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The Archives Room
Buildings in State Circle

Archives Room

1696-1698: First State House at Annapolis is built, along with "several Posts . . . to hang horses on," and a "Pissduit and House of Office [Privy] some where near the State House."

1699: State Circle is described as containing "a State House and a free school, built with brick, which make a great show among a Parcel of wooden houses. . ."

1704-1772: First State House burns in 1704, and a second State House referred to as the "Court House" because the Anne Arundel County meets there when the legislature is not in session, is built by 1707. Remains in use until demolished for the third State House ca. 1772.

1716-1718: A separate building is constructed on the north-east side of the second State House to serve as an Armory and meeting place for the Governor's Council and Upper House of the Legislature. In the early 19th century it is recalled as "a large hall, the walls covered with arms above the seats which were all around the room. A seat opposite the door for the Governor and his lady over which hung a full length portrait of the Proprietor, Lord Baltimore, in his flowing robes. Being used for a ballroom as well as an armory, a wooden gilt chandelier depended from the vaulted roof and the lights interspersed among the arms, gave it on ball nights a very splendid appearance. . ."

1729-Present: A "Repository for the Old Records" is built between 1729, when the Legislature authorizes its construction and 1733, when it is recommended for use by the Commissioners for Emitting Bills of Credit as a Treasury. It is quite likely that the "Repository" and the Old Treasury Building, still standing today on State Circle, which is recorded as being "built" by Patrick Creagh between 1735 and 1736 for the Commissioners, are the same structure. There is no evidence of a separate location for a record office on State Circle between 1729 and 1769 when the public records of the colony are known to be housed in the State House.

1769-1821: The old Armory/Council Chamber is given to Anne Arundel County as a Courthouse and serves as such until 1821, when a new Courthouse is built. Other uses are considered for the building after 1821, but it is judged beyond repair and torn down about 1836.

1769-Present: In 1769 the General Assembly appropriates 7,500 pounds sterling for a new State House. Between 1770 and 1772 the second State House is razed and on March 28, 1772, the cornerstone of the present State House is laid. Seven years later it is ready for the November session of the legislature and shortly thereafter, the other offices in the building, including four specially designed and fireproof Archives Rooms, are open for business.

1785-1794: The original dome of the State House is removed and a new one erected. The exterior is completed by the summer of 1788. The interior carpentry and plaster work are finished in 1797.

1785-1858: A new octagonal privy is built next to the State House about 1785 and remains in use until 1858, when it is demolished and new facilities are incorporated into the Record Office then under construction.

1834-1858: A gun house or cannon shed is built in 1834 only to be razed in 1858 to make way for the new Record [Land] Office then under construction.

1858-1902: "A substantial, thoroughly fireproof building, sufficiently spacious to serve for ages as a depository of the archives of the State" is begun in 1858 and completed by late 1859. Used as offices for the Comptroller, the Commissioner of the Land Office, the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, the Insurance Commissioner, the Tax Commissioner, and the State Fisheries force, by 1902 it proves inadequate. It is demolished and replaced by a new office building just to the north of State Circle.

1858: The original semi-octagonal bay on the back of the State House is removed and replaced by a larger octagonal annex to accommodate the State Library. The House of Delegates Chamber is enlarged by 70% and two of the Archives rooms are converted to committee use.

1858-1876/8: A boiler room is erected to the north of the State House and remains in use until improvements are made to the State House in 1876/8.

1872: Statue of Roger Brook Taney (1777-1864), Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court is unveiled near the south portico of the State House.

1876-1878: Major alterations are made to the State House. Windows are changed. Both the Senate and House chambers are "modernized," including the removal of the historic gallery and fireplace in the Senate Chamber.

1886-1902: A rectangular addition is built adjoining the State Library annex of 1858. Poorly constructed and the subject of controversy, it is torn down in 1902 to make way for the present additions to the State House.

1886: Statue of Baron Johann DeKalb (1721-1780), Revolutionary War hero, is unveiled on west side of the State House.

1902/1905-present: The present addition to the State House containing the new House and Senate Chambers is built and the old Senate Chambers is restored to it appearance in the winter of 1783-1784 when Congress met there.

Fine Arts & DEcorative Arts in the Archives Room

1858 House of Delegates Desk
1858 House of Delegates Desk
1840s arnchair
Marquis de Lafayette
Treasury Iron Chest
The Dome & Lightning Rod