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Annapolis Maryland Blog Photographs • Late 18th Century Federal Style Townhouses Repurposed as a Main Street Cafe and Shop • Friday September 2nd 2016

Centuries of History Behind Main Street Storefronts

Late 18th Century Federal Style Townhouses Repurposed as a Cafe and Shop on Main Street in Annapolis Maryland September 2nd 2016

Click on Photograph to Enlarge

Publisher’s Note: This photo journal entry features the fourth and fifth period buildings or houses to be included in the 18th Century Architecture of Annapolis Series. In the future as weather conditions, natural lighting and an absence of location clutter permits additional buildings and houses from the 1700s will be posted as well. The goal in assembling this annotated collection of my photographs and curated content related to these 18th century structures is to present each of the 90 or so 1700’s historical buildings found in the City of Annapolis today. Each of the previously posted entries in this collection are available here.

What with the nice weather this morning I set out early so as to once again be able to share more of the 18th century architectural history on Main Street in Annapolis Maryland. So consider following along as together we checkout two repurposed Federal style townhouses that are in use today as a cafe and merchant shop. As an aside today’s two buildings are numbers 4 and five that have been featured here of late with 7 or 8 more to go, just on Main Street.

Circa 1770 Federal Style Townhouse and Today a Cafe in The Annapolis Maryland Historic District September 2nd 2016

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The oldest of the two townhouses shown at the beginning of today’s post is this c1770 one, featured directly above, that has recently opened trading as the Rice Workshop. While the ground level front of the building has been significantly altered since it was built 245 years ago the rest of the facade retains its overall original style. One possible exception being the Italianate style influenced dentiled cornice set beneath the building’s metal seam roof. Certainly a definite alteration would be the three columns of painted metal star bolts proportionally set along the upper facade. Another and more obvious alteration is that of the concrete stucco finish that certainly must cover the building’s original brick walls. On the other hand an original feature that remains visible to a passerby would be its two hip style dormers along with the six over six double hung windows with wooden sills.

As an aside, both in the photograph above as well as the one below, the afore mentioned star bolts surely would have been added so as to stabilize the front and back walls of the Rice Workshop, as well as the sides of the Shades of the Bay. In any event there is currently very little cracking visible on either of the building’s exteriors.

A Late 1700's Townhouse and Today a Merchant's Shop on Main Street and Hyde Alley in the Annapolis Maryland Historic District September 2nd 2016

Click on Photograph to Enlarge

Having already identified the Rice Workshop building as being the oldest of today’s featured structures the Shades of the Bay one is slightly newer and believed to have been constructed in the very late 1700’s. Different in size than its adjoining neighbor, it stands three stories high, the building’s concrete stucco finish has only been applied on the second and third floor facade. Actually on the east side Hyde Alley exterior wall both the bricks and joints are clearly visible on all levels, no indication of a stucco finish, although the entire building is currently painted in a wheat like hue.

In noting the afore mentioned star bolts once again the alley side of this building has a number of them, I for one counted at least fifty spanning eight different levels, from the ground to just beyond the third floor. This seemingly high number of metal star bolts suggests that years ago there were obvious concerns by the then owners as to the buildings stability, or at least the soundness of this particular exterior side wall. Once again though I would say that the alley wall shows no obvious signs of cracking or broken mortar joints. Also visible are the metal bar cross braces extending over the alleyway, to an adjacent previously featured 18th century building, that provides additional structural support, perhaps for both building’s side exterior walls.

Finally while both townhouses would have been originally heated with wood, and later coal, there is a noticeable absence of chimneys on either of these two buildings, even from across the back.

Let me conclude today’s post by noting that it would be quite normal for both visitors and locals alike walking along Main Street these days to notice, or focus if you would, on the ascending or descending – depending on one’s orientation, streetscape along with its multitude of individual businesses. Determining or contemplating a particular building’s age or style would be at best an after thought. As for myself recognizing the 200 plus years old architectural history of about a dozen of those buildings is actually quite an amazing sight to behold, especially in 2016. Furthermore lower and mid Main Street is a seemingly unique multi century historical shopping and restaurant district that is not often found in other cities or towns across the county today, or in the numbers that they can be found in Annapolis.

Yes 18th century architecture truly abounds in the shops and cafes along Main Street here in Maryland’s Capital City on the Chesapeake Bay.

Have a good afternoon and safe Labor Day weekend,

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 – Late 18th Century Federal Architecture Photography
No part of this article, including photographs, can be used without the permission of Annapolis Experience and or G Gibson Photo Art except under the fair use component of U.S. Copyright Law
Late 18th Century Federal Style Townhouses Repurposed as a Main Street Cafe and Shop
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Annapolis Photographs – Saving Places – Pinterest – 138 Main Street – Shades of the Bay
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Late 18th Century Federal Style Townhouses Repurposed as a Main Street Cafe and Shop
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Annapolis Architectural Historian – 136 Main Street – This Place Matters – Rice Workshop
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