Historic Sites and Buildings
William Paca, a young, newly married lawyer, built this townhouse in the years 1763-65 as his principal residence and occupied it until 1780. At that time, a few months after the death of his second wife, he sold the house and moved to Wye Plantation, a country estate in Queen Annes County he had acquired about 1760.
The Paca House is a large, five-part Georgian structure, today part of Colonial Annapolis Historic District. Two brick wings (kitchen and office) sit at right angles to the main axis of the central house, to which they are connected by brick passageways, or hyphens. The central unit is a gable-roofed brick structure of 2-1/2 stories over an elevated basement. The front facade is laid in all-header bond, and the ends in Flemish bond. The window arches, of rubbed brick, are flat. A small, one-story frame porch, which is pedimented and done in modified Roman Doric style, provides access to the central entrance.
Large brick chimneys rise from both ends of the central house, and smaller ones from the wings. Three gabled dormers are situated in the front of the main roof and two in the rear. The 1-1/2-story wings are also gable-roofed. The west wing and both of the hyphens had been raised to two stories in the 19th century, but were recently lowered to their original height.
On each side of the center hall in the main house are two rooms. The interior has been greatly altered over the years, and portions of the original wood and plaster finish remain only in the center hail, the stair hall behind it, and the parlor. The main stairway is equipped with the original Chinese Chippendale balustrade.
In 1899 the Paca House became the Carvel Hall Hotel, enlarged in 1906 by rear additions that completely hid the back of the original house. In 1964, when the structure faced demolition, Historic Annapolis, Inc., purchased the Paca House portion. The next year, the State of Maryland acquired the entire property. In 1967-69 it razed the 1906 hotel additions and restored the gardens. Presently, the Maryland Historical Trust, a public agency, holds title to the house, but Historic Annapolis, Inc., retains all the responsibilities and rights of ownership and administration. The residence has undergone an extensive restoration program. Historic Annapolis, Inc., plans to utilize it as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries, though the first floor will be open to visitors.
Last Updated: 04-Jul-2004