Friday, January 3, 2014

Annapolis Roads on Chesapeake Bay 1925–1934 - Part 3 :The Club and the Golf Course

So we finish with part three of the requiem... The golf course, one of the few classic links courses available to the public, now to be private fields for a private school. Rather incomplete, but I felt I should publish this now in some form... More to write and revise later, now time to mourn the loss of a historical treasure...

Annapolis Roads on Chesapeake Bay

1925 – 1934

The Club

View from the Severn River from Washingtonian Magazine May 1929

                 Plans for a “Golf and Yacht Club” at Annapolis Roads first began to formally come together in 1928. A fund was established by a group of Washington and Maryland men, to be managed by the Munsey Trust Company, for the financing of the a golf course and an “excellent anchorage for water craft, up to 18 feet draft” to provide “the best there is in golf and water sports within an hour’s ride of [Washington].”i Eventually the club was organized as two separate clubs, The Beach and Tennis Club and The Annapolis Roads Golf Club, though joint memberships were available. The Beach and Tennis Club leased the clubhouse known as the “Beach and Tennis Club” and The Annapolis Roads Golf Club leased the “Tavern” or golf clubhouse and the golf course from the Annapolis Roads Company.ii By the summer of 1928, the club was open.



                  From their start, the clubs were a destination for much of Washington Society. In its first summer of operation, the Beach and Tennis Club was a favorite spot for the Austrian Ambassador and Mme. Prochnik, entertaining there almost every Sunday.iii Even Gov. Albert C. Ritchie became an early member of the Beach and Tennis Club.iv The club was host to a number of socialites and debutantes from Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis, senior Naval officers, Congressmen and Senators, the Spanish Ambassador Senor Don Alejandro Padilla y Bell, the Turkish Ambassador Ahmed Moutar Bey, the Bolivian Minister, the Brazilian Ambassador, the Minister of Persia, the Swiss Minister and other foreign diplomats.v Saturday night dinner dances were a regular feature of the social life of the club. By December 1929, the Golf Club was so successful that limits were placed on the number of members.vi

                  On July 1, 1934, the Annapolis Roads Club reopened under new management.xii With the foreclosure of the property by the Equitable Company, the club was then leased to the New Annapolis Roads Club, Inc, headed by S. G. Loeffler and managed by Edward I Farr.xiii All life memberships and other holdings under the old club were eliminated with the property transfer.xiv Rates for membership were also reduced at this time. The club remained private until 1951 when Ray and Roy Shields, managers of the club, opened it to the public.xv


Ariel View of Annapolis Roads
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)




The Golf Course

1928-1929 construction
drawings 1928-29 18 holes planned only 9 holes built


 The Annapolis Roads Golf Course Circa 1940


From the very beginning of the project, the bankers who were to finance the construction felt “the golf course as of essential importance in the consideration of the income returns. The favorable location of the golf course, the suitability of the site, the soil etc, [were] of prime importance to them, in fact of almost equal importance as the hotel itself.”xvi

Gallagher felt it to be “especially desirable to extend the Golf Course southeastward and on to the marsh below the bluff. By so doing, holes No. 1, No. 9, and No. 18 can be laid close to the hotel, as they should be to be thoroughly satisfactory.”xvii He further did “not regard the fairgreens crossing through the hotel grounds in order to reach the marsh as a drawback to their use by other patrons of the hotel.”xviii He also felt “that golf would not entirely monopolize this ground and there would be large sections of it well to one side of the course so that those not playing the game could enjoy the wooded shores.”xix

Gallagher also felt “that a larger area than 134 acres [would] be needed to secure an 18 hole golf course. In fact, the sketch [he sent comprised] 170 acres [for] the golf course.”xx It also appeared clear to Gallagher “that the golf course should, if possible, be laid out all on one side of the main road to the hotel, so as to avoid crossing of the road, which would be necessary if the road to the hotel followed around the shore of Lake Ogleton as originally proposed. This could be avoided by not extending the course down into the marsh, but the loss of this acreage would have to be gained elsewhere, and this cannot be done without crowding the lot development.”xxi

