April 17, 2024
Annapolis, US 62 F

City of Annapolis Purchases Waterfront Property Adjacent to Carr’s Beach

Today, the City of Annapolis completed the purchase of Dr. Parlett Moore’s former residence, a significant step in the creation of the Elktonia-Carr’s Beach Heritage Park. This acquisition, alongside the 2022 purchase of adjacent Elktonia-Carr’s Beach Park, was funded by the City, Anne Arundel County, Chesapeake Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, and various other contributors, including the Blacks of the Chesapeake and private donors.

According to the City’s Public Information Officer, the City paid $1.6 million for the property; however, the property has a current assessment of $1,041,733. Assessments are the value assigned by the State for the property for tax purposes and may vary from appraisals.

The new heritage park will be managed by Annapolis’ Department of Recreation and Parks. It will also serve as the headquarters for Blacks of the Chesapeake, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the history of African Americans in the region’s maritime industries.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley highlighted the effort to preserve these properties, emphasizing their role in telling Annapolis’ fuller history. The property transfer was celebrated with officials and cultural representatives in attendance.

Vince Leggett, Executive Director of Blacks of the Chesapeake, remarked on the significance of preserving these historical sites, known as the ‘Black Coast’ of Chesapeake Bay. Plans include establishing a cultural heritage center to foster conservation and heritage preservation.

The 0.67-acre Moore property, significant to Annapolis’ Black history and culture, complements the 5.17-acre Elktonia-Carr’s Beach property. These sites were important recreation and cultural centers for Black families during the segregation era.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman noted the symbolic importance of this acquisition during Black History Month. The site, once hosting renowned musicians, reflects joyous moments from a segregated past.

The decline of these Black-owned businesses on the Western Shore came with desegregation, socioeconomic changes, and development pressures. The City plans to develop a master plan for these properties, incorporating public input and focusing on cultural history and coastal restoration. The new park, open to the public, will educate future generations about the Chesapeake’s Black history.

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