Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Eugene redirects here. For the professional wrestler "Eugene", see Nick Dinsmore.
Eugene is the third  largest city in the state of Oregon and the county seat of Lane County, Oregon. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie River and the Willamette River, about 60 miles (97 km) east of the Oregon Coast. According to the 2000 census, it has a total population of 137,893. As of July 1, 2003 the US Census Bureau estimated the population of Eugene to be 142,185. The city's population is expected to further grow to 228,400 within the next 10 years.
Eugene's average temperature is 53 °F (12 °C); its annual rainfall is 43 inches (1.1 m).
Cultural attractions in Eugene include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts , resident ballet, theater, opera and symphony, Bach Festival , Historic District , walking tours, 23 art galleries and museums,and the Willamette Science and Technology Center (now called "The Science Factory") . The Three Sisters Wilderness and The Oregon Dunes are just a short drive away. Local events include: Eugene Celebration , Lane County Fair , Asian Celebration , and the Oregon Country Fair.
The Eugene Public Library recently moved into a new, larger building. The new library contains state-of-the-art technology such as an automated checking in/out system which sorts the books using RFID chips.
The nearest ski resort is the Willamette Pass Ski Resort .
In recent years the liberal wing of local politics has been gaining strength, mostly on a reform platform calling for greater transparency and accountability for local government. The recent election of Kitty Piercy (who ran unopposed) was widely considered to be a turning point, and a sign that the development interests that had guided city politics for years were unable to field a conservative candidate that would be at all acceptable to the voters.
Eugene is a major center for anarchism in North America, particularly for anarcho-primitivism. The most (in)famous member of this scene is John Zerzan. Most of the residents consider the anarchists to be just so much local color, mostly confined in the Whiteaker Neighborhood .
Eugene is possibly most famous for its 'community inventiveness'. Many University students remain after, or instead of, graduating. But there are very few jobs. So the town is full of people searching for life's meaning. Usually, that leads to community projects. As a result, many US trends in community development originated here.
The non-profit Saturday Market was the first 'Saturday Market' in the US, starting in 1970, and since recreated in cities around the country. It is still the most radical in the country -- only the farmers and craftspeople themselves can sell there.
The annual non-profit Oregon Country Fair is one of the largest volunteer events in the US, and one of the most successful. Its primitive ecotopian atmosphere is stunning.
The University of Oregon's participatory planning process, known as 'The Oregon Experiment', was the result of student protests in the early 1970's. The process, now in disuse, was famous in planning & architectural circles, and the book of the same name is a major document in modern enlightenment thinking. The plan & process was created, in Eugene, by Christopher Alexander, whose works directly inspired the creation of the Wiki. Much of the research for the book A Pattern Language, which inspired the Design Patterns movement and Extreme Programming, was done by Alexander in Eugene. Not coincidentally, those engineering movements also had origins here. 'A Pattern Language' is the best-selling book on architecture & planning of all time.
In the 1970's, Eugene was packed with co-operative & community projects. It still has small natural food stores in almost every neighborhood, and alternative schools have been part of the school district for years. And the old Grower's Market, downtown near the train depot, is the only food co-operative in the US with no employees. It is possible to see Eugene's trend-setting non-profit tendencies in much newer projects, such as the Tango Center, and the Center for Appropriate Transport.
Eugene is home to numerous cultural organizations, including the Eugene Symphony (Giancarlo Guerrero, Conductor), the Eugene Ballet (Toni Pimble, Artistic Director), and the Eugene Opera. Eugene is also home to a number of cultural events, including the world renowned Oregon Bach Fesitval (Helmuth Rilling, artistic director) and the Oregon Festival of American Music("OFAM"). Eugene has a number of performing arts venues, including the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The American Music Institute (also known as "The Shedd"), Beall Concert Hall on the University of Oregon campus, the McDonald Theater, and WOW Hall, which is primarily a venue for alternative music.
Eugene has over a dozen private art galleries, and is home to the recently renovated Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. Arts advocacy organizations include DIVA, Maude Kerns Art Center with its non-profit summer Art & the Vinyeard festival, and the Lane Arts Council.
