Leakin Park had a name before it had a place. At his death in 1922 John Wilson Leakin left the city several downtown properties to be sold so land could he purchased for apark. The city deferred action because of existing leases, the Great Depression, and a controversy over whether the park should be a large natural area in the outer city or a smaller inner city park. Finally, Baltimore officials followed the advice of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and acquired the Thomas Winans' Crimea estate in the 1940s. Today Leakin and Gwynns Falls Parks constitute one of the largest natural woodlands in an east coast city.
This valley ... is considered by all who view it as one of the very best bits of scenery near Baltimore.
Olmsted Brothers, Report and Recommendations on Park Extension for Baltimore, 1926.
John Wilson Leakin, 1857-1922
Leakin Park offers opportunities for area children to learn in a natural setting.
The Crimea estate purchase included Thomas Winans' summer mansion (below), other buildings, open fields, and steeply sloped woodlands.