Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph – The 1920 Circle Theater Building Designed In A Beaux Art Style – Tuesday August 25th 2015

State Circle

The 1920 Circle Theater Building On State Circle In Annapolis Maryland August 25th 2015

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The above featured Annapolis commercial building has always been one where I find myself questioning why it was even built in the first place, especially given its original 1920 facade and more so its prominent presence on State Circle across from the Maryland State House. Then again there is also the point that the building’s architect – Henry Powell Hopkins, was also part of the team responsible for designing the original Maryland Senate Office Building in the 1930’s, as well as the Legislative Services Building and Delegates Building in the 1970’s. As to these faux or Colonial Revival style 20th century State office buildings I must admit to not being a fan of that particular architectural style.

As to Mr. Harry Hopkins first of all he attended Cornell University as well as Columbia University, from which he received an undergraduate degree in architecture. Later he was awarded an honorary masters degree from St. John’s College. Mr. Hopkins grew up in Annapolis where his father, Colonel Harry Hopkins, served as president of the Farmers National Bank. The younger Mr. Hopkins went on to teach and latter founded his own architectural firm in Baltimore where he designed a number of buildings in Maryland, one of which was the Circle Theater in Annapolis.

Today the facade of this former theater has been altered to accommodate the entrance ways to various offices and retail tenants that occupy the building. These changes include the addition of central front entrance doors, where the theater’s ticket window was previously located, along with the second and third floor windows visible on the Cornhill Street side of the building.

While today neither a local or visitor can go to a movie theater in the downtown area they can enjoy an oven roasted potato with a wide selection of extras.

As for one former Johnnie’s design vision for the northeast streetscape of State Circle, surely back in 1920 it must have appeared out of character considering the historical surroundings.

Have a pleasant day everyone,


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