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Fresno ( , ) is a city in Californiamarker, USAmarker, the county seat of Fresno Countymarker. As of February 27, 2009, the population was estimated at 500,017, making it the fifth largest city in California and the 36th largest in the nation. Fresno is located in the center of the wide San Joaquin Valleymarker of Central Californiamarker, approximately north of Los Angeles and south of the state capital, Sacramentomarker. The city is part of the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, which, with a population of 1,002,046, is the second largest metropolitan area in the Central Valley after Sacramento. The name Fresno is the Spanish language word for the ash tree and an ash leaf is featured on its flag. It is prominently featured in Cajas de Carton, a short story by famed author Francisco Jimenez.


Fresno has a modified strong-mayor form of local government and seven City Council members (Legislative branch) elected for no more than two 4-year terms. The City council and the mayor are nonpartisan, not affiliated with any political party. Alan Autry was first elected in November 2000, reelected on March 2, 2004, and served until January 2009. Ashley Swearengin was sworn in as Mayor on January 6, 2009.


  • 2009-present Ashley Swearengin
  • 2001-2009 Alan Autry
  • 1993-2001 Jim Patterson
  • 1989-1993 Karen Humphrey
  • 1985-1989 Dale Doig
  • 1977-1985 Dan Whitehurst
  • 1969-1977 Ted C. Wills
  • 1965-1969 Floyd H. Hyde
  • 1964-1965 Wallace Henderson (acting)
  • 1958-1964 Arthur L. Selland †
  • 1957-1958 C. Cal Evans
  • 1949-1957 Gordon D. Dunn
  • 1947 Glenn M. Devore (acting)
  • 1941-1947 Z.S. Leymel †
  • 1937-1941 Frank A. Homan
  • 1929-1934 Z.S. Leymel
  • 1925-1929 A.E. Sunderland
  • 1921-1925 Truman C. Hart
  • 1917-1921 William F. Toomey
  • 1912-1917 Alva E. Snow
  • 1909-1912 Chester Rowell †
  • 1908-1909 Ed. F. Bush (acting)
  • 1905-1908 W. Parker Lyon
  • 1901-1905 L.O. Stephens

† Died in office

President, Board of Trustees

Prior to 1901, Fresno was governed by a board of trustees.
  • October 27, 1895-1901 C.J. Craycroft
  • April 15, 1889-unknown A.J. Pedlar
  • October 31, 1887-April 15, 1889 A.M. Clark
  • April 25, 1887-October 31, 1887 W.L. Graves
  • October 27, 1885-April 25, 1887 William Faymonville

City Council

City council is made up of seven members, elected by district:
  • District 1 (west-central) - Blong Xiong
  • District 2 (northwest) - Andreas Borgeas
  • District 3 (southwest) - Cynthia Sterling (Council President)
  • District 4 (east-central) - Larry Westerlund
  • District 5 (southeast) - Mike Dages
  • District 6 (northeast) - Lee Brand
  • District 7 (central) - Henry T. Perea


The Robert E.
Coyle United States Courthouse is the new building housing the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division, Federal Courts.
The California Fifth Appellate District Fresno courthouse.
is the county seat of Fresno County. It maintains the main courthouse in the county for criminal and some civil court cases. There is also a satellite court house that was recently built and judges were moved to the new courthouse to help alleviate some of the overcrowding in the main courthouse.

The United States District Court, Eastern District of California, has one of its six divisions based in the Robert E. Coyle Courthouse. The new courthouse replaced the outdated B.F. Sisk Federal Building in 2006. The Sisk building did not have enough space for the growing Fresno Division and it is currently undergoing renovation for future use.

Fresno is also the seat of the Fifth Appellate District of the State of California Court of Appeal where a new courthouse was build in the old Armenian Town section of downtown Fresno in 2007 across from Selland Arena and the Fresno Convention Center.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal Courthouse is named after the distinguished George N. Zenovich, the former Senator and Associate Justice of the Fifth District.


The city of Fresno is closely split between Democrats and Republicans. Mirroring the nationwide vote, George Bush won 48.41% of the vote in 2000 and 51.77% in 2004, while Barack Obama won with 50.0% in 2008.

