Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland

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Columbia is a planned community
Planned community
A planned community, or planned city, is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are less frequent in planned communities since...

 that consists of ten self-contained villages, located in Howard County
Howard County, Maryland
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*62.2% White*17.5% Black*0.3% Native American*14.4% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.6% Two or more races*2.0% Other races*5.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, Maryland, United States. It began with the idea that a city could enhance its residents' quality of life. Creator and developer James W. Rouse
James W. Rouse
James Wilson Rouse , founder of The Rouse Company, was a pioneering American real estate developer, urban planner, civic activist, and later, free enterprise-based philanthropist...

 saw the new community in terms of human values, not just in terms of economics and engineering. Opened in 1967, Columbia was designed to not only eliminate the inconveniences of then-current subdivision design, but also eliminate racial, religious, and income segregation.

Today, Columbia has a population of about 97,200 and is the most populous census-designated place
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

 in Maryland. By the early 2000s, the town had acquired many of the characteristics of other contemporary U.S. suburbs, such as increasingly large private homes on large parcels and "big box
Big-box store
A big-box store is a physically large retail establishment, usually part of a chain. The term sometimes also refers, by extension, to the company that operates the store...

" retail stores accessible mostly by automobile. However, Rouse's ethos remains a strong influence upon the physical and political development of Columbia.

History


The Rouse Company accumulated over 14000 acres (56.7 km²), 10 percent of Howard County
Howard County, Maryland
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*62.2% White*17.5% Black*0.3% Native American*14.4% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.6% Two or more races*2.0% Other races*5.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 (located between Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 and Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

), from 140 separate owners. This acquisition was funded by Connecticut General Life Insurance
CIGNA
Cigna , headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, is a global health services company, owing to its expanding international footprint and the fact that it provides administrative services only to approximately 80 percent of its clients...

, at an average price of $1,500 per acre ($0.37/m²). In October 1963, the acquisition was revealed to the residents of Howard County, putting to rest rumors about the mysterious purchases. These had included the theory that the site was for a laboratory to study diseases and another that the site was intended to become a giant compost heap.

At this unveiling, James Rouse described Columbia as a planned new city which would avoid the leap-frog and spot development threatening the county. The new city would be complete with jobs, schools, shopping, and medical services, and a range of housing choices. The property taxes from commercial development would cover the additional services with which housing would burden the county. The urban planning process for Columbia included not only planners, but also a convening of a panel of nationally recognized experts in the social sciences, known as the Work Group. Meeting for two days, twice a month, for half a year, the Work Group suggested innovations that the planners should try in education, recreation
Recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

, religion, and health care, as well as ways of improving social interactions. Open classroom
Open classroom
An open classroom is a student-centered classroom design format popular in the United States in the 1970s. In its most extreme form, entire schools were built without interior walls, which made teaching loud and disruptive in worst case scenarios - for most schools this has not been as big a...

s, the interfaith centers, and the then-novel idea of a Health Maintenance Organization
Health maintenance organization
A health maintenance organization is an organization that provides managed care for health insurance contracts in the United States as a liaison with health care providers...

 (HMO) with a group practice of medical doctors (the Columbia Medical Plan) sprung from these meetings. Columbia was not incorporated; some governance, however, was to be provided by the Columbia Association, which manages common areas and functions as a homeowners' association with regard to private property. The first manager of the Columbia Association was John Estabrook Slayton, who died in early 1967. The community center in Wilde Lake, the Slayton House, was named after him for the contributions he made to the early planning of Columbia.

The physical plan, with neighborhood and village centers, also were decided upon at these meetings. Columbia's “New Town District” zoning ordinance gives the developer great flexibility about what to put where, without getting approval from the county for each specific project.

The first village to be developed in Columbia was Wilde Lake
Wilde Lake, Columbia, Maryland
Wilde Lake is a reservoir and also the name of the surrounding neighborhood, or "village", located in Columbia, Maryland, just north and west of the Columbia Town Center. It was the first portion of the "New Town" of Columbia to be built during the late 1960s, and was occupied in 1967. The lake...

. The first high school to open in Columbia was Wilde Lake High School
Wilde Lake High School
Wilde Lake High School is a secondary school located in Columbia, Maryland's Village of Wilde Lake, one of 12 public high schools in Howard County. Opened in 1971 as a model school for the nation, it was Columbia's first high school. It had a unique open doughnut-shaped design with "open...

, which opened in 1971 as a model school for the nation. Constructed in the open classroom style, it was razed in 1994 and reconstructed on the same site in 1996.

Columbia proper consists only of that territory governed by the Columbia Association, but larger areas are included under its name by the US Postal Service and the census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

. These include several other communities which predate Columbia, including Simpsonville
Simpsonville, Maryland
Simpsonville is an unincorporated community in Howard County, Maryland, United States.-References:...

, Atholton, and in the case of the census, Clarksville
Clarksville, Maryland
Clarksville is both the name of an unincorporated community and the name associated with Districts 4 & 5 in Howard County, the third wealthiest county in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The community is named for William Clark, a farmer who owned much of the land on which the...

 and Savage
Savage, Maryland
Savage is a historic town located in Howard County, Maryland, about south of Baltimore and north of Washington, D.C. It is situated close to the city of Laurel and to the planned community of Columbia.A rich vein of American industrial history lies in Savage...

.

