This question came up on Friday after the Missourian reported that MU is considering changing the name of the north-south street that runs through campus between Stadium Boulevard and Conley Avenue.
Todd Christine of the historical society said Maryland is one of several state-themed streets in that area, such as Kentucky Boulevard and Virginia Avenue.
Mary Beth Brown of MU's Western Historical Manuscript Collection said Columbia has other streets named for states, as well — Texas and Nebraska avenues, among others.
Historian Warren Dalton co-authored “Historic Downtown Columbia” and is working on a sequel, “Historic Columbia,” that will discuss the history of the rest of the city. Dalton pointed out that the 1912 Missourian article refers to the road as Maryland Place, not Maryland Avenue. He said the label of “Place” indicates that Maryland was not a through street.
Rather, Dalton said, Maryland led south from Conley Avenue, past Rollins Street, to a dead end.
“It was just a short street,” Dalton said. “It wasn’t a thoroughfare like it is now.”
Dalton said Maryland had become a through street by 1935, when he began taking classes at MU.
At that point, Maryland Avenue led to a nine-hole golf course, he said. The golf course was in the area defined by Maryland Avenue, Kentucky Boulevard, Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard.
The street might be renamed Tiger Avenue, Mary Windmiller, director of Children’s House Montessori School on Maryland Avenue, said.
MU's University Affairs has been in contact with her since May regarding the switch, which they hope to make before MU Homecoming this year.
“They offered to help me with the cost because I’ll have to change some things,” she said.
Windmiller listed business cards, stationery and mailing stamps as a few items that would need to be changed to reflect the new street name.
“I assume they’re doing it for Tiger spirit,” Windmiller said. “We support the Tigers.”
The St. Thomas More Newman Center plans to change its address from 701 Maryland Ave. to 601 Turner Ave.
JoAnn Jorgovan, associate campus minister, explained that the center’s original entrance faces Maryland Avenue, but after renovation, the main entrance now faces Turner Avenue.
Changing the address to reflect the main entrance’s location seems logical now that Maryland Avenue might be renamed.
“We just thought to be proactive and do it ourselves,” Jorgovan said.
MU’s ROTC building, Crowder Hall, is also located along Maryland Avenue. Its offices use the building name in their addresses rather than the street name.
Upon hearing that the street might be renamed Tiger Avenue, Joe McCoskrie, senior military science instructor with the Army ROTC said: “It could probably work. It leads right to the stadium.” He offered that comment as his unofficial opinion.
Residents who live in Greek housing and other student housing along the street were not available for comment.