History of College Park
City of College Park
Rooted in the Past - Planning for the Future
Although the city of College Park was granted a municipal charter in 1945, the area has a very historic past. U. S. Route 1 runs through the center of the city and was constructed on the main north-south stagecoach route that existed in colonial times. This corridor also is the location of the original Baltimore & Ohio railroad line connecting Washington, D. C. and Baltimore and the modern Metro Green Line (a rail system with two stations serving College Park). Much of the rest of the city was developed in the 20th century, although a few homes in the Old Town and Berwyn neighborhoods are over 100 years old.
Rossborough Inn is the oldest building in the area, having been used as an inn in colonial times. It is now part of the University of Maryland campus and houses the Alumni Association, with a quaint restaurant that serves lunch weekdays and caters to wedding receptions and similar events on weekends. Another preserved building is the Old Parish House, now owned by the City of College Park and used as a rental facility and meeting space for city committees and other civic and community groups. The College Park Airport, the oldest continuously-operated airport in the nation, lies on a site selected by the Wright brothers for early flight training. The early 1900’s building on Calvert Road that housed the College Park Elementary School was given to the city by Prince George's County in 1978 when it was no longer needed as a public school. It currently houses a private school and part of the city's Public Services department. The Veterans Memorial, at the corner of Route 1 and Greenbelt Road, honors those who have served our country.
New additions to the city in recent years include: an urban renewal project, improving the Lakeland area that was subject to severe flooding and substandard housing; Metro's adding two stations on the Green Line (College Park and Greenbelt) with new development around each station; a new east-west road, Paint Branch Parkway, replacing a railroad grade crossing with an underpass; National Archives II at College Park; and the University's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, one of the finest cultural arts centers on any college campus.
College Park has a Council-Manager form of government. The administration includes the City Manager, City Clerk and Human Resources Coordinator. There are five departments operating under the City Manager, who is responsible for the city's daily operations: Community Resources; Planning, Community and Economic Development; Public Services; Public Works; and Finance.
Community Resources manages senior services, youth and family services, and counseling. Attick Towers is the city's senior housing facility. Planning, Community and Economic Development reviews and comments on all development, including zoning and variance requests. Public Services enforces the city's housing, business, animal control and parking regulations. Public Works is responsible for refuse collection, recycling, leaf collection and composting, and maintenance of all city facilities, including parks, tot lots, recreation fields and city rights-of-way. The Finance Department manages the city's financial operations and information technology.
The Mayor & Council endeavors to provide services and research ways to improve the quality of life for all College Park residents.123123