Lafayette
Downtown Lafayette and the Riehle Plaza & CityBus depot (2011)
Downtown Lafayette and the Riehle Plaza & CityBus depot (2011)
Nickname: 
"Star City"
Map
Map
Map
Map
Coordinates: 40°24′02″N 86°52′43″W / 40.40056°N 86.87861°W / 40.40056; -86.87861
CountryUnited States of America
StateIndiana
CountyTippecanoe
TownshipsFairfield, Perry, Sheffield, Wea
Platted1825
Incorporated1853
Founded byWilliam Digby
Named forGeneral Lafayette
Government
 • TypeMayor–council
 • MayorTony Roswarski (D)
Area
 • City29.50 sq mi (76.41 km2)
 • Land29.38 sq mi (76.09 km2)
 • Water0.13 sq mi (0.33 km2)
 • Metro
904.6 sq mi (2,343 km2)
Elevation663 ft (202 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City70,783
 • Density2,409.39/sq mi (930.27/km2)
 • Metro
223,716 (205th)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
47901, 47904, 47905, 47909
Area code765
Interstate Highways I-65
U.S. Highways
Major state roads
WaterwaysWabash River
AirportsPurdue University Airport
(West Lafayette)
Public transitCityBus
FIPS code18-40788[3]
GNIS feature ID[4]2395583[2]
Websitewww.lafayette.in.gov

Lafayette (/ˌlɑːfˈɛt, ˌlæf-/ LAH-fee-ET, LAF-ee-ET) is a city in and is the county seat of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, United States,[4][5] located 63 miles (101 km) northwest of Indianapolis and 125 miles (201 km) southeast of Chicago. West Lafayette, on the other side of the Wabash River, is home to Purdue University, which contributes significantly to both communities. Together, Lafayette and West Lafayette form the core of the Lafayette metropolitan area, which had a population of 224,709 in the 2021 US Census Bureau estimates.

According to the 2020 United States Census, the population of Lafayette was 70,783, a 25% increase from 56,397 in 2000. Meanwhile, the 2020 Census listed the neighboring city of West Lafayette at 44,595 and the Tippecanoe County population at 186,291.[6]

Lafayette was founded in 1825 on the southeast bank of the Wabash River near where the river becomes impassable for riverboats upstream, though a French fort and trading post had existed since 1717 on the opposite bank and three miles downstream. It was named for the French general Marquis de Lafayette, a Revolutionary War hero.

History

General Lafayette, 1792
This panoramic map illustrates a bird's-eye view of Lafayette in 1868.

When European explorers arrived at this area, it was inhabited by a tribe of Miami Native Americans known as the Ouiatenon or Weas. In 1717, the French government established Fort Ouiatenon across the Wabash River and three miles (5 km) south of present-day Lafayette. The fort became the center of trade for fur trappers, merchants and Indians. An annual reenactment and festival known as Feast of the Hunters' Moon is held there each autumn.[7]

The town of Lafayette was platted in May 1825 by William Digby, a trader. It was designated as the county seat of the newly formed Tippecanoe County the following year. Like many frontier towns, Lafayette was named for General Lafayette, a French officer who significantly aided George Washington's Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette toured the United States in 1824 and 1825.[8]

In its earliest days, Lafayette was a shipping center on the Wabash River. In 1838, Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, the first United States Patent Commissioner, published a booklet titled Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana, with Hints on Its Agricultural Advantages, to promote settlement of the region. By 1845, Ellsworth had purchased 93,000 acres (380 km2) of farmland around Lafayette and moved there from Connecticut to supervise land sales.[9] By 1847 Ellsworth was distributing broadsides looking for farmers to purchase his farmland.[10] He became president of the Tippecanoe County Agricultural Society in April 1851 – despite some local resentment over what was called "the Yale Crowd" – but he was defeated the same year when he ran for the Indiana House of Representatives.[11] Ellsworth Street and Ellsworth Historic District are named for him.[12]

The Wabash and Erie Canal in the 1840s stimulated trade and affirmed Lafayette's regional prominence. Railroads arrived in the town in the 1850s, connecting it with other major markets. The Monon Railroad connected Lafayette with other sections of Indiana.

Lafayette was the site of the first official airmail delivery in the United States on 17 August 1859, when John Wise piloted a balloon starting on the Lafayette courthouse grounds. Wise hoped to reach New York; however, weather conditions forced the balloon down near Crawfordsville, Indiana, and the mail reached its final destination by train. In 1959, the US Postal Service issued a 7¢ airmail stamp commemorating the centennial of the event.[13]

Geography

Lafayette is located in Fairfield and Wea Townships.