The film Animal House was filmed in Eugene and Cottage Grove. John Belushi had the idea for the film The Blues Brothers during filming of Animal House, when he happened to meet Curtis Salgado at the then Eugene Hotel.
The "Chicken Salad on Toast" scene in the Jack Nicholson movie "Five Easy Pieces" was filmed at the Denny's restaurant at the southern I-5 freeway interchange (Glenwood exit)
A surprising number of dedicated live theatres, all non-profit or governmental, are busy in Eugene: Lord Leebrick Theatre, The Very Little Theatre, Actors Caberet, LCC Theatre, University Theatre etc.
Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was dubbed as a post office in 1850. Skinner founded Eugene in 1862.
The University of Oregon's History
The town raised the initial funding to start a public University, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a cultural center of learning. In 1872 The Oregon legislature passed a bill ratifying the University. In 1873 community member J. H. D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city. The University first opened in 1876 with regents electing first faculty and naming John Wesley Johnson as president with the first students registering on Oct. 16, 1876. It would not be until 1877, later known as Deady Hall (for the first Board of Regents President and community leader Judge Matthew Deady ) that the first building would be completed.
In 1878 the school held its first graduation ceremony, five members receiving diplomas. In 1881 Henry Villard gives financial aid to University. 1886, Villard Hall, the second campus building was completed.
The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene.
Eugene City Council:
- Mayor: Kitty Piercy
- Ward 1 - Bonny Bettman
- Ward 2 - Betty Taylor
- Ward 3 - David Kelly
- Ward 4 - George Poling
- Ward 5 - Gary Pape'.
- Ward 6 - Jennifer Solomon
- Ward 7 - Andrea Ortiz
- Ward 8 - Chris Pryor
City Manager: Dennis M. Taylor
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 105.0 km² (40.6 mi²). 104.9 km² (40.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi² or 0.10%) of it is water.
Eugene has a striking urban forest. The town is packed with trees, and its citizens are very proud and protective of them. The University of Oregon campus is itself a world-class arboretum, with over 500 species of trees, and its own tourbook.
Eugene is the headquarters of the Lane Transit District (LTD), a public transportation agency formed in 1970. LTD covers 240 square miles (620 km²) of Lane County, including Creswell, Junction City and Veneta. Operating more than 90 buses at the high activity time, LTD carries riders on 3.7 million trips every year. LTD's Eugene Station, downtown, covers nearly a city block, and is easily the busiest public plaza outside of the University.
The train depot downtown was recently restored.
The Eugene Airport, also known as Mahlon Sweet Field , is the fifth largest airport in the northwest.
On Earth Day, 1970, the major street bisecting the University of Oregon was closed by student protest. In consequence, an avenue where students formerly dodged log trucks, became a permanent bike and pedestrian path.
Since then, Eugene has built 89 miles of on-street bike lanes, and 30 miles of dedicated bike paths, including 5 bike bridges in one of the country's most extensive and beautiful riverside bicycle systems. Eugene is a valley city, mostly flat, and apart from the occasional rain, a perfect place to bicycle.
Highways traveling within and through Eugene include:
- Interstate 5: Interstate 5 forms much of the eastern city limits, forming a boundary between Eugene and Springfield. To the north, I-5 leads to the Willamette valley and Portland. To the south, I-5 leads to Roseburg and the southwestern portion of the state.
- Interstate 105/Oregon Highway 126: Oregon Highway 126 is routed along the Eugene-Springfield Highway, a limited access freeway. The Eugene portion of this highway begins at an interchange with Interstate 5 and ends two miles (3 km) west at a freeway terminus. This portion of Oregon Highway 126 is also signed Interstate 105, a spur route of Interstate 5. Oregon Highway 126 continues west, a portion shared with Oregon Highway 99, and continues west to Florence. Eastward, Oregon Highway 126 crosses the Cascades and leads to central Oregon.
- Beltline Road: Beltline Road is a limited-access freeway which runs along the northern edge of incorporated Eugene.
