In south Baltimore, Latrobe Park still has traces of Olmsted design elements. Originally only 6 acres in size, this park was created to serve the working class neighborhoods on the Locust Point peninsula. Unlike much larger plans for Patterson and Clifton Parks also begun in 1904, what distinguishes Latrobe Park was the amount of active recreation that had to fit in a tight space.
In 1904, the Board of Park Commissioners retained the Olmsted Brothers firm to provide a plan that would accommodate a children’s play area, a men’s running track, and a small women’s fitness section. A broad promenade would overlook the park with trees and plantings while a grand stair with a fountain at its base would be the central entrance. In the middle of a wide lawn a grove of trees would provide a shaded haven for the public to sit and relax, or listen to band concerts. This design combined old sensibilities of parks as natural retreats with new ideas that parks could promote recreation.
Construction began in 1905 and much of the Olmsted design materialized. Over the years, the park has grown and added tennis courts and a baseball field. Today, a berm constructed for the I-395 Fort McHenry Tunnel obscures the view of the water, but the shipping cranes of the marine terminal are visible. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in Latrobe Park. Through great community effort, neighbors upgraded the playground and planted trees.