Gallagher suggested golf course architect Charles H. Banks of New York City, with whom Olmsted Brothers had several design projects in common, to Armstrong in March 1926.xxii Banks came from the “National School of Design” which was perhaps the most significant school of design to the Golden Age of Golf.xxiii The school was established by Charles Blair Macdonald and believed in designing a golf course “that had no weak holes and which could be enjoyed by all skill levels of golfers.”xxiv It “incorporated the strategy of the best holes from the British Isles.”xxv Macdonald hired surveyor and landscaper Seth Raynor to handle engineering duties in conjunction with the construction of the National Golf Links in 1907.xxvi Raynor’s job was to take handle the engineering and construction details of Macdonald’s plans, eventually designing and routing courses on his own.xxvii Banks was an English teacher at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and met Raynor while we was building the course for the school. Banks then served as construction assistant to Raynor on ten projects before starting his own firm after Raynor’s death in 1926.xxviii

                On June 12th 1926, Gallagher and Armstrong met with Banks in his New York City office. Banks desired a “position for [the] 18th hole that would command a view of the Bay and be a “knockout” as to situation and thus terminate the course with a real effect.”xxix He also “pointed out that too much of the course, as [Gallagher and Armstrong] had suggested …on their preliminary plan, ran east to west and was therefore difficult for play on account of the sun.”xxx Banks desired “to run more of the greens in the other direction although the land [was] limited to do this in every case.”xxxi Banks then visited the site with Carr’s survey team on June 28th to get a better feel for the ground on which he was to layout the course.xxxii

In May 1927, Gallagher resumed his discussions with Armstrong about the golf course. He feared that there would be “difficulty in working out a wholly satisfactory golf course because of limitations of the land, and it [was] really a question of whether it would not be better to sacrifice less land for this purpose by adopting a nine-hole course only and going further inland across the county highway on cheaper land for a regulation course.”xxxiii Gallagher felt the nine-hole course would provide a “satisfactory opportunity” for golf and allow her to provide “tennis and other types of recreation without crowding. Above all, [he felt] it would provide more lots for sale”xxxiv Gallagher admired Armstrong’s desire to furnish a fine eighteen hole course, he was worried that doing so might prevent her from realizing her other aims, namely building a hotel, which seems clear would require financing almost exclusively from cottage lot sales.xxxv This nine-hole course could also be regarded as temporary provided Armstrong could assure that she “could establish an eighteen hole course further inland” and then at such time “the nine-hole course could be abandoned and all the land turned with lots for residences.”xxxvi Armstrong, obviously motivated by financial needs, agreed with Gallagher that the “land was too valuable for a golf course” and building only nine holes in the center of the property with the additional nine holes being “continued across [Old] Bay Ridge Road on to the 46 acres.”xxxvii But she wanted to wait until she could conclude a satisfactory arrangement with the adjoining property owner before which would provide “9 holes where there present golf course [was] laid out and room for another 18 holes on the adjoining property.xxxviii



                  By December 1927, the Munsey Trust Company engaged Banks for the design and construction of the course.xxxix Banks felt the land reserved for the golf course ”too limited for a first class course.”xl There is no doubt that this was true as the plans still contained Lafayette and Cevera Lanes and the associated cottage lots. During a meeting with Harold Keats of the Munsey Trust Company in Washington, Banks suggested “building two or three holes to the south of [Old] Bay Ridge Road.xli With Keats favorable to the plan, Banks wanted to talk with Gallagher about changing the lotting to facilitate this arrangement for the course. Banks felt “that they [were] making a great mistake if they [restricted] the golf course to such an area to such an extent as to make a first class layout impossible.”xlii He desired to design a “course of good average length with well balanced holes of suitable variety” and wanted to avoid placing the holes so close together “that the golf course will be stripped of most of the trees.”xliii Though it is not clear under what circumstances it occurred, it appears that Banks and the Munsey Trust Company won out in the battle over lots or the course. A number of lots were eliminated from the general plan published by the Munsey Trust Company, which was now acting as Developer and Sales Agent, at the main entrance to the development along with the “Village Green” and Lafayette and Cevera Lanes.xliv A full eighteen holes were designed, though only the front nine were actually built, and it was not until after 1952 that the land across Old Bay Ridge Road, which was planned for three holes, was built upon.



