Bicentennial stamp design credits, other topics

  • The Dana project page shows the renovation and addition totally redoing the skin of the building: compare the Street View. The entrance is being moved from one end of the north façade to the center of the south facade, where it will occupy a full-height, south-facing, and very warm-looking glass addition (see the Planning Board minutes pdf).

    The project will include “a pedestrian bridge spanning the sunken lawn on the west side of Dana. Parking will also be added to support approximately 60 new spaces, and will connect to the Maynard parking lot” according to the project page. The Planning Board minutes also mention a green space in the interior of the block: that seems to be the corridor that passes beneath the bridge. The parking lot seems to occupy the Gilman site.
  • The rowing training facility project page shows that the facility should definitely read as an addition.
  • The first-day-of-issue ceremony program for the 1969 Dartmouth College Case stamp has some detailed information about the stamp’s design:

    The design of the stamp was selected from four sketches submitted by John R. Scotford, Jr., graphic designer for Dartmouth College and an alumnus. The drawing of Webster was done by P.J. Conkwright of Princeton in 1954 from a painting by John Pope (1821-1881) which now hangs in Parkhurst Hall in Hanover. The building in the background is Dartmouth Hall, built in 1784. During Webster’s undergraduate days and at the time the Dartmouth College case was being argued before the Supreme Court, Dartmouth Hall housed the whole College – dormitory, classrooms, library, and chapel.

    The stamp was engraved by Edward P. Archer, who did the vignette, and Kenneth C. Wiram, who did the lettering. Both are on the staff of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.

    The type styles used are Craw Modern for the words “Daniel Webster” and “6¢ U. S. Postage,” and Torino Italic for the words “The Dartmouth College Case.”

  • A Dartmouth News article announces that Studio Nexus of WRJ, designers of the Co-Op Food Store expansion, won an award for their design of the DALI Lab in the basement of Sudikoff. The lab will be moving to the new Thayer/CS building in a few years.
  • The college is renovating the Blunt Alumni Center for academic use, with design by Studio Nexus and construction by North Branch. The brick house that forms the front of Blunt was built ca. 1810 for Professor Zephania Swift Moore ’93 and was owned by Medical School professor Dr. Dixi Crosby DMS ’24 and his family for decades beginning around 1838. The college bought the house and in 1896 had Lamb & Rich remodel it and add a large frame dormitory ell at the rear. The entrance portico with its giant-scale columns is a typical Rich device. The dormitory addition was replaced by the current Modernist brick office addition (1980, Benjamin Thompson Associates). The current project will create a new entrance on the north side of Blunt, giving easier access to Silsby Hall across Tuck Mall:

  • The Valley News has an article about the new programming initiative of the Hanover Historical Society. A presentation on the history of the golf course was on tap.
  • The Valley News also has an article about the plans of the Friends of Hanover Crew to demolish their 1770s farmhouse on Lyme Road, seen here in Google Street View:

  • This is unfortunate and disappointing. On the one hand, the group was saddled with this house when it acquired the property near the river. On the other hand, it is hard not to ask whether the group has taken on some obligation to the history and preservation of this place. If the house cannot become a headquarters or clubhouse for the high school rowing club, could it be renovated and rented out as an income generator? Would someone be willing to move it? Would the college be able to rescue it and move it a few hundred yards down the road to the Organic Farm?

  • The Smith & Vansant site features some recent renovation projects, including Triangle House and a number of historic buildings used as faculty housing.
  • The Hood has a video about the ongoing construction work and an article about the brick used on the addition’s exterior.
  • DHMC opened the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care at the end of last year (Here in Hanover, DHMC, Health Facilities Management). Architects E4H — Environments for Health have photos.

