Wauwatosa is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, and was incorporated on May 27, 1897. As of the 2006 census estimate, the city's population was 44,798. Wauwatosa is located immediately west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It is named after the Potawatomi word for firefly.
Wauwatosa contains Milwaukee County's Regional Medical Center, which includes the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and Froedtert Hospital, one of two level-one trauma centers in the state. Other points of interest are the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; and the Memorial Center, built in 1957, which contains a public library, an auditorium, and the city hall. The Washington Highlands, a residential neighborhood designed in 1916 by renowned city planner Werner Hegemann, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
The lush Menomonee River Valley of the Wauwatosa area provided a key overland gateway between the rich glacial farmland of southeastern Wisconsin and the Port of Milwaukee. In 1835, Charles Hart became the first permanent white settler, followed by seventeen other families the same year. The following year a United States Road was built from Milwaukee through Wauwatosa, eventually reaching Madison.
The Town of Wauwatosa was created by act of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in 1840, and the town government was organized in 1842. The town's borders originally extended from Greenfield Avenue in the south to Hampton Avenue in the north, and from 27th Street in the east to the Waukesha County line in the west, encompassing sections of present-day Milwaukee and West Allis. Most of the town was farmland through the remainder of the nineteenth century.
In 1849 the Watertown Plank Road was constructed through Wauwatosa, mainly following the old Madison territorial road. In 1851 Wisconsin's first railroad (later becoming The Milwaukee Road) established Wauwatosa as its western terminus. The Village of Wauwatosa was incorporated from the central part of the Town of Wauwatosa in 1892, and was recharted as the City of Wauwatosa in 1897.
In the 1950s, the City of Wauwatosa more than doubled its size by annexing 8.5 square miles (22 km²) of land west of the Menomonee River from the Town of Wauwatosa, which became the home to several large cold storage and regional food distribution terminals. Industrial plants owned by firms including Harley-Davidson and Briggs & Stratton were also constructed.
In the past 40 years, western Wauwatosa has become an edge city with an important commercial and retail district built up along Milwaukee's beltline Highway 100 and anchored by the Mayfair Mall.
Wauwatosa received some national attention in 1992 when the Wauwatosa Common Council, threatened with a lawsuit, decided to remove a Christian cross from the City's seal adopted in 1957.
Wauwatosa is located at(43.058862, -88.026162). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.2 square miles (34.3 km²), none of which, except for the Menomonee River, is covered with water.
Eastern Wauwatosa is also known for its homes and residential streets, at one time just a short streetcar ride away from downtown Milwaukee. Prior to the arrival of Dutch elm disease, many of Wauwatosa's older residential streets had large gothic colonnades of American Elm trees. In Wauwatosa, the Menomonee Valley made it easier to quarry portions of the Niagara Escarpment, which provided the necessary materials for sturdy cream colored bricks and stout limestone foundations used in many homes and public buildings throughout the region.
As of the census estimate of 2004, there were 45,602 people, 20,388 households, and 12,314 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,570.5 people per square mile (1,378.5/km²). There were 20,917 housing units at an average density of 1,579.9/sq mi (610.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.97% White, 2.04% African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.94% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.
There were 20,388 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $54,519, and the median income for a family was $68,030. Males had a median income of $46,721 versus $35,289 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,834. About 2.3% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.
The city has one public school district, the Wauwatosa School District
High Schools: Wauwatosa West, Wauwatosa East
Middle Schools: Whitman, Longfellow
Elementary Schools: Eisenhower, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, McKinley, Roosevelt, Underwood, Washington, Wilson
There are also numerous Catholic elementary schools in the city: St. Bernard, St. Joseph, St. Jude, St. Pius X, and Christ King.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, of Wauwatosa residents 25 years of age and older, 93.4% were high school graduates or better, and 47.6% had a bachelor's degree or better.