• Document: Alexandroffsky, The Crimea and Orianda Thomas Winans in Baltimore County
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Editor: ADAM J. YOUSSI VOL. 42 Winter 2010-2011 Number 3 Alexandroffsky, The Crimea and Orianda Thomas Winans in Baltimore County John McGrain Orianda house at the Crimea estate - now Baltimore City's Leakin Park. (Courtesy John McGrain.) The Historical Society of Baltimore County is funded in part by grants from the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences. PAGE 2 History Trails For decades, local books provided neither the of architect George A. Frederick reveal the property's correct construction date nor the architect of the great name when Frederick recalled that Niernsee and stone villa in Leakin Park commonly referred to as Neilson were architects of the large townhouse named Crimea, or Crimea Mansion - originally named Alexandroffsky, a home Winans' built prior to Orianda. Yet, those facts can be found in less than Orianda.3 one hour in the Maryland Historical Society's (MHS) Alexandroffsky was described as a "palatial manuscript collection. The exact day and month are residence" on July 5, 1855, when Winans and his wife, available in the property owner's account book which Celeste, threw a party for Russian dignitaries is indexed and has been available to the public since celebrating the Czarist victory over the British and 1968. While the dogged pursuit for the exact date of their allies in the Crimean War. The Daily Baltimore one of Baltimore County's former and innumerable Republican noted that Winans "brilliantly illuminated" Italianate villas may seem pedantic, the results add to the grounds and house for the affair.4 our knowledge of architectural evolution in the region, inform us whether a structure was built before or after another of similar style, and, in this case, provide insight into the Russian influence of some former Baltimore County - now Baltimore City - landmarks.1 Two small diaries at the MHS house an expense ledger and vast details of the Crimea estate. The diaries were commercially printed memorandum books, one for each year from 1851 to 1856. These tall, slim booklets house Thomas Winans' records for his household expenses, business travel, payments to material suppliers, and architectural services for two of his numerous notable homes. But before exploring Alexandroffsky's Backyard. (Courtesy Friends of Orianda House.) Orianda further, allow us to first briefly investigate Thomas Winans, what he did before developing Diaries survive from 1851 and 1852 that Alexandroffsky and Orianda, and from where his establish the construction date of Alexandroffsky. Russian influence derived. The first clue appears on January 3, 1851, when Winans "paid Freight from New York for the two Thomas deKay Winans (1820-1878) was the lions," statues intended as yard decorations. Its son of Baltimore engineer and railroad equipment Russian name, Alexandroffsky, appeared for the first manufacturer Ross Winans. Early in his career, time on April 26, 1851 in connection with stonework Thomas Winans traveled to Czarist Russia to plan and performed by Samuel Emery. On July 16, 1851, construct the Moscow-St. Petersburg railway, a Winans recorded "freight on Marble Statues and venture that paid handsomely. In 1847, Thomas Vases from N.Y." Later that month, Winans' diary Winans boasted he was building 134 locomotives and reports, "topping out the two north chimneys and 1,200 cars, and completing "a mile of cars a month!" building up between the arches of lookout." Roofing Describing the project in 1858, travel writer Bayard took place about September 10, 1851, the tin supplied Taylor claimed the route was “as straight as a by E. L. Parker & Company. Some of the craftsmen sunbeam.”2 paid were John Colly for woodwork, Fowble & Returning to Baltimore in 1850, Thomas Winans Forman for plastering, and John W. Maxwell for acquired a block square property formerly owned by stonework. On September 29, A. & W. Denmead was the

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