The citizens of Fresno are represented in the California State Senate byDave Cogdill (R) and Dean Florez (D) and in the California State Assembly by Michael Villines (R) and Juan Arambula (I). Representation in the United States Congress byGeorge Radanovich (R) in (California's 19th congressional district), Jim Costa (D) in (California's 20th congressional district) and Devin Nunes (R) in (California's 21st congressional district).


Fresno serves as the economic hub of Fresno County and California's Central Valleymarker. The unincorporated area and rural cities surrounding Fresno remain predominantly tied to large-scale agricultural production.

Fresno is unique in that it is home to many business incubators that serve as a resource hub for business entrepreneurs and new companies. Some of these incubators are found at California State University, Fresnomarker. Many of the businesses formed at the incubators have gone on to become internationally known in the business world . Some of the businesses involved range from environmental engineering to fashion designers.


Fresno is located at .

The United States Census Bureau reports Fresno as having a total area of with 99.58% land covering , and .42% water, .

Fresno's location, very near the geographical center of California, places the city a comfortable distance from several of the major recreation areas and urban centers in the state. Just south of Yosemite National Parkmarker, it is the nearest major city to the park. Likewise, Sierra National Forestmarker is , Kings Canyon National Parkmarker is and Sequoia National Parkmarker is .

Because it sits at the junction of Highways 41 and 99 (41 is the park's southern access road, and 99 branches east from Interstate 5 to serve the urban centers of the San Joaquin Valley), the city is a major gateway for visitors coming from Los Angelesmarker. The city also serves as an entrance into Sierra National Forest via highway 168 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks via Highway 180.

Fresno has three large public parks, two located in the city limits and one in county land to the southwest. Woodward Park, which features the Shinzen Japanese Gardens, numerous picnic areas and several miles of trails, is located in North Fresno and is adjacent to the San Joaquin River Parkway. Roeding Park, located near Downtown Fresno, is home to the Chaffee Zoological Gardensmarker, and Rotary Storyland and Playland. Kearney Park is the largest of the Fresno region's park system and is home to historic Kearney Mansion and plays host to the annual Civil War Revisited, the largest reenactment of the Civil War in the west coast of the U.S.


Fresno has relatively mild winters and hot dry summers. Somewhat like a Mediterranean Climate but more like a semi-arid climate December low temperatures average with July high temperatures averaging , though summer temperatures can occasionally soar to highs of or more. Summers provide considerable sunshine, with July peaking at 97 percent of the total possible sunlight hours; conversely, January is the lowest with only 46 percent of the daylight time in sunlight because of thick tule fog. Average annual precipitation is , which, by definition, would classify the area as a semidesert and very close to a desert climate—with agriculture only possible through the use of very extensive, tax-payer subsidized irrigation; rainfall is concentrated in the winter and spring seasons, with the summers typically being very dry. Most of the wind rose direction occurrences derive from the northwest, as winds are driven downward along the axis of the California Central Valleymarker; in December, January and February there is an increased presence of southeastern wind directions in the wind rose statistics. Fresno meteorology was selected in a national U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study for analysis of equilibrium temperature for use of ten-year meteorological data to represent a warm, dry western United States locale.

The highest temperature recorded at the Fresno air terminal was 113°F on July 23, 2006; the lowest temperature recorded was 18°F on January 10, 1949, and December 23, 1990. These temperatures have been exceeded at other locations within the city limits. Temperatures reach or higher on an average of 106.4 days annually and drop to or lower on an average of 21.2 days annually. The wettest year at the airport was 1983 with 21.61 inches and the dryest year was 1966 with 6.07 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 8.56 inches in January 1969 and the most rainfall in 24 hours was 2.38 inches on March 10, 1995. Measurable precipitation falls on an average of 46 days annually. Snow is a rarity; the heaviest snowfall at the airport was 2.2 inches on January 21, 1962.


Location of the Fresno-Madera CSA and its components:
Fresno is the larger principal city of the Fresno-Madera CSAmarker, a Combined Statistical Areathat includes the Fresnomarker(Fresno County) and Maderamarker(Madera County) metropolitan areas, which had a combined population of 922,516 at the 2000 census.

