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THE HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION
THE CITY HALLS OF ANNAPOLIS , MARYLAND
A THESIS PREPARED
Daniel W. Willingmyre 3rd
FOR INITIATION INTO THE BETA
CHAPTER OF MARYLAND
TAU BETA PI HONORARY ENGINEERING SOCIETY
January lp , 1932
Suromary . 1
General Hist or y of Annapolis 3
History of Old City Hall 8
History of The New City Hall ...., 12
Construction of Old City Hall 18
Construction of New City Hall 22
The story of the uity Halls of Annapolis, their
history and construction, will be presented by the writer
in as clear and interesting a manner as his ability and the
limited quantity of material available will permit. Those
data obtained from official records such as deeds, statement
of ownership, minutes of the Uity Council's meetings, re-
cords of expenditures of the city, and other sources have
been stated as such as has been all information obtained
from perusals of the Maryland uazette, and personal inter-
views with eminent Annapolitans. Personal observation and
deductions by the writer have been stated as such.
There were at different times two or more build-
ings used as the L;ity Hall of Annapolis. The first known
one on record being the building on Main Street. It was
occupied by the City prior to 1868. The exact date of its
construction and subsequent occupancy is not to be found
in available records. In 1868 the building was conveyed
to Mr. w. t. Igleheart, after whose death its ownership
was transferred to Dr. ireldmeyer, who still retains title
to the property.
The new uity Hall or old Ball «oom dates back
to 1764 • It was on this date that a Ball Koom was built
to accommodate visitors, balls, lectures and public enter-
tainments. The Ball Room has served for various purposes
other than that for which it was intended. It has been
the meeting place of the Maryland Assembly, the head-
quarters of the Union troops in that section during the
Civil War, a guard house, and a prison camp. While being
used as this latter, it caught fire, and all but three
walls consumed or made unfit for further use. Upon the
ruins of this Ball noom in 1867 , a New City Hall was
built and used by the City of Annapolis. Changes and ad-
ditions have been made from time to time which are too
numerous to mention and which would add no value to this
GENERAL HISTORY OF ANNAPOLIS
Since the history of a City Hall would be in-
complete without at least a cursory history of the City
in which it is situated, an attempt will be made to give
a resume of the events leading up to the establishment
of the City of Annapolis, "Ye Ancient City" on the
On June 20 , 1632 , the grant of Maryland was
given by the King of England to uecilius Calvert, eld-
est son of Lord Calvert of Ireland. The boundaries of
the colony were well defined, being on the north, the
fortieth parallel of north latitude; on the west and
southwest, a line running south from this parallel to
the farthest source of the Potomac Hiver and thence by
the farther western bank of that river to Chesapeake Bay
and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and
Hiver. i'rom this outline of boundary, it will be seen
that the confines included not only the present state of
Maryland, but also a portion of Pennsylvania, West Virgin-
ia and all of the State of Delaware.
The original inhabitants of Maryland were the
Indians. Indeed, on the site of the present City of An-
napolis, there was a small Indian village. This village
was probably situated here because of the favorable ter-
rain. The piece of land in question is peninsular shaped,
surrounded on three sides by water, two large streams and
the Severn Kiver. No one can tell the age of this village
but it was undoubtedly seen by the first white man in this
section of the country in 1608, for he describes the lo-
cation very accurately. This white man was Captain John
Smith of Pocohantas fame who was a member of the Virginia '
Maryland progressed rapidly under the liberal
and judicious rule of the governors appointed by the crown-
ed heads but actuated by the influence of the Calverts, an
intelligent and advanced thinking family. The oapitol of
the colony was established at St. Marys, a small town down
the bay quite a distance from the present site of Anna-
It may be erroniously thought by some that the
only colony of Pilgrims landing in America was in New
England at Plymouth Rock in l620, but this is not based
on fact for records show that another group landed farther
south and settled in Virginia. The Pilgrims were per-
mitted to worship according to the dictates of their con-
science and principles of their religion until in 1642
when an act was passed by the Virginia Assembly prevent-
ing the dissenting ministers from preaching and propagat-
ing their doctrines. This was a direct stroke against
the Puritans who were the chief dissenters against the
Church of England. By 1648 this act was being strictly
and rigidly enforced. Consequently, the small band who
had sailed the wide Atlantic in search of religious free-
dom set out again. Some traveled to Boston in New Eng-
land to their brothers, while others crossed the Potomac
upon the invitation of governor Stone of Maryland to take
up their residence in the Catholic but tolerant colony.
