Alumni Gym

Museum-like displays; a Hanover designer

April 19th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, coat of arms, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Kemeny/Haldeman, other projects, publications, the Hop, Thompson Arena, Varsity House

The old idea of the trophy room for intercollegiate athletics seems to be shifting toward something closer to a museum, with text and graphics (reproductions of historic images, not originals) arranged to tell a story. Objects are displayed in support of the story rather than as the spoils of victory.

The Friends of Dartmouth Football Timeline, Video Archive Kiosk and Memorabilia Exhibit at Floren Varsity House is an example. Designed by the Hanover firm of Charles Gibson Design, the comprehensive display is the closest thing Dartmouth has to a permanent museum of any aspect of its own history. (I do not know what proportion of the old trophies are kept in Floren, in Davis Varsity House, or in the Oberlander Lounge in Alumni Gym.) Gibson also designed a timeline for hockey in two locations in Thompson Arena and a display recognizing donors John and Carla Manley.

During the Seventies and Eighties, Charles Gibson worked in the Hop’s Graphic Design Studio, and since then his firm has done a lot of work for the college and other area institutions. The firm revised the campus map (the next-to-latest iteration); created signage (including the mainframe-like kiosk that occupied the entrance of the old Kiewit); and paper plates and cups for the Courtyard Cafe in the Hop. The Nugget Theater’s freestanding marquee, influenced by the Classical porticos of Main Street, is another product. (By the way, doesn’t the little photo of the modest portico of the Hanover Post Office make that building look like a Great Work of Architecture?)

Most notably for our purposes, Charles Gibson Design did a Comprehensive Identity Program for Cardigan Mountain School, including a revision of the school’s seal that features a green shield containing a lone pine and open book. And if you are thinking about the “Dartmouth base,” the wavy lines of water in the base of the shield of each of Dartmouth’s schools, Gibson did a logo for the local school district in conjunction with the Banwell addition to Hanover High. For the country’s first interstate school district, drawing from both Hanover and Norwich, the circular logo presents the Ledyard Bridge above wavy water lines on a green field.

Perdido and more

February 9th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, all news, Alumni Gym, Collis Center, Heat Plant, History, Hood, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, site updates, the Hop

  • Jens Larson is on the cover of a Bucknell University magazine from 2009 (pdf). The cover story describes his 1932 master plan in the context of new plan by SBRA.
  • The roof of Alumni Gym over the Michael Pool is to be renovated again (The Dartmouth).
  • Clement Meadmore’s 1978 COR-TEN sculpture Perdido has been installed on East Wheelock Street below South Fayerweather Hall (Hood press release pdf, Flickr photo of installation, Facebook photo).
  • Collis renovations are nearing an end (The Dartmouth), and people are talking about switching fuels for the Heating Plant (The Dartmouth).
  • Bruce Wood discusses the possibility of a hockey game on the turf at Memorial Field (Big Green Alert blog).
  • Rauner presents interesting research on the conch that students blew as a horn instead of ringing a bell during the eighteenth century (Rauner Library Blog).
  • The Valley News has a remembrance of timber framer Edward Levin ’69.
  • Interior demolition soon will begin at 4 Currier, where the college is building a 3,000 s.f. innovation center (The Dartmouth).
  • Telemark Shortline, the sculpture now located in front of Richardson Hall, has an interesting past as described by the Hood Museum:

    Telemark Shortline was originally designed by the artist for a specific site between the Hopkins Center and Wilson Hall on Dartmouth’s campus. When construction commenced on the Hood Museum of Art in 1982, the work was removed. In 2009, it was re-constituted by the artist in its current location. The first part of the title comes from the sculpture’s form, which resembles a deep-snow turn made with a pair of Nordic skis. “Shortline” refers to both the railroad company name (the sculpture’s composition brings to mind railroad tracks) and the artist’s term for the bevel-cut ends of his beams.

  • The post on traffic patterns around the Green has been updated.

New training space for sports medicine — where to put it?

August 21st, 2012  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Berry Sports Center, Chase Field, Indoor Practice Facility, master planning, other projects

The Dartmouth has an interesting report on sports medicine at the college. First, it is intriguing that the sports medicine staffers fall under the direction of Health Services rather than the Athletic Department. Second, the Athletic Department is looking to have a training building built:

The Athletic Department and Health Services are currently considering the possibility of creating larger training rooms where the sports medicine staff can work together, which may be realized within the next two years, Galbraith said. This would ideally involve not just an expansion of the current training rooms inside Davis Varsity House, but the construction of an entirely new facility near Scully-Fahey Field — creating two “hubs” for the sports medicine program, Turco said.

