I recently had a tour of two historic homes of Annapolis, Maryland: the Governor Calvert House and the Maynard-Burgess House. These two homes are polar opposites when it comes to historic preservation. One was home to a former wealthy European American governor of Maryland, the other was continuously owned by two African-American families. One has become a historic hotel next to the Maryland State House (the oldest state capitol used continuously since 1772) while the other has sat vacant since 1990 waiting to become a museum or public garden inviting the public to learn about the rich history of African Americans of Annapolis.
Unless it is set up to generate money, it takes quite a bit of money to preserve a historic home. In a place like Annapolis, the whole city is set up for preservation through the Historic Annapolis Foundation. For over fifty years this amazing foundation has preserved nearly 400 buildings partly by raising funds to purchase historic properties. The Historic Annapolis Foundation petitioned funding from the State of Maryland and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to pay for resurfacing the sidewalks and placing utility lines underground to preserve the historic look of Annapolis at a cost of millions of dollars. Yet, why is there no money for the preservation of the Maynard-Burgess House?
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