More on the viaduct

This extension of Hanover’s historic street grid will carry Cemetery Lane across the Dartmouth Cemetery.

Generally

It is hard to resist calling it a bridge “to Thayer School.” If a Thayer parking deck ever goes in, visitors to campus will park there, and so this really will be a bridge “to the college.” The Thayer end of the viaduct will be the gateway to the college:

One could even imagine a brick tower, or a towering gate, at that spot, serving as both an entranceway and a landmark:

Old Town bridge tower, Prague, Meacham photo

Old Town bridge tower, Charles Bridge, Prague

Grove Street Cemetery gate, New Haven, Meacham photo

Grove Street Cemetery gate, New Haven, Ct.

The Egyptian mode would be especially appropriate here, since the viaduct crosses a cemetery and Dartmouth has a sort of Egyptian thing going on (Sphinx, the Brace Commons pyramid, Amarna). The college motto would be a good thing to put above the gateway, because the visitor will be entering a wilderness of sorts, up in the trees.

Then this will be the new welcome for visitors after they come through the cemetery:

Not bad, but obviously a back entrance at the moment.

The footings

The footings will probably be minimalist, even spidery, to avoid landing in graves. (Incidentally, do they have a plan for what to do when they find unmarked graves?)

If the footings are bulked up and built of masonry, they could really announce themselves and interact with existing monuments (see this article on graves under the bridge at Montmartre in Paris for an idea). The bridge piers could even be rendered as obelisks and given plaques or inscriptions — as cenotaphs — although that would become hokey very quickly.

The structure

The deck should be wide enough for bicyclists and pedestrians to pass. There might be a need for rules about bikes.

The designers could do a nice elegant truss, not just a set of steel girders like Bartlett Hall’s rear stair (Street View).
Could the school get a set of beautiful green trusses from a historic rail or highway bridge that is being replaced somewhere in the Northeast? The trusses could be placed end-to-end and the decks hung off the sides; this could be a little museum of engineering.

Or the viaduct could refer to the ski jump, built by the Boston Bridge Company: see this simple profile drawing, in a Rauner Blog post on the ski jump.

This does not seem like the place to use a state-park style boardwalk bridge. The site seems to demand something permanent and monumental in form if not in scale. It would be better to err on the side of the depressing than the cheerful.


Some campus photos and notes

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, Google Street View

Steam Tunnel access under Green, Meacham photo

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, underside

The first stage of the steam tunnel’s construction, south of this grate, was a test meant to determine whether such a project would be economical in a ledge environment.

image

North bank of HBs at former entrance to Hop, view to west

Until recently, students entered the Hop at the end of the room. The entrance was closed off and a replacement of the same configuration built just to the north.

Hop interior at Minary entrance, Meacham photo

The new Hop entrance, view to northwest onto Zahm/Memorial Garden

(Have the memorial plaques attached to the Inn there been moved to Memorial Field? That would make sense. This is not their first location anyway.)

Triangle House, Meacham photo

Triangle House entrance (west) facade

Even more than the society houses on the south side of Webster Avenue, Triangle House has a well-used student entrance on one side, shown here, and a formal street entrance on the other.

LSC bike pavilion, Meacham photo

LSC bike pavilion

This elaborate bicycle shelter for the Life Sciences Center joins a couple other pavilions in the area.

Gilman plaque, Meacham photo

Plaque moved from Gilman to LSC

LSC name lettering, Meacham photo

The town changed the street address of the building to get it to match.


Every tub on its own bottom

  • A neat color view of Dartmouth Row, probably from the 1850s, appeared on Antiques Roadshow.

  • This quotation about Dartmouth is intriguing:

    Although on the surface it might sound heretical, the institution is looking to reduce future building as much as possible. Conscious of the escalating costs of higher education, the college’s senior administration has instituted a program that requires academic departments to pay rent, essentially to make them more conscious of space costs and usage efficiencies. “The greenest building is the one that is never built,” [Director of Campus Design & Construction John] Scherding says.1

    So will rents rise in the most desirable buildings as departments compete for space? Will a wealthy department be allowed to build itself a new building if it can afford it?

  • At one point, the Wilson Architects design for the new Thayer/CS building envisioned a structure of 150,000 sf and a parking garage holding 400 cars (a LinkedIn profile). The Dartmouth has an article on the proposed parking structure, which the college now seems to be emphasizing less.

