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Annapolis City Dock

Latest Update

May 24, 2024 – The City of Annapolis will be hosting a public ‘On-Site Workshop’ for the City Dock Park project.

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024
Time: 5:30 pm – 7 pm (check-in begins at 5 pm)
Location: Tent by the Burtis House (enter the tent from the Prince George Street side)

This workshop will provide the opportunity to see how the community’s ideas and feedback has been incorporated into the new designs, and to share your thoughts. In addition to participating in the workshop and viewing the designs, you will have an opportunity to walk the footprint of the proposed Maritime Welcome Center on the site itself.


April 30, 2024 – Phased plans for City Dock redevelopment are moving forward. Project 1, the flood barrier protection and new park, has made it through local review and conditional approval (Historic Preservation and Planning Commissions) and will now be reviewed by state and federal agencies. The newest design for the Maritime Welcome Center—a replacement for the current harbormaster building—will be revealed at a joint HPC and Planning Commission work session on May 14. View the agenda here.

Today, HA’s President and CEO Karen Theimer Brown shares a message that articulates HA’s support and concerns about the project at this point.

 

HA will continue to apply our motto — Preserve. Protect. Connect. — to our advocacy regarding the greatest infrastructure project in the city’s history and the key to making our fragile historic port city resilient in the face of climate change.

Overview

For more than a decade, Historic Annapolis has held a leadership role in working with the City of Annapolis and the community in reimagining City Dock. The redevelopment provides a prime opportunity for resiliency infrastructure to protect our fragile historic port from flooding. Resiliency at City Dock is preservation of the historic district.

The City Dock project, currently going through layered and phased governmental (local, state, and federal) review and approval, will be the largest infrastructure project in Annapolis’s history and provide crucial flood barrier protection. In addition to providing flood mitigation, locals and visitors will benefit from a new raised public park on the waterside of Dock Street.

HA is a proponent of complete flood barrier protection and the amenity of a new public park. However, we have consistently raised questions about the location and scale of the proposed new Maritime Welcome Center– as seen through an evolution of design schematics to date; views to and from the water affected by the project; and preservation of the historic Burtis House, among other concerns. We continue to watch closely the development of this project so that we can advocate for a future City Dock that will be protected from the extreme effects of climate change.

The City Dock project is complex and multi-faceted. We present this page as a resource for the community to stay informed on this developing project. We encourage you to stay up-to-date on the project and ask questions of elected officials to make sure the most successful version of a reimagined City Dock is achieved.

March 2024 Site Plans/Application to Historic Preservation Commission – Travis Ligon/The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Flood resiliency improvements for the City Dock area. (HPC-2023-00342) 

March 2024 Presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission – Travis Ligon/The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Flood resiliency improvements for the City Dock area. (HPC-2023-00342) 

 

Upcoming Dates

May 30, 2024 – The City of Annapolis will be hosting a public ‘On-Site Workshop’ for the City Dock Park project.
Time: 5:30 pm – 7 pm
Location: Tent by the Burtis House (Dock Street)

 

Advocacy Updates

May 15, 2024 – The videos of the recent presentations about the Maritime Welcome Center and above ground elements of the new park, part of Project Two of the City Dock project are available now:

Monday, May 13 – Special Offsite Work Session of City Council

Tuesday, May 14 – Joint Work Session of the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Commission


May 13, 2024 – There are three opportunities early this week to see the new design for the Maritime Welcome Center and above ground elements of the new park, part of Project Two of the City Dock project.

Monday, May 13 at 11:30 am
The project team will present to City Council today at a special offsite work session. This meeting will only be available to the public via broadcast; see agenda for details.

Monday, May 13 at 7 pm
A presentation will also occur at this evening’s City Council meeting. The meeting is both in person at Council Chambers and broadcast; see agenda for details.

Tuesday, May 14 at 7 pm
The project team will then present at a joint work session of the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Commission. This meeting is both in person at Council Chambers and broadcast; see agenda for details.

This work session will not have live public testimony – however, they will be accepting questions written on cards, to be submitted in person. If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to email your question to HA at rachel.robinson@annapolis.org.

