Located on the banks of the Merrimack River, the city of Manchester, New Hampshire is home to roughly 109,000 people, according to 2007 estimates. Manchester is considered one of New England's largest and fastest growing cities. Originally settled in the early 1700s, Manchester served as an industrial and manufacturing hub for over 100 years. Today, health care is one of the city's primary industries, employing close to 20 percent of the total workforce. The city is known for its well-preserved historical architecture and below-average crime rate, as well as for a wide variety of tourist attractions.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Manchester was once the world's largest textile mill complex. However, in recent past, the city's economy has changed. Manchester has emerged as the business and financial center of northern New England. The city's proximity to Boston has also helped to strengthen its economy. The average salary for jobs in Manchester is $37,127 and the median income of households is $50,404.
Approximately 80 percent of Manchester residents work for companies, 10 percent work for the government and 5 percent are self-employed. Major employers in the city are Flooring America, Elliot Health System Professional &General Liability Insurance Trust, Catholic Medical Center, Velcro USA Inc., Saint Anselm College, Osram Sylvania Inc., and US Veterans Medical Center.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Downtown Manchester is the site of the 10,000-seat Verizon Wireless Arena, the grand old Palace Theater, a live-performance venue, and the Amoskeag Millyard, once a vast textile manufacturing plant near the banks of the Merrimack River, now a museum and retailing. Downtown is also a major retailing area--with New Hampshire's tax free shopping, that's a big draw for out-of-staters. South Willow Street, site of the Mall of New Hampshire, is another retailing center.
- The Mall of New Hampshire: Located on South Willow Street, The Mall boasts more than 125 shops.
- Amoskeag Mills: One of the city's designated historic districts, Amoskeag Mills has undergone a number of recent renovations, and now houses a variety of specialty stores and restaurants.
- South Willow Street: Located in the southern sector of the city, the South Willow Street district includes a number of outdoor shopping areas, as well as the Mall of New Hampshire, a popular shopping destination.
- Tanger Outlets: Located in nearby Tilton, the Tanger Outlets offer a wide range of brand name and designer outlet stores, as well as a variety of regional restaurants and cafes.
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery: Located in the nearby town of Merrimack, the brewery is one of the region's most popular beer brewing facilities. The brewery offers tours that show visitors various stages of the brewing process, from fermenting to bottling. The brewery also provides complimentary beer tasting and an onsite gift shop.
- Chamberlain Bridge: Built in 1806, the Chamberlain Bridge stretches over the Souhegan River and is one of the region's best-loved historic landmarks. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
- Currier Museum of Art: A popular regional attraction, the Currier Museum of Art houses American and European art, with holdings that include works by Andrew Wyeth and Claude Monet. The museum also maintains the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House.
- Diocesan Museum: Housed in a former Catholic church, the Diocesan Museum showcases exhibits that trace the region's Catholic heritage, with a wide variety of memorabilia, as well as a unique stained-glass window collection.
- Fitts Museum: Located in a historic building, the Fitts Museum features a Federal-style architectural exterior, and houses a diverse collection of artifacts that include furniture, dishware, artwork, books, and tools.
- Millyard Museum: Located in the Amoskeag Mills district, the Millyard Museum features a wide variety of artifacts and exhibits from the city's rich history, while also offering tours, events, and programs.
- Zimmerman House: Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Zimmerman House is the only Wright-crafted structure in New England. The house features horizontal, utilitarian lines, along with built-in furniture and carefully-landscaped gardens.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- African-Caribbean Celebration: An annual cultural festival, the African-Caribbean Festival celebrates the city's African-American community, with a rich blend of music, food, performances, speakers, and cultural activities.
- Glendi: Hosted by the city's St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Glendi is an annual festival that showcases the Greek community and culture in Manchester. The festival includes baked goods, raffle contests, craft booths, and ethnic cuisine.
- Jazz & Blues Festival: A popular June event, the Jazz and Blues Festival lasts for two days and features performances by a variety of regional musicians.
- Mill City Festival: An annual two-day event, the Mill City Festival takes place in Manchester's waterfront district and features artwork displays, live entertainment, regional cuisine, and local shopping, all designed to bring attention to the city's historic Amoskeag Mills district.
- Strawberry Shortcake Festival: Held annually, the Strawberry Shortcake Festival is a popular local event with period costumes, guided tours, artisan displays. Freshly-prepared strawberry shortcake is in plentiful supply.
Manchester is home to the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, one of more than six colleges within the state university system. UNH-M grants undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Manchester Community College, offering associate degree programs, and New Hampshire Institute of Art, offering bachelor degree programs, are both located in Manchester as well. Residents also have access to nearby Saint Anselm College, located in Goffstown, and Southern New Hampshire University, located in Hooksett.
HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE
Manchester is home to the Catholic Medical Center, Elliot Hospital, and the Manchester VA Medical Center. The city is also within a 20-mile-radius of Parkland Medical Center, located in Derry, and both the Concord Hospital and Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital in nearby Concord.
The City of Manchester is covered by the daily New Hampshire Union Leader and by the weekly Manchester Express, as well as by a number of other periodicals. The city is home to seven radio stations and two television stations, and is also part of the greater Boston metropolitan broadcast market for both radio and television.