  • Remember the North Campus Academic Center? Back in 2014, CFO Rick Mills explained that the project was on hold:

    “We’re actually taking this year — both capitalizing some of the expenses that were incurred [and] some implementation expenses that were utility relocation and other things. … We’re also writing down some of the planning expenses, because as originally conceived, it’s not moving forward in that capacity.” According to Mills, completely new plans for that site are “going through a completely new process of evaluation” that the Dean of Faculty is discussing with President Hanlon and the Board of Trustees. The plans will have to take into account “the external science funding environment for what we can expect from NIH and other places [and] that the Williamson Translational Research building is under way …”2

    There are plenty of good reasons not to build the large Kim-era design, but with Gilman and Kresge now boarded up and the medical library occupying temporary quarters in a former nursing school dormitory, it would seem that something needs to be built.

  • Here’s an interesting Bldgblog post on the ghost streets of Los Angeles.

  • The Valley News covers the installation of a plaque at Harvard honoring slaves there. Although the idea is not new (see U.Va.) and the wording might be a bit awkward (in an expectedly academic way — “worked here as enslaved persons”), it seems like a good idea. Where would such a plaque be appropriate at Dartmouth? Eleazar Wheelock’s house would be a good place, since Wheelock was the chief slaveowner in early Hanover. The writers would have to be careful about using the word “here” or the phrase “on this site,” since the house was in a different location when slaves worked there. And the house is no longer owned by the college anyway, so the new owner would have to favor the idea.

  • A Google Street View image of the rear of the Boss Tennis Center, as seen from the adjoining neighborhood:


    The fieldhouse proposed for the site next door (Bing aerial) is not popular with the neighbors (The Dartmouth). Here is the latest from the April 5 Planning Board meeting (pdf):

    Submission of Application for Site Plan Review by the Trustees of Dartmouth College to construct a 69,860 sf indoor practice facility on the “sunken garden” site, east of Boss Tennis Center, 4 Summer Court, Tax Map 34, Lot 102, in the “I” zoning district. The applicant has requested that consideration of this proposal be postponed until May 3. There is concern about the proposed conditions of approval regarding the adequacy of the town stormwater system to handle the proposed stormwater flows. More research about the drainage in that section of Hanover will be done.

  • From the same agenda item:

    In addition, the College has submitted another site plan review application for an expansion of the soccer pavilion at Burham Field. Both the indoor practice facility and the soccer pavilion projects rely on the eastern portion of Thompson Parking Lot for material laydown, construction trailers, contractor parking, porta-potties, etc., as well as Summer Street for the sole construction access for both sites. Abutters to the indoor practice facility project were contacted by the College to apprise them of the request for continuance.

    The original “sports pavilion,” designed by Freeman French Freeman, Inc., has an appealing scale; one wonders how it will be expanded. Let’s hope that 19th-century suburban metro station feeling isn’t erased from the building’s south facade. (And will Dartmouth’s most notable unnamed building finally be named in honor of someone or something?)

  • “Dartmouth Dining Services (DDS) is also involved in the MDF effort by establishing a C-store (mini convenience store) in each of the house centers. The C-store will be fashioned after those in Goldstein Hall and in East Wheelock. DDS is also rolling out a new senior apartment meal plan for undergraduate students who will live in campus apartments” (“Campus Services Supports Moving Dartmouth Forward,” Behind the Green (2 March 2016), 2 pdf).

  • A contest involving drawings of the Frost Sculpture in College Park.

  • A story in the Valley News reports that a developer is buying hundreds of acres near the Joseph Smith Memorial for an ideal city. The NewVistas Foundation website proposes “a settlement comprised of 50 diamond-shaped communities of 15,000 to 20,000 people each, which are located adjacent to each other.” The standard urban building form includes an underground “podway,” a bit like the Disney “utilidor,” and the shopping is to be done in podway-level malls, protected from the elements…

  • —————————-

    1. Russ Klettke, “The High Performance Trail,” American Builders Quarterly (2016).
    2. Rick Mills, interviewed by Charles C.W. Jang, “Dart Kapital,” The Dartmouth Review (1 June 2014) (brackets and ellipses original).

    “Venomous” liquors and school rules

    Georgia’s Governor recently explained his veto of a “campus carry” bill in part by quoting the University of Virginia:

    Perhaps the most enlightening evidence of the historical significance of prohibiting weapons on a college campus is found in the minutes of October 4, 1824, Board of Visitors of the newly created University of Virginia. Present for that meeting were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, along with four other members. In that meeting of the Board of Visitors, detailed rules were set forth for the operation of the University which would open several months later. Under the rules relating to the conduct of students, it provided that “No student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or venomous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind…”1

    The 1824 Visitors, of course, were referring to “vinous” liquors, i.e. wines. A “venomous” liquor is probably something that involves rattlesnakes and is distilled by Texans. The full paragraph of the Visitors’ minutes reads:

    No Student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or vinous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder, keep a servant, horse or dog, appear in school with a stick, or any weapon, nor, while in school, be covered without permission of the Professor, nor use tobacco by smoking or chewing, on pain of any of the minor punishments at the discretion of the Faculty, or of the board of Censors, approved by the Faculty.2

    In addition to banning the possession of arms, the rules also ban the firing of a gun or pistol within the precincts of the University. Those particular meeting minutes contain no prohibition against foot-ball or playing ball, by the way.

    Finally, the minor punishments are interesting:

    [T]he Minor punishments shall be Restraint within those Precincts, within their own chamber, or in diet; Reproof, by a Professor privately, or in presence of the school of the offender, or of all the schools, a seat of degradation in his school room of longer or shorter duration, Removal to a lower class, Dismission from the schoolroom for the day, imposition of a task, and insubordination to these sentences shall be deemed & punished as Contumacy.3

    ————-

    1. Governor Nathan Deal, veto statement for HB 859 (2016), viewed 4 May 2016, pdf.
    2. University of Virginia Board of Visitors, Meeting Minutes (4 October 1824), (viewed 4 May 2016). Other statements, such as a rule about “ardent spirits or wine mixed or unmixed,” confirm that the Visitors are talking about wine.
    3. U.Va. Meeting Minutes. “Diet” refers to dining.

    Cemetery viaduct to be built

    The Valley News reports that Hanover residents voted on Tuesday for the zoning amendment that the college had requested as part of a project related to Thayer School expansion.

    Residents also approved an amendment that would allow development near or in a cemetery in some circumstances. The official zoning amendment proposal form (pdf) supplies this detail:

    Providing direct pedestrian access from the parking structure and Thayer campus to the College’s administrative offices, Mass Row, 53 Commons and downtown is desirable to the Town and College. In order to accommodate an elevated pedestrian walkway, construction of footings [in the Dartmouth Cemetery] is anticipated.

    While the former parking deck idea is not a part of this zoning change, a parking structure certainly would be an important terminus for such a viaduct. The Planning Board minutes of 2 February 2016 (pdf), written back when the parking deck was a hot topic, say:

    A pathway is also proposed from a proposed parking facility to the Green, to enhance connectivity of the west campus to the main campus, and to provide easy off-highway access from the proposed parking facility to the Green.

    Aha. The viaduct that Larson proposed during the late 1920s, shown on his 1928 master plan, looks set to become a reality. (See also the Westway proposal here.)

    Detail of Larson 1928 master plan

    Detail of 1928 plan with viaduct lined in red

    The map associated with the zoning amendment gives a general idea of the route of the new work, with the viaduct shown as a dashed orange line through the cemetery:

    Planning Board map from April 2016 video

    Map from “Hanover Planning Board Changes April 2016” video at 9:37 mark

    The viaduct presumably will be an extension of Cemetery Lane, the road known until relatively recently as Sanborn Lane. (The map above also shows the realignment of the bottom of Engineering Drive at West Wheelock Street and the reconfiguration of the turnaround at the end of Tuck Mall.)




    Keats and Yeats are on your side; Street View image from Google.

    The cemetery gate, minus the unfortunately-located parking signage, would make a nice entrance to the viaduct. Here’s hoping the bridge is a work of the engineer’s art worthy of this historic place and its Classical monuments of carved stone. Wilson Architects, the firm that appears to be designing the Thayer building, designed a set of impressive campus pedestrian bridges at Vanderbilt University (a view of one, a view of another).

    This will not be the first bridge in the cemetery: during the early 1880s, the cemetery association spanned the northern ravine with a timber bridge. It shows up on this 1890 map and a photo was reproduced in Dartmouth Now. It became unsafe and was removed by the 1920s.

    ———-

    [Update 05.16.2016: Reference to Dartmouth Now added and historic bridge re-described as being of timber, not iron.]

    [Update 05.12.2016: Note about dashed orange line added.]


