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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • A Mallard Duck Forages Among the Shoreline Grasses of Back Creek Early in the Morning • Saturday December 10th 2016

Breakfast for One Please

A Male Mallard Duck Forages In The Shoreline Grasses of Back Creek Early in the Morning Annapolis Maryland December 10th 2016

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Yes it seemed, at least to me anyway, like this lone male Mallard Duck was in search of breakfast as he made his way through the tidal grasses along Back Creek earlier in the morning. For the most part he seemed unperturbed by my relatively nearby presence so I spent a fair amount of time watching as he pecked into the shallow waters here and there bringing up an occasional bit of nourishment.

Later while preparing to leave I uttered in a hushed voice asking if he would be participating in this afternoon’s Annapolis Santa Speedo Run downtown? Seemingly responding with a quizzical look he dipped his bill in the water once again and then proceeded to waddle off into the creek grasses, for which I took as a no.

Have nice afternoon,

Glenn

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Annapolis Maryland Blog – Male Mallard Ducks Photography
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • Circa 1770 Barber and Silversmith Shops at Cornhill and Fleet Streets • Friday December 9th 2016

Victorian Mansard Over Colonial Architecture

Publisher’s Note: This photo journal entry is the twelfth period building or residence to be featured in the 18th Century Architecture of Annapolis Collection. In the future as weather conditions, natural lighting and an absence of location clutter permits additional period buildings and residences will be included as well. The singular goal in assembling this annotated photography collection is to present each of the 90 plus 1700’s era buildings and residences located in the City of Annapolis today via my photographs, research and curated content.

Circa 1770 Mr. Caton's Barber and Mr. Chalmers Silversmith Shops at Cornhill and Fleet Streets in Annapolis Maryland December 9th 2016

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One might say that its obvious the exterior of this building at Cornhill and Fleets Streets today features Victorian architecture with a Mansard roof, both of which were first used by builders in the mid 19th century. However this building’s present facade actually came about in the early 1900’s, when what are thought to be two c1770 structures were combined for use as apartments and ground floor commercial space.

The front part of today’s structure is believed to have been a two story brick building, while its present day adjacent section features an interior 18th century wood frame of either Colonial or Federal architectural design. Over the course of being joined during the early 20th century a shared Mansard roof was added to both sections, while its encompassing sides would go on to be covered in asbestos shingles.

As to the building’s role in 18th century Annapolis history one might be surprised to learn what took place at this location where Cornhill and Fleet Streets meet. First of all the front of the building is thought to have served as Mr. Caton’s 18th century barbershop. It was at Mr. Caton’s shop that George Washington received a shave on the very day and prior to resigning his commission at the Maryland State House just up the street in 1783. As an aside the same location of Mr. Caton’s 1780s barbershop would also serve as one for a Mr. Roger Williams beginning in 1919. Mr. Williams would go on to operate his barbershop here until his passing in 1983.

It has been suggested in prior historical research that in the adjacent, then separate, Colonial or Federal style building, or perhaps the one next to it, during the 1780s that a Mr. John Chalmers, Jr. operated a silversmith and goldsmith shop. Mr. Chalmers, Jr. enjoyed a favored reputation as a City silversmith, as did his father James Chalmers. One of his more noted contributions to both Annapolis and Maryland history was that he designed, minted and would issue the first silver coins in the  State of Maryland, with the governments permission of course, in 1783. The denominations of his coins were threepence, sixpence, and shillings.

A few interesting pieces of Annapolis history wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps consider taking a closer look at this little known 18th century building and its neighbor the next time you find yourself near either the Market House or the State House. Of course don’t let its present day exterior fool you by any means.

Have a great day everyone,

Glenn

This Blog is Copyright © 2016 Annapolis Experience
All images contained within this Blog are Copyrighted © 2016 G J Gibson Photography LLC
Annapolis Maryland Blog – Victorian Mansard Over Colonial Architecture Photography
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Circa 1770 Barber and Silversmith Shops at Cornhill and Fleet Streets
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • View of Howard Dignen Alley in Eastport on a Late Autumn Day • Thursday December 8th 2016

Between Chester and Chesapeake Avenues

A View of Howard Dignen Alley in Eastport Late Autumn Annapolis Maryland December 8th 2016

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Set in a NNW direction beginning at Creek View Avenue, adjacent to Back Creek, and ending on Bay Ridge Avenue, just up from the Blackwell Hitch parking lot, Howard Dignen Alley is a bit off the beaten path yet still in the mainstream of Eastport proper. For the most part it is a narrow semi improved road used throughout the year by many a local, as well as on one Saturday each March by Green Beer Races attendees making their way back and forth to the nearby Eastport Democratic Club.

Still not quite sure where it is well basically its the first road on the right, to the southwest, behind the Royal Farms Store, the one fronting on 6th Street a couple of blocks after crossing the Eastport Bridge from downtown Annapolis.

The road was officially named Howard Dignen Alley by the Annapolis City Council in a December 1993 resolution. It has a bit of that Eastport ambiance and funkiness to it as one makes their way along it for sure. Consider checking it out for yourself the next time you find yourself in the Maritime Republic. Oh and please keep a watchful eye out for both the locals as well as their four legged companions that traverse it each day.

