September 2, 2010
On August 25, 80 incoming graduate students in Architecture, Planning, Preservation and Real Estate took a daylong tour of historic Annapolis, MD, a rich, varied site for study in all four disciplines.
The group arrived in style in plush TERP buses at the historic Old Mount Moriah A.M.E. Church—now the Banneker-Douglas Museum. This year's Orientation to the Built Environment was introduced by Museum Director Dr. Joni Jones, who shared a brief historical overview of Annapolis.
Briefings from all four perspectives followed, including hints for students on what and how to study for a successful career in architecture, planning, preservation and/or real estate. Interesting and energizing views from the practice world were provided by working professionals from all the disciplines.
The group enjoyed lunch and a boat tour aboard the Harbor Queen, which included views of the future site for the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the US Naval Academy as well as the bridges and historic neighborhoods around Annapolis Harbor. The afternoon was filled with a walking tour of Annapolis planning, design and development, including stops at Acton's Landing where new dense housing was developed on the old hospital site within the existing historic fabric, and Bloomsbury Square, a beautiful townhouse low-income housing development project near the State House.
A highlight for many was the detailed information about the history of the renovation of the Maryland State House presented by Orlando Ridout, V, Chief of Research at the Maryland Historical Trust. The group didn't get to climb the skinny stairs to the restored cupola, but they did get to see inside the Old Senate Chamber and see the very spot where George Washington stood for his historic speech resigning his commission as Commander of the Revolutionary War Army and returning to civilian life.
The last hour of the day included a presentation by Carl Snowden, chairman of the Board of the Housing Authority of Annapolis, and a long time resident of the city, describing the social history of segregated Annapolis.
The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland is home to four academic disciplines: architecture, urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. Committed to educating its students and community about the importance of sustainability and smart growth, the School practices an interdisciplinary approach to education, research, creative work, and community and professional service. For more information, please e-mail us or call 301.405.8000.
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