Annapolis Walking Tour
If you're planning a day in Annapolis...
Click on a pinpoint, or choose from the list below to learn more about each property. Walking directions are also available by clicking on the address in the pop-up box.
Historic Annapolis Museum and Store
In the early morning hours of January 21, 1890 a fire broke out in Richard Fleming’s bakehouse on what is now the corner of Main and Greet streets. The fire destroyed most of the buildings along the waterfront block. German immigrant Frederick Grammar built this substantial brick structure now standing at 99 Main Street soon after the fire. Merchant Lewis Neth set up a shop here by the end of that year. Today, 99 Main Street is home of the Historic Annapolis Museum and Store.
The Sands House stands as one of the oldest surviving frame houses in Annapolis. Dendrochronology – the science of dating building timbers by studying their growth rings – indicates a construction date perhaps as early as 1681, but other architectural clues suggest the house was built about 1739. The house takes its name from John Sands, a mariner and sail maker, who bought the house in 1771 and ran it as a tavern.
This buliding, a rare survival typical of the small warehouses surrounding the Annapolis waterfront in the 18th and 19th centuries, was used by George and John Barber as a warehouse. Today, the building houses a portion of the exhibit, Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake.
Managed by Historic Annapolis, Inc.
This house, built around 1715, is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Annapolis. Its first occupant ran a tavern here. Later, it was the home of merchants and artisans.
The noted artist Frank Mayer lived here from 1877-1901.
In disrepair when purchased in 1957 by Historic Annapolis, it was restored over many years. This building now houses corporate offices and is not open to the public.
Managed by Historic Annapolis, Inc.
This modest wood-frame structure with a gambrel roof is a rare surviving example of a building type that was common in 18th-century Annapolis. It was just this sort of inexpensive rental housing that the new state government pressed into service as barracks for military recruits during the Revolutionary War. Today, the building is open on weekends from April – November, and visitors can learn what life was like for the “common and middling sort” in early Maryland. Guides dressed in colonial attired offer guests the opportunity to see and handle authentic and reproduction artifacts.
James Brice House
James Brice was a lawyer and planter, a local and county officeholder, a member of Maryland’s Executive Council for many years, and acting Governor in 1792. The James Brice House is one of the largest and most elegant of Annapolis’s historic mansions. Construction on the five-part Georgian home started in 1767 with the laying of a cornerstone marked “the Beginning.” Six years, 326,000 bricks, and 90,800 cypress shingles later the house was completed. Today, this National Historic Landmark is the headquarters of Historic Annapolis, Inc.
William Paca House and Garden
This five-part Georgian mansion was built in the 1760s by William Paca, one of Maryland’s four Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the state’s third Governor. The house continued as a single-family home until 1801, then served primarily as rental property for much of the 19th century. In 1901, the property was purchased and converted into the grand hotel, Carvel Hall, which operated until 1965. Working together, Historic Annapolis and the State of Maryland bought the house and former garden property to protect them from demolition. Today it is recognized as one of the finest 18th-century homes in the country and a National Historic Landmark.
Judge John Brice House
Judge John Brice probably built this home in 1739. He was an important figure in 18th century Maryland, serving as Chief Justice of the Provincial Court, Alderman of Annapolis and Justice of the Western Shore Court. The home’s style is similar to the James Brice House (42 East Street), which John Brice started before his death. These which follow the “Annapolis Plan,” represent a distinct change from the earlier architectural styles already prominent in Annapolis. This structure has finely detailed brickwork with walls laid in Flemish bond, and wide slab chimneys typical of late colonial Annapolis buildings. Also typical of this period is the distinctive Gambrel roof, which is made of hewn and pit-sawn tulip-poplar timbers.
The Hammond-Harwood House was designed for planter, legislator, and patriot Mathias Hammond by architect William Buckland. Buckland died before the building was finished, but his plans guided the completion of the project. The five-part house illustrates the adaptation of classical design principles to local building traditions, creating an urban Chesapeake architecture that looked to English Palladian country houses for inspiration. Hammond-Harwood’s front doorway is recognized as one of the finest examples of carved decoration in colonial America.
Peggy Stewart House
This mansion built by Thomas Rutland more than a decade before the start of the American Revolution is associated with three men who played important roles in that era: Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (owner of the house in 1772 and 1779-83), Anthony Stewart (1772-79) and Thomas Stone (1783-87). Stone was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Jenifer signed the United States Constitution. The Loyalist merchant Stewart was forced to burn his brig Peggy Stewart (named for his daughter) in October 1774 because he had paid the duty on its load of taxed tea. Although the house has come to be known by the name of Stewart’s ill-fated ship, it was honored as a National Historic Landmark because of its connections to all three men.
