QUEEN CITY OF THE COOSA G adsden, Alabama, with a population of approximately 36,000, is the econom- ic, medical, and cultural focal point of the northeast part of the state. It is the county seat of Etowah County, but its assets and amenities draw people from five surrounding counties with a combined population of about half a million. Named after General James Gadsden, the city was founded in 1846. It is located on the Coosa River about 56 miles northeast of Birmingham, 90 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and 118 west of Atlanta, Georgia. Gadsden was, at one time in the 19th century,Alabama’s second most important center of commerce and industry, trailing only the seaport of Mobile.The two cities were important shipping centers: Gadsden for river- boats and Mobile for international trade. For most of the 20th century, Gadsden was a center of heavy industry, home to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Repub- lic Steel. After many of Gadsden’s major industries, including its major steel plant, closed in the 1970s and 1980s, the city began to decline, but today, the city government, which owns a good deal of developable land along both sides of the Coosa River, is embarking upon a comprehensive process of revitalization that seeks to protect, enhance, and promote the city’s stature as “Queen City of the Coosa.” One of Gadsden’s major renewal projects is the con- GADSDEN, Alabama AT A GLANCE GADSDEN, ALABAMA WHAT: A city of 36,000 WHERE: Northeast Alabama on the Coosa River WEBSITE: