Although MedChi has had a presence in our state capital, Annapolis, since our very first days, we have not always had a permanent space there. In 1989, we acquired a building on Main Street which has a history almost as long as ours.
The State of Maryland has a truly amazing resource called "Medusa," which is the Maryland Historical Trust's online database of architectural and archaeological sites and standing structures. I used it on the blog here and here with a detailed explanation of our two main buildings.
So, when someone recently asked me for information about our building in Annapolis, the first place I headed was Medusa. The building, which was known as the Ann Claude Building, was built between 1858 and 1871 at what is now 224 Main Street in downtown Annapolis, just a block or so from the Maryland State House.
The house does not appear on the 1858 Sachse map of Annapolis, so it can be dated from sometime after that. The Sachse maps were illustrated from a bird's eye view, with every building in a locale. They are invaluable to historians.
The Claude family owned property at the Main Street address from the 1830's, although they in Annapolis many decades before that.
In 1855, Ann Claude (not sure how she's related) obtained the site, but the building was not yet built. When she died in 1871, the site were deeded to her son, Abraham (sometimes spelled Abram) Claude. He was a physician by profession, and served as Mayor of Annapolis on and off from 1847 to 1889. During the years 1871 and 1883, he was a professor of natural sciences at St. John's College. Between 1895 and 1899, he was postmaster.
By 1877, there is a building at 224 Main, which appears on Gray's Map of Annapolis. Over the next century, the building variously housed a confectionery, tailor shop, restaurant and other offices and commercial enterprises, including a savings and loan association. Deep boxed cornice and flat window trim at the second floor two-over-two windows are all that remain from earlier facade treatment.
In 1989, MedChi acquired the building and leased it to, among others, the Maryland Democratic Party. Its central location, close to the State House, makes it ideal during the three-month long General Assembly session from January to April.
The building was added to the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1967 because of its importance to the vernacular streetscape of the city. For the full history and survey of the building, please click here.