Dorsey Hall
Dorsey Hall
Dorsey Hall, is a historic home located in the Columbia community of unincorporated Howard County, Maryland, United States. It is a six-by-one-bay, -story stucco structure with a gable roof covered with asphalt shingles...

 and Woodlawn
Woodlawn (Columbia, Maryland)
Woodlawn, is a historic home located at Columbia, Howard County, Maryland. It is a two-story, stuccoed stone house constructed in the mid 19th century, whose design reflects the transition between the Greek Revival and Italianate architecture styles...

 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 in 1973.

Master plan


To achieve the goals set forth by the Work Group, Columbia's Master Plan called for a series of ten self-contained villages, around which day-to-day life would revolve. The centerpiece of Columbia would be the Mall in Columbia
Mall in Columbia
The Mall in Columbia is the central shopping mall for the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, United States. It has five anchor department stores and over 200 specialty stores. It includes a 14-screen AMC Theatres and one of the 13 L.L.Bean retail stores outside of Maine...

 and man-made Lake Kittamaqundi
Lake Kittamaqundi
Lake Kittamaqundi is a reservoir located in Columbia, Maryland in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. It is also adjacent to the Rouse Company's offices and visible from US-29.The lake was given its name after the first Indian settlement in Howard County...

.

Villages and neighborhoods


The village concept is aimed to provide Columbia a small-town feel (like Easton, Maryland
Easton, Maryland
Easton, founded 1710, is a town within the Easton District of Talbot County, Maryland, United States. The population was 11,708 at the 2000 census, and 14,677 according to current July 2008 census estimates. It is the county seat of Talbot County. The primary ZIP Code is 21601, and the...

, where James Rouse grew up). Each village comprises several neighborhoods. The village center may contain middle and high schools. All villages have a shopping center, recreational facilities, a community center, a system of bike/walking paths, and homes. Four of the villages have interfaith centers
Interfaith worship spaces
Interfaith worship spaces are buildings that are home to congregations representing two religions. Buildings shared by churches of two Christian denominations are common, but there are only a few known places where, for example, a Jewish congregation and a Christian congregation share their...

, common worship facilities which are owned and jointly operated by a variety of religious congregations working together.

Most of Columbia's neighborhoods contain single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and apartments (though some are more exclusive than others). The original plan, following the neighborhood concept of Clarence Perry, would have had all the children of a neighborhood attend the same school, melding neighborhoods into a community and ensuring that all of Columbia's children get the same high-quality education.
  • Village – Neighborhoods (in rough order of opening)
    • Wilde Lake
      Wilde Lake, Columbia, Maryland
      Wilde Lake is a reservoir and also the name of the surrounding neighborhood, or "village", located in Columbia, Maryland, just north and west of the Columbia Town Center. It was the first portion of the "New Town" of Columbia to be built during the late 1960s, and was occupied in 1967. The lake...

       – Bryant Woods, Faulkner Ridge, Running Brook, The Birches
    • Harper's Choice
      Harper's Choice, Columbia, Maryland
      Harper's Choice is one of the ten villages that comprise Columbia, Maryland. It lies in the northwest part of Columbia and consists of the neighborhoods of Longfellow, Swansfield, and Hobbit's Glen and had a December 1998 population of 8,695....

       – Longfellow, Swansfield, Hobbit's Glen
    • Oakland Mills
      Oakland Mills, Columbia, Maryland
      Oakland Mills is one of the 10 villages in Columbia, Maryland. It is located immediately east of Town Center, across US Route 29.Neighborhoods in the village of Oakland Mills include Steven's Forest, Talbott Springs, and Thunder Hill.-Names:...

       – Thunder Hill, Talbott Springs, Stevens Forest
    • Long Reach
      Long Reach, Columbia, Maryland
      Long Reach is one of ten villages comprising Columbia, Maryland, lying in the northeast part of Columbia along Maryland Route 108. Started in 1971, it is one of the oldest villages, and comprises four neighborhoods: Jeffers Hill, Kendall Ridge, Locust Park, and Phelps Luck with an approximate...

       – Phelps Luck, Jeffers Hill, Locust Park, Kendall Ridge
    • Owen Brown
      Owen Brown, Columbia, Maryland
      Owen Brown is one of the 10 villages in Columbia, Maryland, USA, incorporated in 1972. Neighborhoods in the village include Dasher Green, Elkhorn, and Hopewell...

       – Dasher Green, Elkhorn, Hopewell
    • Hickory Ridge
      Hickory Ridge, Columbia, Maryland
      Hickory Ridge is one of the 10 villages in Columbia, Maryland, located to the west of the Town Center. It was first occupied in 1974. Neighborhoods in the village are Hawthorn, Clary's Forest, and Clemens Crossing. The name Hickory Ridge comes from the original name of the tract of land it...

       – Clemens Crossing, Hawthorn, Clary's Forest
    • Dorsey's Search
      Dorsey's Search, Columbia, Maryland
      Dorsey's Search is one of ten villages comprising Columbia, Maryland, USA, and was occupied starting in 1980. The current population is approximately 7,500. The village has two neighborhoods: Dorsey Hall and Fairway Hills...

       – Dorsey Hall, Fairway Hills
    • Kings Contrivance
      Kings Contrivance, Columbia, Maryland
      Kings Contrivance is one of the 10 villages in the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, and is home to about 11,000 residents. It was first occupied in 1977. It is Columbia's southernmost village and includes a Village Center and many apartment complexes and housing developments...

