Source: Capital Gazette, Rick Hutzell
Historic treasures, it turns out, are not essential businesses.
So, Historic Annapolis is turning to blogging as it nears the end of an April without tours of its landmark buildings, or the annual events that are normally a highlight of the spring.
“In these unsettled times, when there’s no limit to the volume of news produced daily for our consumption, it’s comforting to think of an era when news was published only once a week and came packaged in easily digested 4-page doses,” Historian Glenn Campbell wrote in an April 13 entry.
“Let’s see what the Maryland Gazette’s printers, Anne Catharine Green and her son William, had for their readers 250 years ago.”
Campbell and other staff members have been writing the posts, exploring the history of Annapolis, historic preservation issues and some of the pieces on display at properties including the William Paca House and Gardens.
“The garniture (glossary time – garniture is a set of decorative accessories, in particular, vases) that graces the mantel in the Paca House Dining Room were made in China and date to the late 18th century. These gorgeous vases feature the Famille Rose pattern, a lovely design with peonies and birds,” Curator of Collections Robin Matty wrote in a post on Thursday.
All Historic Annapolis sites were closed to the public through the end of April, with a decision to reopen dependent on Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan for restarting the Maryland economy.
“Like all businesses, we needed to make tough decisions that directly impacts the quality of our lives,” CEO Robert Clark wrote in an email to members and supporters in early April.
Historic Annapolis cut full-time staff hours and furloughed all part-time staff, and canceled and rescheduled several events and programs.
The popular Paca Girlfriends Party, which has been rescheduled for Sept. 16. General Admission tickets will go on sale on May 1.
The Blazers, Bourbon Cigars fundraiser has been for Oct. 22. Tickets are on sale now.
The annual William Paca Garden Plant sale usually held the weekend before Mother’s Day has been pushed back to June.
Restoration of the James Brice House is continuing, however.
“In the Drawing Room, the most ornate room in the James Brice House, the conservation team is removing as many as 16 layers of paint in order to articulate details in the mouldings that have been masked over time,” vice president for preservation Karen Theimer Brown wrote Tuesday in a post.
“They are sensitive to the fragility of the existing finishes and substrate (glossary time – the substrate is the original surface layer!); extensive paint removal erases the historical record and can harm the substrate.”
Clark wrote in his email that several members of the Board of Trustees have stepped up with donations and that Historic Annapolis is working to find sources of funding like all nonprofits hurt by the economic shutdown.
“The biggest takeaway from the last couple of weeks is that we are all in this together,” he wrote. “The acts of kindness, determination to keep businesses up and running, and willingness to make extra financial gifts to our local non-profit organizations gives me hope that we will all come out of this with a bright future.”
The next events on the Historic Annapolis calendar are set for late May.