Maryland Department of General Services and project team accept Best of Maryland Award for Annapolis Post Office, 2020.

Best of Maryland: State Department of General Services Presented Stewardship Award for Historic Annapolis Post Office Project

09/30/2020
By Preservation Maryland

Under the direction of the Maryland Department of General Services, one of Annapolis’s historic post offices just underwent a world-class comprehensive adaptive reuse program to restore the deteriorated Georgian Revival architecture and to convert its interior space into new state government offices for the governor’s office of community initiatives and the governor’s legal office. This Best of Maryland Stewardship Award goes to the Maryland Department of General Services for envisioning and financing this over iconic $15 million project on Annapolis’ Church Circle.

Wagner Roofing crew at the Annapolis Post Office.

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DGS selected to work with industry leaders Consigli ConstructionZiger/Snead Architects, and Wagner Roofing to complete the work on the 1901 structure – work that included a new slate roof, built-in gutter, replacement of the low slope roofing system, and a new flat-locked copper dome atop the cupola. Following the careful removal of the 119-year-old finial, the piece was brought back to Wagner’s in-house sheet metal studio where the company’s seasoned craftsmen stripped and repaired some of the ornate details that had fallen off over the past century. Once repaired, Wagner called in the services of Gold Leaf Studios to have the piece gilded with 23.75 karat double-weight gold. Once restored, Wagner’s team returned the finial to the post office’s highest point, which can be seen shimmering overhead by passersby.

The post office was built in 1901 and represents an era between the 1900s and WWII in which the Federal Government custom-designed post offices on main streets across America as an architectural pillar for those small towns. As William Morgan of Columbia University once not-so-eloquently stated in a 1967 architectural review, “The Annapolis post office is historically important for showing that at one point the govt. ‘cared’ enough about architecture…The building is solid and superbly built [compared to] junk the government builds today.

In 2013, the Maryland State Government purchased the historic building as part of a plan to connect the property to the surrounding complex of state offices and tunnels in the heart of Annapolis. Following the $3.2 million purchase, the Department of General Services budgeted $16.8 million for the renovations. The historic building is now new state government offices for the governor’s office of community initiatives and the governor’s legal office.

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