We recommend that you tune in live or watch the recording of one of the Monday meetings to see the new design in order to prepare your questions for Tuesday evening.


April 30, 2024 – Phased plans for City Dock redevelopment are moving forward. Project 1, the flood barrier protection and new park, has made it through local review and conditional approval (Historic Preservation and Planning Commissions) and will now be reviewed by state and federal agencies. The newest design for the Maritime Welcome Center—a replacement for the current harbormaster building—will be revealed at a joint HPC and Planning Commission work session on May 14. View the agenda here.

Today, HA’s President and CEO Karen Theimer Brown shares a message that articulates HA’s support and concerns about the project at this point.

 

HA will continue to apply our motto — Preserve. Protect. Connect. — to our advocacy regarding the greatest infrastructure project in the city’s history and the key to making our fragile historic port city resilient in the face of climate change.


April 25, 2024 Update:

A joint work session with the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission will be held on May 14, 2024 for review of the City Dock Resiliency Project with additional and revised designs, including a proposal for a waterfront Maritime Visitor’s Center building. 3’ x 5’ cards will be available for written questions. No public testimony will be received. View the agenda here. The meeting will also be broadcast on the City’s Boards and Commissions Youtube page.


April 5, 2024 Update:

The park and resiliency part of the plan (Project 1) has made it through the Planning Commission and last week was conditionally approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. If you missed any of these hearings, the City’s Boards and Commissions channel on YouTube makes it easy to catch up. You can watch the March 28, 2024 Historic Preservation Commission meeting here. Review the site plans/application here. 

We expect the next phase of Project 1 review and approval to be at the state level via the Maryland Historical Trust and at the federal level through FEMA. The new Maritime Welcome Center – theoretically an addition to the historic Burtis House – is anticipated in the next phase. We continue to have concerns about the potential visual impact of the city’s preferred placement of this structure at the water’s edge. Would it be a permanent obstruction of the view and ostensibly negate any benefit or improvement gained from the first phase of the landscape plan?


March 27, 2024 Update: 

On Thursday, March 28 at 7 pm, the Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will review City Dock Project 1 – the park and flood barrier protection. Please note: this public hearing will be virtual only, unfortunately (HA believes a public hearing of such importance should be both in person and broadcast).

Written comment for the Commission’s review must be submitted by 12 pm on Thursday, March 28 here. Additionally, if you wish to make LIVE public comment during the virtual hearing, check the Yes box for “I want to give live testimony” on the comments web form. You will then receive instructions from city staff for your participation.


March 13, 2024 Update:

On March 12, the City Dock project team presented a pre-application review to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, which was non-binding (no action by the Commission). You can watch the March 12 presentation and see current design plans for the park and flood barrier, and hear feedback from the HPC here.


March 8, 2024 Update:

Following a presentation that spanned multiple meetings, the city’s Planning Commission has approved Project 1 of the City Dock project. You can view the City Dock presentations to the Planning Commission here: January 18February 1, and March 7.


February 1, 2024 Update:

A Message From Our President: Earlier this month, City Dock experienced the third highest water level in the city’s history, reminding us of the fragility of Annapolis’s historic landscape and the importance of the City’s accelerated planning effort to protect it. Environmental resiliency is the key feature of this $90 million effort. A comprehensive planning strategy is critical so that we can appropriately respond to threats posed by climate change with the magnitude of the City Dock project. Working together, we will reduce our vulnerability while protecting our local businesses, our buildings, and our history. Read the full message from President Karen Brown here.


January 17, 2024 Update:

On Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 7 pm, the Planning Commission will host the first of (what will likely be) a two-part public hearing on the resiliency improvements and new park of the City Dock project (please note: this hearing will not involve the proposed Maritime Welcome Center). We encourage you to turn out or tune in to see the City’s current proposal for this massive and critical project and to voice your questions and concerns.

The Planning Commission has pivoted to a hybrid meeting model: the commission will meet in person at City Council Chambers and the meeting will also be broadcast on the City’s Boards and Commissions YouTube channel.