    The West End Framework Plan, etc.

    • Regarding the Hood, Hop Director Emeritus Lewis Crickard reprises Prince Charles’s National Gallery “carbuncle” comment in a letter to the Valley News.

    • The Moosilauke project includes the “[r]elocation of the preserved Manager’s Cabin, a log structure built by Ross McKenney” (FAQs).

    • The article in Dartmouth Now about the construction of new social buildings and professors’ residences mentions that the residences are being built off-site by Unity Homes. It looks like the school is using the Värm model.

    • There is a drive to name the lounge area of the Evans Basketball Suite in the Berry Sports Center after Coach Chris Wielgus.

    • The Valley News has an article about the indoor practice building/fieldhouse and the feelings of the neighbors. It is hard to identify the exterior cladding from the rendering — is it metal?

    • This makes one think of Chicken Farmer I Still Love You: a playground in Ferndale, Washington is going to have a miniature version of a local landmark bridge, complete with graffito.

    • The West End Framework Plan:

      Dartmouth recently received a gift to develop a Framework Plan for the West End of campus, including the Thayer and Computer Science building, a new Tuck building, landscape, parking, infrastructure and wayfinding. Led by Joanna Whitcomb, the Director of Campus Planning, this project will engage campus stakeholders and others in the planning and zoning process and in developing strategic capacity and growth options for the entire district. The Framework Plan should be complete by September, 2016.1

      For background, here’s the description of the master plan process from the website of the overall campus master plan:

      The plan will address both campus-wide systems (“themes”) and specific strategic planning areas (“neighborhoods”) that warrant more intensive study. The neighborhoods approach is a useful planning tool that enables the study of distinct challenges and opportunities in emerging precincts but is always kept within a holistic view of the campus as a whole.

      Master plan neighborhoods include:
      Core Campus
      North End
      West End
      Arts & Athletics2

    • There are salmon in the Connecticut River again (Field & Stream).

    • At least one surviving drawing shows students playing bat-and-ball games on the Green in the eighteenth century. In 1779, President John Wheelock issued “Regulations for the security of the College building from damage,” which stated:

      If any student shall play ball or use any other deversion that exposes the College or Hall windows within 3 rods of either he shall be fined two shillings for the first offence 4s for the 2d and so on at the discretion of the President or Tutors.3

      (Playing “ball” generally meant playing a bat-and-ball game, not playing football.) Informal baseball games continued over the years, and in 1862 students formed the Dartmouth Baseball Club. The club faced another college for the first time in 1866 when it met the Nicean Club of Amherst. The Baseball Team celebrated its 150th anniversary recently. TV station WCAX has a video (via BGA), and the Valley News has an article.

    ———————

    1. “West End Framework Plan,” Behind the Green (2 March 2016) pdf.
    2. “Master Plan Process,” Dartmouth Campus Master Plan, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~masterplan/about/planprocess.html (viewed 21 April 2016).
    3. Wheelock, “Regulations” (1779), in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 593.

    Computer Science Department to move to new Thayer School building


    Google Street View


    rendering of new Thayer School building from Behind the Green Newsletter 2 March 2016

    The new building is on the left. Image from Behind the Green newsletter.

    The Thayer School of Engineering is planning to expand its faculty, students, and program. They are working closely with our Planning, Design & Construction Office to design a building that will accommodate this growth. The project is being developed in partnership with the Computer Science department and will therefore accommodate the relocation of that department, promoting interaction and collaboration between Thayer and CS, and with Tuck as well. The proposed new building is located south of the Maclean Engineering Sciences Center on the west end of the Dartmouth campus.

    That from the Campus Services newsletter.1

    The building takes its cues from the successful MacLean ESC next door. It looks as if it will line up directly with the portico of Tuck Hall.

    The building also carries on the Thayer tradition of erecting additions rather than freestanding buildings. This is contrary to the two most recent master plans for this area. The road seems to be rerouted at least; will the connection to the River Cluster be eliminated completely?

    And who will take over Sudikoff once CS leaves?

    The newsletter also has a small rendering of the upcoming Indoor Practice Facility.

    ——————————

    1. “A Sampling of Capital Projects Underway,” Behind the Green (2 March 2016) pdf.

