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House building named for Taylor

January 12, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

ANNAPOLIS - The name of former Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. of Allegany County was symbolically attached Thursday to a House of Delegates building that he helped create.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., the Republican who toppled Myers in the 2002 general election, was part of the crowd in the rotunda to congratulate and applaud him.

Del. Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, the current House speaker, said Taylor wanted to improve conditions at the Lowe House Office Building.

Lawmakers didn't have enough room for meetings, and citizens had only marble benches to sit on as they waited hours for hearings.

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The result was what will now be known as the House of Delegates Casper R. Taylor Jr. Building. A permanent sign will be posted.

The 95,354-square-foot Taylor building sits next to the existing Lowe House Office Building, which is named after Thomas Hunter Lowe, the House speaker from 1969 to 1973, according to a dedication ceremony program.

The construction of the Taylor building and the renovation of 115,485 square feet of the Lowe building cost $39 million, according to Busch's office. The work began in 2003.

Taylor said the real meaning of the day is the work of the House of Delegates and staff members, the "collegiality and bipartisanship," during his 28 years representing Western Maryland.

Taylor's district - which is now Myers' - is mostly in Allegany County, but also includes a section of western Washington County.

Myers won the 2002 election with 50.3 percent of the vote to 49.6 percent for Taylor, who conceded after a recount.

Taylor works as a lobbyist for Alexander & Cleaver, a law firm with offices in Cumberland and Annapolis. He said he's in Annapolis Monday through Friday during the session.

After clapping for Taylor, Myers said his accomplishments are unquestionable.

"Irregardless of who I am, today is his day," Myers said.

Myers said the men talked briefly Thursday.

Asked if he's on good terms with Myers, Taylor said, "Sure. We speak. I speak to everybody."

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