June 26, 2018
Contact: Carrie Kiewitt
Annapolis City Dock Named to List of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Annapolis’s City Dock to its 2018 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, an annual list that spotlights important examples of our nation’s architectural and cultural heritage at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. Almost 300 places have been on the list over its 31-year history, and in that time, fewer than five percent of listed sites have been lost.
Since its listing as a National Historic Landmark District in 1965, Annapolis has remained one of the most intact and authentic colonial towns in the nation. Over the course of the past 50 years, numerous Annapolitans have invested in the care, upkeep and protection of this unique place. Providing the city with economic vitality, these efforts have made Annapolis one of the state’s premier heritage tourist destinations, drawing visitors from around the globe who are attracted to the its charm and history.Key to the success of Annapolis have been the reasonable and carefully enforced historic district guidelines that have protected the National Historic Landmark’s irreplaceable buildings, character, and unparalleled views. The current proposal to re-zone portions of the historic district and allow for incompatible development on the historic waterfront threatens to upend five decades of effort to safeguard Annapolis’s exceptional heritage.
“To the dismay of residents and visitors alike, the proposed rezoning of the Colonial Annapolis Historic District opens the door for permanent loss of the area’s unique character,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Annapolis deserves redevelopment that embraces the history of the community and provides for compatible growth within the framework of the already adopted preservation guidelines—ensuring that one of the state’s premier heritage tourist destinations is maintained for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.”
“The current rezoning proposal is not worthy of Annapolis and should be rejected,” said Robert C. Clark president and CEO of Historic Annapolis. “The 11 Most Endangered Listing is a formal recognition by the National Trust that “This Place Matters,” and the proposed re-zoning is a serious and imminent threat to a place designated as one of America’s Treasures.”
Historic Annapolis, along with the National Trust and its statewide partner Preservation Maryland, is not opposed to thoughtful redevelopment of underutilized areas of the Annapolis Historic District. The organizations are, however, opposed to lifting critical height and bulk restrictions that have preserved the authentic, human-scale setting that defines the Annapolis experience and preserve the intersection of the built and natural environment. Over-scaled development at the water’s edge threatens to eliminate the critical connection between the water and the city, create untold environmental challenges, and invites further degradation of the historic district. If not approached with careful consideration, new development could be accompanied by added stress on fragile foundations, historic masonry, and the quality of life of District residents.
The three partners announced today that they will sponsor an Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel comprised of local and national experts in the field to assist the Annapolis community in identifying appropriate redevelopment solutions for City Dock. With nearly a decade of involvement in assisting the City of Annapolis and various stakeholders in planning for the future of historic City Dock, the Urban Land Institute has heard from city residents and property owners about the importance of this historic place. Helping communities find the right balance between values of protecting history and community character, enhancing the visitor experience, respecting residents quality of life and supporting waterfront redevelopment and reinvestment is the goal.
Preservation Maryland and Historic Annapolis have launched an online petition to gather names of individuals opposed to this damaging plan. Residents of the City of Annapolis and anyone else who appreciates the history of Annapolis are encouraged to sign the petition at: presmd.org/annapolis