Carmel // is a suburban city in Hamilton County, Indiana, United States, located immediately north of Indianapolis. It has been one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. In 2012, Carmel was selected as the "Best Place to Live in the United States" by CNN Money magazine, and received the same designation by Niche.com in 2017. The population was 79,191 as of the 2010 and was estimated to be 91,065 in 2016 by the US Census Bureau, making it the fifth-largest city in Indiana.
City Hall during CarmelFest
|Motto(s): "A Partnership for Tomorrow"|
Location of Carmel in Hamilton County, Indiana
|• Mayor||James Brainard (R) (1996-present)|
|• Total||48.54 sq mi (125.72 km2)|
|• Land||47.46 sq mi (122.92 km2)|
|• Water||1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)|
|Elevation||853 ft (260 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||91,065|
|• Density||1,918.73/sq mi (740.83/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||46032, 46033, 46082, 46280|
|Area code(s)||317, 463|
|GNIS feature ID||0432143|
Carmel was originally called "Bethlehem" and, under the latter name, was laid out and platted in 1837.:241 The original settlers were predominantly Quakers. Today, the plot first established in Bethlehem, located at the intersection of Rangeline Road and Main Street, is marked by a clock tower, donated by the local Rotary Club in 2002. A post office was established as "Carmel" in 1846. The town of Bethlehem was renamed "Carmel" in 1874, at which time it was incorporated.:247
In 1924, one of the first automatic traffic signals in the U.S. was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road. The signal was the invention of Leslie Haines and is currently in the old train station on the Monon Trail.
Carmel occupies the southwestern part of Hamilton County and is almost entirely coextensive with Clay Township with the exception of Home Place. It is bordered to the north by Westfield, to the northeast by Noblesville, to the east by Fishers, to the south by the city of Indianapolis in Marion County, and to the west by Zionsville in Boone County. The center of Carmel is 15 miles (24 km) north of the center of Indianapolis.
According to the 2010 census, Carmel has a total area of 48.545 square miles (125.73 km2), of which 47.46 square miles (122.92 km2) (or 97.76%) is land and 1.085 square miles (2.81 km2) (or 2.24%) is water.
Major east-west streets in Carmel generally end in a 6, and include 96th Street (the Southern border), 106th, 116th, 126th, 131st, 136th and 146th (which marks the northern border). The numbering system is aligned to that of Marion and Hamilton counties. Main Street (131st) runs east-west through Carmel's Art & Design District; Carmel Drive runs generally east-west through a main shopping area; and City Center Drive runs east-west near Carmel's City Center project.
North-south streets are not numbered, and include (west to east) Michigan, Shelborne, Towne, Ditch, Spring Mill, Meridian, Guilford, Rangeline, Keystone, Carey, Gray, Hazel Dell and River. Some of these roads are continuations of corresponding streets within Indianapolis. Towne Road replaces the name Township Line Road at 96th Street, while Westfield Boulevard becomes Rangeline north of 116th Street. Meridian Street (US 31) and Keystone Parkway (formerly Keystone Avenue/SR 431) are the major thoroughfares, extending from 96th Street in the south and merging just south of 146th Street. The City of Carmel is nationally noted for having over 100 roundabouts within its borders, with even more presently under construction or planned for the future as of mid-2017.
One of Carmel's water towers, located near the Westfield border on 146th street
|U.S. Decennial Census
According to a 2010 estimate, the median household income in the city was $101,494. Males had a median income of $93,340 versus $62,943 for females. The per capita income for the city was $85,320. About 1.6% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.
The median home price in 2014 was $294,000.
As of the census of 2010, there were 79,191 people, 28,997 households, and 21,855 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,668.6 inhabitants per square mile (644.3/km2). There were 30,738 housing units at an average density of 647.7 per square mile (250.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.4% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 8.9% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 2.5% of the population.
There were 28,997 households, of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.6% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.18.
The median age in the city was 39.2 years. 29.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.2% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 10.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.
The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The current mayor is James Brainard. The city council consists of seven members. Five are elected from individual districts. Two are elected at-large.
In mid-2017, city Council was considering a multimillion-dollar bond issue that would cover the cost of roundabouts, paths, roadwork, land acquisition by the Carmel Redevelopment Commission and the purchase of an antique carousel. A 1907 carousel ride had already been purchased from Centreville Amusement Park in Toronto, Ontario for delivery in late 2017. The ride will probably be installed in the Arts & Design District, Midtown or City Center. Made by the Dentzel Carousel Company, it is believed to be one of 150 of this brand that remain in operation, and includes 52 hand-carved animals of various types. The estimated purchase price was CAD $3 million, approximately US $2.25 million.
The elementary schools are Carmel Elementary, Cherry Tree Elementary, College Wood Elementary, Forest Dale Elementary, Mohawk Trails Elementary, Orchard Park Elementary, Prairie Trace Elementary, Smoky Row Elementary, Towne Meadow Elementary, West Clay Elementary and Woodbrook Elementary.
The three middle schools are Carmel Middle School, Clay Middle School and Creekside Middle School.
Carmel has several private schools, including Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool (12 mo. - 6 years), St. Elizabeth Seton Preschool (2 years-K), Midwest Academy (4-12), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School (K-8), Walnut Grove Christian School (K-8) and University High School. Additional private schools are located near Carmel in other communities.
