The University Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore is like a huge construction site these days. The medical system alone is embarking on $170 million worth of new buildings that will give the area a totally different look by the mid-1990s. Add to that the $121 million Veterans Administration Medical Center, which will be activated by next fall, and $210 million worth of building projects for the university's academic institutions. Truly, a UniversityCenter is rising.
UniversityCenter is the new name to identify the area bounded by Saratoga Street on the north, Eutaw Street on the east and Martin Luther King Boulevard on the south and west. Up to this point, that area has had no clear identity. For a period in the 1970s, some of it was referred to as "Market Center." But the expanding University of Maryland campus clearly is its heart.
"When Marylanders think of neighborhoods such as Fells Point, Mount Vernon and Federal Hill, distinct images come to mind," said Dr. Morton I. Rapoport, president of the University of Maryland Medical System. He thinks the new name, along with such improvements as unified neighborhood logo, map kiosks, historical display panels, new signs and parking facilities, should make the area and its institutions easier to market and promote. "It's like a shopping center," he says.