Details on the new road to the Thayer & CS building

The BBB West End Master Plan (super image from BBB site; see also the Campus Services project page, written by BBB) turns out to be more than a schematic design. The meandering suburban business-park road is going to be built:

Another change will be the removal of Engineering Drive, which runs from West Wheelock Street to the Cummings lot. A new roadway, called West Access Road, will be constructed to provide access to the parking garage and Thayer loading facility as well as limited access to the West End Circle. A now-closed portion of Old Tuck Drive, which originates just above the swim docks and the Ledyard parking lot, will be reopened and will connect the roadway to Tuck Mall, pending town approval.11. Susan J. Boutwell, “Integrating Engineering, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship,” Dartmouth News (28 March 2018).

The project page for the Thayer/CS building provides more detail: “Engineering Drive will close, and a new access road will be constructed specifically to provide access to the parking garage and Thayer loading docks. Old Tuck Drive will be restored and reopened to support one-way traffic heading from west to east.”

Maybe the site conditions (steep slopes, existing buildings) require the endearingly-named West Access Road to look the way it does. After all, Tuck Drive22. Please, let’s stop calling it Old Tuck Drive. The word “Old” seems to have been added to the name of Tuck Drive to distinguish the short branch of the road that was eliminated by Fahey-McLane. That was a dozen years ago. There is no need to keep using the word. is a curving, naturalistic auto road. Yet one hopes that the new road will respect urban principles by reinforcing campus spaces.

One also hopes that the West Access Road will be reconnected to Tuck Mall once construction of the building is completed: that would seem to be the reason for the two-level pedestrian bridge that will join the building to the McLean ESC.

From the Dartmouth News article: “Construction is expected to start early next year on a three-level underground parking and loading facility, which will sit below the four-floor education portion of the building.” In the map that accompanies the article, the entrance to that subterranean lair underground garage appears just off the southwest corner of the new building. Last fall, the project page included a view of the building’s south facade from which is taken this detail showing the intriguing, grottolike entrance:

Notes   [ + ]

1. 1. Susan J. Boutwell, “Integrating Engineering, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship,” Dartmouth News (28 March 2018).
2. 2. Please, let’s stop calling it Old Tuck Drive. The word “Old” seems to have been added to the name of Tuck Drive to distinguish the short branch of the road that was eliminated by Fahey-McLane. That was a dozen years ago. There is no need to keep using the word.

Gigantic College Park dorm dropped; large dorm planned somewhere

The college has dropped the idea of building a gigantic 750-bed dormitory complex in College Park (Valley News).

In its place, and not necessarily anywhere other than inside College Park, the college is planning to build a very large 350-bed dormitory complex, larger than the East Wheelock Cluster (Dartmouth News).

Trustees approved exploratory work on concepts and designs for a new 350-bed residential complex that will allow existing residential stock to be taken offline for renovation and renewal. Exploration of locations for the new residential space is included in the conceptual work.

Sasaki is no doubt conducting the work.


Whether to build on the Golf Course

The college is looking at a “public-private partnership” — really just a private-private partnership, a form of outsourcing — to build a new biomass heating plant somewhere other than in downtown Hanover (Valley News). The college has also created a committee to study the future of the golf course (Valley News, Dartmouth News). The two efforts are directly related, as pages 12 and 14 of the 2002 college master plan (pdf) predicted:

  • “[T]he Golf Course is our land bank for beyond ten years[.]”

  • “[E]xpansion will likely be North of Dewey Field, into the Golf Course.”

  • “Golf course expansion has been contemplated for decades, and in the decades ahead will likely become a reality.”


New visual identity guidelines, Dartmouth Ruzicka typeface

The college has revealed its new branding strategy (pdf), devised by Original Champions of Design (see news from the Office of Communications, Dartmouth News, The Dartmouth, and Brand New).

The strategy is the largest part of a new identity push that is described in “Telling Our Story” (pdf).

The new identity replaces the mild revamp described in the 2014 brand style guide (pdf). A September 2016 tweet by OCD at Rauner gave a hint that something was up and shows the depth of the firm’s interest in history. (And it’s possible that the image of the commemorative tile on page 50 came from this post; see also this 2013 post encouraging the mining of college history.)

From Dartmouth News:

The new graphic elements include four key items: a Dartmouth wordmark, which is the typographic treatment of the Dartmouth name; a custom-made typeface; a redesigned “lone pine”; and an icon that combines the lone pine with the letter D. Additionally, there is a new palette of colors to complement the traditional Dartmouth Green color, as well as new icons for use in social media, all of which will better communicate the Dartmouth identity, says Anderson.

The typeface is by Jesse Ragan (creator of RudolphRuzicka.com) and is based on the type that Ruzicka designed for use on the Bicentennial plaque, in the Zahm Garden outside Paddock Music Library), and the later Dartmouth Medal. (It is not to be confused with Dartmouth’s other 1969 typeface, the one that was designed by Will Carter and Paul Hayden Duensing and was revived recently for the Inn’s own rebranding.)

Like the typeface, the “D-Pine” mark is a nostalgic call to the early 1970s. It has a pleasing retro-kitsch character and makes one think of orange down vests, canned beer, and what are now called trucker hats. It would make an excellent athletics mark.

The use of the Versailles-like map of the paths on the Green as one of the four suggested patterns picks up an idea from the Year of the Arts (style guide).

And now we have an explanation of the origin of the seal-like House emblems (post, post): “The firm [OCD] also worked with the house communities last year to design a set of [insignia] with a unified design language, which debuted last fall, Anderson said.”

—–

[Update 02.18.2018:]

It’s true that the D-Pine, as fine as it might be, does not make an adequate replacement for Dartmouth’s midcentury shield. Perhaps the chart should look something like this?


Adopting a new coat of arms as a part of the 250th anniversary

This is an edited version of a post of seven years ago.


Jonathan Good wrote a proposal for a heraldic coat of arms for Dartmouth College in 1995. As the proposal explains, the new symbol would be an adjunct to the existing coat of arms rather than a replacement for it.

The celebration of Dartmouth’s 250th anniversary in 2019 would be a fine time to adopt the coat of arms. At the last big college celebration of this kind, the 1969 bicentennial, the school adopted the lone pine device that has since become widespread.

A couple of Scott Meacham’s own cut-and-paste efforts to render the proposed arms:

Proposed arms for Dartmouth as designed by Good and depicted by Meacham

Proposed arms for Dartmouth as designed by Good and depicted by Meacham


New images of Thayer/CS building

  • Rob Wolfe, “Other College Initiatives Under Examination,” Valley News (3 December 2017):

    Mills also said at the meeting that officials were looking into establishing a public-private partnership to build a new biomass power plant, “essentially funding (the plant) without using our capital.”
    Dartmouth’s 119-year-old power plant in the center of town currently burns No. 6 fuel oil, which is incompatible with college plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.
    Officials have said that a new biomass plant would not fit in the footprint of the current fuel oil plant off East Wheelock Street, but where that facility would go — assuming it’s ever commissioned — is still up in the air.

  • From the same article:

    Public-private partnerships also may allow the school to build new graduate student housing, Mills said at the meeting. Graduate students living in college-owned apartments off North Park Street recently were displaced by an unusually large undergraduate first-year class, he noted, and this could help alleviate an existing space crunch.

  • Excellent photos and a thorough article on the new Ravine Lodge: Jim Collins, “Welcome to the Woods,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (January-February 2018).

  • A Valley News article on the College Park/Shattuck petition.

  • A college news release of November 5, 2017:

    The board heard an update from KPMB Architects, designers of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society building. The College intends for the building to be a hub of collaboration for students and faculty as Dartmouth works to produce the next generation of human-centered energy experts. Board members approved funding $6.5 million to complete the design phase, with a specific focus on modifications to the building’s exterior. The funding comes from gifts and capital renewal reserves.
    Other capital projects were discussed, including ongoing renovations to Dana Hall and the Hood Museum of Art, site investigation work for additional undergraduate student housing, and preliminary design proposals for an enhanced rowing training facility.

  • New images of the Thayer School/Computer Science Building are out. These add detail to the images already released. It is hard to tell without a plan, but the Busytown sectional view seems to be looking west through a north-south slice?

  • The Valley News reports on a big new downtown addition to the rear of the Bridgman Building, designed by UK Architects.