November 14, 2023:

The City of Annapolis has just announced a series of community meetings happening in the wards over the next several weeks related to the City Dock Redevelopment:

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 5 pm – 6:30 pm, American Legion Post #141 – For Wards 3 and 4

Wednesday, November 20, 2023, 5 pm – 6:30 pm, Pip Moyer Recreation Center – For Wards 5 and 6

Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 5 pm – 6:30 pm, Eastport Fire Station – For Wards 7 and 8

We encourage all community members to attend these meetings and express your comments and concerns related to the project.


November 13, 2023 Update:

On Tuesday, November 14 at 7 pm, the Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission will hold a hybrid meeting. The public is invited to attend the meeting in person at City Hall, or watch the broadcast on the City’s YouTube Channel.

The agenda includes the Burtis House, an important element in the redevelopment of City Dock. For consideration are selective demolition of non-contributing features, elevating the structure and adding new pier foundation with new front porch stairs. Design of the Maritime Welcome Center addition to the Burtis House is not on the agenda and will be considered at a future HPC meeting. View the agenda here.


November 3, 2023 Update:

On November 1, the City of Annapolis hosted a live/virtual event to kick off the City Dock Communications Plan and provide updates on City Dock Park– one element of the major resiliency project Annapolis is undertaking to protect downtown. Mayor Buckley and members of the City Dock project team took Q&A after the presentation, but certain questions remained unanswered.

How will the new park be funded and maintained after construction? When will we see renderings of the park and new Maritime Welcome Center from the water?

HA is a founding partner of the City Dock Action Committee that was crucial in leading the way to this planning of new infrastructure and a park amenity at Annapolis’s gateway to the Bay. We are excited about this project and want to see the best version of the many important parts: the new raised park, the new Maritime Welcome Center, the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Burtis House, the new park at the end of Prince George Street, and, critically, the complete flood barrier plan for Ego Alley.

Watch the presentation here.


October 3, 2023 Update:

The City Dock Action Committee (CDAC) was reconvened recently for the City’s reveal of the updated design for the proposed Maritime Welcome Center– a key feature of the City Dock infrastructure project. Watch the city’s presentation to CDAC members here.

HA, a founding partner of CDAC, attended the presentation and participated in the feedback roundtables. We are encouraged by the improvements to the design of the Maritime Welcome Center (MWC) and look forward to the continued design development. Concerns remain about the preservation and visibility of Burtis House, views and access to and from the water, and how the current MWC design meets certain regulatory requirements, including an easement on the Burtis House.

On Thursday, October 19, 2023, there will be a City Council special work session at 3 pm at City Hall, which is open to the public. Although there will not be an opportunity for public comment, HA encourages you to attend. We expect that this meeting will be broadcast and recorded on the City’s YouTube channel.

Since our founding in 1952, HA has closely watched development projects in our capital city, including at City Dock, to make sure that the character and scale of Annapolis are maintained. New development is part of a living city– it just needs to be appropriate for the vulnerable historic environment that we all steward and enjoy. HA has been a constant proponent of the City Dock resiliency project as a critical means to protect and preserve our coastal city, and we will continue to work with the City and its residents to achieve the best possible result.


June 9, 2023 Update:

Watch the video of the special City Council Work Session held on June 8, 2023 here.


June 6, 2023 Update:

The City of Annapolis is preparing to embark upon the greatest public infrastructure project in the history of our historic town.

Join us this Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 3 pm in the City Council Chambers to hear from City leadership about their vision to transform City Dock at a special work session.

Historic Annapolis is in full support of City Dock redevelopment. We support resiliency efforts to address the threats of sea level rise, and we support enhancing the downtown waterfront as a community center for residents and visitors alike. 

City Dock is at the heart of Annapolis – a national historic treasure – and a gateway to the Chesapeake Bay. As such, it is critical that this major planning effort does not diminish views to and from the water nor compromise the small-town feel that we love. As stated by the mayor early in the planning process, “we must protect and enhance the viewshed of the water and the scenic vista.” (Capital Gazette, October 21, 2018)

Be a part of our city’s future! Public involvement greatly enhances all community planning. Your attendance at the special work session on Thursday, June 8 will prove public interest in the future of City Dock. The work session will be held from 3 pm – 5 pm in the City Council Chambers (160 Duke of Gloucester Street). We strongly encourage that you attend in person or online via Youtube or Facebook.