At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates the city's population was 56.3% White (34.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 9.2%Black or African American, 2.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 12.5% Asian, 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 23.4% from some other race and 3.6% from two or more races. 44.0% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the censusof 2000, there were 427,652 people, 140,079 households, and 97,915 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 4,097.9 people per square mile (1,582.2/km²). There were 149,025 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the city was 50.17% White, 8.36% Blackor African American, 1.58% Native American, 11.23% Asian(mostly Hmong), 0.14% Pacific Islander, 23.36% from other races, and 5.16% from two or more races. Hispanicor Latinoof any race were 39.87% of the population.

There were 140,079 households out of which 40.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couplesliving together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.57.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.9% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,236, and the median income for a family was $35,892. Males had a median income of $32,279 versus $26,551 for females. The per capita incomefor the city was $15,010. About 20.5% of families and 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.5% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

The population as of July 1, 2007 was estimated to be 470,508 by the US Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program. The Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Areapopulation was estimated at 899,348.

Ottoman Empirebrought more immigrants to the San Joaquin Valley, which reminded them so much of home. By 1894 the Armenian population in Fresno was 360, a number which grew rapidly with the onset of the Hamidian Massacresin 1895-96. The massacres and persecution of the Armenians by the Turks fueled the growth until it reached about 10,000 even before the start of the Armenian Genocide. Many of the immigrants were Protestant converts, the result of heavy missionary activity in Armenia by American Christians seeking converts from the Armenian Church. During and after the genocide even more Armenians came until the restrictions on immigration in 1921 and 1924 brought this to a virtual end. Los Angelesmarker also became a focus of Armenian immigration, and some Armenians from Fresno moved there as well.The number of Armenians in LA surpassed those in Fresno in 1930 - partly because of the agricultural depression in the valley during the 1920s.

The early immigrants were primarily involved with farming and agriculture, with the ultimate goal almost always that of land ownership. By 1930 Armenians owned 40% of the raisin acreage in Fresno County. They were pioneers in the melon and fig production as well.

From the very beginning, bigotry against Armenians was common, and led many to Anglicize their names. In the 1890s Armenian Protestants were stripped of membership in local churches. Fear of Armenian land ownership caused the passage of laws restricting their rights to freely buy land. This attitude towards the tight knit Armenian community led some to try and assimilate, while having the opposite affect on others. The problem lasted for many decades, finally abating in the 1950s.

After WWII, displaced Soviet Armenianscame from Germany, and a natural population flow of Armenians from east to west in the US also contributed to growth.

Today, the number of Armenians in Fresno is thought to number 25-30,000.

  • 1881 - first Armenians move to Fresno
  • 1894 - large influx due to Hamidian Massacres
  • 1897 - First Armenian Presbyterian Church constructed
  • 1900 - Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church built, which burned in 1914 and was rebuilt in a new location in the heart of "Little Armenia".
  • 1901 - Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church
  • 1902 - Kaghakatsi (meaning Citizen) founded, renamed Nor Or (meaning New Day) in 1923.
  • 1908 - Asbarez (meaning Arena) newspaper founded.
  • 1957 - California Courier, which was California's first English-language Armenian newspaper.
  • 1970s - Establishment of Armenian Community School of Fresno and the Armenian Studies department at California State University Fresnomarker.


Four-year institutions

Two-year institutions

Career colleges

High Schools (Public)

K-12, Districts

Private Schools

Origins and history

The original inhabitants of the region were the Yokuts.

The County of Fresno was formed in 1856. It was named for the abundant mountain ash trees lining the San Joaquin River. Fresnois the Spanish word for white ash trees. The county was much larger than it is today as part of Tulare County, comprising its current area plus all of what became Madera Countymarker and parts of what are now San Benitomarker, Kingsmarker, Inyomarker, and Monomarker counties.

Millerton, then on the banks of the free-flowing San Joaquin Riverand close to Fort Miller, became the county seat after becoming a focal point for settlers. Other early county settlements included Firebaugh's Ferrymarker, Scottsburgmarker and Elkhorn Springs.

The San Joaquin River flooded on December 24, 1867, inundating Millerton. Some residents rebuilt, others moved. Flooding also destroyed the town of Scottsburg that winter. Rebuilt on higher ground, Scottsburg was renamed Centervillemarker.

In 1867, Anthony Easterby purchased land bounded by the present Chestnut, Belmont, Clovis and California avenues. Unable to grow wheat for lack of water, he hired Moses J. Church in 1871 to build an irrigation canal. Church then formed the Fresno Canal and Irrigation Company, a predecessor of the Fresno Irrigation District.

