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“These Men Were Prophets!” » Calvin C. Laney

Calvin C. Laney (1850- 1941) was native of Waterloo, Seneca County. He spent the early years of his career as a civil engineer, surveying and supervising contruction in the Railroad Industry. He settled in Rochester in the late 1880s and opened a surveyor’s office. Starting in 1888, he began a 40 year career spent in developing and managing Rochester’s Parks,eventually retiring as the Director of Parks in 1928. Together with his appointed assistant, John Dunbar, Laney was involved in every phase of the transition of Rochester’s Parks and Playgrounds from vacant lands, pastures and nursery grounds to world renowned recreational facilities that helped to define the city.

“In 1888 Mr. Laney was employed by the park commission to make topographical surveys of Rochester for all parks and boulevards, and in 1889, when the office of superintendent of parks was created, he was appointed on recommendation of Fred Law Olmsted, the celebrated landscape architect, …. A few years ago he was offered a position as superintendent of parks at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, on recommendation of Olmsted Brothers, sons of F. L. Olmsted and landscape architects of Boston. He did not accept, however, but has remained in Rochester and the beauty and attractiveness of the park system of this city is attributable in very large measure to his efforts”

From: History of Rochester and Monroe County, 1905, Peck, William F,

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