                     Construction of the course began by February 1928 and was undertaken by Washington contractor F. Irwin Ray. xlv Initially nine holes of were built and it was hoped that they would be ready for play by September 1st.xlvi Even before it was completed is was said that it would “have the largest greens of any golf course in the United States….. and [would] be a composite eighteen holes of the finest golf courses in the world.”xlvii By June 1929, the first nine holes of the course were open.xlviii



                        On October 7, 1929, greenskeepers of the Middle Atlantic division and grass experts of the Department of Agriculture held a meeting at Annapolis Roads after inspecting the much talked about greens during the day. According to the department experts, head greenskeeper Adolph Gerle attained near perfection and his greens were the finest in this section of the Mid-Atlantic, being all pure bent grass of the Metropolitan strain.xlix



Apparently Banks plans were retained and surveyors were employed by October 1929 to map out the additional nine holes to bring the course up to the planned eighteen holes.l Construction had actually begun on the back nine holes when the Great Depression prevented completion of the course.li


The first hole at Annapolis Roads was originally designed as a 400 yard dogleg left, but was only built to 376 yards.lv Now the hole plays to 372 yards when played as the 10th hole. The forward tee was installed around 1954 by the Shields Brothers as the 10th hole at 361 yards. This forward tee is now the 1st hole and plays to only 367 yards.

1st Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The second hole was most likely a “Leven” (pronounced “leave in”) hole and was modeled after the old 7th hole of the old Leven Links, Leven, Fife, Scotland.lvi This hole is one of the great par four strategies in golf and was considered one of the finest par four holes in the East.lvii It is typically a short par 4, usually 330-360 yards and the example at Annapolis Roads was originally designed as a 380-yard dogleg left though was built to 422 yards.lviii Banks followed his style of omitting the berm or rampart used by Macdonald to obscure the green. In this example, he reversed the green layout creating a cavernous bunker on the left front of the green, and used the excavation from the bunker to pile up the face of the bunker, creating a similar strategy but with a menacing appearance.lix The fairway bunker or waste area, which is normally present in this design, was omitted here.lx Now the hole plays to 445 yards when played as the 12th hole. The back tee, installed around 1954 to create a new 2nd hole by the Shields Brothers, plays to 414 yards.

2nd Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The third hole was was possibly copied from the 17th "alps" hole at Prestwick in Scotland. The example at Annapolis Roads was originally designed and built as 360 yard dogleg left.lxi Now the hole plays to 358 yards when played as the 3rd hole. The rear tee, installed around 1954 to create a new 12th hole by the Shields Brothers, originally played to 300 yards and now plays to 383 yards.

3rd Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The fourth hole was a “Redan” and was modeled after the 15th hole at North Berwick Golf Club (East course) East Lothian, Scotland.lxii This hole is considered the perhaps the finest par-3 design in the world and perhaps the most complex.lxiii In it's classic style it is usually 190-215 yards and the example here was designed for 193 yards but was built to 195 yards.lxiv Annapolis Roads contained all of the classic design traits of this hole. Now the hole plays to 189 yards when played as the 13th hole. The forward tee, installed around 1954 to create a new 13th hole by the Shields Brothers at only 145 yards, but now plays as the 4th hole.

 4th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

             The fifth hole was unique to Annapolis Roads.  It was originally designed for 573 yards and built to 570 yards.lxvi This version seems to have been altered in house by shortening its length between December 1929 and May 1930 and was then playing to 544 yards.lxvii In 1929, this hole had a “green of the punch bowl type, with a huge trap in the middle and a steeply inkling approach away from the green.lxviii Now the hole plays to 529 yards when played as the 14th hole. The forward tee, installed around 1954 to create a new 14th hole by the Shields Brothers at only 510 yards, now plays as the 5th hole at 516 yards.

