Neighborhood Spotlight: Admiral Heights
Admiral Heights is a water privileged community that is minutes from Downtown Annapolis. The first home was built in 1951 by Lexington Construction Corporation and today it is a community of about 625 homes.
The neighborhood was built on what used to be called the Dorsey farm. The first Dorsey arrived in Maryland sometime in the 1640’s. A latter day Dorsey bequeathed to St. John's College a 400-acre tobacco farm on the edge of the City of Annapolis and 10 houses within the Historic District. In 1937, Charles Steffey's real estate company, Reliable Homes, bought these properties from St. John's. In 1942, Steffey sold 80 acres of the farm to the Naval Academy Athletic Association for $80,000, the future site of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. World War II delayed work on the stadium until 1956, when graduates of the Academy raised $1.2 million from private assets. Construction was completed in 1958.
Charles Steffey decided to develop the remaining 320 acres and sent his son, Jack, to oversee the project. Jack named the area Admiral Heights, subdivided the nearly two miles of pristine waterfront and adjacent acreage and named the streets after U.S. Navy Admirals, except for a large plot he kept for himself, known as Steffan Point, off Williams Drive. The area was broken into lots 30 feet wide by 135 deep, a fraction over one-fifth of an acre. The minimum allowable purchase was two lots, and early buyers bought a package - land with the house.
In the beginning, there were five single-story designs that allowed for certain modifications. The basic house was 1,200 square feet. This included three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, a living room with fireplace, separate dining room, kitchen, full basement and carport.
The earliest lots cost $600 each and the houses cost $13,000, plus extra for modifications. Sales began in 1951, and the last few homes were built around 1971 or 1972. The first lot was sold to Bob Sears, who put up a small bungalow. The five acres of land belonging to the Admiral Heights Swim Club were donated by Jack Steffey.
Today, Admiral Heights has about 625 homes and is commonly called an “Established Community” in Annapolis. It boosts a canoe/kayak launch, 3 piers and a swim club and is within walking distance to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, shops and restaurants.