You are here


-A A +A
1764–1765, Joseph Horatio Anderson, John Rawlings, and William Buckland; c. 1769 wings. South end of Whitehall Rd., approximately 7 miles northeast of Annapolis
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Photograph by James Rosenthal, HABS)
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)
  • (HABS)

Built for Governor Horatio Sharpe, Whitehall is an outstanding example of Palladian architecture and one of America’s finest colonial houses. Its five-part-plan was inspired by Andrea Palladio’s design for a Roman Country House that appeared in Robert Morris’s Select Architecture, published in London in 1757. The exceptionally fine interiors, the quality of which had never been witnessed in Maryland before, are attributed to English immigrant craftsmen John Rawlings and William Buckland, who undertook the plasterwork and woodwork, respectively. In true Palladian form, Whitehall is a lofty single-story house elevated over a raised basement with distinctive river and carriage fronts. The former incorporates the first residential use of a full temple portico in America.

Whitehall began with the central block to accommodate a grand hall and flanking withdrawing rooms. The hall has a coved ceiling that rises twenty feet, and the entire room is ornamented with neoclassical and Rococo details, including window surrounds with lateral consoles, doorways with full entablatures, and festooned plasterwork. The flanking hyphened wings were not erected until 1769, when Whitehall converted from retreat to fulltime residence. The hyphens appear as closed arcaded passageways leading to pyramidal-roofed wings. Whitehall faces the Severn River, easily accessible via boat from the state capital in Annapolis.


Carson, Cary, and Carl R. Lounsbury. The Chesapeake House: Architectural Investigation by Colonial Williamsburg. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.

Heintzelman, Patricia. “Whitehall,” Anne Arundel County, Maryland. National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1974. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Lane, Mills. Architecture of the Old South: Maryland. New York: Abbeville Press, Publishers, 1991.

Scarlett, Charles, Jr. “Whitehall.” Maryland Historical Magazine, March 1951.

Ware, Donna. Anne Arundel’s Legacy; The Historic Properties of Anne Arundel County. Annapolis, MD: Office of Planning and Zoning, Anne Arundel County, 1990.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1764

  • 1769


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "WHITEHALL", [Annapolis, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 76-76.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.