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Present-day Annapolis was settled sometime after 1649, when Puritans exiled from Virginia moved their settlement from across the Severn River. The community was originally known as Proctor's Town, then Town on the Severn, and then Anne Arundel's Towne. Annapolis was renamed one last time, after Princess Anne, when the Maryland Legislature was moved to this location in 1694 by Sir Francis Nicholson. When Annapolis became the colony's capital, a new town was laid out in a Baroque radial street pattern. Two circles were the centerpiece of the town, with either being the site of one of the two important aspects of colonial life: government and religion. Publick Circle, which later became State Circle, was the site of the Maryland State House, and Church Circle was the site of the community's Episcopal church. Annapolis is the only town in the United States with a radial-only street pattern.

Annapolis served briefly as the capital of the United States, after the Treaty of Paris was signed. Congress was held here from November 26, 1783, until June 3, 1784.

Annapolis' colonial center still remains the center of the community, due to the State House; the United States Naval Academy, which opened in 1845; St. John's College; and the retail and dining streets of Main Street, West Street, and Maryland Avenue. The terms "Downtown" and "The Historic District" can sometimes be used interchangeably to refer to the same core of the city.


Looking over Lawyer's Mall from Bladen Street at the Maryland State House.



The Thurgood Marshall Memorial, on Lawyer's Mall. The statue commemorates Thurgood Marshall, who was the first African American in the U.S. Supreme Court. The memorial was dedicated in 1996.



The James Senate Office Building, on College Avenue. The structure was built in 1938 and houses offices for Maryland state senators.



The Banneker-Douglass Museum, on Franklin Street. The museum tells the history of African Americans in Maryland. The Banneker-Douglass Museum is housed in the old Mt. Moriah African Methodist Epscopal Church, which was built in 1875.



The Maryland State House from Bladen Street. The state house was built starting in 1772 and was completed in 1779. It is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use in the United States.



The Maryland State House served as the capitol of the United States from November 26, 1783, until June 3, 1784. As the capitol of the country, it was here that George Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army here on December 23, 1783.



The state house has the largest wooden dome built without nails in the U.S.



The Baron Johann DeKalb Monument, on the south side of the Maryland State House. The monument was dediacated in 1886. DeKalb was killed in action in the Battle of Camden, South Carolina, in 1780 while leading Maryland and Delaware troops.



Looking down Chancery Lane from State Circle. Chancery Lane is one of several pedestrian-only streets that evolved when shortcuts were created to travel across the radial street pattern. Many of these alleyways have been lost over time when bigger buildings were constructed, but about ten remain. On the right is the Franklin Law Office, built in 1850. On the left is an 1880 house that is the State House Inn.



A house on State Circle.



Old houses on State Circle. The Robert Johnson House, built in the 1770s and the home to several members of the Johnson family, who were involved in local, state, and the national government, is on the right. On the left is the Brooksby-Shaw House, built in the 1720s.



Buildings on State Circle at Maryland Avenue. The corner building was completed before 1840.



The Governor Calvert House, on State Circle. The house was built in 1695 but was mostly destroyed in a 1764 fire. The Calvert family, who were one of Maryland's most prominent families, lived in the house from 1727 until the 1770s. Benedict Leonard Calvert, who served as Governor of Maryland from 1727 to 1731, lived here during that time. On the left is the Dr. Claude Office, built in 1854.



The Government House, on State Circle at School Street and Church Circle. The house was built in 1868 to serve as the governor's mansion.



The Government House was changed from a Victorian look to a neo-Georgian design in 1936.



Buildings on School Street.



St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Church Circle, from Franklin Street. The church was built in 1858 to replace an earlier church that burned down.



The Anne Arundel County Court House, on Church Circle. The courthouse was completed in 1824.



The Sly Fox Pub, on Church Circle at Franklin Street. The structure was originally built in the 1730s and was known as Reynold's Tavern.



The U.S. Post Office, on Church Circle at Northwest Street. The post office was built in 1901.



The Maryland Inn, on Church Circle between Main Street and Duke of Gloucester Street. The front of the inn was built in 1772, and the additions in back were built in the 1800s. The inn was a popular staying spot for the United States Congress of 1783-1784, when Annapolis served as the capital of the United States.