It is estimated by a good authority that in all about
ten families migrated from Virginia to Maryland. This
small Band crossed the state and following the precedent
established by Rogers in Rhode Island named their settle-
ment Providence, which later, as the writer will show, be-
came Annapolis. It is asserted by some that the land was
owned by a gentleman named Todd and that the site was call-
ed Todd f s Harbor or Cove but since the early records were
destroyed by fire no proof if this is available.
The small settlement prospered and grew and
as it did so it was known successively as Proctors, The
Town land At Severn, The Town at Proctors, The Town Land
at Severn where the town was formerly, Anne Arundel Town
in honor of Queen Anne, The Port of Annapolis, and fin-
ally the City of Annapolis.
By 1694 the Port of Annapolis had reached such
a size and Importance that a change of the capital from
St. Marys to the Port of Annapolis was deemed advisable.
Despite vigorous protest from inhabitants of St. Marys,
which city offered a free coach service tri weekly from
Annapolis, the provincial records, treasury and courts
were moved to Annapolis during the latter part of 1694*
This sounded the death knell cf St. Marys for it is re-
corded that the city immediately began to become depopu-
lated, and in a little while was completely abandoned.
Today, no trace of it remains. The reverse was true of
the Port of Annapolis. The changing of the capital
tended to accelerate the growth of it. In addition it
became an important port of entry for it was here that
the transoceanic liners docked to discharge diplomats,
and unload cargoes of merchandise Maryland bound.
The change of the Capital brought about such a
rapid increase in commerce, population, and importance
that a oharter was granted by Queen Anne in 1708 giving
the city full priveleges as such and changing its name
from the Port of Annapolis to the City of Annapolis. The
charter provided that laws, taxes, and all public business
be administered by a mayor, city council, and aldermen.
This same form of government has been followed since that
time and is today practically the same as then.
An attempt has been made by the writer to trace
the ownership of the land making up Annapolis from the
King through the ualverts, the first townspeople, and fin-
ally to the City of Annapolis by Charter. It Is on a por-
tion of this land that the City Halls of Annapolis now stand.
The people who made up the town at the time of its incorpor-
ation have also been traced from those who left England
as Pilgrims and went to Virginia and also those who came
as part of Cecelius Calvertfc first colony. This is im-
portant because it is these people or their descendants
who constructed the oity Halls of Annapolis, Maryland.
HISTORY Of OLD CITY HALL
In the year 1708, when Annapolis was established
as a city, it is evident that there was no city hall or
building used exclusively for the meetings of the City
council. The first reason for this assumption is that up
until 1725 the present site of the old Town Hall was pri-
vately owned and that no buildings stood upon the spot.
Among the extracts of deeds in the Land Office Building,
is one in which the property on Church Street, lot No. 48
is recorded as being owned by Philim Lloyd in 1718. Also
in the Land Office Building, and the present uity Hall,
are copies of a map of Annapolis made on July 2^, 1718 by
James Stoddard Esquire , showing this same property on
which the old Uity Hall stands as belonging to a Mr. uor-
sey. A transfer therefore must have been made between
July 25 T 1718 and 1719 assuming both map and deed to be
accurate, There is however no record of such a sale or trans-
fer in the yellowed old files in Anne Arundel uounty court-
house. This is not strange though because records were
kept as loosely then as they are meticulously in the pre-
sent age. Secondly in a record of the By Laws of the Ma-
yor, Aldermen, and uity uouncil, there is an entry stating
that whenever a public meeting is held in any private
or public house, the oity Treasurer shall make payment to
the housekeeper at the close of the session for the rent-
al of the room used.
