Edifice rex?

Glendening Center: Garrett college sets bad precedent by naming complex after governor.

October 21, 1999

ARE WE about to witness another explosion of ego-gratifying dedications of government buildings to current officeholders?

It was bad enough when slavish admirers of then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer tried to name every conceivable state edifice for him in the waning months of his administration.

But the first government building named in honor of Gov. Parris N. Glendening is to be dedicated in Western Maryland -- three years before his term expires.

Officials at Garrett County Community College may think the governor deserves this honor for giving the school a $300,000 grant for agriculture and aquaculture demonstration projects. But it looks as if they're buttering him up for more state aid.

Will other groups follow suit? The Glendening Concert Center in Rockville? The Glendening Arena in Baltimore?

Why stop there? Top legislators hold make-or-break power over these projects. How about the Mike Miller Field House at College Park? Or the Casper Taylor Racetrack in Cumberland?

Once upon a time, you had to be dead to get your name on a building. But then Mr. Schaefer got carried away, naming the comptroller's office for the man who ran the place, Louis L. Goldstein. He rewarded his favorite adjutant general, Lt. Gen. James F. Fretterd, with his own military complex (Camp Fretterd). And there are Schaefer centers and Schaefer buildings all over Maryland.

Garrett County can have its Parris N. Glendening Advanced Technology Center for Sustainable Land Use, but let's stop this insidious naming game before it moves any further east.

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