This masterpiece of Anglo-Palladian design was started by lawyer and future signer of the Declaration of Independence Samuel Chase, who sold it unfinished in 1771 to Eastern Shore planter and legislator Edward Lloyd IV. Lloyd hired the English joiner and builder William Buckland and then local artisan William Noke to oversee completion of the construction project. In 1886, the will of the Hester Ann Chase Ridout, the home’s last individual owner, established it as a home where elderly women “may find a retreat from the vicissitudes of life.” Today, residents of the Chase Home enjoy private bedrooms on the upper floors and daily meals served in the historic dining room.
Dr. William Stephenson started construction of this substantial brick mansion shortly before his death in 1739, but the house is named for the family that occupied it from 1747-1815. Samuel Ogle, who served as colonial Maryland’s governor during three nonconsecutive periods, leased the property from 1747 until his death in 1752. On the eve of the Revolutionary War, Samuel’s son, Benjamin Ogle started construction of a large semi-octagonal addition to the rear of the house. Following in his father’s footsteps, Benjamin Ogle served as Governor of Maryland from 1798-1801. The U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association purchased Ogle Hall in 1944 and restored the property to provide staff offices and reception space for the institution’s graduates.
Construction on this building began in 1741 after the colonial legislature authorized funding for an official residence for Colonial Governor Thomas Bladen. The Governor’s home was planned as one of the largest and most elaborate houses in all the colonies. Unfortunately, work stopped due to lack of additional funding, and the structure was left without a roof. The site became known as “Bladen’s Folly,” and it was left to deteriorate for nearly fifty years. In 1766 Thomas Jefferson observed that in Annapolis “they have no public building worth mentioning except a Governor’s House, the hull of which after being nearly finished, they have suffered to go to ruin.” In 1784, the newly chartered, St. John’s College took over the building saw to its completion.
Maryland State House
Construction began on the Maryland State House in 1772, and first meeting of the General Assembly in side its walls took place in 1779. It is the oldest state capital in continuous legislative use. It is also unique in that it is topped by the largest wooden dome in United States. The Continental Congress meet in the Old Senate Chamber of the State House from November, 1783-August 1784. On December 22, 1783.
Jonas and Anne Catharine Green House
The one and a half story, gambrel-roofed frame structure with brick end walls was constructed in the second quarter of the 18th century as a rental property for the printer; Jonas Green. The building’s interior retains a high degree of integrity with most of its eighteenth century trim surviving intact. At one time the property contained the freestanding print shop of Jonas Green, printer of the Maryland Gazette. Jonas’s wife, Anne Catharine continued the printing business after his death in 1767 until her death in March of 1775. Anne Catharine Green was named public printer of Maryland and she was the first woman in America to edit a newspaper. She was so successful—and such a good businesswoman—that she was able to retire the family’s debt and purchase this house, something her husband had never been able to do.
This striking house built for Charles Zimmerman, U.S. Naval Academy Bandmaster and Choir Director from 1887-1916, is one of the few Annapolis buildings constructed in the Queen Anne style. With its varied rooflines and gables, conical turret, fishscale shingles, ornate spindlework, and other rich exterior details, it might appear to be a one-of-a-kind house, but actually it was built according to a plan from a mail-order house catalog. Zimmerman selected design No. 37 from an 1891 catalog published by Knoxville, Tennessee architect George Franklin Barber.
Upton Scott House
In 1753 Dr. Upton Scott came to Maryland to serve as personal physician to Governor Horatio Sharpe. Scott purchased his lot in 1759 but did not begin construction until 1762, employing the services of William Brown to oversee the work. Brown’s own home, which still stands in London Town across the South River, shares a similar outward appearance with the Upton Scott House, but is finished much less elaborately. Scott’s house, surrounded by handsome gardens, was completed in 1765. After the Revolution, Robert Eden, Maryland’s last colonial governor, lived with the Scotts when he returned to the new state in hopes of claiming compensation for property seized during the war. Eden’s efforts failed, and he died here in 1784. The Scott’s nephew, Francis Scott Key, lived here while he was a student at St. John’s College.
Charles Carroll House
This complex house was built and occupied by three generations of the Irish-Catholic Carroll family: Charles Carroll the Settler, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Since 1852, it has been owned by the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) and closely associated with the life of St. Mary’s Church.