Enjoy the rest of your day,

Glenn

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Annapolis Maryland Blog – Eastport Alleys Photography
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View of Howard Dignen Alley in Eastport on a Late Autumn Day
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • Noticeable Variations in Stone and Brick Between Sections of the c1766 Brice House • Wednesday December 7th 2016

Enclosed NW Service Entrance

Noticeable Variations in the Stone and Brick Between Two Sections of the c1766 Brick House in Annapolis Maryland December 7th 2016

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Walking back from a meeting at the Naval Academy late this afternoon I decided to return to the office via the backyard of the historical Brice House which is when the differences between the stone and brick walls on its northwest side caught my attention. Yes I know get a life but I find these aspects of Annapolis historical architecture interesting. Actually though for as many times as I have passed by the same section of this historical house over the years I never noticed the differences.

For those that don’t already know the Brice House is one of the more pristine and grand looking 18th century Georgian style town houses in Annapolis having taken years to complete and was finished in 1766. Designed in the often used five part plan of the Colonial era it is made up of a large central house and two flanking wings, that themselves are connected to the center section via single story hyphens. The main house’s exterior walls are constructed of brick with each lower section faced in stone.

As to those afore mentioned differences that I took note of earlier they were most apparent on the above featured covered stair and service entrance. After conducting a bit of research, both at the Maryland State Archives as well as at the University of Maryland Archaeology Department, it seems that this ‘bump out’ was not part of the original Brice House structure, however it was documented on a late 19th century insurance map survey.

In any case one can see how the stones on the bump out are made up of smaller pieces than those used on the main section of the house directly adjacent to it. Also while the running pattern of the bricks visible on both sections are quite similar, its their difference in colors and level or absence of glazing that strongly suggests that they were not fired if you would during or around the same period. I would suggest that this service entrance section was built in the second quarter of the 19th century, give or take 20 years. Even so the brick masons responsible for its construction did a masterful job of replicating the house’s original brickwork.

Darn close in their period like architectural masonry appearance wouldn’t you agree?

Have a pleasant evening,

Glenn

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Annapolis Maryland Blog – Georgian Architecture Photography
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • A Solitary Sailboat Moored on a Rainy Late Autumn Morning • Tuesday December 6th 2016

Quiet Corner of the Creek

A Solitary Sailboat Moored Along the Creek on a Rainy Late Autumn Morning in Annapolis Maryland December 6th 2016

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Its was certainly not a good morning for a sail by any account as the sight of this vessel, seen moored along the back recesses of an Annapolis creek, tended to reassure me that heading back inside out of the rain for another cup of coffee was the more practical thing to do.

Stay warm and dry everyone,

Glenn

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Annapolis Maryland Blog – Sailboat on Spa Creek Photography
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • A Pumpkin and Pet Treats Outside the Front Door at Mr. Mays House • Monday December 5th 2016

An Autumn Accent and Setting of Dog Biscuits

A Pumpkins and Pet Treats Outside the Front Door at Mr. Mays House in Annapolis Maryland December 5th 2016

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I’m not sure if Mr. Thomas G. Mays had any dogs back in 1900 after he built and went on to live in his Annapolis Historic District house, however today’s residents actually do have one, for I’ve seen it for myself over the years of passing by their front door. This small bowl of mini dog biscuits on the front step landing has been set out for other four legged canines to avail themselves of, which is certainly quite a considerate and neighborly thing to do, don’t you agree?

Have a great week,

Glenn

This Blog is Copyright © 2016 Annapolis Experience
All images contained within this Blog are Copyrighted © 2016 G J Gibson Photography LLC
Annapolis Maryland Blog – 1900 Front Door Photography
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A Pumpkin and Pet Treats Outside the Front Door at Mr. Mays House
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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • Beyond the Gates and Fence on a Late Autumn Morning • Sunday December 4th 2016

An Unobstructed View by Nature

Beyond the Gates and Fence on a Late Autumn Morning in Annapolis Maryland December 4th 2016

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Located in the southeast corner of the former Bordley Estate the exterior appearance of this 1900 Vernacular style building seemed most in keeping with the damp late autumn conditions of the morning. With most of the leaves having now fallen from the trees, they formerly made up a green curtain if you would that shielded the building’s presence along the circle, one now gets a better sense of its various architectural details, along with its perhaps unusual sense of design.

In today’s post photograph one can see that the building is covered by three metal seam roofs, with the first one being on the top of the main structure, while the second is visible on the right shed like extension and the third is over the front porch. Clearly all three roofs have been painted in a barn red hue, while it should also be noted that metal seam roofs were often used from 1870 until the 1920s.

Next, and although not at first obvious, the second story siding features rectangular wooden shakes while its upper section is covered in narrower fish scale style shakes. As to the building’s ground level facade its covered in concrete stucco, a finish commonly used by builders during the first quarter of the 20th century. Relating back for a moment to the roofs both the main building, along with its side street facing extension, feature multiple gable ends. Finally, and perhaps only somewhat visible as well through the convergence of two tree branches across the center of the second story facade, one can see multiple windows having been placed at various locations along the porch roofline. Certainly not linearly set by any means.

All in all this house’s exterior appears almost random in its composition, not only in the materials that were used, but also in its overall design and structural composition. However for seven months of any given year its sidewalk presence goes mostly unnoticed to the casual passerby in Annapolis, what with it being set behind an expanse of leafy green foliage. Then again on a day such as this its presence can turn out to be most revealing indeed.

Enjoy the afternoon everyone,

Glenn

This Blog is Copyright © 2016 Annapolis Experience
All images contained within this Blog are Copyrighted © 2016 G J Gibson Photography LLC
Annapolis Maryland Blog – 1900 Vernacular Architecture Photography
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