  • A conceptual site plan of Kendal’s suburban 40-apartment expansion on the Rivercrest property.


A petition to save College Park and Shattuck Observatory

The Friends of College Park and Shattuck Observatory have a petition you can sign to register your opposition to the removal of the observatory and the construction of a dormitory complex in the park. There is a fascinating history of the observatory as well.

But signs are not good. Back in September, the project page listed an upcoming milestone:

November: Review conceptual design results with Board of Trustees. If results are favorable, request Trustee approval to proceed with next phase of Schematic Design.

The Trustees do not seem to have publicly announced their reaction. But the results are obviously favorable, since now the project page says:

March 2018: Review conceptual design results with Board of Trustees. Subsequent project steps are TBD.

This plan must be pretty fantastic if it can convince otherwise rational people that it is worth pursuing. But not apparently so great that it can withstand public scrutiny.

One wishes the planners would at least say why they cannot build four or five well-sited new dorms in established clusters. Allowing that 750 beds are needed, why do they have to be all together? Are the economies of scale so great (or the school’s finances so poor) that the college cannot afford to separate the buildings? Or is it that the only proper building sites are reserved for other buildings whose planning the college does not yet want to acknowledge?

The dorms in College Park could very well end up looking like Sasaki’s Wolf Ridge Apartments at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C.:

That’s some perfectly adequate flat-roofed university housing, built on a ridge.


Sports Pav expanded; other news


Insignia for house communities emerging

The first examples of house insignia are being released. They follow the graphical guidelines set out by the college (pdf).

The “house community” on the Hitchcock Estate, known at the moment as West House, has offered its official symbol: an elm tree. The symbol is used in action a few times in a recent Westletter (pdf). The elm refers to but does not depict the wonderful elm in front of Butterfield Hall. (That tree might have been planted by professor/trustee Henry Fairbanks, who built his mansion where Russell Sage now stands in 1864.)

Next we have East Wheelock House, a cluster that was still known as “the New Dorms” during the mid-nineties. One of its constituent buildings, Morton Hall, was damaged in a fire about a year ago and has been gutted and remodeled by the college. Thus the East Wheelock emblem is a phoenix. No relation is intended to the Phoenix Senior Society, a 35-year old Dartmouth women’s society. (The Phoenix Senior Society was also evidently the name given by the Sphinx when a photo of its building was published in 1907.)

An article in The Dartmouth notes that an emblem for each house has been commissioned from the same professional designer. These designs look like seals, especially with the wording around the border (and perhaps in the future the phrase “West House,” whose repetition makes the design look like a coin, can be replaced with the house motto). Most importantly, the designs — so far, anyway — are authentically connected to the houses they represent.


College Park meetings and tours

The Dartmouth reports on a letter from the Department of Physics and Astronomy urging the preservation of Shattuck Observatory.

The fact that Dartmouth’s astronomers feel the need to ask the college not to destroy its own observatory is pretty remarkable. The college’s response, that there is “no definitive plan” regarding Shattuck, suggests that removal is on the table.

And it’s important to oppose not only the destruction but also the moving of the 163-year old building. Opposing demolition alone gives the college an out, allowing it to claim to have “saved” the observatory by moving it to some other site.

Jack F. Mourouzis reports on a Sasaki dorm outreach or focus group meeting (“The Death of College Park?“, The Dartmouth Review):

The image on the Campus Services website is identical to a slide in architects’ PowerPoint presentation, save for one detail that is not present on the website: the upper half of the diagram — the grey space of College Park not covered by the circle labeled “Study Area” — is encircled, and labeled “Build.” I asked for clarification, and the explanation was unclear. From my best understanding, the northern area — where Dragon now stands — would be the area where dormitories themselves would be developed, and the area along the ridge behind Wilder would be made into “study areas.”