Wouldn’t this be a natural function to combine with the indoor practice facility? Is that why the Scully-Fahey area is proposed? If not, one good place to put the training rooms would be the site next to Davis Varsity House:

two sites for training space building

Potential sites for a training building: west of Davis Varsity House, and near Scully-Fahey (based on a Bing aerial).


[Update 09.08.2012: Even though the western (tennis court) site is right next to the gym, it is reserved by the 2002 master plan for academic uses because it is so close to the center of campus. That makes sense.]

Unbuilt Dartmouth, an exhibit and an article

July 13th, 2011  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Burnham Field, Chase Field, Hanover Inn, History, June 2011 photos, Larson, Jens, Leverone Field House, master planning, Memorial Field, other projects, publications

A graphical article based on research by Barbara Krieger in the July/August Alumni Magazine nicely covers a larger exhibit in the History Room in Baker. It is good to see the site for the amphitheater named as Murdough rather than the Bema, which is the site that that drawing is usually said to describe.

One or two quibbles: the 1931 courtyard Inn on page 53 was meant not not the Robinson Hall area but for the Spaulding Auditorium site, as is shown on the exhibit’s Dartmouth House Plot Plan. The gateway shown in the Larson drawing would have faced east, and Lebanon Street is depicted on the left of the drawing. (The main block of the current Inn was completed in 1967 rather than 1887.)

The focus on the Dartmouth Hall cupola is a bit of a wild goose chase. The plans depicted are by William Gamble and show a masonry building that was never built. Dartmouth Hall was built from some other plans, long since lost, that almost certainly showed a cupola. Those plans might or might not have been by Gamble and probably were not by Peter Harrison. (The cupola that Tucker admired was probably a somewhat different midcentury replacement for the original.)

Here is an image that did not make it into the article, a pre-Leverone proposal for a field house by Eggers & Higgins:

Eggers & Higgins Field House proposal

Wow. That is a view to the southeast from above the gym. South Park Street runs behind the field house, and the field in the upper right corner is the site of the later Leverone Field House.

The article quotes Eisenhower on “what a college ought to look like.” Conan O’Brien recently paraphrased this commentary while adding something of his own:

It’s absolutely beautiful here, though. It is the quintessential college cam-… American college campus. It does look like a movie set.

(Video, at 1:27.)

Building items

October 20th, 2010  |  Published in '53 Commons, all news, Alumni Gym, cabins, DHMC, Larson, Jens, Life Sciences Ctr., other projects

News notes on construction projects old and new:

  • An anonymous donation has named the fitness center recently installed in the old gymnasium space at the top of Alumni Gym for former Trustee Charles Zimmerman ’23 Tu ’24 (The Dartmouth, Bloomberg).
  • An article in the Valley News on Harris Trail at Hanover and the Class of 1966 Lodge.
  • Health Facilities Management has named the DHMC complex an “icon” and the subject of one of its case studies. The SBRA announcement notes the hospital’s adoption of the shopping mall form.
  • For an example of a remarkable and appropriate setting for a Beverly Pepper sculpture that shares some of the attributes of Thel, see the Weisslers’ amphitheater in New York (New York Times). See also the BLDGBLOG post on Buried Buildings.
  • A building-related issue of The Mirror has some details on the Life Sciences Center.
  • One hopes that the OPDC will get the chance to add a Class of 1953 Commons page to its list of projects.
  • Another Titcomb Cabin update.

[Update 07.06.2013: Sluggish link to SBRA announcement removed.]

Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park announced

June 14th, 2008  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Memorial Field, other projects

The diamond at Red Rolfe is being completely rebuilt, and, with a grandstand, dugouts, and a press box, will become part of Biondi Park. Press Release; Project page. Clark Companies and Gale Associates are the field consultants, and Lavallee Brensinger, designer of the gym renovation, is designing the grandstand. The project page has a perspective rendering available.

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to Clark fixed.]
[Update 07.12.2008: The plans page also includes a nice site plan (pdf), and Big Green Alert Blog has a post with an aerial perspective rendering and a view of the entrance gate.]