       – Dickinson, Huntington, Macgill's Common
    • River Hill
      River Hill, Columbia, Maryland
      River Hill is the last and westernmost village to be developed in the town of Columbia, Maryland, though numerous residents have addresses in Clarksville. Construction started in 1990. It is bounded by Maryland Route 108 and Maryland Route 32, and is centered on Trotter Road...

       – Pheasant Ridge, Pointers Run
    • Town Center
      Town Center, Columbia, Maryland
      Town Center is one of the ten villages in Columbia, Maryland, United States, first occupied in 1974. It is a non-contiguous, diverse area, and the most urban-like, ranging from multi-level high density apartments homes and office buildings, to single family homes....

       – Vantage Point, Banneker, Amesbury, Creighton's Run, and Warfield Triangle


Columbia takes its street names from famous works of art and literature: for example, the neighborhood of Hobbit's Glen takes its street names from the work of J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

; Running Brook, from the poetry of Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and...

; and Clemens Crossing, from the work of Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

. The book Oh, you must live in Columbia! chronicles the artistic, poetic, and historical origins of the street and place names in Columbia. http://www.columbiaarchives.org/index.cfm?action=content.sub&page=publications_books&oid=5

Columbia today


In 2006, Money
Money (magazine)
Money is published by Time Inc. Its first issue was published in October 1972. Its articles cover the gamut of personal finance topics ranging from investing, saving, retirement and taxes to family finance issues like paying for college, credit, career and home improvement...

magazine ranked Columbia (together with Ellicott City
Ellicott City, Maryland
Ellicott City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The population was 65,834 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Howard County...

, its neighbor to the north) #4 out of the 100 "Best Places to Live" in the United States. In 2008, Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #8 on this list. In 2010, Columbia and Ellicott City were ranked #2 on this list.

Education and libraries


Columbia's public schools are operated by the Howard County Public School System
Howard County Public Schools
The Howard County Public School System is the school district that manages the public schools of Howard County, Maryland, USA. It operates under the supervision of an eight-member Board of Education. The Superintendent is Sydney L...

. As of the 2007–2008 school year, the following high schools served some part of Columbia:
  • Atholton
    Atholton High School
    Atholton High School is a high school in Columbia, Maryland and is a part of the Howard County public school system. The school opened in 1966, is scheduled for a major systemic renovation in FY12 and hosts a JROTC program. The mascot is the Raider and colors are green and white. It features...

     http://www.atholton.net/
  • Hammond
    Hammond High School (Columbia, Maryland)
    Hammond High School, established in 1976, is a public secondary school located in Columbia, Maryland and is part of the Howard County Public School System. It is located near the Kings Contrivance Village Center, south of Maryland Route 32, east of U.S...

     http://www.hammondhs.org/
  • Howard http://www.howardhighschool.net/
  • Long Reach
    Long Reach High School
    Long Reach High School is a public high school located in Columbia, Maryland. It is part of the Howard County Public School System.-Location:...

     http://www.howard.k12.md.us/lrhs/home.html
  • Oakland Mills
    Oakland Mills High School
    Oakland Mills High School was established in 1973 as one of the first high schools to service the Columbia, Maryland area. It is part of the Howard County Public School System.The building had its first renovation in 1991, then again in 1998...

     http://www.howard.k12.md.us/omhs/
  • River Hill
    River Hill High School
    River Hill High School is a public high school in Clarksville, Maryland. It is part of the Howard County public school system. It is one of the two former Technology Magnet schools in Howard County, along with Long Reach High School...

     http://www.howard.k12.md.us/rhhs/
  • Wilde Lake
    Wilde Lake High School
    Wilde Lake High School is a secondary school located in Columbia, Maryland's Village of Wilde Lake, one of 12 public high schools in Howard County. Opened in 1971 as a model school for the nation, it was Columbia's first high school. It had a unique open doughnut-shaped design with "open...

     http://www.wildelake.com/


Note that almost all of these schools also serve students from outside Columbia, as is also the case with middle and elementary schools.

There are no conventional four year colleges or universities in Columbia, but several other college level programs have facilities there. Howard Community College
Howard Community College
Howard Community College is a community college in Columbia, Howard County, Maryland. HCC, in partnership with Prince George's Community College and 5 four year colleges, also has a campus in Laurel that is known as Laurel College Center...

 is located near the town center, while the University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

, American Career Institute
American Career Institute
American Career Institute is a training school that offers programs in Allied Health, Digital Media, Information Technology, Software Development and Database Administration...

, Lincoln College of Technology, Loyola College in Maryland
Loyola College in Maryland
Loyola University Maryland is a Roman Catholic, Jesuit private university in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Established as Loyola College in Maryland by John Early and eight other members of the Society of Jesus in 1852, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges...

 and Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 have facilities on the east side of town.

Howard County Library is consistently top rated among the nation’s public library systems according to Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR). Two of the six branches of the Howard County public library system are in Columbia, including the Central Branch in Town Center and the East Columbia Branch in Owen Brown.

Health


Medical care is available in the recently renovated Howard County General Hospital
Howard County General Hospital
Howard County General Hospital is a 227-bed, not-for-profit health care provider located in Columbia, Maryland. The hospital was opened in 1973...

, affiliated with Baltimore's famous Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the teaching hospital and biomedical research facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland . It was founded using money from a bequest by philanthropist Johns Hopkins...

