Alumni Hall of Fame
Garnet Douglass Baltimore
Class of 1881
Garnet Douglass Baltimore, a distinguished civil engineer and landscape designer, was the first African-American to earn a bachelors degree from Rensselaer. He was the grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier and slave who eventually escaped and settled in Troy.
Baltimore participated in the design and building of bridges, railroads, canals, and waterways around New York state, including supervising the extension of the notoriously difficult mud lock on the Oswego Canal. Designer of many cemeteries, Baltimore found his true calling as a landscape engineer.
He made his most notable and longstanding contribution to Troy in 1903 when he designed the once-private lands of Mount Ida into the popular Prospect Park, one of Troys greatest assets.
Baltimore was active in civic activities and alumni affairs at Rensselaer; he served as secretary of the alumni associations 50 Year Club until his death. In 1990 Rensselaer created the Garnet Baltimore Lecture Series in his honor.