Businesses on Main Street. The Old City Hall and Engine House, in the center, was built in 1822. The first floor served as a fire station, with municipal council uses on the second floor.



Buildings on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street. The Price House, built in the 1820s by the free Black man Henry Price, is the brick house to the left of the center.



Looking down Chancery Lane, a pathway that connects to Main Street.



Buildings on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street. The stores were built in the early 1900s.



Buildings on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street.



Looking up Francis Street at the Maryland State House.



Buildings on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street.



Buildings on Main Street.



The old customs house, on Main Street at Green Street. The customs house was built in 1770.



Annapolis' Christmas Tree, next to the market. Buildings on Market Space are in the background. Goodman Building, built in 1913 as a department store, is on the left.



Looking up Main Street to Church Circle.



Buildings on Main Street at Memorial Circle.



Businesses on Dock Street. The structure on the right was built in 1875. The Stevens hardware store on the left was built in 1880.



The Middleton Tavern, on Market Space. Middleton Tavern was built in the 1740s and opened as a tavern in 1750 for seafaring men. It is believed to be one of the oldest drinking establishments in the United States.



Buildings on Market Space. The buildings to the left of Pinkney Street were built in 1771.



Old houses at Fleet & Cornhill Streets. On the left, up Cornhill Street, is the Maryland State House.



Wooden rowhouses on Fleet Street. The three-story building on the left is the old Ideal Hotel, built in the 1920s.



Houses on Cornhill Street. The Chalmers House, built in the late 1700s, is on the very right.



Twin houses on Cornhill Street.



Houses on Cornhill Street.



Wooden rowhouses on Fleet Street.



Houses on Fleet Street.



Houses at the intersection of East & Fleet Streets.



Houses facing in different directions on East Street.



Houses on Pinkney Street.



Rowhouses on Pinkney Street.



The Shiplap House, on Pinkney Street. The house was built in 1715. The house's name comes from the shiplap siding, common in shipbuilding, found on the back of the house.



Houses on Pinkney Street. On the right is an old marine warehouse that is one of the few surviving examples of Annapolis' days as a major port. The warehouse dates back to the 1700s.



Buildings at Prince George Street and Randall Street. The Randall House, across Prince George Street, was built in 1785.



Houses on Randall Street. The Flag House Inn, built in 1870 and in the center, is known for flying the flags of the states or countries where the currents guests are travelling from.



Looking up East Street at the Maryland State House.



Houses on East Street. On the right, at the intersection with Martin Street, is the old Waterwitch Hook & Ladder No. 1 fire station, built in 1913.



Houses on East Street.



The James Brice House, on East Street. The house was built in 1766 by James Brice, who was mayor of Annapolis in the 1780s and served as acting governor of Maryland in 1792.



Houses at the intersection of East & Prince George Streets. The Maryland State House is at the end of East Street.



Houses on Prince George Street.



The William Paca House, on Prince George Street. The house was built in 1763 by William Paca, who signed the Declaration of Independence and was a governor of Maryland.



Houses on Prince George Street.



Rowhouses on Prince George Street.



Houses on Prince George Street. On the left is the Patrick Creagh House, built in the 1740s.



Houses on Prince George Street.



Houses on Prince George Street. The Edward Dorsey house, built before 1740 and featuring an 1870 wing, is on the right. The Dorsey Carriage House, built in 1845, is on the left.



The Weems House, on Prince George Street. The twin houses were built in 1903.



Houses on Prince George Street.



Old wooden houses on King George Street, built in the early 1900s.



Houses on King George Street.



Rowhouses on College Avenue.



Houses on College Avenue.



Houses on Hanover Street. The house on the left was built in 1875, and the wooden rowhouses were built in 1800.



Naval Academy Chapel, on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. The chapel was completed in 1908.



The Naval Academy Chapel is used for services by Protestants, Catholics, Christian Scientists, Latter Day Saints, Jews, and Muslims.



Houses on Hanover Street.



