The ever-popular Annapolis by Candlelight Tour celebrates its 25th anniversary
Date: Capital Gazette, November 3, 2016, Wendi Winters
What began as a way to raise funds for the Historic Annapolis Foundation's programs a quarter century ago has become a cherished autumn tradition. For one Friday and Saturday evening each fall since 1991, the streets of Annapolis' historic district are lit up by people streaming through the neighborhoods, flashlights in one hand and a guide or map in the other.
Then as now, they are participants in the annual Annapolis by Candlelight Tour, a rare, once-a-year opportunity to visit and view the interiors of historic buildings, many privately owned.
This weekend marks the 25th iteration of this popular fall self-guided tour.
On the regular tour, there are four private homes and three historic buildings. An additional residence, a waterfront home built in 1947, is open only to Historic Annapolis members.
Three of the streets on the tour – Church Circle, Market Street and part of Conduit Street - date to plans drafted in 1695 to reflect Governor Francis Nicholson's plan to create a new capital of Maryland named Annapolis. Duke of Gloucester, originally known as High Street, is a little older.
Take note of the octagonal, metal markers near the doorway of the buildings on the tour. Dating from the late 1960s, these historic markers are color-coded to designate different eras of construction and building styles. To decipher a marker, visit http://www.annapolis.org/historic/historic-markers .
On the evening of the event, tickets can be purchased at the Historic Annapolis Museum and Store, 99 Main St. It is also the location where pre-purchased tickets can be picked up.
Sites on the Tour
162 Conduit St., Annapolis Lodge No. 89 Temple, formerly George Mann's Tavern and City Hotel. George Washington was hosted in Mann's Tavern in Dec. 1783, just before he resigned his military commission before Congress in the State House. The current, Georgian-style building was constructed several years later and, in 1919, survived a fire that destroyed the historic buildings around it – including the old tavern.
Duke of Gloucester Street, the Slayton House of Ridout Row and Rice Residence: The first of two tour houses on the tour located on Duke of Glouchester, this Georgian-style residence, the middle unit of three row houses, was built by John Ridout in 1766. He was also the third owner of Whitehall Manor on the Broadneck Peninsula which remained in his family from 1779 to 1895.
Duke of Gloucester St., Treadway House and Huske Residence: a private home originally constructed in the early 1880s with additions and renovations through the years. Many alterations were done during the Victorian era and reflect that period's Second Empire style.
Church Circle, St. Anne's Church: This Romanesque Revival-style church is the third one erected on this site. The first one, built in the late 1600s was torn down in 1775 in order to construct the second, larger church on the site. Delayed by the Revolutionary War it was finished in 1792. It was destroyed in a fire in 1858. The third and current structure was completed after the Civil War ended. The official town clock is mounted in the spire atop the St. Anne's tower.
8 Church Circle, Anne Arundel County Courthouse: The original courthouse dates to the early 1820s. There were additions over the years, but they were torn down and a 240,000-square foot addition was added behind the old building in the 1990s. Reminders of the past remain including a prisoner lockup known as the "bullpen," an old, restored 1890s courtroom, and a museum space in what was once the county clerk's office.
Market St., the Poerio Residence: One of two homes on this street on the tour, this residence is one half of a decorative, Victorian-style duplex built in the early 1900s in a neighborhood overlooking Spa Creek originally intended as a working class community.
Market St., the Dolezal Residence: Built around 1908 to 1913, this 3-story house is half of a pair of three sets of attached houses constructed in the Annapolis Vernacular style on this block. Since its purchase by the current owners, several ambitious restoration and improvement projects have been undertaken and completed.
Discounts and Samples
Take a break during your tour to enjoy discounts or treats offered by restaurants in the area to patrons sporting the Annapolis by Candlelight button – make sure it's visible. The discounts apply only to the food you order, and do not include alcohol, tax or tips.
Galway Bay, 63 Maryland Ave.: complimentary sample of Irish Egg Nog
Luna Blu Ristorante Italiano, 36 West St.: 20 percent discount
Buddy's Crabs & Ribs, 100 Main St.: 15 percent discount
Café Normandie, 185 Main St.: 15 percent discount
Federal House Bar and Grille, 22 Market Space: 15 percent discount
Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge, 169 West St.: 15 percent discount
Charlie's Bar at Mangia, 81 Main St.: 10 percent discount
Annapolis By Candlelight Tour
WHAT: 25th annual Annapolis By Candlelight Tour, a benefit for the Historic Annapolis Foundation
WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m., Nov. 4 and 5. Rain or shine.
WHERE: Sites will be located along Church Circle, Duke of Gloucester and Market Streets
OF NOTE: The homes on the tour are not handicap accessible. Wheelchairs cannot be accommodated.
Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy, flat soled walking shoes. Cleats or stiletto heels will not be permitted inside the homes as they can cause serious damage to wood floors.
No food or drink is allowed inside or on the property of the tour homes. When inside the homes, please do not touch walls, furniture or any decorative objects.
When outside, please do not pick or remove any plants or other objects.
Photos may be taken of tour home exteriors, but none are permitted inside the homes.
ADMISSION: $40 per person. Tickets can be used both evenings.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit http://www.annapolis.org/media/48-89-annapolis-candlelight
© 2018 Historic Annapolis All Rights Reserved.