A thorough search of all the books and records
of Anne Arundle county from 1699 to 186J, of Land Office
records with the assistance of Mr, Trader, State Commis-
sioner of the Land uffice, and of the records of the City
council in the city Hall, and other available Historical
Hecords, fails to reveal any information whatsoever con-
cerning the plans and specifications, architect, builder,
date of construction, occupancy or dedication of the Old
City Hall, it is the writer's opinion that from a care-
ful examination of the structure and of the old plats of
the city aforementioned that the building known as the
Old city Hall was originally built for a private resi-
dence and that at some later unknown date it was probably
rented and finally purchased by the uity for the use of
the corporate Authorities and as a center for the oity
The first record found after a thorough search
indicates ihat the lower portion of the Old City Hall was
used by the fire department as headquarters and a place for
housing the fire fighting equipment. This record was
found in the minutes of the ^ity Council dated July 20,
1768. Besides being the meeting place of the City Council,
and the Fire House, it is evident that the uity Hall also
served as a center for some social activities, since there
are entries showing that there were rentals received for
its use as a Ball Room. i?'rom entries in the minute, day,
and expenditure books of the City Council, it is obvious
that the building was continuously used as a City Hall and
Fire House from r/6§ to 1868.
The first definite information available concern-
ing the removal of the corporate authorities from the old
City Hall to the present site is in the records of the City
Council, dated Nov 12, 1867. quote, "Ordered that when
the building now in the course of construction for the use
of the corporation shall be completed, the City TT all now
in use be sold, if a fair price can be obtained for It and
the proceeds applied to improvements now in progress".
The following excerp from the minutes of the
City Council establishes the date of sale of the Old Town
Hall. Quote "Be it ordered that the Old City Hall be
offered at public sale after two weeks notice etc 11 .
dated Aug. 21, 1868.
The actual transfer of the property from the
civil government to private ownership is in a public ad-
vertisement. Quote " Public Advertisement : All that proper-
ty in the city of Annapolis known as the City Hall and
Engine House was on Sept. 1, 1868 offered at public sale
to the highest bidder and whereas the said property was
knocked off to the highest bidder, the said Igleheart,
and for the sum of $2500. current money".
The History of the building is now brought
quickly to an end. Mr. Igleheart, it appears, rented it
out to whomever would take it. At one time it served as a
ware house for carpets and was leased by the worthington
Co, In another period it was used as a dry goods and no-
tion store. The upper floors during this period were
leased by a young dentist Dr. tfeldraeyer who kindly gave the
writer his aid In determining the later period of the City
Hall's history. About 1891 Dr. ^eldmeyer purchased the
building from the trustees of the Igleheart estate, and it
bas since remained in his posession. The second story
is still used as a dentist's office, while the lower floor
houses the establishment "Franks Poultry and Dairy Products"
HISTOHY OF THE NEW CITY HALL
Annapolis, being as it was, the thriving capital
of the fertile and fruitful colony of Maryland, soon became
also the center of a group of fashionable , cultured people .
The inhabitants of the city itself and the plantation man-
or lords, surrounding, were accustomed to disport themselves
pleasantly and with diversity. Since the majority in this
class were rich landowners, expence was not spared in their
entertainment . During the spring and summer when traveling
was comparatively easy, parties would "make the rounds" from
manor to manor, going as far as the eastern shore. Horse
racing, fox hunting, drinking, dancing, and gambling were
the order of the day.
It is easily understood that when the blanket
of winter, with its snow and bad roads, confined the Anna-
politans to town, they would seek there a continuation of
their gay times. Various clubs and taverns where enter-
tainment could be obtained, sprung up. Some of these still
exist as fashionable and exclusive gatherings to which the
Governor and high government officials subscribe.