The “study area” label is probably just a reference to the current Sasaki study, but it is good to hear that the construction will be proposed for College Street north of Burke. If it does not harm the “study area,” then this dorm idea is not quite as absurd as it first seemed. But it is still short-sighted. The land north of Burke should be reserved for the physical sciences, for extensions of the Wilder-Steele-Fairchild-Burke complex. Dragon, of course, was only built in this remote location to get it out of the way of the construction of Berry.

And the underlying craziness of trying to cluster all 750 beds together is still there. This project would be a lot less awful-sounding if it were broken into five chunks and scattered around campus at appropriate sites.

The Dartmouth also had an article about an outreach meeting and site tour.

The October 30 construction update for the College Park dorm concept plan states:

An informational session for College Park neighbors will be held at 4 pm on Wednesday, November 15, on the west side of the Observatory. The group will spend 30 minutes walking the study area at College Park, followed by an informational session at Wilder Hall, room 115. In the case of inclement weather, the walking tour will be cancelled and the informational session will be held at 4:45 pm in Wilder 115.


The new Ravine Lodge

David Kotz posts on the new lodge and has a link to his photo gallery.

Wow. The use of irregular tree trunks — not hewn timbers, but actual peeled trunks — is audacious. The builders were able to incorporate windows and logs (split and used as paneling) from the old lodge. While campus science buildings and Modernist art galleries are a dime a dozen, the new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is one of the most remarkable buildings Dartmouth has ever built.


An addition to the Rowing Boathouse

The 2012 Milone & MacBroom riverfront master plan suggested sites for additional rowing facilities, and for a while the Web page for the Ledyard Canoe Clubhouse replacement has stated that construction on that project “will be coordinated with renovation to the Rowing project.” About a year ago, the Beyer Blinder Belle “Green to Blue” framework plan (a larger image) depicted an intriguing ell coming off the bashful landward facade of the rowing boathouse. It turns out that the college is renovating the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse and building a training room addition to a design by ARC Architects of Cambridge, Ma.

This is the site of the addition:



The addition will feature a set of rowing tanks to replace those in Alumni Gym. In plan, the tanks are reminiscent of a Mississippi River “steamboat” casino, only nominally in the water. And one wonders whether there is any way to harness the energy from the erg machines.

———

Update 12.07.2017: Link to ARC Architects of Seattle replaced with link to ARC Architects of Cambridge.


A tree tour of campus

  • Dartmouth News writes on the Gilman demolition and Dana renovation.

    Dana entrance

    Dana Library entrance

  • The bench at Lebanon and Crosby is a puzzling object; it was being examined by two people when the Bing StreetSide View car drove by.

  • The Valley News:

    Trustees also reviewed designs for a building to house the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, a new interdisciplinary initiative launched with an $80 million gift from the family behind Irving Oil.

    Lawrence declined to share the designs publicly, saying they were “highly preliminary.”

    Administrators in regulatory filings earlier this year discussed building a $73 million structure at the end of Tuck Mall, on the west end of campus.1 Rob Wolfe, “Dartmouth Readies Fundraising Push,” Valley News (19 September 2017).

  • Dartmouth News has a neat film on the Campus Arborist with footage taken by a drone flying up into the canopies of some of the grand trees on campus. There is a link to an interactive map of notable campus trees.

  • The monthly Enterprise magazine, a Valley News publication, has articles on the Trumbull-Nelson centennial and the Hanover Improvement Society.

  • One thing that a reader might want to learn after reading Alan Burdick’s interesting New Yorker article on watermelon snow is how watermelon snow actually tastes. It tastes like watermelon.

  • The county court has upheld the town’s rejection of the college’s proposal for an indoor practice facility or fieldhouse in the Sunken Garden (Valley News).

  • The new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is opening October 14.

——————

Notes   [ + ]

1. Rob Wolfe, “Dartmouth Readies Fundraising Push,” Valley News (19 September 2017).

More on the threats to College Park and Shattuck Observatory

One hopes that the conceptual design for a housing complex in College Park does not live up to the darkest predictions. And yet one must assume that the plan will not be released until it has been blessed by the Trustees.

