythmic contemporary music format, licensed to Peoria, Illinois and broadcasting at 92.3 MHz with an Effective radiated power (ERP) of 19,200 watts. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, which purchased the station from Townsquare Media.
|Climate data for Peoria, Illinois (Peoria Int'l), 1981–2010 normals|
|Record high °F (°C)||71
|Average high °F (°C)||32.8
|Daily mean °F (°C)||24.9
|Average low °F (°C)||17.0
|Record low °F (°C)||−27
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.78
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||6.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.2||8.4||10.4||11.4||11.8||10.1||9.1||9.1||8.1||9.2||9.6||10.1||116.5|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||5.8||4.7||2.0||0.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||1.3||5.5||19.9|
|Average relative humidity (%)||73.9||73.8||70.5||64.7||66.2||67.3||71.7||73.7||72.7||70.4||74.5||78.0||71.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||147.4||155.6||187.9||222.8||272.6||306.9||310.1||279.3||233.2||204.2||127.9||118.7||2,566.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||53||53||50||57||63||69||70||68||66||62||47||44||60|
|Source: NOAA (sun and relative humidity 1961–1990)|
Municipalities and communities of Peoria County, Illinois, United States
County seat: Peoria
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties
Mayors of cities with populations exceeding 100,000 in Illinois