During the hectic winter season which prevailed
in Annapolis, Balls seemed to be the chief diversion.
Fashionable colonial dames vied with each other to gain the
favor of the selected males with the same materials used by
their modern sisters today. Annapolis, with its beautiful
women, its wines, and its song, may well be called the 'Paris
of America" of that period,
before 1?&4 a ^ Public festivals had to be held
in the homes of the citizens of Annapolis. There was no
suitable place in which to entertain visiting celebrities.
It was thought by some that such a place or Ball Room
should be provided and that to obtain the necessary funds
for constructing such an edifice a lottery should be sub-
scribed, which was done. In fact, this was a favorite
method of raising large suras of money for various projects.
There are in the Maryland uazzette, many advertisements for
lotteries to procure funds for every thing from parish houses
for churches to paying fines or debts for unfortunate, but
well liked townspeople. The lottery for the Ball Room pro-
ject is fully described and well advertised in the Maryland
G-azgette of May 5» 1?63* I n part it appears as follows:
" Scheme o f a Lottery for raising the sum of twenty-four
hundred dollars to be applied in erecting a commodius build-
ing in the City of Annapolis for the accommodating of Com-
pany and Balls, Concerts, etc."
It was evidently the idea of the managers of the
lottery to restrict the sale of tickets to the more or less
wealthy, for the sale price of each was set at* four dollars
which in those days was a considerable sum of money and
served to eliminate the lower classes. The lottery must
have been brought to a successful conclusion, for it is
recorded that in 1764 , a building was constructed and used
for the purpose intended. There are no data concerning
the construction of the building in the records studied.
There is no further record of this building's be-
ing historically important until 1783. On this date, the
immortal Washington made the building famous. He arrived
in Annapolis on December 2J, 1783 and tendered his resig-
nation and delivered his farewell address as Com-iander in
Chief of the Continental Army in the Chamber of the House
of Delegates, State House. Afterward he visiteu and was
visited by the President of Congress and other notables.
In the evening, a Ball was given for his honor and enter-
tainment in the Ball Room of the City. Howard, in the "Mon-
umental City" says, "General Washington opened the dancing
with Mistress Macoubbin of Annapolis, one of the most
beautiful women of her day". A bronze plaque has been
placed on this building by the Daughters of the American
Kevolution stating that three of the original walls remain
of the Ball Room in which Washington was entertained.
It is recorded that at several times in its life,
the Ball Koom has been used by the Maryland Assembly when
the State Mouse was not available for that purpose due to
repairs, fire, rebuilding or other reasons. There is also
record throughout the minutes of the Corporation Council
of the tall Roomys being rented to various organizations
for the purpose of giving concerts, lectures, banquets, etc.
tfiley gives the best and indeed the only descrip-
tion of the building in his "Annals of Annapolis". He
states: "The ball Room is on the Uuke of Gloucester St.
and is a spacious edifice. The dancing room is large and
of elegant construction, and when illuminated, shows to
great advantage ; the walls are decorated by a full length
likeness of uharles, Lord Baltimore and portraits of sev-
eral of the former u-overnors of Maryland. At the lower ex-
tremity is the supper room, which was formerly the revenue
office of the province. At the upper end is a card room
for the use of the gentlemen who may choose to enjoy the
•circulation of the party-coloured gentry' without having
their attention diverted by the sounds of the violin and the
evolutions of youthful performers."
The next event which was to cause the 3all
Room to be historically remembered was that internal con-
flict, which disrupted the state temporarily, the Civil
War. While no actual fighting took place near this build-
ing, it was used as the headquarters of the Seventh Mass-
achusetts Infantry, a guard house, a prison camp, and an
armory at different times. At the time of the Union inva-
sion, the paintings and decorations were removed to pri-
vate homes and other safer places. Most of these were
recovered after the war and now may be seen in the State
House. A beautiful chandelier of glass, according to Mr.