5th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The sixth hole was a “Knoll Hole” and was modeled after the 4th hole at Scotscraig Golf Club, Tayport, Fife, Scotland.lxix In its classic style it appears as a short par 4 averaging 300 yards and here the example was originally designed for 327 yards though it was built to 334 yards.lxx  Now the hole plays to 330 yards when played as the 15th hole. The forward tee, installed around 1954 by the Shields Brothers to create a new 15th hole at only 260 yards, now plays as the 6th hole at 321 yards.

6th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The seventh hole is another example of the “Road Hole.” Here the original length was designed for 433 yards though was built to 445 yards.lxxi This is a reversal of the typical Macdonald and Raynor version of this green, with a “Road Bunker” guarding the left and rear of the green and a deep pot bunker slightly to the right of the centerline of the green.lxxii This rendition of the hole also located the tee along the centerline of the fairway, omitting the typical dogleg, though as on the 5th hole, the fairway bunkering is again present. This hole, like the 5th, apparently also had an “enormous trap….. in the center of the green.”lxxiii This hole was considered one of the finest par four holes in the East, and was selected by the Sun Papers as one of the 18 best holes in Maryland.lxxiv The hole still plays to 445 yards when played as the 7th hole. A more forward tee was installed around 1954 by the Shields Brothers to create a new 16th hole at 375 yards. This tee has since been replaced by the current rear tee which plays to 500 yards.

7th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The eighth hole was an “Eden” and was modeled after the 11th hole at St. Andrews (High-Hole-In), St. Andrews Old Course, Fife, Scotland.lxxv In its classic style it is usually 160-170 yards and here the original length was designed to150 yards, though it was built to 165 yards.lxxvi  Now the hole plays to 163 yards when played as the 8th hole. A more forward tee was installed around 1954 by the Shields Brothers to create a new 17th hole at 110 yards. This tee has since been replaced by the current rear tee which plays to 175 yards.

8th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

8th Hole
(Washingtonian Magazine May 1929)

8th Hole
(Author's Collection July 2006)

The ninth hole was was originally designed for 405 yards but was built to 413 yards.lxxvii Now the hole plays to 416 yards when played as the 18th hole. The forward tee, installed around 1954 to create a new 18th hole by the Shields Brothers at 340 yards, now plays to only 337 yards as the 9th hole.
9th Hole From Charles Banks Drawing

The back nine holes of the course were never built. The land for holes 11, 12 and 16 through 18 was never developed and remains in the same state it was before the Annapolis Roads project began. The land for holes 13 through 15 was platted in 1952 for lots as part of Annapolis Roads effectively ending any plans to construct the full 18-hole course envisioned by Banks.lxxviii In the following paragraphs you will find a review of the planned holes for the back nine and idea of what they would have looked like had they been completed.

The tenth hole was originally planned as a 381-yard dogleg left. The green was to be guarded by water immediately in front and bunkers on either side.

The eleventh hole was to be a “Double Plateau” hole. It is most likely based on the natural plateau greens found in the British Isles.lxxix It is typically a long par 4, often the longest two-shot hole on the course.lxxx This Annapolis Roads example was originally planned as a 426-yard slight dogleg right.lxxxi It was to feature moderate fairway and greenside bunkering, with a Principal’s Nose-type bunker set about 100 yards in front of the green.lxxxii There are no bunkers in front of green, except for Principal’s Nose bunker already mentioned, to visually obscure portions of the target.lxxxiii The green on this type of hole would have probably featured the connected double plateaus, such as Banks built during the same time at the Knoll County Club in New Jersey, with the upper putting surface being located in the front-left and right-rear of the green.lxxxiv

The twelfth hole was to be a “Short” hole. It was modeled after the 5th hole at Brancaster (now Royal West Norfolk), Norfolk, England.lxxxv This hole typically was a par 3 averaging 130-140 yards and the example at Annapolis Roads was originally planned to be 133 yards.lxxxvi Banks would use deep greenside bunkering to completely surround the green and creating an “island” effect.lxxxvii Typically the green formed a plateau, which was elevated 5 feet above the natural terrain.lxxxviii This style hole would also normally feature most complex putting surfaces on the entire course with “dished depressions, rear shelves, and false fronts,” which would segment the green.lxxxix

The thirteenth hole was to be another “Leven” hole. This example at Annapolis Roads was originally planned for 340-yards. The fairway bunker or waste area was also omitted in this example.xc

The fourteenth hole was originally planned for 480 yards.

