University of Rochester Library Bulletin: The Calvin C. Laney Garden Court

Volume XXII · Winter 1966/67 · Number 2
The Calvin C. Laney Garden Court

A $25,000 gift, in tribute to the City of Rochester's first superintendent of parks, has been received from Mrs. Charles Hoeing, widow of a former Dean of the University, according to Joseph C. Wilson, '31, general chairman of the $38 Million Campaign.

The gift will be used to construct a garden court in Rush Rhees Library as a memorial to Mrs. Hoeing's father, Calvin C. Laney.

Final plans for the Library's expansion provide for the court to be bounded on three sides by an exhibit area at the entrance to the Special Collections Department, the new Seward Room, student reading areas, and on the fourth side by the wall of the existing Library tower. Its location has been described as a "fitting link between the old and the new (library facilities)."

Mr. Laney was a civil engineer engaged by the City of Rochester in 1888 to prepare plans to convert the rolling fields south of the city and the rugged river bank to the north into park areas. Mr. Laney was fond of large trees and historians recall that he collected photographs of the largest and finest specimens of varieties found in the area.

In acknowledging the gift which will be credited to the campaign, President W. Allen Wallis said, "This gift will serve as a fitting memorial to the man who did much to beautify Rochester. The University is indeed grateful to Mrs. Hoeing."

Mrs. Hoeing has been a generous donor to the Library over a long period of years. Her husband, Dean Charles Hoeing, came to the University in 1898 as an instructor of Latin, and for thirty-five years was a leading figure on the campus-as Trevor Professor of Latin, Dean of the College for Men (1914-1929) and Dean of Graduate Studies (1929-1933). Following his death in 1938, Mrs. Hoeing established a fund for the purchase of rare books in his memory, and she has contributed generously to this fund in the intervening years. The Library, as a result, has a fine collection of Restoration and eighteenthcentury English literature.

In 1955, Mrs. Hoeing gave the Library the Henry James collection which she had gathered, and which now forms an important part of the Library's rare book collection. A virtually complete set of first editions, numerous association copies, a number of autograph letters, books about James—it is a fine example of the work of a discriminating collector.

John R. Russell, Director of Libraries, commented, "Mrs. Hoeing has been a devoted and generous patroness of the University. The garden court will be enjoyed by students and faculty members for many generations to come." In the area adjoining the memorial to her father will be housed her memorial to her husband, and the Henry James collection, a reminder of her own literary tastes and her love of the University.