Architectural History of the Maryland Agricultural College

Architectural History of the Maryland Agricultural College (HM6A5)

Location: College Park, MD 20742 Prince George's County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 59.037', W 76° 56.59'

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The College Park Campus began on this hilltop. In 1856, Charles Benedict Calvert of Riversdale gave 420 acres for the founding of Maryland Agricultural College. The original College building was the Barracks, a beautiful six-story gothic structure completed in 1859 and located very near this site. Over the next fifty years it served as classroom and residence hall for the approximately 100 student military cadets. The cadets relaxed in what they called the Grove - these woods which fronted the Barracks - and planted experimental crops and practiced military maneuvers in the meadow which rolled down to the Rossborough on Route One. By 1909, the Barracks had been joined in a rectangular cluster by seven other buildings and a large water tower. Among them, in 1898, was a new science edifice, later called Morrill Hall, noted when it was built for the view available from the cupola to the Washington Monument. Eleven years later the main section of what is now Taliaferro Hall was completed for use in the study of engineering.

However, many of the Grove's buildings burned in 1912, including the Barracks. All the dormitory rooms, half of the classrooms and offices, and most of the College records were incinerated. Ironically, the great fire of 1912 sparked the creation of a quite different institution. With wide public support, the campus was rebuilt. The military atmosphere gave way to a spirit of academic freedom, coeducation, extracurricular activity, athletics and fraternities. The "Aggies" had become the Maryland State College by 1916 and, after combining with schools in Baltimore, became the University of Maryland in 1920. Academic standards and enrollment rose sharply. By 1930, when Shoemaker Hall was completed for initial use as a library and for campus administration, the institution began to venture beyond the Grove. Skinner Hall had emerged in 1918 as the main engineering building and in 1928 the University completed a separate dining hall, later expanded into the present LaFrak Hall. Finally, in 1962, the University razed the wooden shed originally built in 1893 as a gym and replaced it with the present Millard E. Tydings Hall.

The oldest trees were seedlings here about the time this institution was founded. Listen in the shade for the student voices of more than a century ago.
HM NumberHM6A5
Placed ByUniversity of Maryland
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 1:26pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 331692 N 4316791
Decimal Degrees38.98395000, -76.94316667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 59.037', W 76° 56.59'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 59' 2.22" N, 76° 56' 35.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1101 Chapel Drive, College Park MD 20742, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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