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A Walk Along Prince George Street in Annapolis Maryland

Victorian Style Grey Clapboard House Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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Walking the streets of Annapolis Maryland while looking at the scores of historic houses located here is a great experience that can be enjoyed no matter what the time of year. The streets of Historic Annapolis are home to many different types of residential architectural styles. The houses found in the landmark districts of this city possess a sense of their own significance in the history of Annapolis along with maintaining a link to their former occupants as well. Duke of Gloucester Street, that stretches from Spa Creek up to Church Circle and was one of the original streets laid out back in the 1600′s, is home to numerous Georgian style brick colonial era buildings. Francis, Fleet, Charles, King George and so many other streets here in Annapolis are still home to historic structures that overtime have served as residences, shops, taverns and offices now for over 300 years. In composing this post the thought was that we would take our visitors on a walk up historic Prince George Street to see some of the historic and architecturally significant houses located there as well as providing some background and related information about them at the same time.

 

Please note that you can click on any of the pictures on this blog post to see a larger version. All photographs on this post were taken by us here at the Annapolis Experience. Finally this virtual tour takes between 12 – 18 minutes to complete including reading the background information on each house as well as viewing the larger versions of the photographs presented here. So why not get a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and enjoy your walk through part of the history of Annapolis.


Annapolis Federal Style House Lower Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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Prince George Street begins in the former Hell Point neighborhood of Annapolis near the Naval Academy Gymnasium. It then makes it’s way west passing East Street and proceeds along until it crosses Maryland Avenue one block down from the State Capital Building. The street finally ends at the convergence of College Avenue next to St. John’s College. In terms of historical architectural significance Prince George Street is home to one of the oldest frame houses in Annapolis known as the Sands House, circa 1700. It is also the street where the William Paca House and Gardens is located, circa 1760′s. One can find houses that were constructed in the 1700′s, 1800′s and early 1900′s on Prince George Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Square Style House on Lower Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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So far on our walk we have seen two examples of historic building architecture that has focused predominately on the Victorian as well as the distinctive Annapolis Federal style of homes. Now on this lower part of Prince George Street we come across an example of the Four Square style of house that were built here in Annapolis around 120 years ago. Here on this particular house one can see a covered central porch area as well as an adjoining one on the right hand side of the front facade that provides a shaded retreat for it’s residents during the warmer temperatures of the summer months. The basic square shape of the house is an example of a symmetrical style of home design.

 

The Annapolis Inn a.k.a. The Randall House Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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Now we continue our walk along Prince George Street and cross over Randall Street near the main entrance to the Naval Academy. On the right hand side of the street we see the Annapolis Inn. The Annapolis Inn has gone by a number of names throughout the years one of which being the Randall House – for the house originally constructed for Thomas Randall in 1783-85. Later in the 1780′s it was sold to Dr. James Murray there by adding another label to this historic structure masthead – the Dr. James Murray House. This building was originally built as a single family home which included a Smoke House and Brick Kitchen, common features for a large residence of the day. Today the old Randall House is operated as a historic inn, The Annapolis Inn, that enjoys a marvelous reputation for it’s ambiance and sense of historical character.

 

Three Story Wooden Shake Victorian Style House on Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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One of the more fascinating aspects of looking at the houses along Prince George Street is that at one point you find yourself walking by a home built in the Colonial era of the 1700′s and then two houses down you are standing in front of a late 1880′s wooden Victorian Style Shake home with a country style garden adorning it’s front facade. On the block of Prince George Street where this particular house is located one can see a number of variations on this particular Manard Victorian style of architecture. One example of this style of house found here might be finished with a traditional clapboard siding material and decorated with a variety of bright color selections where the same style of house next door could have a New England style Cedar Shake siding finished in a weathered oil look. Something to keep in mind if you are here in Annapolis around the week of Halloween please do not forget to see the holiday decor on the front doors of the houses on this block of Prince George Street.

 

 

 

Updated Annapolis Federal Style House Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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As I mentioned to everyone earlier on this post we can see just about every type of architectural style here in the houses located on Prince George Street. This house in this picture is an example of a traditional small Colonial era frame house. Located at the intersection of Prince George and East Street this house lends itself more to the style of houses that the Colonial Governors and wealthy merchants built for their artisans who tended to live on Fleet and Cornhill Streets down from the State Capital building. Here the outside of this house has been re-sided with a more modern material and the windows have also been replaced with ones of a more modern manufactured lineage. While the colors on the siding of this house could be considered period correct it can be said that the overall feel from the sidewalk when viewing this house is one of having a “I have been modernized” as opposed to one that says “I am a historical significant house”.

 

 

 

Our Favorite House of an Italianate Style The Feldmeyer House In Annapolis Maryland

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For the most part the house in this picture is one of our favorite structures to look at on our walks through Annapolis. Our preference for this residence is not just based on the clean brick work, iron post porch rails and the large narrow period windows. No this house is one of our favorites for also having a gated brick walkway behind a wrought iron gate, visible from the left side of the house, that leads back towards a brick garden area. Finally really like the brick Paladin trim effect above the windows as it draws the viewers eyes to the location of each and every window on the front of the house. This historic structure is known as the Feldmeyer House and was built in the late 1870′s representing the Italianate style of architecture here in Annapolis. The detail cornice work along the roof provides a clean break between the elaborate brick work of the walls and the sky directly above it. This house appears to have been well maintained throughout the years and it continues to shine bright from the special attention bestowed upon it by it’s more recent owners. The Feldmeyer House is one of the finest examples of Italianate architecture in Annapolis.