The Meridian Corridor serves as a large concentration of corporate office space within the city. It is home to more than 40 corporate headquarters and many more regional offices. Several large companies reside in Carmel, and it serves as the national headquarters for Allegion, CNO Financial Group, MISO, and Delta Faucet.
As of January 2017, the city's 10 largest employers were:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|1||CNO Financial Group||1,600|
|4||Capital Group Companies||975|
|6||KAR Auction Services (Adesa)||892|
|7||IU Health North||800|
The city of Carmel has been recognized with numerous awards and ratings for its programs and services.
- Listed as #1 best place to live by Niche in 2017
- Listed as #3 best place to live by Money Magazine in 2014 
- Listed as #1 best place to live by CNN Money Magazine 2012
- Arborculture’s highest award – the Gold Leaf Award in 2002
- The 2006 City Livability Award for roundabouts. This award recognizes mayors for implementing programs to improve the quality of life in their districts. Carmel mayor Jim Brainard earned this award for his efforts to improve traffic flow to meet the area's growing population. He replaced stop-signs across Carmel with roundabouts, which are both safer and more efficient.
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Rollfast Gran FondoEdit
Indiana's only Gran Fondo, this cycling event attracts professional cyclists as well as the recreational rider. The Fondo consists of 3 route options of various length. Each route is fully supported with food, drinks and mechanical support.
Carmel Farmers MarketEdit
Founded in 1998, the Carmel Farmers Market is one of the largest in the state of Indiana, with over 60 vendors of Indiana-grown and/or produced edible products. The market, which is managed by an all-volunteer committee, is held each Saturday morning from mid-May through the first weekend of October. Held on Center Green at the Palladium, the market had over 60,000 visitors in 2012.
Carmel Monon Community CenterEdit
A $24.5 million water park and mega-fitness center is the centerpiece of Carmel's $55 million Central Park which opened in 2007. The Outdoor Water Park consists of two water slides, a drop slide, a rock-climbing wall, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, a large zero depth activity pool, Flowrider and a lap pool. The fitness center consists of an indoor lap pool, a recreation pool with its own set of water slides and a snack bar, gymnasium, 1/8 mile indoor running track, and the Kids Zone childcare. The center also has an adjoining building connected by an elevated walkway over the Monon Trail, where the Carmel Clay Parks Department offices are located.
The Monon Greenway is a multi-use trail that is part of the Rails-to-Trails movement. It runs from 10th near downtown Indianapolis through Broad Ripple and then crosses into Carmel at 96th Street and continues north through 146th Street into Westfield. In the future, it is planned to run all the way to Sheridan. The trail currently terminates on the North end in Grand park of Westfield. In January 2006 speed limit signs of 15 to 20 miles per hour (24 to 32 km/h) have been added to sections of the trail north of 96th Street, which is the Marion County line (Indianapolis).
Carmel Arts & Design DistrictEdit
Designed to promote small businesses and local artisans, Carmel's Arts and Design District and City Center is in Old Town Carmel and flanked by Carmel High School on the east and the Monon Greenway on the west, the Carmel Arts and Design District includes the award-winning Carmel Clay Public Library, the Hamilton County Convention & Visitor's Bureau and Welcome Center and a collection of art galleries, boutiques, interior designers, cafes and restaurants. Lifelike sculptures by John Seward Johnson II, "The Normal Rockwell of American Sculpture", ornament the streets of the district.
The district hosts several annual events and festivals. Celebrating decades of automobile engineering and craftsmanship, the Carmel Artomobilia Collector Car Show showcases a vast array of classic, vintage, exotic and rare cars and art inspired by automobile design. Every September, the Carmel International Arts Festival features a juried art exhibit of artists from around the world, concerts, dance performances, and hands-on activities for children.
In the heart of the district stands the Museum of Miniature Houses, open since 1993, and celebrating the creativity and craftsmanship of the miniature art form. The museum has seven exhibit rooms full of fully furnished houses, room displays and collections of miniature glassware, clocks, tools, and dolls.
Carmel City CenterEdit
Carmel City Center is a one million square foot, $300 million, mixed-use development located in the heart of Carmel. Carmel City Center is home to The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, which includes a 1,600-seat concert hall, 500-seat theater, and 200-seat black box theater. This pedestrian-based master plan development is located at the southwest corner of City Center Drive (126th Street) and Range Line Road. The Monon Greenway runs directly through the project. Carmel City Center was developed as a public/private partnership.
Village Park Plaza and Clay Terrace are the two largest retail centers in Carmel. Other shopping areas include Carmel City Center, Mohawk Trails Plaza, Merchants' Square and much more. Downtown, also known as Old Town Carmel is rich in shopping along Main Street, Rangeline Road, 3rd Avenue, and 2nd Street.
Ground was broken for the Japanese Garden south of City Hall in 2007. The garden was dedicated in 2009 as the 15th anniversary of Carmel's Sister City relationship with Kawachinagano, Japan, was celebrated. An Azumaya-style tea gazebo was constructed in 2011 and dedicated on May 2.
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- Jake Lloyd, former actor known for his portrayal of young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- Josh McRoberts, professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks
- Dorothy Letterman Mengering, mother of comedian and talk show host David Letterman
- Lee Schmidt, golf course designer
- Zach Trotman, professional hockey player for Los Angeles Kings
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