Best of the Building Campaign

For the past several weeks we have been delving into the history of various buildings on campus through Instagram (@hornbakelibrary)! Here we will recap a few of our favorite features.

We chose buildings based on:

  • An interesting or unusual name
  • An unrecognizable name
  • The importance of the building to UMD students

Feature buildings included Taliaferro Hall, Preinkert Hall, H.J Patterson Hall, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Tawes Hall, and Van Munching Hall.

Taliaferro Hall—one of particular interest to many students because seemingly no one knows the correct pronunciation. That is, aside from the history professors whose offices reside in this building and who are quick to correct any mispronunciation! It is regionally pronounced “Tolliver.” The beautiful and often overlooked building on South Campus was built in 1899. At the time it was home to the School of Engineering, which is why it was named after Thomas Hardy Taliaferro, Dean of the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center – this consortium of 10 interconnected structures is the largest single building ever constructed in the State of Maryland. It was named for artist and alumna Clarice Smith who was a notable water color painter, and spread her talents by teaching in the D.C. area and funding our performing arts center!

Tawes Hall – now home to the English department, Tawes previously housed the performing arts building on campus!

H.J. Patterson – a building of particular interest to many students, as it was newly renovated to include a new café! It was named after Harry Jacob Patterson—former President of the Agricultural College from 1913-1917. It is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and according to some, one of the creepiest buildings as well! Recent construction to H.J. Patterson left us with a new Ramen and Sushi bar right outside the new global engagement/study abroad office!

One of the most well-known and popular buildings on campus—Van Munching Hall. Van Munching Hall houses the renowned Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Graduate School of Public Policy. The president and mastermind behind the Heineken Empire, Leo Van Munching, donated $5 million towards the construction of this building in 1992. The building is a central part of South Campus and is home to one of the best business and public policy schools in the country.

It is no wonder Maryland wanted to ensure some of the best programs get the best facilities!

To find more interesting facts from our archives about University of Maryland campus history, or Maryland history in general stop by Hornbake Library’s Maryland Room and look through some more historic building photographs!

by Sabrina de la Vega
Undergrad, History and Global Poverty, 2019

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