    Houses update, parking garage discussion

    Detail of House Center B rendering from OPDC video

    Detail of rendering of House Center B shown in OPDC video

    • Dartmouth Now has a post on “Founders’ Day,” the day when “students gathered at Baker-Berry Library to receive personalized letters indicating their membership in one of the six new house communities” (see also photos). Each House gets a different color: probably arbitrary, but not much more arbitrary than most of the House names.

    • The Valley News has an article by Tris Wykes on Thompson Arena’s 40 years.

    • The Thayer School construction project of the future sounds like an expansion rather than a new building, which would fit with the Thayer tradition. (See the Planning Board minutes 2 February 2016 pdf.)

    • There is lots of talk about the Thayer School parking structure proposed for the intersection of Thayer Drive and West Wheelock Street (Valley News).

    • “A pathway is also proposed from a proposed parking facility to the Green, to enhance connectivity of the west campus to the main campus, and to provide easy off-highway access from the proposed parking facility to the Green” (Planning Board minutes 2 February 2016 pdf).

    • “The College has no plans to undertake construction for the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, though administrators are exploring options for establishing a designated community space for graduate students” Dartmouth Now).

    • The college’s Flickr photostream has a picture of the temporary fence recently erected on North Main Street.

    • The Valley News ran a photo that it described this way:

      Garrett Hubert, of Newport, is the first to carry the torch during the 30-mile run, roller-ski and ski relay to Newport from Hanover on Friday. A relay team re-enacted the solo trip John McCrillis took in 1916 when he skied to Newport from Dartmouth College to attend the town’s first Winter Carnival. David McCrillis, left, is McCrillis’ grandson.


    Famous for Fine Food: New Lodge images

    In the “Giving” part of its website, the college has posted a new page for the replacement Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (thanks Rick). The page includes some new renderings, a site plan (showing Benton and McKenny cabins as slated for replacement), and most notably a video flythrough of the future Lodge.

    These illustrations are in addition to the watercolors released earlier.

    The building’s somewhat jumbled massing and the layering of its roofs of varied pitches give the impression of accretion over time. There are many traditional elements, including the post-and-beam construction of heavy logs, but the building is unmistakeably Modernist.

    Pulling back the basement wall on the downhill side, leaving just the stone piers, reduces the bulk of the building and adds to its elemental, primitive character. One wonders where all the stone will come from; this building will require a lot of stone.

    The side-gabled roof of the lower porch, with one of its planes draining back toward the face of the building, seems a bit odd. (This at :51 in the video.) Is this traditional? Is it because this roof must support the big vertical members above? The form of the roof almost implies that this colonnade started as a freestanding covered walkway.

    The heavy landscaping for the amphitheater might be a little precious. The outdoor pizza oven sounds like fun, but is not very characteristic of this place. Maybe it will become a part of a new Dartmouth tradition.

    Conceiving of the multistory interior chimney as a great stone tower is a good idea. But will it be weird to give this tower so much heft upstairs while it rests on relatively slim pillars downstairs? Will visitors who go “inside” the chimney downstairs feel like they are about to be crushed? The log beams in the ceiling could not possibly hold up the boulders above; will there be any convincing trabeation to create a roof? The bookshelves occupying an Inca ruin downstairs look great; this is more of a library than one would expect.


    Hood expansion images published

    Last week, writes Dartmouth Now, the board:

    approved a capital budget of $83 million to fund a number of projects, including strategic investment in shaping Geisel’s future, and renovations of the Hood Museum of Art and the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

    The Hood info is finally up at the TWBTA site. Ignore the thumbnail images and view the slideshow, which includes floor plans and larger images. The site plan indicates that the landscape design is by Hargreaves Associates. The expansion video at the Hood’s website give a glimpse of an interesting architectural model.

    The lobby image at the firm’s site not only shows the palette of the spare space (a cool vitreous? gray brick on the outer walls, granite or other stone floor, and white plane ceiling) but gives a glimpse into the old museum — the far wall is the partly-covered, partly-revealed exterior of Hood at its dramatic stair.

    The firm’s site describes this space:

    An atrium above the flexible lobby space connects the museum and Bernstein Center, creating an open, accessible space for the entire Dartmouth community. Active and filled with light, it can be used for installation art, performances, and digital programming while simultaneously providing a place for students to study and learn.

    This is the Google Street View of this future lobby space. It is a pity the super po-mo concrete window surrounds can’t be preserved, though.

