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As we worked on this issue, we learned that The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently named Annapolis City Dock area as one of the eleven most endangered, one-of-a kind historic places in America. Instead of our usual Publishers’ Letter, we are sharing with Annapolis Home readers the concerns the Trust and other historic organizations have raised.
The Trust makes clear that Annapolis is significant to the nation. The Trust states:
Among the most historic urban spaces in America, a current proposal to re-zone portions of the Colonial Annapolis Historic District—undermining local laws and policies that have protected the historic district for over 45 years—threatens to damage the area’s quality of life and heritage tourism economy, as well as permanently diminish its charm and unparalleled views.
Two things together make Annapolis unlike any other city in the United States: its location on the Chesapeake Bay and its downtown historic design and exceptional colonial architecture. Both are incredibly vulnerable. Both require engaged citizens and organizations to protect them. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Historic Annapolis are among those organizations devoted to this enormous and ongoing challenge.
Development and change are key to any thriving city, and given Annapolis’ distinct historic and waterfront character, development and urban planning must carefully take into account these two extraordinarily important factors.
Serious mistakes in Annapolis’ urban planning and architecture are already part of the city’s history. Some of those mistakes we see every day: the undistinguished architecture of the Waterfront Marriott Hotel (originally a Hilton), which creates a barrier wall to the Bay; and the fact that City Dock, with its spectacular waterfront views, has been turned into a run-of-the mill parking lot.
Our hope is that City Dock will be revitalized in a way that preserves downtown Annapolis’ human scale and enhances and complements the city’s historic character. For this to happen, educated and experienced professionals in historic planning and preservation need to be consulted every step of the way. Our hope is also that the National Trust for Historic Presentation and Preservation Maryland will be praising Annapolis for its sensitive and inspired planning and development, rather than coming to town with the urgent warning to local officials and citizens that City Dock is endangered.
– Robert Haywood & Kymberly Taylor, Publishers
Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 9, No. 4 2018