Leetsdale Dr. # 101
Denver, CO 80246
Aurora is Colorado's
third-largest city. The municipality is split
between Arapahoe and Adams County, with a small
portion lying in Douglas County. The city and its
western neighbor are the principal cities of the
Denver-Aurora metropolitan area. As of the 2000
Census, the city population was 276,900. The
latest Census estimates place the city's
population at 291,843, making it the 61st-largest
in the United States. The city will soon reach the
milestone of 300,000 residents.
In 1891, Donald Fletcher founded a town on the
plains east of Denver and named it after himself.
The real estate tycoon ran out two years later,
leaving the new residents with bond payments for
non-existent water. The town was renamed Aurora
(Latin for dawn) in 1907, and remained a small
community until after World War II. Postwar
suburban development transformed the town into
what became the fastest growing city in the United
States during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Although Aurora has long been considered by many
only as one of Denver's larger suburbs, its
growing population in recent decades (now over
half the size of the City of Denver) has led to
efforts for co-equal recognition with its larger
neighbor. A former mayor once expressed the
somewhat whimsical notion that eventually the area
would be called the "Aurora/Denver Metropolitan
Area." However, such efforts are somewhat hampered
by the lack of a large, historically important
central business district in the city, which is
largely suburban in character.
World attention focused on Aurora for seven weeks
during the fall of 1955, as President Dwight D.
Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack at
Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. The hospital is
also the birthplace of 2004 Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry. Decommissioned
in 1999, the facility is now under redevelopment
as the campus of the University of Colorado Health
Sciences Center and Hospital, which are relocating
there from Denver, and the Colorado Bioscience
Park Aurora. These facilities will employ a
workforce of 32,000 at build-out.
In 2004, Aurora was honored as the Sports
Illustrated magazine's 50th Anniversary "Sportstown"
for Colorado because of its exemplary involvement
in facilitating and enhancing sports. Aurora's
active populace is also reflected in the variety
of professional athletes hailing from the city
(see Notable People from Aurora below). Aurora's
first professional sports franchise, the Aurora
Cavalry in the International Basketball League,
began play in 2006.