When I was younger, I sailed around the Annapolis area a lot. There was a house we’d sail by and I was always awestruck by its classic good looks and beautiful situation over-looking the Severn River. Constructed, beginning in the mid-1700’s for the last royal governor of Maryland, Horatio Sharpe, it is a true Georgian house in five parts. It was the first home in America built with a full temple portico. It has been owned by the same family since the 1940’s and the owner spent years meticulously restoring this private home, which for years was used as the family’s summer home. Funnily, one of the owner’s sons is the leading expert on jelly-fish stings, no doubt from decades of swimming in the river and Chesapeake Bay just off the banks of this estate.
My friend Kit Pollard at the Baltimore Sun wrote a terrific article about the house, here and of course, I am madly jealous she got to see it. I thought I’d share some images with you to pique your interest.
Way before there were chromochronography, the owner picked back through the various coats of paint to find the original vivid colours, including this scarlet, which is similar to the family’s surname, Scarlett. This is the entry hall. The woodwork in the house, such as that on the windows, has been attributed to the early American architect, William Buckland, who also worked on a number of contemporary houses in Annapolis, many of which I have visited and one which I house-sat for a summer.
The family has put Whitehall into a trust and will be working with Historic Annapolis, Inc. to establish a school to teach preservation techniques, and with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to teach about the environment of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information, click here.
A visit to Whitehall is on my to-do list for this summer!
Photos: The Baltimore Sun/Chesapeake Home + Living