Destination For Black Community for Decades Will Become City Park
The Maryland Board of Public Works today approved more than $5.2 million to advance the state’s commitment to preserve the legacy of Carr’s Beach as a new Annapolis public park.
“I was proud to chair the Board of Public Works today as we made the decision to help fund the preservation and restoration of an area that greatly contributed to the rich cultural fabric of Annapolis and the State of Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “My mother and many African Americans visited Carr’s Beach between the 1940s and 1960s to enjoy concerts and recreation, and I am pleased that we will be providing new opportunities for future generations to make lasting memories.”
The land has been identified as part of the property once owned by the Carr Family and is close to Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, popular resorts on the Chesapeake Bay that served the Black community at a time when they were prohibited from using other beaches. Known as “the Beach,” Carr’s Beach hosted many prominent Black performing artists during the 1940s through the 1960s, with acts including Chuck Berry, The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, The Shirelles, Little Richard, and Billie Holiday.
The acquisition of the property will be funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources through Program Open Space (POS) funds and Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure funds. The state contribution will fund the majority of the land acquisition, with $3.67 million in grant funding from POS Stateside, which will supplement POS Local funds from the City of Annapolis and Anne Anne Arundel County.
Governor Hogan also committed $1.2 million in Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure funding to the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation for the acquisition.
The City of Annapolis enlisted The Conservation Fund (TCF) Maryland to purchase the property on its behalf. Subject to Board of Public Works approval, the POS Stateside program will hold an easement on the property that would conserve ecological attributes and limit the property to passive recreational use, which includes trails, picnic areas and pavilions, and additional amenities.
The 5.17-acre property approved is mostly wooded and contains more than 300 feet of sandy beach area with direct waterfront access on the Chesapeake Bay – providing opportunities for walking paths and public water access.