20 Places you may not know exist on UMD’s campus

We know you all probably know the University of Maryland well, but how well? Explore this list of places around campus that you may not have known about!

1. The Kissing Tunnel

Kissing Tunnel, 1956.
Kissing Tunnel, 1956.

Located beneath Regents Drive by the Memorial Chapel, the historic Kissing Tunnel got its name by being a popular stop after a College Park date night.

2. The Garden of Reflection and Remembrance

photo courtesy of: http://www.studentaffairsgiving.umd.edu/garden.html
photo courtesy of: http://www.studentaffairsgiving.umd.edu/garden.html

Also located near the Chapel is the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance. It’s truly a wonderful place to wander around when you have some free time between classes. The peaceful setting features a reflecting pool, labyrinth, and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial.

3. The Courtyard between Key and Taliaferro

If you’ve been in Key Hall or Taliaferro Hall, then you’ve probably seen the courtyard that is tucked away between the two buildings. We hear it’s a relaxing spot to study, but some students have trouble figuring out how to get there. Just head around the right side of Key to find the entrance…

4. Pendulum in the Math Building

In 1955, the Standard Art, Marble and Tile Company installed a Foucault pendulum in the Mathematics Building, which, as it slowly turned, created a sensation of the entire building revolving. The pendulum itself is no longer in place, but the tile work remains in the floor as a reminder.

5. McNamee Cemetery

Yep, that’s right, a real cemetery on campus! The small cemetery behind Byrd Stadium and adjacent to the apiary holds members of the McNamee family, original owners of the land in that area of campus. It’s one of the stops on the university’s mobile ghost tour.

6. The Ropes Course at ERC

photo courtesy of: umterps.com
photo courtesy of: umterps.com

Feeling adventurous? You may have noticed that behind the massive Epply Recreation Center is a ropes/challenge course complete with a large climbing wall. The course is monitored and run by Campus Recreation Services. Learn more about reservations and pricing here: http://crs.umd.edu/Maryland-Adventure-Program/Challenge-Course

7. Observatory

photo courtesy of: http://www.astro.umd.edu/
photo courtesy of: http://www.astro.umd.edu/

The UMD Observatory, built in 1963 and located off of Metzerott Road, serves as an education and research center for everything space science.

8. Wind Tunnel

The Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel is a low-speed wind tunnel used for aerodynamic research and development since its construction on campus in 1949. The tunnel has been used to conduct over 1,800 experiments and projects involving airplanes, battleships, sailboat keels, missiles, antennas, submarines, military ejection seats, automobiles, and athletic equipment. Top speed that can be achieved if the tunnel is empty is 230 miles per hour. More information about the wind tunnel can be found on the Department of Aerospace Engineering website.

9. Huey the Helicopter

No, it’s not a mirage. It’s an actual helicopter. The Maryland Air National Gaurd donated the Bell UH-1H “Huey” to the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1998. Also known as the Iroquois, these helicopters were put into service in the 1960s and have been used ever since by military personnel around the world for every type of mission, from rescues to special operations. Our Huey is no longer operational, but it still serves as a learning tool for the students of the Alfred Gessow Rotocraft Center. Students have painted “Huey” three times since it was donated, most recently in 2009. You can find Huey across from the farm near the Xfinity Center.

10. “Echo Spots”

photo courtesy of: terp.umd.edu
photo courtesy of: terp.umd.edu

These mysterious locations on campus, mostly along the Mall, reflect the sound of voices. The most prominent echo spot is the podium inside a four-foot circular wall in front of Montgomery Hall. Many of the echo spots, including the podium, which was intended for a statue that was never made, were created in the mid-1980s as a part of landscaping efforts to improve drainage on the Mall and deter people from walking on the grass. Other good echo spots are the alcoves along the Mall and spaces in front of Holzapfel, Symons, Marie Mount, Woods, Tydings and H.J. Patterson Halls facing the Mall.

11. The Rossborough Wishing Well

Dean Stamp stands next to the wishing well.

Some students like to make wishes at the fountain on the mall. Did you know, though, that there is an actual wishing well on campus? It’s on the grounds of the Rossborough Inn which houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Constructed between 1802 and 1814 and named for the Ross family, the Rossborough originally served travelers on the main road between Baltimore and Washington. The inn has also served as the headquarters for the Agricultural Experiment Station, a dormitory, and the home of the Faculty/Staff Club.

12. University House

photo courtesy of: umdrightnow.umd.edu
photo courtesy of: umdrightnow.umd.edu

Tucked back behind Ludwig Field and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is the University House. The house, also referred to as “the president’s house,” opened in 2012 and serves primarily as an event and meeting center for the president’s guests.

13. The Dairy (Turner Hall)

Nicknamed “The Shirt Factory” for its industrial appearance, the building received a new facade when Vice President Harry Clifton Byrd ordered that it be bricked over to resemble the other buildings on campus. Turner was the original home to the University of Maryland’s famous dairy which now serves its delicious ice cream at the Stamp Student Union.

14. The Gym in the School of Public Health Building

ERC and Ritchie aren’t the only option for your exercise needs. There is a small but popular gym on the ground level of the School of Public Health Building across from the matted room. Remember this hidden gem the next time ERC is packed.

15. Swimming Pool in Cole Field House


There is a hidden swimming pool in Cole Field House. Don’t bother trying to find it, though, because the swimming pool, which was built in 1956, is now covered up by the David C. Driskell Center.

16. Mulligan’s Grill and Pub

If you ever have some extra cash in your pocket and want to treat yourself to something other than the Diner’s food, there is always Mulligan’s Grill and Pub located at the University of Maryland Golf Course. Enjoy a meal while overlooking beautiful green fairways!

17. Art Gallery

Being so close to the museums and galleries in D.C., we sometimes forget that we have our very own art gallery on campus. The Art Gallery is located inside the Art-Sociology Building near Tawes Hall. We even hear they have a brand-new exhibit on Chinese Ink art!

18. Old Tawes Theatre

The doors may be locked now but back in its day, before the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center was built, Tawes Theatre was the place to catch a musical production or play. Nowadays, it’s closed up and dark and looks like something out of a creepy R.L. Stine book. There is even rumored to be a ghost named Mortimer that innocently haunts the building by causing mischief in the theater. Talk about spooky!

19. Apiary

Constructed in 1951 adjacent to the McNamee Cemetery near Byrd Stadium, the apiary was originally home to the University of Maryland bee colony, which produces several varieties of honey sold on campus. The building is now the outreach center for the University of Maryland Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

20. 1910 Gateway

You’ve probably passed by it 100 times, but did you realize it was there? It’s the ornamental arch located adjacent to the Rossborough Inn. The gateway was a gift of the Class of 1910 and was erected in 1941.


5 thoughts on “20 Places you may not know exist on UMD’s campus

  1. Joe Barrett

    I was a Freshman in 1967 and we took PE using the above pool. I was VERY surprised when we were told that the filtering system could not keep up with our bathing suits’ lint and we would have to swim naked. That’s when I learned college was a very eye opening experience!

  2. I remember the pendulum when I was a student in the 1970’s. I now live in California and don’t get back east very often and so last time I visited I noticed the pendulum was gone and nobody seemed to know what I was talking about. Why was it ever removed?

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