Brant, an old resident, was removed piece by piece as sou-
venirs by the northern army. Not one piece remains.
At some time between the conclusion of the War
and 1868, the ball Room was burned. The exact date of the
fire or its cause is not recorded. In fact, the only data
on this was obtained from Mr. Brant who remembers the fire.
There is a record of an expenditure for "rebuilding" the
Ball Room in 1867 in the day book of the City Council, so
a catastrophe such as a fire must have taken place prior
to this date.
The rebuilding took place between December 9,
1867 and March 9, 1868. It was finished and ready for
occupancy before March 23, 1868, for an entry can be
found in the Council records ordering: " that the
clerk be and he is herby directed to prepare for the
next meeting of this board in the new building".
On March 2J, 1868 then, the Old Ball Hoom be-
came the tiity Hall and it has so remained to the present
date. The writer's conception of the change in appearance
of the Old Ballroom when rebuilt will be given later un-
der the title "Construction of the New City Hall?
Events now proceed regularly and evenly from
1868 to today. A portion of the building has been used
as the offices of the Major and the meeting place of the
City Council. There is also housed in the City Hall, the
Fire Company, Police Headquarters, City Library, Water
Company Office, Community Welfare Center, and the Tax Col-
CONSTRUCTION OF OLD CITY HILL
The writer has previously intimated that little
or no data is available, and at this point he wishes to reit-
erate this statement concerning the Old City Hall on Church
or Main Street. The building itself is oblong, the narrow
portion facing Main Street. The front is about twenty-five
feet and the depth about forty. It is of solid brick con-
struction with walls fifteen inches thick. The lower front
has probably been changed materially with the passing of
years. If the assumption that the City Hall was once a
dwelling is correct, the front would have had to be changed
to permit the entrance and exit of the fire apparatus.
The front has since been changed to accommodate a store
The roof at present is of tin but it was probably
originally wooden shingle as were the other buildings in
Annapolis. Atop the structure was a cupola which served to
house the fire bell. The bell, being the property of the
City, was removed when the City Hall was changed. The cupo-
la remained for about twenty years; longer but it was final-
ly removed by Dr. Feldmeyer because it was found that it
caused leaks in the roof which could not be repaired with-
out its removal. The writer was unable to explore the
loft under the roof because the trap door leading there-
to has been boarded up and sealed.
If in the writer's opinion as stated in the
History of the Old Town Hall, the building was a private
residence, it must have been remodeled when first used by
the City council. A dwelling house of its size would cer-
tainly have been divided into chambers and rooms but the
old Council Hoom on the second floor of the building takes
up the entire space. Around the edge of the ceiling was a
peculiar moulding. A drawing of this moulding will be
found at the end of this thesis. At present there is only
a small section of the original remaining. This section
was retained for its historic value by the present owner
Dr. JJ'eldmeyer when the building was remodeled. There was
kept for the same reason a section of a wooden border
which probably was the top of a wainscoting which encircled
the walls. A sketch of this border also appears with the
On the west side of the room is a colonial fire-
place made of wood. It Is now in a very delapidated con-
dition having been used as a coal and wood bin but its
harmon lous proportions remain. One of the spindle column
sides has been removed probably as a souvenir and a por-
tion of the mantel has been sawed off to make room for a
partition. A sketch of this old fireplace will be found
along with those of the moulding and border.
The room is nut obstructed by any pillars or
supporting posts. There is evidence however that a small
pipe ran/floor to ceiling in the center of the room. The
purpose of this was to contain the rope connecting the bell
in the cupola with the fire engine house below so it could
be rung more conveniently.
As to the other furnishings or trims, the writ-
er was unable to obtain further information. This part of
the Old Oity Hall is used now by a young dentist. Parti-
tions have been erected almost to the ceiling. X'qut rooms
have been thus formed, an office, a waiting room, a store
room, and a lavs tory.