In 1872, the Central Pacific Railroadestablished a station near Easterby's farm for its new Southern Pacificline. Soon there was a store. Around the station and the store grew the town of Fresno Station, later called Fresno. Many Millerton residents, drawn by the convenience of the railroad and worried about flooding, moved to the new community. Fresno became an incorporated city in 1885.

Two years after the station was established, county residents voted to move the county seat from Millerton to Fresno. When the Friant Dammarker was completed in 1944, the site of Millerton became inundated by the waters of Millerton Lakemarker.In extreme droughts, when the reservoir shrinks, ruins of the original county seat can still be observed.

In the nineteenth century, with so much wooden construction and in the absence of sophisticated firefighting resources, fires often ravaged American frontier towns. The greatest of Fresno's early-day fires, in 1882, destroyed an entire block of the city. Another devastating blaze struck in 1883.

In 1909, Fresno's first and oldest synagogue, Temple Beth Israelmarker, was founded.

The population of Fresno proper soared in the second half of the 20th century. It entered the ranks of the 100 largest United States cities in 1960 census with a population of 134,000. In the 1990 census it moved up to 47th place with 354,000, and in the census of 2000 it achieved 37th place with 428,000, a 21 percent increase during the preceding decade.

The Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfillmarker was the first modern landfill in the United States, and incorporated several important innovations to waste disposal, including trenching, compacting, and the daily covering of trash with dirt.It was opened in 1937 and closed in 1987. Today, it has the unusual distinction of being a National Historic Landmarkas well as a Superfund Site.

Before World War II, Fresno had many ethnic neighborhoods, including Little Armenia, German Town, Little Italy, and China Town. During 1942, Pinedale, in what is now North Fresno, was the site of the Pinedale Assembly Centermarker, an interim facility for the relocation of Fresno area Japanese Americans to internment camps.The Fresno Fairgroundswas also utilized as an assembly center.

Row crops and orchards gave way to urban development particularly in the period after World War II; this transition was particularly vividly demonstrated in locations such as the Blackstone Avenuecorridor.

The dance style commonly known as poppingevolved in Fresno in the 1970s.

Fictional residents of the town were portrayed in a 1986 comedic mini seriestitled "Fresno", featuring Carol Burnett, Dabney Coleman, Teri Garrand Charles Grodin, along with numerous other celebrities. The mini series was presented as a parody of the prime time soap operas popular in the 1980s.

In 1995, the FBImarker's Operation Rezone sting resulted in several prominent Fresno and Clovis politicians being charged in connection with taking bribes in return for rezoning farmland for housing developments.Before the sting brought a halt to it, housing developers could buy farmland cheaply, pay off council members to have it rezoned, and make a large profit building and selling inexpensive housing. Sixteen people were eventually convicted as a result of the sting.



Fresno County Courthouse
Through the 1990s, downtown was one of the last remaining examples of untouched architecture in Californiamarker, but it has recently been subjected to a mixed revitalization effort.While many of the buildings that were once abandoned for many years have been remodeled, many have been demolished or are under threat of being demolished to be replaced with new structures. Recently added new structures such as Grizzlies Stadium, now Chukchansi Parkmarker and the Federal Courthouse, and plans to eventually erect new high-rise buildings, threaten the unique and increasingly rare twentieth century architecture.

A victim of this redevelopment was the Vagabond Hotel, unique in its relevance in popular culture. The Vagabond, which had a pool that was an important location in modern skateboardinghistory and a prime example of mid-century moderngoogie"roadside" architecture, was demolished in 2004 and replaced by concrete commercial lots and lofts in 2006. The old Army Induction Center, which was used during the Vietnam War, was also recently destroyed in the next development project on H St and Amador.

The historic Fulton Mall and Chinatown (Japantown) are two downtown areas which still retain an exceptional amount of historic buildings and architecture of contextual, associative and memorial value in comparison with other cities of California and the Western United States, and are being considered for preservation as historic district.
Van Ness Arch


One of Fresno's other areas, Sunnyside is located on Fresno's far east side, bounded by Chestnut Avenue to the West.

