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Davenport, IA

The city of Davenport, which calls itself Iowa's Front Porch, is a community with about 100,000 people. It is situated in a crook of the Mississippi River in the only location where the river runs east to west.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Davenport has strived to build an even base of economic development and has succeeded in creating the strongest revitalization that the city has seen in more than 80 years. Retail sales and services have enjoyed a resurgence with the revitalized market area that draws shoppers from an estimated 100-mile radius. The 40-plus financial institutions in Davenport make it easy for businesses to find the assets they need to grow and compete successfully, and both the city of Davenport and the state of Iowa promote a business-friendly climate. More than a dozen industrial islands are all located within the city limits of Davenport and create the third leg of this economic base. Industrial endeavors are also enjoying resurgence in vitality and growth. Davenport has some major businesses that employ large portions of the population:

  • Deere & Company (brand name John Deere)
  • Alcoa Davenport Works (part of Alcoa North America Rolled Products)
  • IBP, Inc.
  • Rock Island Arsenal
  • Oscar Mayer Food Corp.
  • Eagle Food Centers, Inc.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Some of Davenport's prominent neighborhoods are:

  • The Village of East Davenport is among the oldest of Davenport's neighborhoods and came into being in the 1850s. Originally known as Stubbs Eddy, the Village has a nice blend of residential properties and commercial businesses, including several specialty boutiques.
  • Prospect Park is a well-known residential area that is home to many of the more prominent citizens of Davenport. The homes tend to be a collection of Tudor revival and neoclassical styles on large lots. The popularity of Prospect Park is due largely to its riverfront location and exceptional views of the river.
  • Riverview Terrace is a neighborhood in northwest Davenport that contains a small number of private residences and a three-acre park known as Riverview Terrace Park. The park was originally named Lookout Park because it sits on a steep incline. That incline provides spectacular views of the Mississippi River.
  • Hamburg is a small neighborhood just northwest of the downtown area. It is most well known for its German heritage, but every type of residential property can be found in this neighborhood, including single-story cottages and elaborate Victorian homes.

BEST BETS

  • German American Heritage Center: The mission of the German American Heritage Center is to "preserve the heritage of our German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich our knowledge of the German immigrant experience."
  • Putman Museum of History and Natural Science: This museum is recognized as one of the most comprehensive museums within the state of Iowa; it boasts a collection that numbers more than 170,000 objects.
  • Stampe Lilac Garden: This garden park is home to the largest lilac collection in the Quad City area. Several other species of annuals and perennials are grown in the garden as well.
  • Vander Veer Botanical Park: This historic park includes the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) test garden and an ever-changing display garden. Check out the exotic vegetable garden and gift shop.
  • Rhythm City Casino: The Rhythm City Casino has three stories of slots, video slots, and table games. The Hit Parade is a buffet-style restaurant that offers food for every palate, including barbeque, seafood, and comfort foods such as fried chicken and homemade meatloaf.

EDUCATION

Davenport is home to several educational facilities, including a community college, a chiropractic college, and many other institutes of higher learning:

  • Hamilton Technical College
  • Saint Ambrose University
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • Kaplan University-Davenport
  • La'James International College (a cosmetology school)
  • Davenport Barber Styling College

EVENTS

  • Quad City Arts Festival of Trees is a holiday event that features holiday trees, a gingerbread village, and the largest helium-filled balloon parade in the country.
  • Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, traditionally held over the Fourth of July weekend, provides Midwestern blues fans with a lineup of talented blues musicians.
  • Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival features the nation's top jazz bands.
  • Bix 7 Road Running Event is a 7-mile running competition.
  • The Mississippi Valley Fair features dirt track racing, a gun show, mixed martial arts fights. The fair has been in existence since 1919.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • Davenport is home to the Adler Theatre, an art-deco building that plays host to every type of event, from Broadway shows to stand-up comedy. The building was restored in the 1980s, and the backstage areas were renovated in 2005 and 2006. The Adler Theatre is a historic property and is partially financed by the National Trust Community Investment Corporation. For music lovers, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra is a must see. The nationally recognized orchestra plays twelve concerts during their season. Concerts include the Mid-Winter Chamber Music Concert and Spring Pops. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra sponsors three youth orchestras and prides itself on its outreach and educational programs.
  • Davenport is also the location of the Figge Art Museum, which opened in 1925 and was known as the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery. It holds the distinction of being the first municipal art gallery in the state of Iowa. The gallery displays works that span from the 16th century to present day, with more than 600 programs sponsored annually.