Temporary dining hall site announced

June 14th, 2008  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, preservation, Thayer Dining Hall

The temporary dining hall to substitute for Thayer while it is being replaced will stand near Alumni Gym, The Dartmouth reports. The areas near the tennis courts on either side seem to be good candidates.

More on Alumni Gym renovation

November 17th, 2007  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym

Lavallee/Brensinger has photos of the gym at Projects > Educational. A pdf posted by Brailsford & Dunlavey states that HOK Sport also worked on the project, which is not reported elsewhere.

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to LBPA fixed, broken links to pdf and HOK Sport removed.]

Berry Sports Center images

November 17th, 2007  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, publications

Gwathmey-Siegel has some very nice photographs of Berry Sports Center.

Photo updates for construction projects

August 11th, 2007  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Berry Row, Burnham Field, Memorial Field, north campus, other projects, preservation, Varsity House

The OPDC has posted photos of the progress on the new Varsity House (one of the photos shows Memorial Field in the context of the campus), the Montgomery House renovation (check the pondside facade), and the Soccer Field (with the turf in place and grandstand going in).

Most notable are the photos of the landscaping between Berry and Maynard Street, or Berry Row. See the substantial walkway that organizes the whole project, for example.

Rolfe Field next for rebuilding

March 14th, 2007  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Memorial Field, other projects

Dartmouth Life has an update on new athletic facilities and notes the upcoming renovation of Red Rolfe Field. Artificial turf will replace the grass, the dugouts will be rehabilitated, and a new scoreboard will replace the old.

Gym renovation progress: fitness center opens

April 28th, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, preservation

The fitness center in the “gymnasium” at the top of Alumni Gym has opened (press release). Photos show a room far busier than when it was a forgotten space on campus.

Varsity House progress

April 8th, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Memorial Field, Varsity House

Bruce Wood reports at Green Alert on town zoning approval for the Varsity House, noting the speed of the project and the fact that it will dismantle and reassemble the upper rows of the existing bleachers rather than demolish the whole structure — which seems very frugal.

The plans indicate that the football locker rooms will be located in the building, alongside the east side of the field. This probably means that both teams now will emerge from the visitors’ stands before each half.

Upper gym becoming fitness center

March 18th, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, preservation

The Office of Planning, Design & Construction has posted several photos of February work on the drill hall or upper gym of Alumni Gymnasium.

Compare this early-twentieth century view:

old photo of gym   current photo of gym by OPDC

Varsity House under construction

March 13th, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Memorial Field, Varsity House

Construction on the new Varsity House started February 22, and detailed information on the latest addition to Dartmouth’s 113-year-old athletic park appeared on line last week.

The building has a project page that includes several November 2005 renderings that now depict the building in red brick, like the Gym, rather than in the green panels implied by the last rendering released.

Detail of Centerbrook rendering

This early design dated June 10, 2005 will not be built.

The Park Street facade, which will become the right field wall for Red Rolfe Field, is visible for the first time, and the site plan appears to indicate that Rolfe gets a new foul pole.

The third level plan indicates that it will contain mostly offices, with the prime spots overlooking the field held by a meeting room, a conference room, and a sort of lounge — a big room with comfortable chairs, not the row of skyboxes one might have expected.

Contrary to previous speculation here, the existing east stands will not be demolished, only partially disassembled and reinstalled to the south, in front of Leverone.

Alumni Gym’s new fitness center revealed

March 1st, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, preservation

A rendering of the new fitness center in the renovated drill hall of Alumni Gymnasium seems to show an elevator blocking much of the thermal window at that end of the building; perhaps there was no choice of where to put it, and on-center was better than off-center…

[03.18.2006 "Fitness center" substituted for "mezzanine" to clarify.]

Alumni Gym roof trusses exposed

January 14th, 2006  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, preservation

The Alumni Gym construction updates page has two construction photos. One photo shows the Michael Pool with the airy and astonishing arched steel roof trusses now exposed. It is difficult to believe that they were covered once.

Varsity House goes ahead, Biology delayed

November 16th, 2005  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Life Sciences Ctr., Varsity House

Centerbrook’s new Varsity House has been approved by the Trustees, but the Biology Department’s building is still in planning (The Dartmouth | press release).