Seven Surprising Facts about African American Landscape Architect David Williston


1.     He was the first professionally trained African American landscape architect in the United States.

David Williston

 Source: The Cultural Landscape Foundation

2.     He designed many campuses for historically black colleges, including Tuskegee University.


Tuskegee University
   Source: Wikimedia

3.     He was the second of thirteen children and was born in 1868 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Fayetteville, NC

Source: Fay Today     

4.     As a child, he used to grow flowers in his own garden plot.

Children gardening

 Youth garden / Source: U.S. Army

5.     He was the first African American to graduate from Cornell with a degree in agriculture in 1898.

Cornell University

Cornell University commencement / Source: Cornell University

 6.     He was lifelong friends with George Washington Carver.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver in the laboratory / Source: Wikipedia

 7.     He was described by Booker T. Washington as "a sticker, never a quitter."

 Booker T. Washington

"Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington / Source:

 Sources: The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Black Firsts by Jessie Carney Smith, African-American Architects edited by Dreck Spurlock Wilson









Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator