Historic Annapolis Incorporated was founded in 1952. Forward looking preservationists, St. Clair Wright among them, wanted the city of Annapolis to adopt a provision for an historic district downtown as part of their first zoning code. This they did not want to do. So, in April 1952 more than 200 preservation-minded citizens gathered and formed Historic Annapolis Incorporated. Visionary preservationists believed that the 18th and 19th century city center could be adapted to modern businesses and lives and did not need to be replaced with new buildings. Because of the long period of economic downturn, the older homes and businesses were still there.
Historic Annapolis Incorporated was the first preservation organization founded with the goal of saving the entire city center, not just an historic building. This continued to be their focus throughout St. Clair Wright’s tenure. The streetscape was the important thing; Historic Annapolis Incorporated did not focus their attention only on the largest grandest buildings. Every building was worthwhile.
They did not have overnight success, but worked with extraordinary determination to convince the property owners and citizens of Annapolis that theirs was not an unattractive outmoded town but a place that could use its many historic resources to make a much more attractive city for its residents and attract visitors also.