Historic Annapolis is a special place, but it’s also the name of a grassroots non-profit organization founded in 1952 to ensure the preservation of Annapolis’s architectural legacy and to educate the public about this amazing city’s heritage. As it has for more than 60 years, Historic Annapolis continues to protect and preserve those qualities that make this town such a wonderful place to live, work, and visit.

Evidence of Annapolis’s rich history is easy to find. Walking through the downtown historic district, you’ll see it all around you. It’s in the street plan itself, which has shaped the town ever since 1695, creating charming and dramatic vistas of the Maryland State House, St. Anne’s Church, and the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. It’s in the impressive facades of brick mansions built for some of America’s Founding Fathers, but also in the simpler lines of wood frame dwellings that housed colonial artisans and merchants. It’s in the mix of boats tied up at City Dock and in the restored colonial-era taverns where you can still get a drink, a meal, and news of the day.

Shiplap HouseThe mission of Historic Annapolis

The mission of the Historic Annapolis Foundation is to champion historic preservation in Maryland’s capital city as a means to interpret the past, appreciate the present, and shape the future. The group pursues this mission in a variety of ways: through guided tours, museum exhibits, public programs, and special events; by maintaining a number of historic properties and landscapes for the use and enjoyment of people today; by conducting original research that adds to our collective knowledge of the city’s history; by recognizing and promoting good stewardship of old buildings through its historic marker and easement programs; and by regularly advising the city’s Historic Preservation Commission and weighing in on important community issues.

Historic Annapolis views the city in its entirety as “A Museum Without Walls.” In fact, the group copyrighted this phrase that so aptly describes the state capital of Maryland. Everywhere you look in this ‘Museum Without Walls,’ you’ll see a modern, dynamic city that treasures and takes pride in its past.

Local landmarks of Historic Annapolis

Historic Annapolis owns or manages for the State of Maryland a number of historic properties that are open to the public on a regular schedule:

  • Historic Annapolis Museum
  • Historic Annapolis Museum Store
  • The Hogshead
  • Waterfront Warehouse
  • William Paca House and Garden

Historic Annapolis is proud to announce its new designation as a Smithsonian Affiliate. Founded in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations creates partnerships between the Smithsonian Institution and cultural organizations and museums in order to facilitate educational collaborations, traveling exhibitions, and the loan of historical artifacts. The long-term of goal of these partnerships is to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in America. Historic Annapolis joins a community of over 200 affiliated organizations across almost every state, as well as in Puerto Rico and Panama. It is one of just six affiliates in Maryland, and the only one in Annapolis. 

Schedule a Tour Today!

Join noted architect Craig Martin of Spire Architecture or Leslie Xavier of Historic Annapolis to learn about some of the most notable 17th and 18th Century architecture in Annapolis. An unforgettable narrative and leisurely trek awaits. Highlights of the tour include the Shiplap House, Patrick Creagh House, Maryland State House, Hammond Harwood House and Chase Lloyd House. Click here to learn more.