The key justification seems to be that College Park is the only site left on campus that can fit 750 beds. Well, the Green is the only site left on campus that can fit 1,000 beds — what difference does that make? The idea that all of the needed beds must go into a single complex — far larger than any complex ever built at the college — seems entirely arbitrary, a wholly-self imposed restriction.

  • Dartmouth News reported on September 17:

    Board members also received updates on a number of construction projects that are in the planning stages or under consideration, including the demolition of Gilman Hall, early designs for the Arthur L. Irving Institute building, the renovation of Murdough Hall, and the potential construction of new residence halls.

  • The College Park construction update for September 25 states:

    An engineering firm will begin the College Park land survey on September 25. This work will continue through late-October.

    Noise monitoring devices will be set up on October 2 in and around College Park, including 3 locations along North Park Street. The equipment will be removed in mid-October.

    Is the noise monitoring meant to establish a baseline level for comparison to later construction noise, especially the noise of blasting?

  • The Dartmouth News story on the concept plan states that “Land surveying and site analysis of the west end of the park will be done over the next six weeks by Sasaki Architects[.]” During the second half of the nineteenth century, classes in surveying were a part of the undergraduate engineering curriculum, and a survey of College Park was a typical and probably mandatory subject of a class project each year. Student surveying teams would pose for group photos in the Bema. This is probably the most-mapped plot of land in Hanover. (And recently, students in Art History 34 plotted out a half-scale footprint of a gothic church in the Bema.)

  • Marlene Heck has a letter opposing the project in the Valley News.

  • The Dartmouth has an article and an editorial about the project.

  • Here’s what the Town’s 2003 master plan said about College Park:

    Having shown great leadership in conserving the Mink Brook Nature Preserve, Dartmouth College should continue, where possible with the Town and others, to play a constructive role in the stewardship of special open areas. The College should preserve its special places such as the Green, the Bema, College Park, and Occom Pond.

  • For some reason Wikipedia has been attributing the design of Shattuck Observatory to nineteenth-century Boston architect Gridley J.F. Bryant, at least in the article about Bryant. That article also credited Bryant with the design of Dartmouth Hall, a misattribution that crept into the main Wikipedia article about Dartmouth as well as an article in the Keene Sentinel.


Reading between the lines on Shattuck’s fate

The September 19 letter from John Scherding to North Park Street neighbors1 The letter is posted with the Valley News story. Dartmouth is treading lightly now that the Town has succeeded in stopping the Indoor Practice Facility. states that “if we decide to move forward, the Bema, Bartlett Tower, and the special character of the park would be preserved.” The same phrase appears in the FAQ. What’s missing? Shattuck Observatory.

In an interview with the Valley News, Rick Mills said “When you triage the things up there, the things that rise to the absolute top are Bema and the Bartlett Tower.” There is no mention of the historic observatory, designed by Ammi Burnham Young and built in 1854.

In the September 20 Dartmouth News story by Susan Boutwell, the Bema and Bartlett Tower are described in some detail, but Shattuck Observatory is not mentioned at all. The College Park project page has no mention of existing architectural resources — only “the distinct topography, ecology, and landscape” of the site. The map is described as showing “our residential neighbors and the natural spaces to be preserved.” Of course the map also shows Shattuck Observatory, but perhaps it is not to be preserved.

One needn’t belong to the frozen-in-amber school to sense that Shattuck really should remain where it is. What if its telescopes are removed and it is surrounded by new dormitories? Fine — make Shattuck into the Professor’s House of this new House Community. Turn it into a secret society hall; put a couple of offices in there for grad students; but do not remove it.2 Green Templeton College at Oxford (Wikipedia), founded in the late 20th century, occupies a piece of land that includes an old observatory, the Radcliffe Observatory. The observatory is used as the college common room and serves as the architectural symbol of the college.

Shattuck Observatory, Meacham photo

Shattuck Observatory, Meacham photo

——————–

Notes   [ + ]

1. The letter is posted with the Valley News story. Dartmouth is treading lightly now that the Town has succeeded in stopping the Indoor Practice Facility.
2. Green Templeton College at Oxford (Wikipedia), founded in the late 20th century, occupies a piece of land that includes an old observatory, the Radcliffe Observatory. The observatory is used as the college common room and serves as the architectural symbol of the college.

