After a successful launch on Maryland Day, Architrex makes its debut on Annapolis Tours℠ by Watermark®’s public tour schedule in June! When the Maryland Day tour ended with an enthusiastic round of applause from guests, it was clear the new architecture tour should be made available to the public on a regular basis. Celebrate and learn about the city’s most notable and celebrated examples of 17th and 18th Century architecture with “ArchiTrex,” a new tour by Annapolis Tours by Watermark and Historic Annapolis. The tour was developed in partnership with Watermark, Historic Annapolis, Craig Martin of Spire Architecture and Leslie Xavier. Watermark will offer the 2-hour walking tour to the public on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, June through September.
The historic district of Annapolis is a museum without walls, a treasure trove of architecture and preservation. On ArchiTrex, learn about some of the most notable 17th and 18th Century architecture in Annapolis. Noted local architect Craig Martin of Spire Architecture and artist, student of architecture and Historic Annapolis staff member and architect, Leslie Xavier will lead the tours (individually on alternating dates). The tour’s content is authenticated by historians of Historic Annapolis. President of Watermark Debbie Gosselin says, “After receiving such positive feedback when we offered ArchiTrex on Maryland Day, we are thrilled to open this program to the public, adding an architecture tour to our mix of products. The City of Annapolis has a highly regarded collection of Colonial architecture. Partnering with Historic Annapolis and Spire Architecture to tell the story has been a privilege, and we’re proud to invite people to join in and learn. Design, art and architecture lovers will love this tour.”
Heather Skipper, Director of Land Operations at Watermark says, “The key to developing this tour included collaboration with professional architects and stewards of local history. Craig Martin’s passion and experience with local architecture – you see Spire Architecture signs hanging outside downtown properties as we speak – offers a close connection and familiarity with the buildings and stories behind them. Leslie Xavier’s knowledge of classical architecture and art and Roman engineering and archaeology give a historical vision of the influences of Europe and classical Greece and Rome in the architectural history of Annapolis.”
Lisa Robbins, Vice President of Education and Interpretations at Historic Annapolis says, “For years visitors have been inquiring about information related to the incredible architecture of Annapolis. The partnership between Historic Annapolis and Watermark allows visitors to literally walk through history on the streets of Annapolis. Leslie and Craig have extensive knowledge and interject humor and interesting stories into each of their tours. We are looking forward to the launch of this new tour!”
Featured stops on the tour are:
- Shiplap House
- James Brice House
- Patrick Creagh House
- Hammond Harwood House
- Chase Lloyd House
- Maryland State House
The tour is offered on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, June through September (first tour: June 11, 2016) at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Tickets are $22/Adults, $14/Children 3-11, Free for 2 & Under. The tour departs from the City Dock Information Booth at 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. Advanced tickets and more information are available at AnnapolisTours.com.
But what about the guides?
Craig Martin is a Licensed Architect in the State of Maryland and one of two partners of SPIRE Architecture, designing residential and light commercial projects in the Annapolis/Baltimore/DC region. SPIRE works closely with local craftsmen and contractors to offer full service design and construction integration and recently had one of their home projects awarded the First-Place Gold Medal for the 2014 Maryland Custom Home of the Year (3500-5000 sq.ft.). Notable works locally are the completion of the new Annapolis Smokehouse and Tavern, which opened in December 2012, as well as 5 local “Home of the Week” projects in the Annapolis region.
Craig received his training in Construction and Architecture at Virginia Tech in Building Construction and Management, at the Anne Arundel Community College in the Architecture Program, and through completing the Masters of Architecture Degree with Thesis Honors at The Catholic University of America. He was awarded the ‘Henry Adams/AIA School Medal’ for placing first in his graduate school class. Craig taught Architecture and Mechanical Drawing at Arundel High School from 1996 – 1999 and continues to serve as an adjunct faculty member at Anne Arundel Community College teaching Design Studio classes.
Leslie Xavier’s passions for architecture, art and archaeology have driven her career. She has over 30 years of experience in the design, detailing, research and construction of structures ranging from residences to signature bridges. During her professional career, Leslie worked with local architects as well as international firms. As an artist, Leslie sees architecture as a living art form.
She brings a technical forensic eye to the discussion of the unique architectural fabric that defines Annapolis. Leslie’s volunteer work includes giving tours at the William Paca House, Charles Carroll House and Historic Annapolis Museum. Leslie also volunteers at Historic London Town’s archaeology lab.
While living in Naples, Italy, Leslie was president of the International Archaeological Society of Naples for three years. She studied architecture at the University of Maryland and art history at University of Maryland University College. She studied both art and architecture abroad with emphasis on Baroque architecture in Rome, Renaissance art in Florence and Flemish masters in Brussels, Gent and Antwerp. She holds a degree in Art History from the University of Maryland University College where she graduated with distinction Summa Cum Laude. Leslie also holds a diploma from Maestro Luigi Wanvestraut of VanArt Studios in Naples, Italy, where she studied the painting techniques of classical Italian masters.