Photo credit: MHT File Photo , 05/1997

Property Name: Chance Boatyard
Date Listed: 4/15/1999
Inventory No.: AA-36
Location: 222, Severn Avenue, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County

Description: The group of buildings at 222 Severn Avenue, formerly a boat-building complex, comprises most of a block in the west section of Annapolis known as Eastport. Most of the buildings were built between 1913 and 1942 to support the boat-building activity of Chance Marine Construction Corporation and its successors, Annapolis Yacht Yard and John Trumpy and Sons. Resources on the property include a double-gabled steel-frame and steel-roof metal-working shed, a large steel-frame and steel-roof boat-building shed (both built in 1942); a frame rigging shop built between 1948 and 1957; a stucco office and storeroom, and a stucco machine shop built between 1914 and 1921. Directly behind the machine shop is a brick construction-and-paint shop built between 1921 and 1930. Contiguous with the construction-and-paint shop is a concrete block woodworking shop built between 1921 and 1930 and rebuilt after a fire in 1963. To the east of the woodworking shop is a concrete block wood-shavings incinerator built between 1942 and 1958, and a brick wood-shavings shed built between 1921 and 1930. North of the woodworking shop is a two-story concrete block lumber shed which has been extensively remodeled and no longer retains integrity. North of the lumber shed is the wood-frame in-water boat shed, built in 1942, which sits on piers over Spa Creek.

Significance: The site at 222 Severn Avenue is historically significant for its association with the industrial, military, maritime, and transportation history of the City of Annapolis and the United States between 1913 and 1973. The site has been associated with these activities in Annapolis for most of the 20th century. Between 1913 and 1937, Chance Marine Construction Company operated on this site, building and repairing boats used by both individual watermen and by large commercial concerns that fished the Chesapeake Bay. From 1937 to 1947, Annapolis Yacht Yards used the site to construct at first luxury yachts and later, with the entry of the United States into World War II, patrol boats and subchasers for the U.S. Navy. Although the United States did not enter the war until December of 1941, Annapolis Yacht Yards expanded the site to its present configuration and built the two large boat sheds here in the early months of 1941 to accommodate its wartime expansion under President Roosevelt's Lend-Lease Act. This site is also significant for its association with John Trumpy, Sr., whose company on this site from 1947 to 1973 designed and built world-renowned luxury yachts and, during the Korean and Vietnam wars, built wood-hulled minesweepers and PT boats for the U.S. Navy. Trumpy & Sons, known internationally for its yacht designs and quality construction, contributed to the growth and reputation of postwar Annapolis as a main port on the East Coast for the leisure boat industry. Trumpy & Sons also had the largest private payroll in the city at one time and thus was a major economic force in the life of Annapolitans. The site at 222 Severn Avenue remains an important part of the city's landscape, and is a significant cultural resource contributing to the understanding of the maritime development of Annapolis during the 20th century. The period of significance extends to 1973 to reflect the continuous era of wood-hull boat construction on the site.




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