According to the 2010 census, Lafayette has a total area of 27.74 square miles (71.85 km2), all land.[14]

Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods include:[15]

Historic neighborhoods include Ninth Street Hill Neighborhood Historic District and Upper Main Street Historic District.

Climate

In recent years, temperatures in Lafayette have ranged from an average low of 17 °F (−8 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −33 °F (−36 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and again in January 1994; and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in June 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 1.58 inches (40 mm) in February to 4.24 inches (108 mm) in June.[16]

Climate data for Lafayette, Indiana (Purdue University Airport) 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1944–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 69
(21)
73
(23)
86
(30)
89
(32)
96
(36)
105
(41)
105
(41)
100
(38)
98
(37)
92
(33)
80
(27)
73
(23)
105
(41)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 33.4
(0.8)
38.0
(3.3)
49.5
(9.7)
61.9
(16.6)
72.5
(22.5)
81.2
(27.3)
83.8
(28.8)
82.7
(28.2)
77.2
(25.1)
64.5
(18.1)
50.0
(10.0)
38.2
(3.4)
61.1
(16.2)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.8
(−3.4)
29.7
(−1.3)
40.0
(4.4)
51.1
(10.6)
61.6
(16.4)
70.7
(21.5)
73.6
(23.1)
72.2
(22.3)
65.5
(18.6)
53.7
(12.1)
41.3
(5.2)
31.0
(−0.6)
51.3
(10.7)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 18.2
(−7.7)
21.4
(−5.9)
30.4
(−0.9)
40.3
(4.6)
50.7
(10.4)
60.1
(15.6)
63.4
(17.4)
61.7
(16.5)
53.9
(12.2)
43.0
(6.1)
32.6
(0.3)
23.8
(−4.6)
41.6
(5.3)
Record low °F (°C) −23
(−31)
−20
(−29)
−6
(−21)
7
(−14)
25
(−4)
35
(2)
43
(6)
37
(3)
29
(−2)
19
(−7)
5
(−15)
−16
(−27)
−23
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.19
(56)
1.78
(45)
2.73
(69)
3.84
(98)
4.04
(103)
4.56
(116)
4.08
(104)
3.12
(79)
2.59
(66)
2.91
(74)
2.87
(73)
2.29
(58)
37.00
(940)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.3 8.1 10.6 11.6 12.6 12.6 11.8 10.4 9.4 9.5 10.1 10.3 126.3
Source: NOAA[17][18]
Climate data for Lafayette 8 S, Indiana (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1954–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
(19)
74
(23)
85
(29)
89
(32)
95
(35)
104
(40)
106
(41)
98
(37)
102
(39)
92
(33)
80
(27)
71
(22)
106
(41)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 33.2
(0.7)
37.7
(3.2)
49.2
(9.6)
61.9
(16.6)
72.9
(22.7)
81.4
(27.4)
83.6
(28.7)
82.4
(28.0)
77.8
(25.4)
65.4
(18.6)
50.5
(10.3)
38.4
(3.6)
61.2
(16.2)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.4
(−3.7)
29.2
(−1.6)
39.7
(4.3)
51.4
(10.8)
62.7
(17.1)
71.6
(22.0)
73.9
(23.3)
72.3
(22.4)
66.2
(19.0)
54.5
(12.5)
41.8
(5.4)
31.0
(−0.6)
51.6
(10.9)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 17.7
(−7.9)
20.7
(−6.3)
30.2
(−1.0)
40.9
(4.9)
52.5
(11.4)
61.7
(16.5)
64.2
(17.9)
62.1
(16.7)
54.6
(12.6)
43.6
(6.4)
33.0
(0.6)
23.5
(−4.7)
42.1
(5.6)
Record low °F (°C) −25
(−32)
−23
(−31)
−15
(−26)
4
(−16)
24
(−4)
36
(2)
42
(6)
36
(2)
26
(−3)
19
(−7)
−2
(−19)
−25
(−32)
−25
(−32)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.45
(62)
1.95
(50)
2.70
(69)
3.91
(99)
4.37
(111)
5.01
(127)
4.26
(108)
3.68
(93)
2.96
(75)
2.98
(76)
3.17
(81)
2.39
(61)
39.83
(1,012)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.6
(17)
5.8
(15)
3.1
(7.9)
0.4
(1.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.6
(1.5)
4.0
(10)
20.5
(52)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.0 8.5 10.0 11.7 12.5 11.0 9.4 8.6 7.9 9.6 10.0 9.9 119.1
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.0 3.2 1.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 2.6 12.0
Source: NOAA[17][19]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18506,129
18609,38753.2%
187013,50643.9%
188014,86010.0%
189016,2439.3%
190018,11611.5%
191020,08110.8%
192022,48612.0%
193026,24016.7%
194028,7989.7%
195035,55823.5%
196042,33019.0%
197044,9556.2%
198043,011−4.3%
199043,7641.8%
200056,39728.9%
201067,14019.0%
202070,7835.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

