The Annapolis home of William Paca, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is in need of repairs, and Speaker Mike Busch (D-Annapolis) is asking the legislature for money to repair it.
Busch has submitted two bills in Maryland's House of Delegates for the William Paca House and Garden. One bill will give the board of Historic Annapolis, which maintains the building, $250,000. The other bill asks that the foundation not have to meet a state requirement of putting up matching funds.
"We can't let those buildings deteriorate," Busch said. "The state owns the building. Ultimately the board are just caretakers."
He said ideally the foundation would be able to raise some of the money on its own, but economic hardship has struck charities and non-profits just like anyone else. Busch said the state has an obligation to maintain the Paca House and other historic buildings in its trust.
"We've been supportive over the years in their goals and efforts for restoration," Busch said.
Historic Annapolis' President Robert Clark said the money would be used for things like new windows, fresh paint, new doors and to repave the brick courtyard.
"You have a 300-year-old building that is constantly in need of lots of things," Clark said.
Paca designed the most of the house himself and built it between 1963 and 1963. It sits at 186 Prince George St. in downtown Annapolis.
The home of Maryland's former governor functioned as a hotel called Carvel Hall until the mid-1960s when a developer wanted to demolish the house and put in a mixed-use development.
Historic Annapolis bought the building instead and restored the house and garden to its original condition. The home and its garden were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
Clark said without the money, the foundation could not make the repairs. He and Busch think the appropriations bill should pass.
"I’m hopeful," Clark said. "I can’t ever be confident."
You can view the appropriations bill, by clicking here.