. The Columbia Medical Plan was the city's largest health maintenance organization (HMO). In more recent years, however, this plan has divided into separate medical groups that simply share the Twin Knolls
buildings. Today, there is a Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is an integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield...

 facility located in the Columbia Gateway industrial park. There are also a number of clinics, such as the Righttime Medical Care center.

Shopping


The Mall in Columbia
Mall in Columbia
The Mall in Columbia is the central shopping mall for the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, United States. It has five anchor department stores and over 200 specialty stores. It includes a 14-screen AMC Theatres and one of the 13 L.L.Bean retail stores outside of Maine...

 is a large regional shopping mall with five anchor department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

s (Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

, Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor, colloquially known as L&T, or LT, based in New York City, is the oldest upscale, specialty-retail department store chain in the United States. Concentrated in the eastern U.S., the retailer operated independently for nearly a century prior to joining American Dry Goods...

, Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
Sears, officially named Sears, Roebuck and Co., is an American chain of department stores which was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in the late 19th century...

, Macy's
Macy's
Macy's is a U.S. chain of mid-to-high range department stores. In addition to its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, the company operates over 800 stores in the United States...

, and JC Penney) and over 200 stores and restaurants. Also containing a 14-screen AMC movie theater, an LL Bean retail store, a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, and a Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

, in an outside extension area, the Mall is a societal center for the community and is located in Town Center.

There are several other major shopping centers in the Columbia area, including Snowden Square, Columbia Crossing I and II, Dobbin Center, Gateway Overlook, Ellicott City
Ellicott City, Maryland
Ellicott City is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The population was 65,834 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Howard County...

's Long Gate Shopping Center, and Hanover
Hanover, Maryland
Hanover, Maryland is a locality in unincorporated northwestern Anne Arundel County, Maryland in the United States, located south of Baltimore near the Howard County line....

's Arundel Mills
Arundel Mills
Arundel Mills is a mall located in Hanover, Maryland and is now owned by Simon Property Group. With its GLA, it was the largest mall in Maryland, until the Westfield Annapolis Mall surpassed it with its 2007 expansion...

 (in neighboring Anne Arundel County).

Columbia's nine "village centers" provide residents with nearby shopping as well, often including supermarkets, gas stations, liquor stores, dry cleaners
Dry cleaning
Dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using a chemical solvent other than water. The solvent used is typically tetrachloroethylene , abbreviated "perc" in the industry and "dry-cleaning fluid" by the public...

, restaurants, and hair salons. The village centers are laid out so that individual stores are not visible from the road, unlike traditional strip malls. The arrangement is criticized because it makes it difficult for newcomers and non-residents to know what shopping is available; it is praised for eliminating much of the garishness of roadside America.

The village centers have evolved over time. The Oakland Mills Village Center had a traditional Village Center layout—stores located off a central corridor—until its demolition in the late 1990s. It has since been replaced with a more traditional strip mall. The Kings Contrivance
Kings Contrivance, Columbia, Maryland
Kings Contrivance is one of the 10 villages in the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, and is home to about 11,000 residents. It was first occupied in 1977. It is Columbia's southernmost village and includes a Village Center and many apartment complexes and housing developments...

 Village Center underwent major construction in 2007 and 2008 when a new Harris Teeter
Harris Teeter
Harris Teeter is a chain of supermarkets based in Matthews, North Carolina, just outside Charlotte. , the chain operates 207 stores in eight Southern states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.Harris Teeter is a...

 was added to the center, but maintained the original character of stores around a central corridor and plaza.

Economy


Jim Rouse conceived of a city, not a suburban bedroom community, and a large area on the eastern edge was allocated for industrial purposes. The centerpiece of this aspect of the development was a General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 appliance
Home appliance
Home appliances are electrical/mechanical machines which accomplish some household functions, such as cooking or cleaning. Home appliances can be classified into:*Major appliances, or White goods*Small appliances, or Brown goods...

 plant on a 1125 acres (4.6 km²) site. This plant began operations in 1972 and was closed in 1990, with all but 21 acres (84,984.1 m²) of the property being sold back to HRD. After toxic waste remediation, one section was redeveloped for big box retail; the remainder became the large Gateway Commerce office complex, still being expanded. There is still a smaller industrial area to the south of this, but by and large East Columbia is dominated by commercial real estate: office, retail, and wholesale. This is somewhat in contrast to the original plan, which saw the Town Center area as the commercial center of Columbia.

The U.S. Federal Government is the source of many jobs for Columbians. Several large U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 installations and R&D facilities surround Columbia, the largest being the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 at Fort George G. Meade
Fort George G. Meade
Fort George G. Meade is a United States Army installation that includes the Defense Information School, the United States Army Field Band, and the headquarters of United States Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Courier Service...

, and the Applied Physics Laboratory
Applied Physics Laboratory
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory , located in Howard County, Maryland near Laurel and Columbia, is a not-for-profit, university-affiliated research center employing 4,500 people. APL is primarily a defense contractor. It serves as a technical resource for the Department of...

, both pre-dating the establishment of Columbia. Companies which have had research facilities in the area include W. R. Grace and Company
W. R. Grace and Company
W. R. Grace and Company is a Columbia, Maryland, United States based chemical conglomerate.The company has two main divisions, Davison Chemicals and Performance Chemicals. The Davison unit makes chemical catalysts, refining catalysts, and silica-based products that let other companies make...

 and Westvaco. Further afield, many Columbians commute to government and government contractor jobs in the Baltimore and the DC area.

