Originally named Church Street, the five-block-long Main Street lies between Church and Memorial Circles and was part of the 1696 physical plan for Annapolis that was created by Governor Francis Nicholson. He based his city and street design on baroque urban planning principles that were popular in Europe during the 17th century.
Nicholson’s plan used the existing topography to accentuate the city’s two most important buildings – the Maryland State House, located on the highest point of land in downtown Annapolis, and St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, which is located on the second highest spot. Church Circle and Main Street offer views of the Chesapeake Bay. Memorial Circle offers an unobstructed view of St. Anne’s Church.
Brick-paved Main Street is home to 65 historic buildings, including the Maryland Inn at the corner of Main Street and Church Circle. The Inn houses the Treaty of Paris Restaurant. Tradition has it that several members of the Continental Congress, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, went to the restaurant after ratifying the treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War in 1784.