The fifteenth hole was to be a “Bottle Hole” and was a C. B . Macdonald modification of the original 12th hole at Sunningdale’s Old Course, Berkshire, England.xci It typically appeared in various lengths of par 4s and this Annapolis Roads example was originally planned as a 427-yard slight dogleg right.xcii 

The sixteenth hole was to be a “Biarritz” hole and was modeled after the 3rd hole (the Chasm) of the Barritz Golf Club, Barritz, France.xciv In was typically 220-245 yards and the example at Annapolis Roads was originally planned to be 225 yards.xcv Narrow strip bunkers were to be placed to guard the sides of the green and fairway.xcvi This hole was also planned to have an enormous green, which would normally have a “deep swale either in front of or incorporated into putting surface.”xcvii

The seventeenth hole was originally planned for 346 yards.

The eighteenth hole was originally planned for 423 yards.

The first tournament played on the course was the Middle Atlantic Professional Golfers Association Amateur Professional Tournament on July 30, 1929.xcviii The course was characterized as being “extremely fast, due to the hard baked fairways, but all the greens [were] so large that it almost required a brassie shot to reach the cup, besides which the trays are as deep as a house and as the pins were placed behind these traps one of the contestants had no less that eight three-putt greens, not because the putting surface was inaccurate, for all the greens were in fine condition, but because it was impossible to accurately gauge putts that on any course would have been the length of an approach shot from off the green.”xcix


           Under the leadership of Talbot T. Speer, chairman of the golf committee, the First Annual Invitational Tournament was planned for October 12 and 13, 1929. Invitations were sent to 24 clubs in the Mid-Atlantic area, including the Greenbury Point Club, Naval Academy Golf Club and Sherwood Forest Golf Club, all of the Annapolis area, with each club asked to choose three members to compete. Because of the shorter daylight hours in October and the fact that there were only nine holes upon which to play, it was felt that the course could only support approximately 75 to 80 players in the tournament. Eighteen holes would be played each day, with the low net score being awarded a cup put up by Colonel Charles Denby of Washington. In addition to the Denby cup, prizes were also awarded for the low net each day, low gross for the tournament and each day as well as for the most pars and most birdies.c


                  Walter McCallum, of the Annapolis Roads Club, won the tournament with Frank Roersch of the Washington County Club as runner-up.ci Of note was what can only regard as an amazing eagle 3 on the par 5 570-yard fifth hole by Perry P. Rover of the Indian Springs Club, which was the only eagle of the tournament. He accomplished this with two long drives and a 115 yard mashie shot which he holed.cii


                   The course closed from December until March 1930 for greens and fairway work. “The club’s greens… attracted the attention of golfers throughout this section and were said to be the finest in this part of the country, despite the fact that they were not a year old. [They intended] that the fairways [would] be comparably as fine and to that end [they were] building up the soil [that] winter, planning a water system to see them through the summer’s droughts, and reseeding and sodding the worst places. [They were] also giving the greens a very heavy top dressing.”ciii