The stairway, a narrow and rather steep one, as-
cending from the ground floor on the south side of the
building now enters a small hallway but apparently in form-
er times it entered directly into the council tfoom.
The lower floor is at present used as a store
by Mr. i?'rank. So many changes have been made in this sec-
tion of the building that probably no original material
remains except the walls. This floor is divided into two
parts, the front being the sales room and the rear the
store room. In this rear portion there is the trace of
an old fireplace now boarded up which shows that there
were two fireplaces for heating. There were no other
sources of heat however, for there are no chimneys other
than the one in the rear.
The^e are but few people today who know that
this old and time worn building once served the City of
Annapolis as its City Hall. This is not strange however,
for at present it seems to be anything but that. It is
not impressive, imposing, or pleasing to the eye although
not unsightly. The writer* s opinion is that as all other
buildings and material things become antidated and anti-
quated, they are replaced by more modern structures, so
will the Old City Hall pass unmourned to make way for a
newer, more modern and up to date place of business.
CONSTRUCTION OF NEW CITY HALL
Very little information can be obtained con-
cerning the actual materials, plans, contractor or any
other details of construction of the Old Ball Room. There
are no official records, pictures, or written descriptions
of this building, so the writer will endeavor to give a
verbal picture of the Ball Room as it was described to
him by Mr, J. H. Brant the only resident of Annapolis old
enough to remember it before the fire of 1862. "One story,
two Pediment fronts, one on each end. Had a Ball Hoom,
supper room and game room. Thats all I remember". This
description is short, plain and to the point but it cer-
tainly does not go into detail.
In the absence of any definite words about the
Ball Room, the writer will have to present his views on the
construction as determined from observation and research.
The building was set on a foundation composed
of large irregular shaped granite rocks. The exposed sur-
faces of these rocks have been so often plastered with ce-
ment that only here and there do they show.
The walls are solid brick masonry twenty-eight
inches thick. There seem to have been no definite plan in
the laying of these bricks other than to get them in place.
Some of the courses are half headed, and half regular. It
appears that when two or more men worked together, each
did his job with no regard to his fellow workers.
The source of the brick used in this building
is unknown but it is very doubtful that they, or any other
brick in Annapolis were imported from England. It is true
that many buildings are constructed of English type bricks,
that is long and narrow, but these bricks were made in or
near Annapolis. There were brick kilns operating all over
Faryland before 1700. If the vicinity of many of the old
Colonial homes is examined closely, there will usually be
found a circular pit somewhere from which the clay was
taken to make the bricks for the structure; The clay pits
and kilns from which the bricks of Annapolis were obtained
are up the Severn Hiver about two miles. These kilns are
mentioned as early as lb94 as producing a superior brick
at a reasonable cost. It is evident that the Annapolitans
would not go to the expense of importing such an article
if good cheap bricks were available at home.
The only data the writer has found on the interior
trim is that the walls were decorated with beautiful pic-
tures and that a large chandelier illuminated it in the
-2 4 - ■
evening. The type of furniture is also vague. There are
however records of benches being purchased for the ball
Room for the use of the dancers.
It is very probable that extensive changes were
made in "the Ball Koom by the occupants during the Civil
War because the type of finish for a place of entertain-
ment is not suitable for use as a guard house or prison camp.
Information concerning material used and con-
struction of the roof is also lacking. A study of the
present building, though, suggests that it was a single
ridge pole type covered with cedar shingles. The writer
supposes the covering to be uf this construction for most
of the buildings were roofed in this way. The manner in
which the shingles were made is interesting. A straight
grained cedar log was set up in a machine resembling a
guilliotine. The blade was then brought down splitting
off a section of log about three -eights of an inch thick
Shingles made in this way are called ruve shingles. They
are very durable and satisfactory, lasting in some cases
over a hundred years.
In a second interview, Mr. tfrant went more into
detail about the pediment fronts. It seems that this con-
struction was a quite fashionable way of finishing off a
bullding. Each pediment was shaped to conform to the end
conat ruction of the building to which it was attached. They
extended out probably not more than fifteen feet and were
made of the same material as the nain structure.
