The downtown core of the city was designated the Colonial Annapolis Historic District in 1965, a National Historic Landmark. The district retains many elements of the original town plan (surveyed in 1695), and is home to more than 100 extant 18th-century buildings.
In 1695 Francis Nicholson, Governor of Maryland, conceived an idealized baroque city plan of streets radiating from two circles to be superimposed on the existing Colonial town grid of Annapolis. The Nicholson Plan exists today in somewhat modified form. The circles are Church and State Circles, and have evolved from pure circles to irregular ovoids. Elements like Bloomsbury Square and the Garden southeast of State Circle (known in 1743 as Public Circle) were never fully realized and streets like Cornhill were added.
Annapolis as described in 1904 
Annapolis, the state capital, is also the county seat. In 1694 it supplanted St. Mary's city as the seat of government in the colony, and grew to be the "Paris of America," the abode of wealth, elegance, and fashion. In the Senate Chamber of the historic old State House Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief, to the Continental Congress, at the close of the Revolution; on State House Hill, where Revolutionary troops encamped, is a heroic statue of Baron de Kalb, commander of the Maryland Line on the gory field of Camden. Near the State House is the Executive Mansion, and in the vicinity are numerous specimens of eighteenth century architecture. The city and county are rich in historical associations. Eden, the last of the colonial governors, died in Annapolis, and his grave is on the Severn. Tombs of the early settlers, bearing still familiar names, and other traces of the past preserve county history. The Maryland Gazette, first printed in 1745, is one of the Annapolis newspapers. The United States Naval Academy is a government reservation adjoining the city. The population of Annapolis is 8,525. It was named after Queen Anne. Agriculture and horticulture are leading industries of the county, and its manufacturing interests are numerous, and some of them of great importance. South Baltimore, in the northern part of the county, is a manufacturing center, with car-works and other large plants; Brooklyn has various industries; Annapolis, a port of entry, is a leading center of the oyster industry. Tobacco, wheat, corn, vegetables, and fruits are grown, and woodland areas have heavy growths of oak, pine, and other trees.
Historic Annapolis Inns
Downtown Annapolis offers many historic inns, three of which are included on the National Trust for Historic Preservation "Historic Hotels of America" program. For those who want 'total immersion' in the historic Annapolis experience, check out: Governor Calvert House, Robert Johnson House, or the Maryland Inn; for details visit www.historichotels.org.
Nearby Towns: Highland Beach Town •