Companies based in Columbia include W. R. Grace and Company
W. R. Grace and Company
W. R. Grace and Company is a Columbia, Maryland, United States based chemical conglomerate.The company has two main divisions, Davison Chemicals and Performance Chemicals. The Davison unit makes chemical catalysts, refining catalysts, and silica-based products that let other companies make...

, Sourcefire
Sourcefire
Sourcefire, Inc develops network security hardware and software. The Sourcefire 3D System is based on Snort, an open-source intrusion detection engine.-Background:...

, PetMeds, MICROS Systems
MICROS Systems
MICROS Systems, Inc., is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services for the restaurant point of sale, hotel, hospitality, specialty retail markets and other similar markets...

, Martek Biosciences, Integral Systems
Integral Systems
Integral Systems is a provider of satellite ground systems. Founded in 1982, the Columbia, Maryland-based company has supported over 205 satellite missions for communications, science, meteorological and earth resource applications...

, Corporate Office Properties Trust
Corporate Office Properties Trust
Corporate Office Properties Trust Inc. is a publicly-traded real estate investment trust corporation that specializes in office development, and describes itself as "a fully integrated, self-managed real estate investment trust that focuses on the acquisition, development, ownership, management...

 and the consumer research company Arbitron
Arbitron
Arbitron is a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio audiences. It was founded as American Research Bureau by Jim Seiler in 1949 and became national by merging with L.A. based Coffin, Cooper and Clay in the early 1950s...

. When MaggieMoo's was an independent company, its headquarters was in the Columbia CDP.

Recreation


Recreation has always been an important part of the Columbia concept. The homeowners association, the Columbia Association, known to Columbians as "CA," builds, operates and maintains most of these facilities. CA operates a variety of recreational facilities, including 23 outdoor swimming pool
Swimming pool
A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or simply a pool, is a container filled with water intended for swimming or water-based recreation. There are many standard sizes; the largest is the Olympic-size swimming pool...

s, six indoor pools, two water slide
Water slide
A water slide is a type of slide designed for warm-weather or indoor recreational use at water parks. Water slides differ in their riding method and therefore size...

s, ice
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

 and roller skating
Roller skating
Roller skating is the traveling on smooth surfaces with roller skates. It is a form of recreation as well as a sport, and can also be a form of transportation. Skates generally come in two basic varieties: quad roller skates and inline skates or blades, though some have experimented with a...

 rinks, an equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 center, a sports park with miniature golf
Miniature golf
Miniature golf, or minigolf, is a miniature version of the sport of golf. While the international sports organization World Minigolf Sport Federation prefers to use the name "minigolf", the general public in different countries has also many other names for the game: miniature golf, mini-golf,...

, a skateboard park, batting cage
Batting cage
A batting cage is an enclosed cage for baseball players to practice the skill of batting.It is usually made of netting or a chain-link fence and rectangular in shape. A batter stands at one end of the cage, with a pitching machine at the opposing end...

s, picnic
Picnic
In contemporary usage, a picnic can be defined simply as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors , ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open air theatre performance,...

 pavilions, clubhouse and playground, three athletic club
Gym
The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men...

s including the 24/7 Supreme Sports Club, numerous indoor and outdoor tennis, basketball, volleyball, squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

 and racquetball
Racquetball
For other sports often called "paddleball", see Paddleball .Racquetball is a racquet sport played with a hollow rubber ball in an indoor or outdoor court...

 courts, and running tracks. In February, 2006, LifeTime Fitness (a Minnesota company) opened a 24/7 health club at the edge of the Columbia Gateway industrial park. This facility includes 1 outdoor and 2 indoor pools (with water slides), racquetball courts, basketball courts, fitness equipment, and pilates and yoga facilities.

There are three lakes (Lake Kittamaqundi
Lake Kittamaqundi
Lake Kittamaqundi is a reservoir located in Columbia, Maryland in the vicinity of the Mall in Columbia. It is also adjacent to the Rouse Company's offices and visible from US-29.The lake was given its name after the first Indian settlement in Howard County...

, Lake Elkhorn
Lake Elkhorn
Lake Elkhorn is a reservoir located in the Owen Brown area of Columbia, Maryland. It is surrounded by a park and townhouses. The lake, which was built in 1974, is named for the Elkhorn branch of the Little Patuxent River. It is Columbia's third and largest lake. Its main features are a small dam...

, and Wilde Lake) surrounded by parkland for sailing, fishing, and boating
Boating
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels , focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or water skiing...

; 80 miles (128.7 km) of paths for jogging
Jogging
Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.-Definition:...

, strolling and biking
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

; and 148 tot lots and play areas
Playground
A playground or play area is a place with a specific design for children be able to play there. It may be indoors but is typically outdoors...

.

Nine village centers, 15 neighborhood centers, and four senior centers provide space for a large variety of community activities. There are a variety of fairs and celebrations throughout the year, including entertainment on the lakefront of Lake Kittamaqundi during the summer and the Columbia Festival of the Arts.

Columbia also has garden plots for rent, under the guidance of the Columbia Gardeners, which has been in existence since the 1970s. There are about 350 garden plots at three sites in Columbia, with each garden rented for a nominal fee (currently $30 per year). (Columbia Flyer, Doug Miller "Turning over a new leaf could be growing concern", May 31, 2007, page 17)

Entertainment / performing arts


In the absence of nightclubs, Columbia relies on local bars to bring in bands. Clyde's (near the Columbia Mall and on Lake Kittamaqundi), Sonoma's (in Owen Brown), along with Nottingham's Tavern and The Green Turtle (near Dobbin Center) regularly bring in groups to perform.

