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Update on the William Brown House

Photo of the William Brown House by Bob Peterson. A framed copy of this photo will be available in our online auction this November!

Though 2020 has been an unprecedented year with many unexpected things coming our way, we are still moving ahead with the preservation work on the c.1760 William Brown House. As you may know, the Brown House is the only building still standing from the original colonial London Town. Today, it is a National Historical Landmark.

Because it has been a little while since you had a more thorough update, we thought it was a good time to let you know what has already occurred and what we think the next few months will bring us in regards to the preservation project.

I'm pleased to report that the recent tornado did not damage the building. It did, however, manage to blow open the heavy hatch in the attic! However, the tornado did impact our gardens. You can read more about that here.

Worcester-Eisenbrandt worker repainting a cellar level window on the William Brown House

We have fully finished the first phase of preservation work. This phase focused on sealing up the building to stop moisture from getting inside. Worcester Eisenbrandt worked for many months on this project. All of the windows were taken out and fully repaired before being replaced. Quite a bit of repointing was done to the bricks. And some additional support work in the attic was built. This was a critical need for the long-term preservation needs of the building.

The second phase will start later this year. We are currently receiving bids to work on the electrical and HVAC systems. The core components of both systems go back to the 1960s or 1970s. So, we feel that it is past time to ensure that these systems can last for the next few decades. The HVAC system in particular needs to be upgraded and made more energy efficient.

Example of issues with the riverside porch on the William Brown House. This will be repaired soon.

Once the HVAC and electrical systems are taken care of, we will then be able to finish repairs on the two porches that still need work. Thanks to your generous support of our "Repair the Porch" fundraising appeal this past December, there is enough money to completely repair the riverside porch. That porch receives the worst weather and thus deteriorates more quickly than the other porches. The porch off of the tavern room will also be repaired, and the stairs will be added back on to it.

We will also finish rebuilding the tavern's lost bar! The Coronavirus challenges this year delayed our timeline a bit for this project. But since we expect to get the HVAC and electrical systems project finished within the next few months, the bar will be built immediately thereafter. I cannot wait to host a drinks event with all of you there! Thank you to everyone who supported the "Build the Bar" challenge. 

Screenshot of the virtual tour of the William Brown House

Although the William Brown House is currently closed to the public, the public programs team created a phenomenal virtual tour for you to explore and enjoy. You'll learn a lot of extra information not usually found on a guided tour. And, you can be as leisurely as you want. Check it out here:

As always, there is never a dull moment here at London Town. This project is only one of many that is occurring now. Anne Arundel County finished the parking lot expansion this past spring. And we received word this summer that we received full funding for our new education pavilion. That project should also occur during this upcoming winter.

Once the work actually starts back up on the William Brown House we probably restart some regular social media and blog posts to take you behind the scenes. You can read previous posts here. Stay tuned!

And thank you so very much for your support!



Rod Cofield

Executive Director

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