i The Washington Post, April 1, 1928 pg 22
ii Agreement between Armstrong Company, the Munsey Trust Company and the Annapolis Roads Company April 1929.
iii The Washington Post, October 14, 1928, pg 23
iv The Washington Post, August 12, 1928, pg S8.
v The Washington Post, April 21, 1929, pg M14; The Washington Post, June 9, 1929; The Washington Post, August 18, 1929, pg S7; The Washington Post, August 20, 1929, pg 7.
vi The Washintopn Post, December 19, 1929, pg 19.
vii The Washington Post, April 14, 1929. pg M25
viii Ibid.
ix The Washington Post, August 18, 1929, pg S7
x The Washington Post, July 2, 1933, pg R2
xi The Washington Post, August 14, 1932, pg R2
xii The Washington Post, June 24, 1932, pg R7
xiii Ibid.
xiv Ibid.
xv The Washington Post, February 15, 1951, pg 21
xvi Rella Armstrong to Percival Gallagher February 19, 1926.
xvii Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong March 1, 1926
xviii Ibid.
xix Ibid.
xx Ibid.
xxi Ibid.
xxii CRP to Rella Armstrong March 24, 1926
xxiii Geoff Shackelford, “The Golden Age of Golf Design,” pg 31.
xxiv Ibid.
xxv Ibid.
xxvi Geoff Shackelford, “The Golden Age of Golf Design,” pg 43.
xxvii Ibid.
xxviii Geoff Shackelford, “The Golden Age of Golf Design,” pg 45.
xxix Report of Conference in Mr. Banks Office by Percival Gallagher June 12, 1926
xxx Ibid.
xxxi Ibid.
xxxii Ibid.
xxxiii Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong May 9, 1927
xxxiv Ibid.
xxxv Ibid.
xxxvi Ibid.
xxxvii Rella Armstrong to Percival Gallagher May 24, 1927
xxxviii Ibid.
xxxix Charles Banks to Olmsted Brothers December 9, 1927
xl Ibid.
xli Ibid.
xlii Ibid.
xliii Ibid.
xliv CRP to Rella Armstrong January 23, 1927. Rella Armstrong to Percival Gallagher February 10, 1928. The Munsey Trust general plan is a undated plan found in the Olmsted Associates Job File 7591, Folder 1; Agreement between Armstrong Company, the Munsey Trust Company and the Annapolis Roads Company April 1929.
xlv Rella Armstrong to Percival Gallagher February 10, 1928; The Washington Post, May 11, 1928, pg 4.
xlvi The Washington Post, April 1, 1928, pg 22.
xlvii Ibid.
xlviii The Washington Post, June 9, 1929, pg M23
xlix The Evening Capital, October 7, 1929, pg 1
l The Evening Capital, October 5, 1929, pg 5
li The Washington Post, February 21, 1954, pg R24
lii James G Gibb, “History and Historical Significance of the Annapolis Roads Golf Course,” Unpublished Paper (June 2005), pg 1.
liii Ibid.
liv James G Gibb, “History and Historical Significance of the Annapolis Roads Golf Course,” Unpublished Paper (June 2005), pg 2.
lv Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lvi George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 40.
lvii Ibid; The Washington Post, February 21, 1954, pg R24.
lviii Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lix George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 133.
lx George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,”
lxi Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxii George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 41.
lxiii George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 90.
lxiv George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 41; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxv George Bahto, The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 47
lxvi Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; The Washington Post, October 14, 1929, pg 16; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxvii Undated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxviii The Evening Capital, October 14, 1929, pg 5
lxix George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 52.
lxx Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxxi Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxxii George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 102.
lxxiii The Washington Post, August 4, 1929, pg M20.
lxxiv The Washington Post, February 21, 1954, pg R24; Undated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxxv George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 44.
lxxvi Ibid. Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxxvii Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads; May 22, 1930 Dated Score Card for Annapolis Roads.
lxxviii James G. Gibb, “Annapolis Roads Development, 1926-2003,” The Bay Breeze (Winter 2004) pg7..
lxxix George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 48.
lxxx Ibid.
lxxxi Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads.
lxxxii Ibid.
lxxxiii Ibid.
lxxxiv George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 48.
lxxxv George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 51.
lxxxvi Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads.
lxxxvii Ibid.
lxxxviii Ibid.
lxxxix George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,”
xc George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,”
xci George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 49.
xcii Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads.
xciii George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,”
xciv George Bahto, “The Evangelist of Golf,” pg 42.
xcv Ibid; Charles Banks Plan for Annapolis Roads.
xcvi Ibid.
xcvii Ibid.
xcviii The Washington Post, July 30, 1929, pg 15.
xcix Ibid.
c The Evening Capital, October 5, 1929, pg 5
ci The Evening Capital, October 14, 1929, pg 1
cii The Washington Post, October 14, 1929, pg 16; The Evening Capital, October 14, 1929, pg 5
ciii The Washington Post, December 19, 1929, pg 19