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Merriweather Post Pavilion is an outdoor concert venue located within Symphony Woods, a 40-acre lot of preserved land in the heart of the planned community of Columbia, Maryland. It was named for the American Post Foods heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post...

, a well-known outdoor concert venue, attracts many prominent performers. In addition, there are several performing arts organizations that present professional theater: Toby's Dinner Theatre, which has produced the area premieres of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Aida, Titanic, and Ragtime, and will produce the Maryland/Virginia regional premiere of The Producers in 2008 and Rep Stage
Rep Stage
Rep Stage, was founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Valerie Lash. It is a professional Equity theatre based in Howard County, Maryland. Rep Stage has won 7 Helen Hayes Awards, garnered 37 nominations, received 6 Greater Baltimore Theater Awards and received consistent high critical acclaim from the...

 at Howard Community College.

Transportation


Columbia's initial plan called for a minibus system connecting the village centers on a distinct right-of-way. This was never constructed, though minibuses were operated by the Columbia Association under the name ColumBus. These were eventually taken over by Howard County. Six Howard Transit
Howard Transit
Howard Transit is the primary public transit system in Howard County, Maryland, which grew from the former ColumBus bus system in Columbia, Maryland...

 bus routes now serve Columbia and connect it with its neighboring areas (such as Ellicott City and BWI Airport
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is an international airport serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States. It is commonly called BWI, BWI Airport or BWI Marshall, BWI being an initialism for "Baltimore/Washington International" and the...

), while several Maryland Transit Administration
Maryland Transit Administration
The Maryland Transit Administration is a state-operated mass transit administration in Maryland, and is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation. It is better known as MTA Maryland to avoid confusion with other cities' transit agencies who share the initials MTA. The MTA operates a...

 (MTA) routes provide access to and from both Washington and Baltimore. MTA weekday commuter bus service connects Columbia to the Washington Metro
Washington Metro
The Washington Metro, commonly called Metro, and unofficially Metrorail, is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C., United States, and its surrounding suburbs. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority , which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name...

 system. There are no rail stations within Columbia, although the Dorsey
Dorsey, Maryland
Dorsey, Maryland, is a locality in eastern Howard County, Maryland, south of Elkridge, north of Savage, and close to the Anne Arundel County border and Baltimore-Washington International Airport...

 MARC Train
MARC Train
MARC , known prior to 1984 as Maryland Rail Commuter Service, is a regional rail system comprising three lines in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. MARC is administered by the Maryland Transit Administration , a Maryland Department of Transportation agency, and is operated under contract...

 station is served by Howard Transit buses.

Columbia also has a number of roadways that serve the city. These are: U.S. Route 29
U.S. Route 29
U.S. Route 29 is a north–south United States highway that runs for from the western suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, to Pensacola, Florida. This highway's northern terminus is at Maryland Route 99 in Ellicott City, Maryland...

, Interstate 95
Interstate 95
Interstate 95 is the main highway on the East Coast of the United States, running parallel to the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida and serving some of the most populated urban areas in the country, including Boston, Providence, New Haven, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore,...

, MD 32, MD 108, MD 100, and MD 175. All of these highways allow Columbia access to nearby Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Washington, DC, and Annapolis.

Geography


The center of Columbia is located at 39°12.5′N 76°52′W. However, its geography is considerably clouded by confusion over its exact limits. On the strictest definition, Columbia consists only of the land governed under covenants by the Columbia Association. This is a considerably smaller area than the census-designated place(CDP) as defined by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, which has a total area of 27.7 square miles (71.7 km²), of which, 27.6 square miles (71.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square mile (0.258998811 km²) of it (0.36%) is water. This includes a number of older communities which do not lie within the CA's purview, including the Holiday Hills, Diamondback, and Allview subdivisions and the former town of Simpsonville, as well as some land on the east side of Clarksville
Clarksville, Maryland
Clarksville is both the name of an unincorporated community and the name associated with Districts 4 & 5 in Howard County, the third wealthiest county in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The community is named for William Clark, a farmer who owned much of the land on which the...

. These areas are not part of the "new town", and are not directly served by its amenities. Some of these areas are included in Columbia zip codes by the post office, and some are not.

The city lies in the Piedmont
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

 region of Maryland, with its eastern edge at the fall line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

. The climate is that of central Maryland, tending to hot, humid summers and cold but wet winters. The primary landforms in Columbia are rolling hills and stream valleys; Columbia's road network is laid out to follow the terrain, with many winding streets and cul-de-sacs. Elevations range from about 200 to 500 feet (60–150 m) above sea level. Most of Columbia is drained by the Middle Patuxent River
Patuxent River
The Patuxent River is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. There are three main river drainages for central Maryland: the Potomac River to the west passing through Washington D.C., the Patapsco River to the northeast passing through Baltimore, and the Patuxent River between...

 and Little Patuxent River. There are three artificial lakes, created by damming of tributary streams during city construction. Along with Symphony Woods, many other stands of mature trees have been maintained in Columbia, including the large Middle Patuxent Environmental Area in the western part of the city between Harper's Choice and River Hill villages, protecting much of the river valley from development.

Demographics


NOTE: The CDP includes considerable areas which are not part of the planned community.