In the News

Brooks DuBose, The Capital Gazette, April 12, 2024 – Annapolis closes Dock, Compromise streets to flooding ($)

Rick Hutzell, The Baltimore Banner, April 5, 2024 – In its race against climate, Annapolis’ future and past are at war ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, April 3, 2024 – $71 million City Dock redevelopment site plan approved by Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, February 2, 2024 – Annapolis Planning Commission approves site plan for City Dock redevelopment ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, January 19, 2024 – Annapolis Planning Commission extends City Dock redevelopment public hearing to Feb. 1 ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, December 14, 2023 – Annapolis Ward 1 residents question design, financing, timeline of City Dock redevelopment ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, October 23, 2023 – City Dock Park site plan to appear before Annapolis Planning Commission in December ($)

Rick Hutzell, The Baltimore Banner, October 17, 2023 – The path to a new Annapolis City Dock starts with these 5 questions ($)

Megan Loock, The Capital Gazette, October 2, 2023 – ‘We’ve got to get it right’: City of Annapolis unveils $88 million City Dock revitalization project design ($)

Rick Hutzell, The Baltimore Banner, September 22, 2023 – Seawalls and a welcome center — did Annapolis get its flood plan right? ($)

Rebecca Ritzel, The Capital Gazette, June 10, 2023 – Annapolis unveils new plans for $54 million City Dock renovation ($)

Rick Hutzell, The Baltimore Banner, May 16, 2023 – How do you reinvent a city facing catastrophic sea-level rise? Annapolis is figuring it out. ($)

PreserveCast podcast with Preservation Maryland, Episode 85, September 3, 2018 – Modernizing Historic Annapolis with Karen Theimer Brown

WBAL 11 News, June 26, 2018 – Preservationists fight for future of Annapolis City Dock

National Trust for Historic Preservation, June 26, 2018 – Discover America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2018

 

Studies, Reports, Plans, and Presentations

March 2024 Site Plans/Application to Historic Preservation Commission – Travis Ligon/The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Flood resiliency improvements for the City Dock area. (HPC-2023-00342) 

March 2024 Presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission – Travis Ligon/The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company – Flood resiliency improvements for the City Dock area. (HPC-2023-00342) 

Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel Report

 

City Dock Flyover Animation – April 2020

 

 

City Dock Action Committee Implementation Strategy

 

Burtis House Feasibility Study

 

City Dock Master Interpretive Plan (Final Draft)

Stay In Touch

Interested in connecting with our team? Contact Rachel Robinson, Vice President of Preservation at rachel.robinson@annapolis.org, or sign up for our advocacy alert emails.


 

Contact City Officials

Community planning works best when citizens are informed and have a meaningful opportunity to weigh in. We encourage you to voice your questions, concerns, and suggestions to elected and appointed City officials. More contact information for City agencies can be found here. 

Mayor Gavin Buckley – mayorbuckley@annapolis.gov, 410-263-7997

Alderwoman Eleanor “Elly” Tierney, Ward 1 – aldtierney@annapolis.gov, 410-231-1316

Alderwoman Karma O’Neill, Ward 2 – aldoneill@annapolis.gov, 410-260-3402

Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, Ward 3 – aldpindellcharles@annapolis.gov, 410-266-6857

Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson, Ward 4 – aldfinlayson@annapolis.gov, 410-271-4173

Alderman Brooks Schandelmeier, Ward 5 – aldschandelmeier@annapolis.gov, 410-260-3406

Alderman DaJuan Gay, Ward 6 – aldgay@annapolis.gov, 443-214-4364

Alderman Robert Savidge, Ward 7 – aldsavidge@annapolis.gov, 443-906-1361

Alderman Ross H. Arnett III, Ward 8 – aldarnett@annapolis.gov, 443-745-2901

Support Our Advocacy Efforts

Historic Annapolis, Inc. formerly known as the Historic Annapolis Foundation, is a registered 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible donation supports HA’s preservation services and advocacy efforts. 

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