Though most of the bones are the same, Annapolis has certainly seen its share of changes.
Changes have been driven by both modernity and an effort to hold on to the past; by the expanding state government and the shrinking seafood industry that once dominated the city economy – and by the shift from a mostly working class population to today's commuter and consumer.
All of that can't be captured in a few photographs, it would take volumes. But here are a few that sketch out the changes.
Looming over the city is the Maryland State House. Dating to 1772, it is the oldest state house in constant use in the nation even if it was not completed until 1797.
The first state house was built on the highest hill in the new Colonial capital in 1695, but that burned in 1709. The replacement was far too small for a growing government and too worn to bother expanding, so the building that stands now was started just before the Revolution.
It has gone through many changes, though its wooden dome, altered and rebuilt during renovation in 1788, has been the most significant change.
Several renovations have altered the interior, most recently the restoration of the original Senate chamber to its condition on the day George Washington resigned his commission as general of the young nation's army: Dec. 23, 1783. The House chamber has been restored to its late 19th-century form.
Despite tweaks, new forms and plaster, the building is much the same.
Maryland's growing state government has driven massive changes to old neighborhoods around the State House. A former train depot and power plant have been supplanted by the massive halls of government.
Years after the new State House started churning with the people's business, the area around State Circle was far different than today's red brick edifices.
The 1878 G.M. Hopkins map shows a home belonging to Mrs. Pinckney and the Salem U.M. Church sitting where today's Lawyers Mall and Legislative Services building sit.
On both sides of Bladen Street, now widened as it approaches the city off Rowe Boulevard, several houses and other large properties belonging to Dr. Abram Claude, a physician and professor at St. John's College who served four terms as mayor, and George King stretched back to Calvert Street.
By 1913 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show the St. John's College side of Bladen Street had been developed for power and transportation needs. The Maryland Electric Railroad Co. tracks fed into the company yard where a depot, repair shop and freight storage shed stood. Next to that was the Annapolis Gas and Electric Company.
Today the Maryland House office building, an open parking lot and General Services, occupy that side of Bladen Street.
Where the Miller Senate Office Building and Maryland Treasury building loom, an armory, coal yard and historic African-American neighborhood known as the old 4th Ward sat in 1913.
On the other side of the city, the Spa Creek Bridge has morphed through at least three incarnations. A wooden bridge was approved by the legislature in 1870. The toll bridge that connected Eastport to the rest of the city ran from the foot of Compromise and Duke of Gloucester Street to 4th Street across the creek.
It cost a nickel for people, horses and mules. And three cents for sheep, hogs and calves, historian Jane McWilliams recorded in her "Annapolis, City on the Severn."
In 1907 that rickety structure was replaced by a steel bridge with a swing draw.
Auto traffic grew to 16,900 cars by 1946 and the current bridge was built, but connected to Eastport at 6th Street, disrupting several businesses that had developed by the old bridge terminus.
Just down the creek from the bridge, City Dock and Ego Alley have seen ways of life come and go.
In the 19th-century scores of oyster skiffs and skipjacks under sail would fill Spa Creek and the City Dock, attended by larger buy boats. A large seafood market building sat roughly where the Harbor Masters building is now. And oyster picking houses occupied several buildings lining the creek in Hell's Point.
Later bay-built motorized deadrise craft used for oystering, crabbing and anything else caught by those who "followed the water" for a living would pack into the channel, rafting four or more across.
Now it's pleasure craft that moors at the city owned dock. The ferry boats that used to pull in to the dock off Hell's Point were replaced by large tour boats.
Gazing up Main Street, whether looking at a 19th Century photo of a muddy, later cobble-stoned avenue or today's vista now spared of telephone pole and power line clutter, it looks much the same. Old buildings stand today, though the occupants have certainly changed.
What was once a street lined with businesses selling whatever a family needed has given way, largely, to T-shirt tourist stops and national chain stores that can afford the rents.
Most longest-surviving businesses today hang on because their owners own the building, though that is fading too.
New business aimed at a different consumer, the tourist or clubbing set, have changed the downtown scene. B and B's supplanted the long-gone Carvel Hall Hotel. Workboats gave way to recreational sailboat and stinkpotters.