The Peggy Stewart House, on Hanover Street. The house was built in 1764 and was once the home of Thomas Stone, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, who signed the Constitution.



The Chase-Lloyd House, on Maryland Avenue. The house was completed in 1774. Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence, begun work on this house, and then sold it before completion to Edward Lloyd IV, who was a delegate at the Continental Congress.



Houses on Cumberland Court.



The Hammond-Harwood House, on Maryland Avenue. The house was built in 1774 and was designed based on a plate from Andrea Palladio's 1570 work "I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura".



The design used for the house was also used in the design of the Villa Pisani in Montagnana, Italy, which was built in 1555.



A house on Maryland Avenue, built in 1875.



Houses on Maryland Avenue.



Buildings on Maryland Avenue.



Businesses on Maryland Avenue.



Businesses on Maryland Avenue. The Masonic lodge is at the end of the block.



Stores on Maryland Avenue.



The Masonic Lodge, on Maryland Avenue. The lodge was built in 1872 and also served as the town's opera house.



McDowell Hall, on the campus of St. John's College. The building was begun in 1742 as a governor's mansion, and completed in 1789 as the central building for St. John's College. The college was started in 1696 as King William's School.



The John Ridout House, on Duke of Gloucester Street. The house was built in 1765.



Houses on Green Street.



Twin houses on Green Street.



Houses on Green Street. The old Farmer's National Bank, built in 1804, is on the left.



The steeple of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, on Duke of Gloucester Street.



St. Mary's was built in 1858 on the land of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a prominent Roman Catholic landowner who was active in state and national politics in the late 1700s.



The Charles Carroll Mansion, on Duke of Gloucester Street. The large house was built in 1730 and was the home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the only Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence, and was the last signatory of the Declaration to live.



St. Mary's Church and its school and rectory buildings. In the foreground is the Charles Carroll Mansion, overlooking Spa Creek.

 

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Great work. Unlike a lot of folks that post tons of pics, you take the time to tell us what we are looking at.

Some folks have called Annapolis a living Williamsburg. Now if they would only bury the rest of those power lines...
 

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I want a train from penn/camden/union to annapolis! pretty please?
...there was one at one time. It followed the path of the current light rail to Glen Burnie. The B&A Trail was the path beyond that. Marley Station Mall takes its name from one of the stops on the line that was at that site.

There was also a line from the west. It began at Annapolis Junction and roughly paralleled Rt 32 and Generals Highway. If you know where to look, the old railbed may be seen in the vicinity of Westfield Annapolis and some spots along Generals Hwy.
 

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very nice. very enlightening. looks like a special blend of baltimore's fells point and ellicott city's historic district. you couldn't pay me enough to live in the pink house, though. lol
 

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very nice. very enlightening. looks like a special blend of baltimore's fells point and ellicott city's historic district. you couldn't pay me enough to live in the pink house, though. lol
No problem with the pink house...that's why God invented Home Depot and paint. Annapolis is special, it's preservation status is shared by only a few more towns like Charleston SC, and Newport RI, where the entire area is considered historic. It's hard to believe that back in the 1940's the Naval Academy wanted to buy the whole place the demolish it for athletic fields. What I especially like about Annapolis is that, compared to a museum/theme park like Williamsburg, Annapolis has always been a real city in constant daily use. Another interesting fact is that before J D Rockefeller bought the entire town of Williamsburg, he tried to buy Annapolis, but the State and city wouldn't sell.
 

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Great photographs of one of my favorite places. The comment about the Naval Academy wanting to bulldoze Annapolis is so true. In the name of progress and expansion they managed to demolish wonderful historic buildings like the old Government (Jennings) House built in 1740, the Walter Dulany House built in 1745, Fort Severn, and Strawberry Hill. I'm not fond of the new buildings on Main Street and Church Circle, but at least the scale of the old city has been respected.
Annapolitans have a long history of saving their old buildings. One 1785 2-story brick house has been moved twice to save it from destruction.
 

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Nice pictures. Annapolis is indeed one of the best preserved historic capital in the United States. I hope that one day the city would be more accessible from a train or a bus station w/o going to Baltimore.
 
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