 

William Paca House on Prince George Street in Annapolis Maryland

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So far on our walk the buildings that we have seen have been private residences, other than the Annapolis Inn, and as such have been maintained by their owners. Now however we will be looking at a non-residential structure. Any walk on Prince George Street would not be complete without stopping by the William Paca House and Gardens. Now a historically designated landmark, along with enjoying a reputation for it’s beautiful gardens, one can not look upon the William Paca House, or most of the other houses that we have passed so far, without feeling the urge to pause for a moment to thank those preservation minded people who have worked so hard to keep these historic structures from vanishing from the streets of Annapolis.

The William Paca House has had a long and varied history as first a home to wealthy colonial era citizens, then later as a hotel in the last century and it’s struggle with the threat of demolition in order to make room for a mid rise building. Today we all can enjoy it’s renewal as a pristine restored historical landmark.

 

John Brice II House Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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There is however a building that is older than the William Paca House itself located almost right across the street. The house that I refer to is the John Brice II House here on Prince George Street. This house is still in use as a residence and was built in 1727 by a relative of John Brice. The more well known Brice House, located at the corner of East and Prince George Street, is a large historical structure rivaling the size of the Paca House and incidentally overlooks the William Paca House Gardens. It is interesting though to see in the  John Brice II House a very old colonial era structure still being used for one of it’s original purposes almost 300 years later.

 

Left Side of the Weems House Duplex Structure Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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We continue to make our way up Prince George Street and we come across an example of the late 1800′s duplex style of architecture found here at the Weems House. This picture is of the left side of the duplex structure and was built in the late 1800′s. This home represents a more Centennial era of building style that was not that prevalent here in Annapolis. One can notice the multiple styles of roof lines – Hip and Gable styles, on the house as well as the smaller front porch entrance way design. The combination of shingles and clapboard siding gives this house a multi style character. Over the last number of decades the owners of this property have restored a number of the features that the house possessed from the time of it’s original construction.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Square Style House on Upper Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland

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As we already saw at the beginning of our walk the Four Square style of house can be found throughout the Annapolis area. I feel that some of the better preserved Four Square style houses in Annapolis are found here on Prince George Street. In viewing this Four Square example one can see that first of all more attention has been paid to the landscaping aspect of the front of the house then at the one on lower Prince George Street. Landscaping elements also include the use of a wrought iron fence at the sidewalk entrance to the house which provides a clearer foot print for this house to exist within. The one bay front covered entrance way seen here on the right hand side, as opposed to the two bay covered porch area on the other Four Square house, has allowed for the implementation of a large Bay style window arrangement to be incorporated into the lower front facade. The dormer on the roof, coupled with the small dual window frame above the front covered entrance way and featured against the gray stucco outside walls, make for an myriad of architectural features not usually found on this style of house.

 

 

Vernacular-Annapolis Federal Style House Upper Prince George Street Annapolis Maryland Circa pre 1880's

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The Vernacular-Annapolis Federal Style house is a popular style of historic construction found in the city. While the simple clapboard design and 6 over 6 mutton windows seem to be more in keeping with a typical Federal style of a frame house it is the lines of the roof along with other building features that give it the Vernacular-Annapolis Federal Style character. This house is one of a group of dwellings located on the upper end of Prince George Street near St. John’s College. There is a shared passage way back to the yard area as well as it serving as a place for storage. While narrow in it’s width the depth of the house allows for a basic front room to back kitchen layout with two bedrooms on the second floor. You will see similarly styled houses on Fleet and Cornhill Streets as well as Pinkney Street by the City Dock area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Style House Prior to It's Recent Painting Prince George Street and College Avenue in Annapolis Maryland

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Finally we arrive at the end of our walk here on Prince George Street. This house has been used as a Bed & Breakfast and recently has been painted a more period Federal type of color. I thought that I would show you this building as it looked earlier this Spring prior to it’s painting. Some architectural historians do not care for the alleged Victorization of this Federal style building and feel that those non-conforming efforts should be repealed there fore one of  the reason for showing you this house when it was adorned in this particular color. None the less the house has a long building frontage along College Avenue as well as a side brick parking pad and garden like sitting area. The stucco finish to the outside walls was applied at the beginning of the last century. The entrance way to this house was not always on the Prince George Street side, seen here, according to records. The last major work or renovations on this house was completed in the mid 1980′s.

 

 

 

We have now reached the end of our walk here on Prince George Street in Annapolis and I hope that you enjoyed it. In the future it is our intention to post more walks among the historical houses found here in Annapolis along with additional details about these unique homes as well. Additionally we will be posting pictures and views of the significant architectural features that these homes possess including photographs from a closeup perspective. Future Historic Street Walks in Annapolis will also be presented to our visitors within the Annapolis Experience Tours and Things To Do sections of that website. Finally we are currently working on presenting more pictures and information of other sites found only here in Annapolis.

Glenn

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