Old Fig Garden

First started as a development known as Forkner-Giffen Fig Garden Estates #1the now historic community set among mature trees of Old Fig Garden has long been one of Fresno's most prestigious neighborhoods. Fig Gardenmarker is an area of approximately , once on the northern fringe of Fresno, but the city has since incorporated all of the surrounding land, making Fig Garden a county "island."The city's annual "Christmas Tree Lane"is found on a section of Van Ness Boulevard during the holiday season. Old Fig Garden is considered the ideal neighborhood to live in, especially the houses on Christmas Tree Lane.

Christmas Tree Lane is located on Van Ness Boulevard in between Shields Avenue and Shaw Avenue and runs through Old Fig Garden. It was started in 1920 when a single tree in the front yard of one of the houses on Van Ness Boulevard was decorated with lights to honor their son who had lost his life in the war. After that, more and more houses began decorating their front yard trees and soon enough Christmas Tree Lane was born. In 1941 the lane was unable to light up the trees due to wartime restrictions and another time in 1973 due to an energy crisis. December 5, 2009 will mark the 87th anniversary for Christmas Tree Lane which will make it one of the longest running Christmas traditions in the country. Christmas Tree Lane is so well known that it even made the Washington Post. Over 100,000 people make the effort to either walk or drive down Christmas Tree Lane every year. Many homes on Christmas Tree Lane hold parties at their homes in order to see the annual parade on the opening night. Many neighborhoods in Fresno have started their own holiday light lanes, but to this day Christmas Tree Lane is still the one that people line up to see.

Tower District

The popular neighborhood known as the Tower District is centered around the historic Tower Theater, which is included on the National List of Historic Places. The theater was built in 1939 and is located at Olive and Wishon Avenues in the heart of the Tower District. (The name of the theater refers to a well-known landmark water tower which is actually located in another nearby area). The Tower District neighborhood is located just north of downtown Fresno proper, and one-half mile south of Fresno City College. Although the neighborhood was known as a residential area prior, the early commercial establishments of the Tower District began with small shops and services that flocked to the area shortly after World War II. The character of small local businesses largely remains today, despite the presence of national chain Starbucks. To some extent, the businesses of the Tower District were developed due to the proximity of the original Fresno Normal School, (later renamed California State University at Fresno). In 1916 the college moved to what is now the site of Fresno City College one-half mile north of the Tower District.

This vibrant and culturally diverse area of retail businesses and residences experienced a renewal after a significant decline in the late 1960s and 1970s. After decades of neglect and suburban flight, the neighborhood revival followed the re-opening of the Tower Theater in the late 1970s, which at that time showed second and third run movies, along with classic films. Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre and its Good Company Players also opened nearby in 1978, at Olive and Wishon Avenues. Fresno native Audra McDonaldperformed in the leading roles of Evita and The Wiz at the theatre while she was a high school student. Ms. McDonald subsequently became a leading performer on Broadway in New York City and a Tony award winning actress.

The Tower District has become a hub for community events such as Jamaica My Weekend, Mardi Gras in February, Car Shows, A Taste of The Tower, Halloween in the Tower, and the opened Farmer's Market on the North-West Corner of Olive and Van Ness.

The neighborhood features some notable restaurants, live Theatre and nightclubs, as well as several independent shops and bookstores, currently operating on or near Olive Avenue, and all within a few hundred feet of each other. Since renewal, the Tower District has become an attractive area for restaurant and other local businesses. Today, the Tower District is also known as the center of Fresno's LGBTcommunity.

The area is also known for its early twentieth century homes, many of which have been restored in recent decades. The area includes many California Bungalowand American Craftsmanstyle homes, Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Mediterranean Revival Style architecture, Mission Revival Style architecture, and many Storybook housesdesigned by Fresno architects, Hilliard, Taylor & Wheeler. The residential architecture of the Tower District contrasts with the newer areas of tract homes urban sprawlin north and east areas of Fresno.