As of the census of 2000, there were 88,254 people, 34,199 households, and 23,118 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,202.0 people per square mile (1,236.4/km²). There were 35,281 housing units at an average density of 1,280.0 per square mile (494.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 66.52% White, 21.47% Black or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.26% Native American, 7.30% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.63% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 2.76% from two or more races. 4.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 34,199 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 34.1% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the CDP was $94,966, and the median income for a family was $107,210. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/STTable?_bm=y&-context=st&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S1901&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-CONTEXT=st&-tree_id=307&-redoLog=false&-_caller=geoselect&-geo_id=16000US2419125&-format=&-_lang=en Males had a median income of $60,498 versus $41,501 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $32,833. About 3.4% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.

Sister cities


Columbia is a sister city to the planned cities of Cergy-Pontoise
Cergy-Pontoise
Cergy-Pontoise is a new town in France, in the Val d'Oise département, northwest of Paris on the Oise River. It owes its name to two of the communes that it covers, Cergy and Pontoise....

, France and Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos
Tres Cantos is a township and municipality located in the autonomous community of Madrid, Spain, some 22 km north of the capital city, Madrid. As a "satellite city" of Madrid which was conceived by urban planners as recently as the 1970s, it is the youngest incorporated municipality in Spain, with...

, Spain. Columbia Association organizes a summer exchange program for French and Spanish students enrolled in Howard County Public Schools.

Famous Columbians

  • Stephen Amidon
    Stephen Amidon
    Stephen Amidon is an American author and film critic. He grew up on the East Coast of the United States of America, including a spell in Columbia, Maryland, which served as the inspiration for his fourth novel The New City. Amidon moved to London, UK, in 1987, where he was given his first job as a...

    , author, whose 2000 novel, The New City, is set in a fictionalized Columbia in the 1970s
  • Bob Beaumont
    Bob Beaumont
    Robert Gerald Beaumont was the founder of Sebring-Vanguard a Florida based company that produced the Citicar, an electric automobile manufacturer from 1974 to 1977...

     (1932-2011), founder of Citicar
    Citicar
    The CitiCar was produced between 1974 and 1977 by a U.S. company called Sebring-Vanguard, Inc., based in Sebring, Florida. The CitiCar and variants are the most produced electric car in American automobile history...

    , an electric automobile manufacturer from 1974 to 1977.
  • Michael Benton, U.S. diplomat to Denmark
  • Jayson Blair
    Jayson Blair
    Jayson Blair is an American reporter formerly with The New York Times. He resigned from the newspaper in May 2003 in the wake of the discovery of plagiarism and fabrication in his stories. Since 2007 he has worked as a life coach in the field of mental health.-Background:Blair was born in...

    , disgraced former New York Times reporter
  • Michael Chabon
    Michael Chabon
    Michael Chabon born May 24, 1963) is an American author and "one of the most celebrated writers of his generation", according to The Virginia Quarterly Review....

    , Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • Frank Cho
    Frank Cho
    Frank Cho, born Duk Hyun Cho, is a Korean-American comic strip and comic book writer and illustrator, known for his series Liberty Meadows, as well as for books such as Shanna the She-Devil, Mighty Avengers and Hulk for Marvel Comics, and Jungle Girl for Dynamite Entertainment...

    , creator of Liberty Meadows comic strip
  • George Colligan
    George Colligan
    George Colligan is a New York-based jazz pianist, organist, drummer, trumpet player, educator, composer and bandleader. He was born in New Jersey, and raised in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the Peabody Institute, majoring in classical trumpet and music education...

    , New York–based jazz pianist
  • Cristeta Comerford
    Cristeta Comerford
    Cristeta Pasia Comerford is a Filipino American has been the White House Executive Chef since 2005. She is the first woman to be selected for the post, and also the first of Filipino descent.-Early life:...

    , White House Executive Chef
  • D'Monroe
    D'Monroe
    D'Monroe is an American actor who has appeared in a number of television productions. On Broadway, he has performed in the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar as an apostle, and in Rent as Benny. He won a Travolta Family Entertainment Golden Icon Award for Best Male Musical Theater Performance...

    , Broadway and Off-Broadway Actor
  • Mary Downing Hahn
    Mary Downing Hahn
    Mary Downing Hahn is an award-winning American author of young adult novels. Her first published book, The Sara Summer, was released in 1979, when she was forty-one years old. Since then she has written over twenty novels...

    , award winning author of young adult literature
  • Greg Hawkes
    Greg Hawkes
    Greg Hawkes is a musician best known as the keyboardist for the Rock band The Cars.Hawkes, a native of Fulton, Maryland, attended Atholton High School where he played in a band called Teeth. He then attended Berklee College of Music for two years, majoring in composition and flute...

    , keyboardist for new wave band The Cars
    The Cars
    The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson...

  • Stephen Hunter
    Stephen Hunter
    Stephen Hunter is an American novelist, essayist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic.-Life and career:Stephen Hunter was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. His father was Charles Francis Hunter, a Northwestern University speech professor who was killed in 1975....

    , Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize
    The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

    -winning film critic and author
  • Ian Jones-Quartey, creator of the webcomic RPG World
  • JJ Kincaid
    JJ Kincaid
    JJ Kincaid is the afternoon radio personality at Z100 in New York City. His show is quite random, with phone calls from listeners who share strange things about their lives along with hit music throughout....

