Historic London Town & Gardens in Anne Arundel County is a long-established living history site tackling every day and extraordinary challenges head-on. The waterfront historic site is flush with gardens, trails, and wildlife; it hosts the County’s archaeology lab and large history museum, and a colonial village focused around the National Historic Landmark William Brown House. For their innovation and endurance, Preservation Maryland is pleased to recognized Historic London Town with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.

Facing difficult times during Covid-19, London Town was one of the first Maryland sites to re-opened in conjunction with county and state regulations as well as guidance from the Center for Disease Control. The grounds, including trails, sensory garden, and waterfront, and reconstructed colonial buildings are currently open and all museum staff are taking additional steps for safety.

Recently, the team led by Executive Director Rod Cofield and Deputy Director Lauren Silberman embarked on recreating the tavern bar in the Brown House following all state and federal guidelines. The “Build The Bar” campaign was covered by The Baltimore Sun and crowd-raised over $18,000, surpassing their $15,000 goal. Their spirited approach even caught the eye of Travel Channel’s Booze Traveler. While the William Brown House is closed, the museum is promoting the available virtual tour.

When the Colonial town is buzzing with visitors and interpreters, the museum shares the stories of an array of possible London Town residents and visitors, including the likely challenging experiences of people of color, LGBTQ people, women and children, and others. The team’s research is well-founded in both historical accuracy and the best practices of inclusive museums.

Next up, they’ll utilize a recently-awarded Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant to build a new education pavilion on the main site. Grading and landscaping have already been completed that also allows for additional permeable parking.

For their creative and can-do approach to creating a 21st-century open-air museum based in its 18th-century historic roots, Preservation Maryland is pleased to present Historic London Town & Gardens with a 2020 Best of Maryland Community Choice Award.