Historic Houses of Annapolis, Maryland
In December 1649, nonconformist Puritans from Virginia settled near the Severn River’s mouth in what became Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Before becoming known as Annapolis, the settlement had several names, including "Town at Proctor's” and "Town at the Severn."
During its first decades, the town remained relatively small. However, in 1694 the town was renamed “Annapolis” and became the seat of the Maryland Colony’s government. With its new importance, Annapolis’s population flourished into the 18th century.
Colonial Period Annapolis Architecture
The city’s economic success began to grow more rapidly by the 1720s and the 1730s. Larger frame structures came to dominate the city’s architectural landscape. These larger homes often featured two stories, each at least two rooms in width.
By the middle of the 18th century, houses began to be built with brick. Increasingly common features also included double sash windows and interior end chimneys. Eventually, the “Annapolis plan” became an established home template. This floor plan included a pair of entertainment rooms with an entry providing direct access and the entry as a public room.
Palladian Influence In Annapolis
Andrea Palladio, a 16th-century renowned Italian architect, inspired Palladian style architecture. The influence of Palladio was central to the designs of English architect Sir Christopher Wren and the Georgian period of architecture. This style of architecture would become common in Annapolis.
Annapolis is among the best examples of Palladian inspired Georgian architecture in the United States. The three most popular Palladian-style homes in Annapolis include the Hammond-Harwood House, the William Paca House, and the Chase-Lloyd House.
Post-Civil War Annapolis
The United States Naval Academy, established in 1845, was one of the most significant
influences in developing the city’s post-Civil War direction. Popular architectural styles during this period include the Second Empire and Queen Anne styles. The new governor’s mansion (1868 - 1870) designed by Baltimore architect R. Snowden Andrews was built in the Second Empire style.
Annapolis, Maryland, attracted prominent investors, merchants, and politicians who built magnificent homes near the State House and the harbor. Fortunately, the historic fabric of Annapolis has been protected despite the pressures of modern development. The Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission was established in 1959.