The silo on UMBC Boulevard suggests a connection between the university and farming. What was that property before it became UMBC? —Mary Slicher ’73
Former Maryland Comptroller Louis Goldstein’s brainstorm to found the university on land owned by Spring Grove Hospital between Catonsville and Arbutus placed the campus on farmland once worked by students at the Baltimore Manual Labor School – an institution that used agricultural labor as a means to improve and reform impoverished boys.
So why wasn’t the silo demolished when construction on UMBC began in the 1960s? One theory was that the old structure was kept as a remembrance of the site’s history as a farm. Founding chancellor Albin O. Kuhn addressed this very question in 2006, suggesting a more practical reason at the bottom of the question: The silo was too large and heavy to move or demolish. Kuhn reasoned that the old silo “wouldn’t bother anybody.”
Read more at http://magazine.umbc.edu/histories-and-mysteries/