Tell Us About Your Favorite New Deal Site
Working from “Home”
H.J. Patterson Hall, University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
My office in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland is in H.J. Patterson Hall, a Georgian-style, red brick building that offers a panoramic view of the campus. The building, dubbed “HJP,” is named for Harry J. Patterson, an agricultural chemist who served as the University’s president from 1913-1917. Originally the Arts and Sciences Building, the building was constructed in 1934 in a cost-sharing arrangement between the State of Maryland and the federal Public Works Administration (PWA).
Among HJP’s most famous inhabitants was Jim Henson, Class of 1960, who worked in the building’s soil and crops labs and famously went on to create the Muppets. Fittingly, a bronze statue of Jim in conversation with Sesame Street’s beloved frog, Kermit, was installed just across the street from HJP in a memorial garden named for Jim, who died in 1990.
A major renovation in 2014 gave this New Deal building a second life, which means a lot to those of us who work here and consider HJP our home.