William Paca House and Garden, Annapolis

William Paca House and Garden, Annapolis (must see)

The William Paca House (once known as Carvel Hall) is an 18th-century landmark comprising a five-part Georgian-style mansion and the terraced pleasure garden, both built between 1763 and 1765 to the design by William Paca, a patriot leader who was one of Maryland’s four Signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the state’s third Governor, serving from 1782 to 1785.

The brickwork structure comprises a central two-and-a-half-story block on an elevated platform, flanked by symmetrical one-and-a-half-story end pavilions, connected to the central structure by one-and-a-half-story hyphens. The building's beautiful interior boasts original woodwork remaining in the central hall, stair hall and the west parlor, including the stair's original Chinese Chippendale balustrade and other decorations relevant to the Georgian Era style. The two-acre (8,100 m2) walled garden, which includes a two-story summer house, represents precise geometric parterres of three-season blooming flowers.

The Paca family resided in the mansion along with their servants and slaves until 1780. After William Paca sold the house, it continued as a single-family home until 1801, upon which it served mainly as a rental property for much of the 19th century. National tennis champion William Larned bought the property in 1901 and converted it into a hotel, with a large addition attached to the back and extending over most of the old garden. For much of the 20th century, Carvel Hall was Annapolis’s finest hotel.

Concerned that developers might eventually tear down the historic edifice, Historic Annapolis and the State of Maryland bought the Paca mansion and the rest of the Carvel Hall site in 1965. Beginning the same year and over the next decade, a team of experts had painstakingly restored the house and the garden to their original 18th-century splendor using details drawn from historic artwork and archaeological excavations.

Today, this picturesque retreat from the bustle of the city, replete with period furnishings and paintings, reveals the inner workings of an upper-class household in colonial and revolutionary Annapolis. In 1971, the mansion was declared a National Historic Landmark.

Both, the house and the garden are open for guided tours Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour at 3.30 pm).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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William Paca House and Garden on Map

Sight Name: William Paca House and Garden
Sight Location: Annapolis, USA (See walking tours in Annapolis)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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