Huntington Boulevard

Homes from the early 20th century line this boulevardin the heart of the historic Alta Vista Tract. The section of Huntington Boulevard between First Street on the west to Cedar Avenue on the east is the home to many large, stately homes. The original development of this area began circa 1910, on 190 acresof what had been an alfalfafield. The Alta Vista Tract, as the land would become known, was mapped by William Stranahan for the Pacific Improvement Corporation, and was officially plattedin 1911. The tract'sboundaries were Balch Avenue on the south, Cedar Avenue on the east, the rear property line of Platt Avenue (east of Sixth Street) and Platt Avenue (west of Sixth Street) on the north, and First Street on the west. The subdivisionwas annexedto the City in January 1912, in an election that was the first in which women voted in the community. At the time of its admission to the City, the Alta Vista Tract was uninhabited but landscaped, although the trees had to be watered by tank wagon. In 1914developers Billings & Meyering acquired the tract, completed street development, provided the last of the necessary municipal improvements including water service, and began marketing the property with fervor. A mere half decadelater the tract had 267 homes. This rapid development was no doubt hastened by the Fresno Traction Company right-of-way along Huntington Boulevard, which provided streetcarconnections between downtown and the County Hospital.

The surrounding streets, Kerckhoff and Balch Avenues (which are part of the original Alta Vista tract), have homes from the Arts and Craftsera which, like the downtown, are being renovated and brought back to their historic roots. During Christmas, the homes along the boulevard are adorned with lightsand decorations. The nation's tallest living Christmas Tree, located at Huntington and 6th Street, is the highlight of the event.

Huntington Boulevard has been referred to as Fresno's "anti-gated community."

Van Ness Extension

North of Shaw Avenue, Van Ness continues as the Van Ness Extension, located between Marks Avenue and West Avenue. The Van Ness Extension could be considered the most prestigious neighborhood in the city, and boasts some of Fresno's most elaborate homes and most affluent citizens. But the architecture on Van Ness Extension does not compare to the homes in Old Fig Garden, even though some of Fresno's wealthiest families live on Van Ness Extension. Old Fig Garden is still considered the ideal neighborhood in Fresno, even though Van Ness Extension is more modern and possibly wealthier.

The West Side

The "West Side" of Fresno, also often called "Southwest Fresno", is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhood lies southwest of the 99 freeway (which divides it from Downtown Fresno), west of the 41 freeway and south of Nielsen Ave (or the newly-constructed 180 Freeway), and extends to the city limits to the west and south. The neighborhood is traditionally considered to be the center of Fresno's African-American community. It is culturally diverse and also includes significant Mexican-American and Asian-American (principally Hmong or Laotian) populations.

The neighborhood includes Kearney Boulevard, named after early 20th century entrepreneur and millionaire M. Theo Kearney, which extends from Fresno Street in Southwest Fresno about west to Kerman, California. A small, two-lane rural road for most of its length, Kearney Boulevard is lined with tall palm trees. The roughly half-mile stretch of Kearney Boulevard between Fresno Street and Thorne Ave was at one time the preferred neighborhood for Fresno's elite African-American families. Another section, Brookhaven, on the southern edge of the West Side south of Jensen and west of Elm, was given the name by the Fresno City Council in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood's image. The isolated subdivision was for years known as the "Dogg Pound" in reference to a local gang, and as of late 2008 was still known for high levels of violent crime.

While many homes in the neighborhood date back to the 1930s or before, the neighborhood is also home to several public housing developments built between the 1960s and 1990s by the Fresno Housing Authority. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has also built small subdivisions of single-family homes in the area for purchase by low-income working families. There have been numerous attempts to revitalize the neighborhood, including the construction of a modern shopping center on the corner of Fresno and B streets, an aborted attempt to build luxury homes and a golf course on the western edge of the neighborhood, and some new section 8 apartments have been built along Church Ave west of Elm St. Cargill Meat Solutions and Foster Farms both have large processing facilities in the neighborhood, and the stench from these (and other small industrial facilities) has long plagued area residents. The Fresno Chandler Executive Airport is also located on the West Side. Due to its position on the edge of the city and years of neglect by developers, is not a true "inner-city" neighborhood, and there are many vacant lots, strawberry fields and vineyards throughout the neighborhood. The neighborhood has very little retail activity, aside from the area near Fresno Street and State Route 99 Freeway (Kearney Palm Shopping Center, built in the late 1990s) and small corner markets scattered throughout.

Sierra Sky Park

Formed in 1946, Sierra Sky Park Airportmarker is a residential airport community born of a unique agreement in transportation law to allow personal aircraft and automobiles to share certain roads.Sierra Sky Park was the first aviation community to be built and there are now numerous such communities across the United States and around the world. Developer William Smilie created the nation's first planned aviation community. Still in operation today, the public use airport provides a unique neighborhood which spawned interest and similar communities nationwide.

