Making the New Look Old

by Margaret B. Martin, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Bureau of Engineering and Construction, Annapolis, MD,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 3, Pg. 76-78

Document Type: Feature article


Between March 1990 and January 1991, Annapolis buried overhead utilities and reconstructed the roadway around the historic State House, built in 1769. The paving stones, colonial-appearing lighting fixtures and lack of overhead wires helped restore the historic feel of the area; replacement of outdated gas lines, sanitary sewer lines, water lines and storm drains complete the project. Bureaucratic difficulties made it look unlikely that it would ever be done. Constant activity at the Governor's Mansion, the State House, the Naval Academy, the waterfront and various tourist attractions made scheduling and coordination difficult, while the city's Historic District Commission reviewed the entire set of engineering plans for historic accuracy of the restoration. Difficulties of working in the historic site included sidewalks narrower than the electric vaults being installed; no parking for construction workers; and a staging area so constricted that the contractor stored quantity materials (such as conduit) off-site and retrieved them almost daily. Other surprises included a concrete-encased-and-lined tin water line that was not on record, and curbs with no foundation.

Subject Headings: Historic sites | Residential buildings | Ecological restoration | Stormwater management | Construction sites | Construction materials | Labor | Buried pipes

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