    , New York City radio personality, got his start DJing at the Columbia Ice Rink.
  • Kerry G. Johnson
    Kerry G. Johnson
    Kerry G. Johnson is an African-American graphic designer, caricaturist and humorous illustrator.He was born in Nashville, Tennessee on September 30, 1966...

    , award winning caricaturist, cartoonist and humorous illustrator
  • Laura Lippman
    Laura Lippman
    Laura Lippman is an American author of detective fiction.-Biography:Lippmann was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a well known and respected writer at the Baltimore Sun, and Madeline Lippman, a retired school librarian for the...

    , award winning mystery author
  • Suzanne Malveaux
    Suzanne Malveaux
    Suzanne M. Malveaux , is an American television news reporter.She is currently the anchor of CNN Newsroom 11am to 1pm. Before that she was White House correspondent for CNN and primary substitute host on CNNs "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer"...

    , CNN Reporter
  • Aaron Maybin
    Aaron Maybin
    -Buffalo Bills:On August 21, 2009, Maybin agreed to a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills after being drafted with the 11th pick in the first round. He finished the season with 18 tackles and zero sacks while playing in all 16 regular season games during his 2009 rookie year.In his second season,...

    , American football defensive end for the New York Jets of the National Football League
  • Aaron McGruder
    Aaron McGruder
    Aaron McGruder is an American cartoonist best known for writing and drawing The Boondocks, a Universal Press Syndicate comic strip about two young African American brothers from inner-city Chicago now living with their grandfather in a sedate suburb, as well as being the creator and executive...

    , animator and cartoonist (The Boondocks)
  • Edward Norton
    Edward Norton
    Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, film director and producer. In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

    , Academy Award–nominated actor and grandson of James Rouse, made his professional debut at age 8 at Toby's Dinner Theatre in the Town Center.
  • Randy Pausch
    Randy Pausch
    Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania....

    , professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States....

    , author of The Last Lecture
    The Last Lecture
    The Last Lecture is a New York Times best-selling book co-authored by Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science, human-computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Jeffrey Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal...

  • Elise Ray
    Elise Ray
    Mary Elise Ray is an American gymnast who represented the United States at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 1999 World Championships.-Biography and early career:...

    , Olympic gymnast
  • James W. Rouse
    James W. Rouse
    James Wilson Rouse , founder of The Rouse Company, was a pioneering American real estate developer, urban planner, civic activist, and later, free enterprise-based philanthropist...

    , urban planner, real estate developer and philanthropist. Also grandfather of actor Edward Norton
  • Christian Siriano
    Christian Siriano
    Christian Siriano is an American fashion designer. Siriano first gained attention after winning the fourth season of American reality show Project Runway, becoming the series' youngest winner...

    , fashion designer and winner of the fourth season
    Project Runway (season 4)
    Project Runway Season 4 was the fourth season of Project Runway, Bravo's reality competition for fashion designers. The season premiered November 14, 2007. Returning as judges were supermodel Heidi Klum; fashion designer Michael Kors; and Nina Garcia, Elle magazine fashion director...

     of Project Runway
    Project Runway
    Project Runway is an American reality television series on Lifetime Television, previously on the Bravo network, which focuses on fashion design and is hosted by model Heidi Klum. The contestants compete with each other to create the best clothes and are restricted in time, materials and theme...

    (born in Columbia)
  • Dave Sitek, guitarist and music producer, best known as a member of the band TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio
    TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music....

  • Linda Tripp
    Linda Tripp
    Linda Rose Tripp was a central figure in the Lewinsky scandal of 1998 and 1999 that led to the impeachment and subsequent acquittal of U.S. President Bill Clinton.-Early life and government employment:...

    , central figure in the Monica Lewinsky
    Monica Lewinsky
    Monica Samille Lewinsky is an American woman with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an "improper relationship" while she worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996...

     scandal
  • Terry Virts, astronaut
  • Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle
    Frank Whittle
    Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS was a British Royal Air Force engineer officer. He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a British Royal Air...

    , OM, KBE inventor of the jet engine
  • Kenneth Catania, MacArthur Foundation
    MacArthur Foundation
    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. Based in Chicago but supporting non-profit organizations that work in 60 countries, MacArthur has awarded more than US$4 billion since its inception in 1978...

     Fellow and Professor of Biology at Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University
    Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...

  • Void (band)
    Void (band)
    Void was a Washington D.C.-based hardcore punk/crossover thrash band. They were one of the first hardcore outfits to fuse hardcore and some heavy metal in a way most hardcore and metal fans could accept, paving the way for bands such as The Melvins. They were one of the first local bands popular in...

    , punk band on Dischord Records
    Dischord Records
    Dischord Records is a Washington, D.C.-based independent record label specializing in the independent punk music of the D.C.-area music scene. The label is co-owned by Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, who founded Dischord in 1980 to release Minor Disturbance by The Teen Idles...


Further reading


External links


  • Stephen Amidon
    Stephen Amidon
    Stephen Amidon is an American author and film critic. He grew up on the East Coast of the United States of America, including a spell in Columbia, Maryland, which served as the inspiration for his fourth novel The New City. Amidon moved to London, UK, in 1987, where he was given his first job as a...

     talks to Kojo Nnamdi
    Kojo Nnamdi
    Kojo Nnamdi is an American radio journalist. He was born on 8 January 1945. He is the host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and The Politics Hour on WAMU, and the Evening Exchange broadcast on WHUT-TV.-Biography:...

    about growing up in Columbia in the 1970s http://wamu.org/programs/kn/00/02/22.php