Annapolis Roads on Chesapeake Bay 1925–1934 - Part 2: The Architecture

So we continue with part two of the requiem... Most of these images have never been published and were the result of sleuthing over many years...

Annapolis Roads on Chesapeake Bay

1925 – 1934

The Architecture




Proposed Hotel – Front Elevation Rendering
(Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site)

The hotel, referred to in architectural plans as “The John Paul Jones,” was to be the main focus of the development and as early as 1923, the office of John Russell Pope had prepared designs for the hotel.i Perhaps best known for his work on public buildings such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, University Hall at Johns Hopkins University, and the University Baptist Church, Pope was very active as a residential architect, though Annapolis Roads was his only known residential development project. Daniel Higgins, who managed the business affairs of the firm, was the main contact for the project from Pope’s office.ii

The John Paul Jones was to be a four story Colonial Revival style hotel was to be in a U shape, with the opening of the “U” facing towards the waterfront. A small entrance lobby wing extending 63 feet with a Porte Cochere was planned for the front of the hotel opposite the commanding view. The ground floor was to have a matching 38 foot by 128 foot ballroom and dining room in each of the wings reaching towards the water, with an enclosed porch capping each of these ends. The interior of the “U” was lined with a covered walkway outside both the ballroom and dining room. At the base of the “U” was to be a 38 foot by 84 foot lounge. There would also be card rooms, shops and offices, as well as a 38 foot by 53 foot grill room planned for the ground floor near the entrance. An 82 foot by 41 foot kitchen wing was to be placed to the left side of the hotel when viewed from the entrance.iii

Gallagher felt it best to locate the hotel set back from the bluff overlooking the water on the site of what is now L’Altura.iv He thought that, “the importance of the hotel [she was] proposing [called] for an environment such as is provided by this natural wooded and picturesque water frontage.”v He also believed “that it would be wiser for [her] not to develop so much of this land in house lots but to include a fair measure of it in the general grounds of the hotel.vi Gallagher also suggested placing the hotel “as to look a little south of east and down the Chesapeake. In this way it would be possible to avoid a too direct view of the tall towers of the government wireless station which, while interesting, rather hurts than otherwise the natural scene.”vii


Development in Vicinity of Hotel
(Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmstead National Historic Site)

With Armstrong wishing to subsidize the construction of the hotel with the sale of cottage lots, she set about preparing for a real estate office to be built on the property and suggested two positions on the property. viii Apparently her real estate men objected to an early proposal to locate the office near the entrance gate and felt that the “steady stream of cars going to Bay Ridge” on Saturdays and Sundays would produce enough “dust and noise [to] make that site undesirable.”ix “As the purpose of the office [was] to serve as office and rest room for prospects, [they believed] it [would] be more advantageous to have it near the center of the property.”x Armstrong planned to begin construction of the building in mid-September 1926. The structure was to be a copy of the Old Treasury building on State Circle in Annapolis and the office of John Russell Pope prepared a front elevation drawing of the building.xi Gallagher suggested it be built “at the end of the main drive and where there should be a wide turnaround before the entrance of the hotel. This turning space [would] be useful…, especially with the office facing upon it, which [seemed to him] the natural position for it.”xii But despite her communicating active pending plans to Gallagher to build this office in the fall of 1926, it was never built, once again illustrating the severe under capitalization of the project.