- Delta Highway : The Delta Highway forms a connector of less than 2 miles (3 km) between Interstate 105 and Beltline Road.
- Oregon Highway 99: Oregon Highway 99 forks off Interstate 5 south of Eugene, and forms a major surface artery in Eugene. It continues north into the Willamette valley, parallel to I-5.
The Eugene/Springfield area is home to two major hospitals:
Mckenzie/Willamette recently filed a lawsuit angainst PeaceHealth, claiming anti-trust violations on the part of the latter. PeaceHealth, who at the time was based in Eugene, lost the lawsuit. Mckenzie/Willamette, who was at the time a small hospital based in Springfield, has gained thousands from the case.
Eugene's largest industries are wood products manufacturing and recreational vehicle manufacturing. The largest employers are the University of Oregon, local government, and Sacred Heart Hospital.
Eugene currently has one of the highest unemployment rates for a city in the entire nation (6.4% as of July 2004. 257 out of 331 for all U.S. MSAs).
Eugene is the site for the corporate headquarters of employee-owned Bi-Mart. Monaco Coach Corporation has its headquarters in nearby Coburg, Oregon. Hynix Semiconductor America has a large semiconductor plant in west Eugene, producing DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) for use in computers.
Like most of town governments, Eugene's solicits outside business investment. But it's also partial to locally-developed small businesses, some of whom have formed a coalition called Unique Eugene.
Many businesses were launched in Eugene: some of the most famous include Nike, Taco Time and Broderbund Software.
Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas including anarchism, and a strong aging hippie population. Eugene's trainyard and welcoming valley climate used to be the center of this, though now more recent liberal welfare social policies are likely the cause. There is also a significant population of outdoor enthusiasts and young retirees from California and elsewhere.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 137,893 people, 58,110 households, and 31,321 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,313.9/km² (3,403.2/mi²). There are 61,444 housing units at an average density of 585.5/km² (1,516.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 88.15% White, 3.57% Asian, 1.25% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.72% from two or more races. 4.96% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 58,110 households out of which 25.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% are married couples living together, 9.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% are non-families. 31.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.27 and the average family size is 2.87.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.0 males. The median income for a household in the city is $35,850, and the median income for a family is $48,527. Males have a median income of $35,549 versus $26,721 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,315. 17.1% of the population and 8.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 14.8% of those under the age of 18 and 7.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Colleges and universities
Eugene is often called Track City, USA by athletes because of its track and field history. Shoe giant Nike, Inc. was founded in Eugene, and the city is home to the University of Oregon's Hayward Field , which hosts numerous collegiate and amateur track and field meets throughout the year — notably the Prefontaine Classic and, recently, the 2004 Junior Olympics .
- University of Oregon fields a number of popular sport teams, including football, basketball, and wrestling. Autzen Stadium is the home field of the university football team.
- Eugene Emeralds, Minor-league baseball
- Danny Ainge, North Eugene High School (1977), NBA player & coach, MLB player
- Joey Harrington, University of Oregon (2002), NFL quarterback
- Bill McChesney , South Eugene High School (1977), 1980 Olympian
- Chris Miller . Sheldon High School ((1983), NFL quarterback
- Steve Prefontaine, University of Oregon (1973), Olympic runner
- Quentin Mikeel , Willamette High School, NFL Cornerback
- Kailee Wong , North Eugene High School, NFL Linebacker
- Harold Reynolds, Former MLB Player, ESPN Baseball Analyst
- Luke Jackson, Creswell High School, University of Oregon, NBA player
Notable citizens of Eugene
- Jan Elliot , Stone Soup cartoonist
- Kate Wilhelm, author
- Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, Inc.
- Damon Knight, author
- Ken Kesey, author R.I.P.
- Amit Goswami, physicist, author
- Elizabeth Engstrom (Cratty) , teacher, author
- John Zerzan, philosopher, activist
- Wayne Morse, US Senator
- Peter DeFazio, US Congressman
- City of Eugene
- Welcome to Eugene
- Planet Eugene
- The Eugene Weekly
- The Register Guard
- The Daily Emerald
- The Oregon Voice
- Eugene Airport
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