updated 6/14/2006 1:00:21 PM ET 2006-06-14T17:00:21

The historic Maryland Inn, a fixture of Annapolis since the 18th century when George Washington was a customer, is likely getting a 21st century Starbucks Corp. coffee shop.

The Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow changes to the exterior of the inn, parts of which date to 1780.

“This is the last hoop for them to jump through,” said Jean Tullier, a spokeswoman for Remington Hotels, manager of the inn, after the commission approved an architect’s design to allow for wheelchair-lift access.

The proposed Starbucks is the final step in the renovation of the 44-room hotel on Church Circle.

The building, originally the King of France Tavern, was a haunt of American patriots and revolutionaries. Parts of it still have the original brick floor, stone walls and cooking fireplace.

According to local lore, Washington once lost a horse in a game of cards there.

In the 1970s, a jazz club occupied the site.

Tullier said Starbucks will work to preserve remnants of both histories, including 18th century architectural features and artifacts and recordings from the jazz club’s heyday.

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