    Two interesting little restoration projects could be part of this expansion. One is the south end of Wilson, where the connection is being severed. Similar infill is depicted in the east side of the Hop where the connections — the iconic gateway and bridge — are being removed. The images give little idea of whether the goal will be to match the existing historic fabric, or do a simple fix, or make the new work stand out from the old.


    The seven-year lounge

    The two temporary social buildings are moving ahead (Dartmouth Now, The Dartmouth).

    The building that will stand next to Davis Varsity House, House Center A, will be a one-story tensile or tensioned membrane structure built around an aluminum frame. The building will occupy a plot of 4,750 square feet. The Planning Board looked at the plans in December and its minutes contain mentions of a deck, a fire pit, and a tower (Planning Board minutes pdf). The Montshire Museum, incidentally, has a 2,400-square-foot tensile building called the Hughes Pavilion (see Eileen Herring, “Montshire Museum of Science — Not Just for Children,” New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors; sprung.com).

    House Center B will be a two-story, 6,920 square foot building behind Hitchcock (Planning Board minutes 11.03.2015 pdf). The ground level will include a snack bar (construction update pdf). The school has a video of the start of construction (not working any longer; it is linked from the OPDC Projects page).

    The article in The Dartmouth states that the school eventually will build permanent additions to the dorms:

    The structures are intended to be temporary so that the College can evaluate the type of spaces needed for student programming, Hogarty said. She noted that future renovations will be based on the information gathered.

    “Before we move forward with [renovation], we’d like to build temporary structures with enough flexibility so students can make the space their own,” Hogarty said. “We wanted to figure out what makes a great space for students before updating the residence halls themselves.”


    The Hood expansion: blank box with vitrine window

    Several articles provide new details on the Hood expansion:

    Construction will begin during late July 2017 and end during 2018. The museum will open early 2019 (Planning Board minutes 01.05.2016 pdf).

    Some points:

    1. The addition will share the roof line of the Hop, as seen in the main image accompanying the details article. It is not clear yet how likeable the box will be, but the dialogue with the Hop could be appealing.

    2. Where the Hop’s front comprises a glass wall delineated by a thin masonry frame, the museum will be a blank masonry wall pierced by a single smallish opening.

    3. It is interesting that a major goal of the expansion is a presence on the Green; that was a goal of the first Hood. And until it was found to be in the way of growth, the Hood’s signature entry arch was called “iconic.” Now the recently-revealed south facade of the building has been designated its “iconic” facade.

    4. The path of the former College Street will be emphasized and widened. That seems to require the completion of the south facade arch. The original can be seen in this Dartmouth Flickr photo. As noted earlier, this completion eradicates a small pomo witticism. A bit of awkwardness replaces the wit; the arch is just an arch now, and it lands too close to the existing vertical window. But, again, if there’s any firm whose stature could make this okay, it’s this firm.


    A Thayer garage on Wheelock Street?

    • Planning for the Sestercentennial is starting in earnest (Dartmouth Now).

    • Check out the West Wheelock massing study by UK Architects, part of the gateway district process.

    • The locker rooms in the Sports Pavilion, one of the only buildings on campus that is not named for anyone, are slated for enlargement (Valley News interview with Harry Sheehy).

    • The school has considered expanding Thompson Arena by excavating under the stands (Valley News interview with Harry Sheehy).

    • The Rauner Blog has a post on the centenary of the death of Richard N. Hall.

    • Don’t forget about the 1966 Webcam on the roof of the Inn.

    • The Dartmouth song “Son of a Gun for Beer” would seem to share a history with this song about the Hebron YMCA recorded on a wax cylinder and described as a Harvard song. “A Son of a Gun” with its current arrangement by Crane appeared in the 1898 Dartmouth songbook attributed to an anonymous author1 Historian Patricia Averill connects the song’s origin to the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”! That song originated in 1817 as “The Rambling Soldier” and was published in 1870 referencing a “son of a gambolier.”2 There is an 1891 reference to “A son of a gambolier, / A son of a gun for beer.”3 Georgia Tech’s “Rambling Wreck” version was printed in 1908.4

    • Thayer School is thinking of putting a parking garage on West Wheelock Street in place (presumably) of the college-owned apartment buildings there (Planning Board minutes 17 November 2015 pdf). Interesting!

    • Neat topics that are covered in Wikipedia: moonlight towers, low-background steel, Manhattanhenge, ghost stations, trap streets and other fictitious entries (copyright traps), and freedom of the city.