The fire, after the Civil war must have complete-
ly destroyed the interior of the Old Ball Room, for no por-
tion of it was used when the new City Hall was built out of
its ruins. The twenty-eight inch walls however withstood
the ravages of fire as they were considered sufficiently strong
to serve as portions of the new building.
The view of the City Hall from the north shows
clearly the outline of the Old Ball Koom and its size.
The other two original walls are on the rear and south end
now covered by a newer building. In the line sketch of the
wall plan of the City Hall, the original walls are shown
in red, the reconstructed and rebuilt walls of I867-I868
in green, and the later addition in black.
The addition on the south end of. the City Hall
was constructed about 1900. It is of brick, the same as
the older portion. No effort has been made to metch either
the brick or method of laying. There are two stories, a
cellar, but no loft. The front of the building is well
lighted with large windows. The si] Is are ooncrete show-
ing the modern type of construction. Across the top, on
the front of the building is a decorative balustrade of
concrete columns. The main entrance for the entire City
Hall is in this new part. It is a copy of an old colonial
doorway but is original in no way, being made of present
day materials. The building is not of particular inter-
est being neither ancient, nor ultra modern. Perhaps the
best than can be said of this building is that it is new
compared with the rest of the City Hall.
The main entrance of the City Hall opens into
a spacious hallway. To the right is the office of the Ma-
yor and the City Clerk. In the rear is the Council Chamber.
a large room, access to which is given by two large double
doors. A colonial stairway leading to the second floor is
located at the rear and slightly to the left of the hall.
The tax collector's office is to the north of the stairs.
These offices and rooms make up the first floor of the ad-
dition. To the left of the main entrance and passing through
a portion of the Old Ball Room wall, one enters a small
room which apparently is not used. Adjacent to this is the
office of the Chief of Police, to which is connected by a
doorway the officer's room and a small jail. The north end
of the building is occupied by a portion of the fire depart-
ment of the City of Annapolis. This last group of offices
are located on the site of the Old Ball Room. There is no
oeller under this portion of the building, but under the new
part there is a small one housing the heating equipment.
The stairway divides about half way up, one
part ascending to the right, giving access to the Water
Company* s executive offices. The left branch of the stair-
way enters a small hall to the left of which is the City
Welfare Worker f s room. Here is stored a very interesting
and unique piece of apparatus. It is a fire engine used by
Annapolis in the 1700' s, and was then the most modern "Fire
Machine" that could be obtained. A photograph of it will be
found at the end of this thesis.
To the north of the hallway is the Ball Room.
This is a large room about thirty by seventy feet, in which
are held lectures, dances and public entertainment. A good
idea of the thickness of the walls may be obtained by ex-
amining the window detail in the picture of the Ball Room.
These walls extend fully as far outside the windows as they
At the northeast end of the Ball Room is a door
entering into the Public Library. This space was former-
ly used as the firemen r s living quarters. The circular hole
through which the firemen used to descend on a pole in emer-
gency may still be seen in the floor. The present Ball
Room is a good indicator of the size of the Old Ball Room
for it is built on the foundation of it.
The loft of the City Hall is reached only by a
ladder enclosed in a semicircular casing of wood in the
north end of the Ball Room. It is uninteresting and is not
used except by a myriad of birds that court and nest here.
Surmounting the building on the north end is a
cupola. It will be interesting to know that Mr. Brant who
gave the writer many ideas on the subject helped construct
this useful adornment when he was a young apprentice at the
carpenter trade. The old fire bell which used to hang here
has been replaced by a modern fire siren.
The roof girders support sheathing and shingles.