Building a dormitory wall in College Park

The college has hired Sasaki Associates1 If this complex is built, the college should get another firm to handle the design. Sasaki’s Modernist college residential buildings look nice enough (see Regis College and the N.C. State project page and aerial) but they do not belong on this site. to come up with a conceptual design for a massive dormitory complex to be shoehorned between the Wilder Lab and Shattuck Observatory, on the edge of College Park (College Park Conceptual Design page, Dartmouth News article, Valley News article ).

The design brief calls for a capacity of 750 beds. That is more than twice the size of the East Wheelock Cluster (now East Wheelock House), including the later McCulloch Hall:

Andres Hall   84 beds
McCulloch Hall   78 beds
Morton Hall   84 beds
Zimmerman Hall   86 beds2 East Wheelock House site.
Total   336 beds

One of the goals of the conceptual design process is to “respect the ridge.” Keeping the buildings low, especially at the upper end of the site, will require the college to use all of the buildable land within the entire study area. This complex is likely to be a Byker Wall (Wikipedia, Google aerial).

(To truly respect the ridge, of course, the college would have to stack all of this dormitory space into a tower sited behind Richardson Hall. That idea was raised and dropped in the 1960s.3 As strange as a dormitory tower sounds in small-town New England, it was not too much for Bowdoin College (Google Street View).)

Terrace and College Park

College Park has been encroached upon for decades and is significantly smaller now than when it was created. The park could be a necessary building site some day, but the college is certainly not there yet. (And construction costs will be higher than average here because of the limits on access, the necessity of protecting trees and historic buildings, and the fact that the whole site is made up of ledges of bedrock: there will be a lot of dynamite required.)

This site was chosen because it is the only one that can hold all of the 750 beds the college believes to be necessary. The college could stand to think more creatively — there are plenty of sites around campus where new beds could be built. There is space for hundreds of beds behind Mass Row and in front of Davis Varsity House, both sites that have been reserved for residential use for years. There is a site behind Fahey/McLane. Closer to College Park, Andres could be extended to the west. Ripley and Smith could be extended to the west and east. Richardson Hall could stand to have a rear ell added, incorporating an arched gateway to the park.

While a small building or addition at the bottom end of the College Park site would be a fine idea, a double-East Wheelock Cluster simply is not appropriate here. One would love to see the campus-wide master planning4 Recently, Beyer Blinder Belle completed a master plan for the campus and were brought back to create a framework plan for the west end of Tuck Mall. Sasaki Associates were hired to plan out the House Communities system and were brought back to design two temporary social buildings as part of that system. Some unreleased plan presumably shows College Park as the last big unused site on campus. Could it be that the planners are now rejecting the Mass Row and Davis Varsity sites because those sites are already reserved for the various permanent, on-campus professors’ dwellings and social halls that the House Communities will need to be fully realized? That plan would be an interesting one to see. that led to the conclusion that a great wall of buildings on a cramped site of such sensitivity and meaning was the best move to make.

———————

Notes   [ + ]

1. If this complex is built, the college should get another firm to handle the design. Sasaki’s Modernist college residential buildings look nice enough (see Regis College and the N.C. State project page and aerial) but they do not belong on this site.
2. East Wheelock House site.
3. As strange as a dormitory tower sounds in small-town New England, it was not too much for Bowdoin College (Google Street View).
4. Recently, Beyer Blinder Belle completed a master plan for the campus and were brought back to create a framework plan for the west end of Tuck Mall. Sasaki Associates were hired to plan out the House Communities system and were brought back to design two temporary social buildings as part of that system. Some unreleased plan presumably shows College Park as the last big unused site on campus. Could it be that the planners are now rejecting the Mass Row and Davis Varsity sites because those sites are already reserved for the various permanent, on-campus professors’ dwellings and social halls that the House Communities will need to be fully realized? That plan would be an interesting one to see.