Lafayette is the larger principal city of the Lafayette-Frankfort CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Lafayette metropolitan area (Benton, Carroll, and Tippecanoe counties) and the Frankfort micropolitan area (Clinton County),[21][22][23] which had a combined population of 212,408 at the 2000 United States Census.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census,[24] there were 67,140 people, 28,545 households, and 15,863 families in the city. The population density was 2,420.3 inhabitants per square mile (934.5/km2). There were 31,260 housing units at an average density of 1,126.9 per square mile (435.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.2% White, 11.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1% Asian, 0.0% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.3% of the population.

There were 28,545 households, of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.4% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 31.9 years. 23.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.2% were from 45 to 64, and 11.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.

2000 census

View of Lafayette from Main Street Bridge

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 56,397 people, 24,060 households, and 13,666 families in the city. The population density was 2,806.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,083.6/km2). There were 25,602 housing units at an average density of 1,274.1 per square mile (491.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% White; 3.22% African American; 0.37% Native American; 1.22% Asian; 0.04% Pacific Islander; 4.61% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.11% of the population.

There were 24,060 households, out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 42.5% were married couples living together; 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present; and 43.2% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 individuals and the average family size was 2.98.

The city population contained 23.2% under the age of 18; 14.2% from 18 to 24; 31.3% from 25 to 44; 19.3% from 45 to 64; and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,859, and the median income for a family was $45,480. Males had a median income of $32,892 versus $23,049 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,217. About 8.0% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Companies located in Lafayette include:

Arts and culture

Main Street

Festivals

Public library

The Lafayette area has four branch locations of the Tippecanoe County Public Library:[27]

Points of interest

Notable buildings

Government

Tippecanoe County Courthouse

The government consists of a mayor – elected in a citywide vote – and a city council of nine members. Six are elected from individual districts; three are elected at-large.

Education

Colleges

Public

K-12 public education in Lafayette is provided by the Lafayette School Corporation. The Tippecanoe School Corporation also administers county schools nearby. New Community School was a tuition-free elementary charter school (sponsored by Ball State University) located on the north side of Lafayette that permanently closed at the end of 2016.[32] Beacon Academy was a charter school that was located in West Lafayette and closed in 2018.

Private

Media

Newspapers

Television

From 1953 until the 2016 launch of WPBI-LD, WLFI-TV had been the only "Big Three" (ABC, CBS and NBC—or, including Fox, "big four") commercial network television broadcaster in the Lafayette market. With the 2017 launch of WPBY-LD, local broadcasts of all "big four" networks became available.[33][34]

WRTV, WTHR, WTTV, and WXIN, the respective ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox affiliates in Indianapolis which had been carried by cable and satellite providers in the Lafayette market as "out-of-market" stations, remain viewable in the area via a large over-the-air antenna or, in some cases, via a subscription satellite or streaming service. Cable provider Comcast Xfinity discontinued its remaining carriage of Indianapolis-based "big four" stations on March 7, 2018,[35] but resumed carriage of WTHR and WRTV two days later.[36]

Radio

Commercial

Non-commercial

Infrastructure

Transportation

Sagamore Parkway (as seen from West Lafayette)
Riehle Plaza and the railway station

Airport

No airports are located within Lafayette city limits. The nearest general aviation airport is Purdue University Airport (LAF) in West Lafayette. The nearest commercial airport which currently has scheduled airline service is Indianapolis International Airport (IND), located approximately 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Lafayette in Indianapolis.

