Center will serve Tourists and Local Visitors Alike
Annapolis (September 28, 2006) - County Executive Janet S. Owens today opened the Historic London Town and Gardens Visitor Center in Edgewater. Situated on the grounds of Historic London Town and Gardens, the museum and visitor center will serve both tourists and residents of County.
During the ceremony, Ms. Owens thanked the State Department of Transportation for providing a significant amount of Federal transportation funding for the project. “This is an exciting day for the London Town Foundation and the citizens of this county who have waited a long time for this project to become a reality. This would not have been possible without the financial assistance from the State through Transportation Enhancement Funds and a Bond Bill,” said County Executive Owens.
An adaptive reuse of an abandoned wastewater treatment facility, construction on the building began during the summer of 2004. Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of the Visitor Center which will house exhibits and artifacts from the site. London Town dates back to 1683. By the 18th Century, this bustling port had become a center of commerce for the region, providing a key connection in the north-south transportation network.
The new 12,000 sq. ft. Visitor Center houses an orientation area for visitors, a museum store, an education classroom, the Anne Arundel County archaeology lab, a horticultural complex and an exhibit area featuring the history of London Town as a colonial seaport. The exhibits will be installed in 2007.
Funding sources for the facility, exhibits and furnishings include the following:
Funding for the building itself:
- Maryland Department of Transportation - $2.6 million of Transportation Enhancement Funds
- Anne Arundel County – $2 million
- State of Maryland – $750,000 Bond Bill.
Funding for equipping and furnishings:
- Anne Arundel County
- Maryland Heritage Area Authority
Funding for Exhibit Design:
- Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
The new center will enhance Historic London Town and Gardens as a heritage tourism destination in the region and serves as a key component of Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town, and South County. The site is also an officially designated site in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
Designed by Cho Benn Holback and Associates, Inc. of Baltimore, the project won the 2001 American Institute of Architects (AIA), Baltimore Chapter, Design Award for an un-built structure, and most recently the 2006 AIA Maryland Design Award and the 2006 AIA, Baltimore Chapter, Design Award for a built structure.
For further information, the public may call Historic London Town and Gardens at (410) 222-1919.