    • In the discussions of Dartmouth’s Lone Pine let’s not forget another piece of stylized vegetation from the Sixties: the flag of Canada.

    • Details on the Baker Tower renovation (Planning Board minutes 3 November 2015 pdf):

      The project includes: replacing the roof, restoring windows, replacing clock
      controls/hands/glass, replacing lighting and addressing issues with lighting, installing electronic controls for the bells, replacing the spire, stopping water infiltration, and cleaning masonry grout.

    ———

    1. Edwin Osgood Grover and Addison Fletcher Andrews, Dartmouth songs: a new collection of college songs (1898), 60.
    2. Patricia Averill, Camp Songs, Folk Songs (author, 2014), 232
    3. Henry Collins, “Notes from an Engineers’ Camp,” Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine (September 1891), 374, available at Google Books.
    4. Averill.

    The Sestercentennial and the College Mace

    Introduction

    It is common for an academic institution to possess among its “crown jewels” a big ceremonial mace (Wikipedia) that is carried at the head of the Commencement procession and might rest in a special spot during the times when the board of trustees is in session. Dartmouth does not have a mace per se, but the College Usher leads the Commencement procession with Lord Dartmouth’s Cup (visible at the right side of this college Flickr photo), a tall 1848 silver vessel that certainly serves the purpose of a mace.

    The mace in the U.S.

    The college received the cup until 1969 and did not start using it in processions until 1983. Dartmouth does not seem to have had a mace before that time. Why not? It is not clear. It might be that the academic mace is mostly a recent phenomenon in this country. Here is a list of some notable North American college maces:

    A future mace

    It would not be surprising if some alumnus or organization were to come up with the idea of presenting the college with a mace on the occasion of its 250th anniversary in 2019. (That time is not too far off: the 250th anniversary class is already in college.) The mace would not only commemorate the granting of the charter but also would symbolize the independence of the institution from the state, with 2019 being the bicentennial of the Dartmouth College Case.

    At best, this old-style mace would be fashioned by New England craftspeople,1 but it need not follow the traditional mace form. Why not have it refer to to a Cabin & Trail splitting maul; a woodsman’s cant hook or peavey; a Mountaineering Club ice axe; or an Organic Farm timber-framer’s mallet?

    Perhaps the mace could encapsulate within it some historic implement, such as a cane or cane-head that belonged to Daniel Webster; a nineteenth-century axe used in the Second College Grant; a Boston Post Cane from a defunct New Hampshire town with some connection to the college; an ice axe used on a Himalayan expedition during the 1960s; a broom handle used by John Kemeny to prop open the cabinet of an overheating computer; or a hatchet that Robert Frost used in his woodlot. What about a nineteenth-century canoe paddle?

    Any of these venerable tools would be sheathed in a protective silver capsule before being gilded, covered in worked sheets of precious metals, engraved, and decorated with jewels. The encrusting might include polished fragments of the Old Pine, the granite front step of Dartmouth Hall,2 or a piece of wood or stone from the original building of Moor’s Charity School in Connecticut. Parts of the weathered head and handle of the enclosed cane or axe might be left uncovered, and other parts, perhaps the sharp ones, might be made visible through small crystal windows.

    So that a person would be available to carry this new ceremonial mace, the board might have to create the office of Quartomillenial Beadle or Semiquincentennial Macebearer.3

    [Update 12.06.2015: Three broken links fixed.]

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    1. In addition, the Medallic Art Company has available a selection of maces, mostly with wooden staffs, and Thomas Fattorini Ltd. of England (pdf) makes metal maces.
    2. That step is located at the entrance to Dick’s House.
    3. The charter office of College Usher, currently conferred upon the Treasurer, now imposes upon its occupant the task of carrying Lord Dartmouth’s Cup in processions. The charter office of College Steward might be available, although one might expect its occupant to be the head of DDS and to carry, say, a giant silver repoussé ladle engraved with the word “COMMONS.”

    Indoor practice facility going ahead

    The trustees have voted to build the indoor practice facility next to the Boss Tennis Center (Dartmouth Now, Valley News, Big Green Alert). The 2013 project page has a conceptual rendering by Sasaki.The building will likely be finished by the Fall of 2017.

    The floor of the field where the building is to be built, sometimes called the Sunken Garden, is well below the level of the parking lot (Bing aerial). To the visitor, the building will appear to be a modest shed. Inside will be a vast space. The rectangle of artificial turf should measure about 180 x 255 feet.