Annapolis (population 35,838), State capital of Maryland, is one of the earliest planned cities in America, surveyed in 1695 following a baroque plan of circles and radiating streets. The political hub of Maryland, the city was also a thriving seaport that attracted wealthy merchants and planters during the 18th century.
Four signers of the Declaration of Independence lived in Annapolis, and their mansions comprise the core of the largest concentration of Georgian architecture in the country.
In the 19th century, Annapolis shipping was eclipsed by the deeper harbor of nearby Baltimore, but maritime industries and pastimes continued to thrive, bolstered by the establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1845. Today, Annapolis is a popular tourist destination as well as a working capital city, with the Maryland State House the oldest State house still in legislative use.
The Colonial Annapolis Historic District is a National Historic Landmark. It is also a key resource in the Annapolis, London Town, and South County Heritage Area, one of Maryland’s 12 designated State heritage areas.
The city provides a cash match for grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. Funded projects have ranged from developing walking tour brochures to preserving a historic skipjack, to creating a children’s heritage activity booklet.
In keeping with its maritime heritage, the city recently took possession of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, the only screw-pile lighthouse in its original offshore position. Non-profit partners will preserve and interpret the light, which will become a new heritage tourism attraction when it opens for tours in 2005.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2005.