Michael O. Bourne
Governor William Paca House and Garden
186, , Prince George Street, , Annapolis, , Anne Arundel County
The walls of this massive-five-part Palladian-style structure are brick laid in Flemish and English bond while the foundation is a mixture of rubble stonework and brick. The crevices between the stonework are set with a pattern of small black pebbles called "galleting." The large 2 1/2-story five-bay-long center section, covered by a steep gable roof containing five gable-roofed dormers on the south (front) and two on the north (garden) side, is connected to two one-story dependencies by small brick hyphens. The front (south) facade is laid in all header bond with a belt course of Flemish bond with glazed headers. The side walls are laid in Flemish bond, the gables of English bond, and the garden facade almost entirely of English bond. The openings on the entrance facade are all topped by splayed, gauged-brick, flat arches; while the principal openings for the rest of the house have splayed flat arches that are not gauged. Windows on the first story of the main block are 9/9 sash, while those on the second are 9/6 and the dormer windows are 6/6. Small windows in the gable end are narrow 4/4 sash. At the base of the roof is a simple box cornice and at either end are wide flush chimneys. The garden side (north) is distinguished by a two-story central projecting pavilion which was revealed when the large hotel wing added to the rear in 1907 was demolished. Each of the one-story dependencies has a flush chimney in the north gable end. The interior of the house features woodwork attributed to William Buckland, a handsome chimney-piece with a cornice shelf supported on a pulvinated frieze carved with oak leaves, plaster cornices, and carved window shutters. The garden to the rear of the house has been carefully reconstructed following research and archaeological investigations. Surrounded by a brick wall, the garden features a bridge in Chinese Chippendale-style, a small brick building which was presumably a bath house, a two-story classically styled domed gazebo with an octagonal second story and a statue of Mercury atop the dome.
The William Paca House and Garden constitute one of Maryland's chief historical and architectural landmarks. The Paca House was the home of William Paca (1740-1796), a member of Maryland's Committee of Correspondence (1774) and the Council of Safety (1775) and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Paca was appointed chief justice of the general court of Maryland (1778), served three terms as governor, and was a member of the state convention which ratified the Constitution. Architecturally significant, the Paca House belongs to the impressive group of 18th century mansions for which Annapolis has become so famous.