House by the "Town Gates"
63, West Street, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County
The House by the "Town Gates" is a large and imposing brick building, 2 1/2 stories high and five bays wide. Flush chimneys rise from each gable end. The entrance in the center bay of the north facade, surmounted by a four-light transom, is flanked by 9/6 sash windows. The second floor holds five 6/6 windows, and the three gabled dormers on the roof also hold 6/6 windows. Windows on the front façade have brick jack arches. A corbeled brick cornice runs across the front façade. An early 20th century storefront, visible in a c. 1908 photograph, has been removed. The east gable end, laid up in five-course American bond, holds two 6/6 windows on the second floor and two small four-light windows at the attic level. The west gable end abuts the adjacent commercial building, which was constructed in 1889. The south elevation includes a two-story rear wing and a single central dormer with pairs of 6/6 sash windows. The dormer is wider than would be typical for the building’s original period of construction, and probably dates to the early 20th century. The interior of the building retains little historic fabric.
The House by the "Town Gates" was originally constructed in the second quarter of the 19th century as a single-family dwelling. The property was originally the site of the Annapolis "Town Gates." The dwelling was converted into commercial spaces by the latter part of the 19th century. The first known owner of the "House by the Town Gates" was Vachel Seviere who acquired the lot in 1832. Seviere’s house appears to have been built directly on the site where an early street, Sobieski Street, once joined the intersection of Calvert, Cathedral, and West Streets. With the erection of the house, Sobieski Street disappeared with the exception of a short cobblestone alley along the west side of the building. This alley is the only undisturbed example of original cobblestone paving known in Annapolis.