These shingles have lasted from the reconstruction of the
building until to-day. It was thought advisable to cover
them with a tin roof and this has been put on over the old
There appear to "be conflicting accounts con-
cerning the magnificence of the buildings of ancient
Annapolis, One author, Eddis, in his letters, relates
that in his estimation, Annapolis is the Athens of Amer-
ica. Another author, Riley, seems to differ with Mr,
Eddis for in his "Annals of Arnapolis", he says, "In our
little metropolis, the public buildings do not impress the
mind with any idea of magnificence, having been chiefly
erected during the infancy of the colony, when convenience
was the directing principle without attention to the em-
bellishment of art". Architecturally speaking, the writer
is inclined to agree with Mr. Riley's description for,
certainly, today the public buildings of the seventeen
hundreds are not impressive to say the least. Making due
allowance, however, for the material and tools with which
these people had to work, and the many adversities piled
upon them over which they had no control, the engineer of
today can only marvel at the detail of construction and the
permanency that his older brothers in trade built into
their structures as an ordinary part of their work.
[»|».|.!| <ll,t'|l-| "| 'hi l\\ft.\ll
Fig. 1. Sketch of Moulding in Old City Hall.
Fig, 2. Sketch of Cornice in Council Chamber
of Old City Hall.
I , 1
Fig. 5. Sketch of Fireplace in Council Chamber in Old City Hall.
Bed ; Of'.y.k't fro/* i76+
Crmrr, z Added < • I
Qiock: Added about ffOO
State = ("= l^feei
Fig* 4. Line sketch of Wall Plan of New City Hall,
Fig. 5. View of New
City Hall from the North.
Fig. 6. View of New City Hall from the South
showing portions built in 1868 and 19 00,
Size of Brick used in reconstructing Old Ball
Room for New City Hall.
Bronze Tablet placed on New City Hall by The
Daughters of the American Revolution.
View of Old Fire Engine used in the 1700* s and
Housed in Old City Hall. Now Stored in New City Hall.
Ball Room in New City Hall,
The material presented in this thesis was ob-
tained from the following sources:
Personal interviews with:
Mr. and Mrs. T. D. Gassaway. Mrs. Gassaway,
whose father formerly owned the old, Uity
Hall, is a matron in the D. A. k. and is a
student of early Annapolis history.
Dr. JPeldraeyer , a retired dentist, and the pre-
sent owner of the Old uity Hall.
Mr. J, A. Walton, President of the Annapolis
Banking and Trust Company.
Hon. w. E« Queens ted t , Mayor of the City of
ihe county Engineer.
Mr. T. w. Brant, retired builder and contrac-
tor, a well known Annapolitan.
"r. Trader, Commissioner of the State Land
Clerk of oourt, Anne Arundel county
as Linthicum, City Clerk of Annapolis
Maryland State Librarian
Dr. h. t. Haines Halsey, History Department,
St. Johns College.
■ Librarian of the Municipal Library of Annapolis
Perusals of the following volumes:
History of Maryland, Scharf
History of Maryland, Mc Sherry
Ye Ancient Capital of Maryland, B. S. Riley
The Public. Buildings at Annapolis, 3, E. Mudd
Letters from America, Eddis
Maryland , Browne
The Monumental City, G. W. Howard
Souvenir of Annapolis
Description of Annapolis, Minna Thurston
History of Annapolis, uwen Iff, Taylor
Historic Houses, D. H. Smith
Annals of Annapolis, Ridgley
History of Maryland, Bozeman
Two Hundred Years with the Maryland Gazzette
Examination of the followinr official records
Liber S.H.-3-b7 Anne Arundel County Court
Index to deeds and other Libers, Anne Arundel
County Court House.
Excerps from deeds, Land Office Building
- 5 8-
statements of Ownership and Title, Land
Old Maps of Annapolis, Land Office Building
Day Books, Expenditures, Minutes, Miscellan-
eous and other records of the City Council
from 1754-1930, City Hall Annapolis
The Maryland Gazzette I794-I854, Maryland
The Maryland Historical Society and the Johns
Hopkins University Press were consulted but little infor-
mation was obtained.