Unincorporated communities


Theatres and Theatre Companies

Museums/Historical Attractions


Fresno-based sports organizations include:Foot Ball-WACBulldog Stadium
Club Sport Founded League Venue
Fresno Grizzlies Baseball 1998 Pacific Coast League Chukchansi Parkmarker
Central Valley Coyotes Arena Football 2002 Arena Football 1 Selland Arenamarker
Fresno Fuego Soccer 2003 USL Premier Development League Chukchansi Parkmarker
Fresno Monsters Hockey 2009 Western States Hockey League Selland Arenamarker

The Save Mart Center at Fresno Statemarker is a multi-purpose arena on the campus of the California State University, Fresnomarker. It is home to the Fresno State Bulldogs basketball team and, for the first five seasons in the ECHL (2003-08) hosted the Fresno Falcons ice hockey team. It also hosts a wide range of musical acts.

Fresno's Woodward Park is the location of the CIF Cross Country State Championships, where high schoolers from around the state compete.

Notable residents




88.1 KFCFmarker is Fresno's Pacifica station, and one of Fresno's few non-commercial, non-corporate radio stations.

KMJ was Fresno's first radio station; it began broadcasting in 1922. Over the years its powerful 50,000-watt signal could clearly be heard throughout much of California. Here are the Fresno radio stations currently broadcasting:

FM Stations

AM Stations


To avoid interference with existing VHF television stations in the San Francisco Bay Area and those planned for Chicomarker, Sacramentomarker, Salinasmarker, and Stocktonmarker, the FCC decided that Fresno would only have UHF television stations. The very first Fresno television station to begin broadcasting was KMJ-TV, now known as KSEEmarker, Channel 24, which began broadcasting on June 1, 1953. Here are the Fresno television stations currently on the air:

Sister cities

Fresno has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI).



Fresno is served by a main north/south freeway State Route 99. Other highways include the State Route 168 (Sierra Freeway), which is an east-west bound freeway that leads to the city of Clovismarker and Huntington Lake, State Route 41 (Yosemite Freeway/Eisenhower Freeway) that comes into Fresno from the south via Atascaderomarker, and State Route 180 (Kings Canyon Freeway) that comes from the west via Mendotamarker and from the east in Kings Canyon National Park.

Fresno is the largest U.S. city not directly linked to an Interstate highway. Perhaps in light of this, but probably more because of increasing traffic on Interstate 5 on the west side of the Central Valley, much discussion has been made to upgrade SR 99 to interstate standards and, eventually, incorporate it into the interstate system, most likely as Interstate 9. Major improvements to signage, lane width, median separation, vertical clearance, and other concerns are currently underway.


Fresno Yosemite International Airportmarker (FAT), until recently "Fresno Air Terminal", provides regularly scheduled commercial airline service. The airport serves an estimated 1.3 million passengers annually to domestic and two international destinations.

Fresno Chandler Executive Airportmarker (FCH) is located southwest of Downtown Fresno. Built in the 1920s, it is one of the oldest operational airports in California. The airport currently serves as a general aviation airport.

Sierra Sky Park Airportmarker, located in Northwest Fresno, is a privately owned airport, but is open to the public. The airport was America's first aviation community . Extra-wide streets surrounding the airport allow for residents of the community to land, taxi down extra-wide avenues, and park in the driveway at home.


Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak San Joaquins. The main passenger rail station is the recently renovated historic Santa Fe Railroad Depotmarker located in Downtown Fresno. The Bakersfield-Stockton mainlines of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad railroads cross in Fresno, and both railroads maintain railyards within the city; the San Joaquin Valley Railroad also operates former Southern Pacific branchlines heading west and south out of the city.

Public transportation

Public transit is provided by the Fresno Area Express. It consists entirely on buses serving the greater Fresno metropolitan area. Intercity and long-distance bus service is provided by Greyhound and Orange Belt Stages.

The city once provided trolley service during the late 19th and early 20th century. Known as the Fresno City Railway Company and later the Fresno Traction Company, the service operated horse-drawn streetcars from 1887 to 1901. Electric streetcars were introduced in 1903. The electric streetcars were used until 1939.

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