Proposed Real Estate Office – Front Elevation Rendering
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)

The Beach clubhouse was apparently built under the supervision of the Munsey Trust Company and was built in 1928 on the site planned for the John Paul Jones Hotel.xiii It was a four-story white wooden building, with four levels of decks on the bay side of the structure but only one story at the landward side as it was built into the steep face of the embankment.xiv The clubhouse featured a dining room and grill, which were enjoyed year round.xv It also featured locker rooms and showers, which occupied two of the floors.xvi Shortly after midnight June 8th, 1953, it was consumed in a fire of undetermined origin, which started in the top floor housing an office and furniture.xvii


Beach Clubhouse facing West 1929
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)


Beach Clubhouse facing East 1929
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)


Tiled Esplanade of the Beach Clubhouse circa 1929
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)


Beach Clubhouse
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)



Beach Clubhouse
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)

The “tavern” (also know as the golf clubhouse) was a brick/stucco Colonial Revival building with a gambrel roof designed in 1927 by the office of John Russell Pope. The building was built sometime between November 1927 and May 1929. Though originally suggested to be located using lots 18 through 22 along Carrolton Road on the Golf Course side (now part of Section A), it was eventually sited on lots 11, 11A, 12 and 12A of Section C adjacent to Otter Lake. It stood until about 1970 when it was torn down.xviii


Design for Tavern – Front Elevation Rendering
(Courtesy of James G. Gibb)




Gate Walls and Gatehouse (gate shown in the up position)
(Courtesy of Bill Gibbs)

All plans for residences or other buildings were to be submitted to John Russell Pope or his office and this provision was placed in the contracts of all lot sales.xxii In most cases, individual owners bought cottage lots directly from The Annapolis Roads Company. The owner would then have a cottage designed and built once those plans were approved. In the Case of the cottage at 1205 Eden Lane, which was bought by Irwin S. Porter, a Washington architect, he most likely designed the cottage himself.xxiii Two lots were purchased from Home Improvement Company of Baltimore, which apparently had an arrangement to purchase the lots directly from The Annapolis Roads Company and re-sell them to individuals with a cottage. The re-sale occurred and the cottage was completed at a later date. These two lots were D6 purchased by Arthur C. Grafflin of Baltimore and D19 purchased by Clinton S Bradley of Pittsburgh.

Porter and Lockie served as local consulting architects with Bradbury and Mohler providing home construction.xxiv



Porter Summer Home (Built November 1928 – April 1929)
(Courtesy of Bill Gibbs)

i Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong February 26, 1926
ii Ibid.
iii Plan 7591-6, The John Paul Jones, Annapolis, MD, First Floor Plan Sheet 1; Scale 1/8"=1'.
iv Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong February 26, 1926
v Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong March 1, 1926
vi Ibid.
vii Ibid.
viii Rella Armstrong to Percival Gallagher August 29, 1926
ix Ibid.
x Ibid.
xi Ibid.
xii Percival Gallagher to Rella Armstrong September 9, 1926
xiii The Washington Post, June 9, 1953, pg 20.
xiv Ibid.
xv The Washington Post, March 24, 1929, pg S7; The Washington Post, June 9, 1929, pg M23.
xvi The Washington Post, June 9, 1953, pg 20.
xvii Ibid.
xviii James G. Gibb, “Designing Annapolis Roads, 1926-1934,” The Bay Breeze (Winter 2002), pg 3.
xix Agreement between Armstrong Company , the Munsey Trust Company and the Annapolis Roads Company April 1929.
xx Ibid.
xxi Agreement between Armstrong Company , the Munsey Trust Company and the Annapolis Roads Company April 1929.
xxii Agreement between Armstrong Company , the Munsey Trust Company and the Annapolis Roads Company April 1929.
xxiii Anne Arundel County Circuit Court (Land Records) FSR 43, pg 28.
xxiv The Washington Post, May 11, 1928, pg 4
xxv James G. Gibb, “Annapolis Roads Development, 1926-2003,” The Bay Breeze (Winter 2004) pp 6-7.
xxvi The Washington Post, March 24, 1929, pg S7
xxvii The Washington Post, April 14, 1929, pg M25
xxviii The Washington Post May 19, 1929, pg M21

xxix The Washington Post, August 14, 1932, pg R2