Highways

Railroads

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides passenger rail service to Lafayette through the Cardinal to Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City. Norfolk Southern; CSX; Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad; and Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway (RailAmerica) provide freight rail service. Many lines that originally passed through the downtown were redirected in the mid-1990s to a rail corridor near the Wabash River.[37][38]

See also: Lafayette station (Indiana)

Buses and shuttles

Notable people

For notable people associated with Purdue University, see List of Purdue University people.

Entertainment

Sports

Business, law, politics

Academic, science, technology

Other

Gallery

Sister cities

Lafayette has two sister cities as designated by Sister Cities International.[46][47]

References

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lafayette, Indiana
  3. ^ "US Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Lafayette, Indiana". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Smith 3, Fletcher (2014). "Find a name". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Lafayette IN – QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  7. ^ "Feast of the Hunters' Moon". Tippecanoe County Historical Association. Archived from the original on June 20, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
  8. ^ "Lafayette History". Home Of Purdue. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  9. ^ A Day in the Life of Tippecanoe County Archived 6 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  10. ^ "Guide to the Henry Leavitt Ellsworth Papers, Yale University Library". Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2009.
  11. ^ A Day in the Life of Tippecanoe County, Tippecanoe County Historical Association Archived 6 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ During the period of Ellsworth's residence in Lafayette, two of his children came to national attention. His son Henry William Ellsworth was confirmed as United States chargé d'affaires at Stockholm, Sweden, in January 1846; and Ellsworth's daughter Annie suggested the words of the first telegraph message sent by her father's friend Samuel F. B. Morse in May 1844.
  13. ^ First Air Mail Flight Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  15. ^ "Neighborhoods". City of Lafayette, Indiana. Retrieved January 20, 2024.
  16. ^ "Monthly Averages for Lafayette IN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  18. ^ "Station: Lafayette Purdue UNIV AP, TN". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  19. ^ "Station: Lafayette 8 S, In". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  21. ^ Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Components Archived 26 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 11 May 2007. Accessed 1 August 2008.
  22. ^ Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Components Archived 29 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 11 May 2007. Accessed 1 August 2008.
  23. ^ Combined Statistical Areas and Component Core Based Statistical Areas Archived 29 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Office of Management and Budget, 11 May 2007. Accessed 1 August 2008.
  24. ^ "US Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  25. ^ Waltrous, Monica (July 12, 2021). "Tate & Lyle to sell controlling stake in Primary Products Unit". Food Business News. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  26. ^ https://www.caterpillar.com/en/news/caterpillarNews/company-performance/3q19-beyond-the-numbers.html
  27. ^ "Home- Tippecanoe County Public Library". Tippecanoe County Public Library. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  28. ^ "Downtown Library - Tippecanoe County Public Library". Tippecanoe County Public Library. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "Wyandotte Branch - Tippecanoe County Public Library". Tippecanoe County Public Library. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  30. ^ "Klondike Branch - Tippecanoe County Public Library". Tippecanoe County Public Library. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  31. ^ "Wea Prairie Branch - Tippecanoe County Public Library". Tippecanoe County Public Library. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  32. ^ New Community School Closed (12 December 2016)
  33. ^ "Lafayette, Ind. Gets Its Own ABC Affiliate". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  34. ^ "WPBI begins news broadcast, launches ABC affiliate". Journal & Courier. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  35. ^ "Comcast kills last of Indy stations from Lafayette's cable lineup". Journal & Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "Comcast: Indianapolis broadcast stations back … at least for now". Journal & Courier. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  37. ^ Amtrak in Lafaytte IN (1994) gregarnst
  38. ^ Amtrak in Lafaytte IN (May 1995) gregarnst
  39. ^ Online Live Bus timings updates Archived 17 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 11 May 2007.
  40. ^ "Former Jeff student, 'Five Easy Pieces' actress Karen Black dies at 74". Journal & Courier. August 9, 2013.
  41. ^ imdb page of Tammy Lynn Michaels
  42. ^ Home Page: Ken Navarro Archived 8 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ imdb page of Victor Potel
  44. ^ "Eric Bruntlett Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  45. ^ Executive Order No. 312, Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, November 16, 2022. Accessed July 24, 2023. "WHEREAS, First Lady Lucinda Florio was born Lucinda Coleman in Lafayette, Indiana in 1947, before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and then to Gloucester City, New Jersey"
  46. ^ "2018 Annual Report and Membership Directory" (PDF). Sister Cities International. p. 47. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  47. ^ "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  48. ^ アメリカ合衆国インディアナ州グレイターラフィエット [Greater Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America] (in Japanese). City of Ōta, Gunma. Retrieved June 20, 2016.