Residential College details released — two temporary “commons” to be built

The college has released some information about the units that will make up the new House system (Dartmouth Now, Dartmouth Now details, The Dartmouth).

Every student will be assigned to a House randomly. (One wonders whether each House will eventually be able to choose some or all of its members.) Most new students, all of them House members, will start out living in first-year dorms: Richardson Hall, Wheeler Hall, the Fayers (North, Middle, and South Fayerweather Halls), the River (French and Judge Halls), and the Choates (Bissell, Cohen, Little, and Brown Halls). Upperclass students, all House members, will not be required to live in-House.

The House names are obviously temporary. Of the six Houses, one carries on its existing name (East Wheelock), while two are named for their locations relative to the other Houses (South and West Houses). The remaining three Houses are named, arbitrarily, for the streets on which their associated faculty residences happen to be located — just temporarily located, one hopes. For example, the Gold Coast is associated with a house being built in another part of town, on Allen Street, and so the cluster is called Allen House. The same goes for Mass Row (School Street = “School House”) and RipWoodSmith (North Park Street = “North Park House”).

These are the houses. The two temporary buildings are described in numbers 2 and 5.

  1. West House. Dorms: Fahey, McLane, Butterfield, and Russell Sage Halls. Faculty Residence: A house being built at 16 Webster Avenue, west of the President’s House. “Community” space or “commons”: Presumably the existing common area in the “hinge” in Fahey/McLane. Professor: Ryan Hickox.

    Comment: This Faculty Residence makes as much sense as any of the new Residences does.

  2. Allen House. Dorms: Gold Coast (Gile, Streeter, and Lord Halls). Faculty Residence: A house being built at 12 Allen Street, next to Panarchy. “Community” space: A temporary (lasting five to ten years) “two-level building with a snack bar and outdoor area between Gile and Hitchcock” (The D). Professor: Jane Hill.

    Comment: One hopes that eventually this House’s Professor lives in (a) Blunt, the perfect location, (b) a new house built behind the Gold Coast, where there are several great sites, or at worst (c) a new or existing house near the President’s House on Webster Avenue.

  3. School House. Dorms: Hitchcock Hall and Mass Row (North, Middle, and South Massachusetts Halls). Faculty Residence: A house being built on School Street, next to the Allen House Faculty Residence. “Community” space: The temporary building behind Hitchcock, to be shared with Allen House. Professor: Craig Sutton.

    Comment: This House’s Faculty Residence is about as distant as that of Allen House. Instead, South Fairbanks would make an ideal long-term Residence. North Fairbanks — or ’53 Commons, if it is ever not required to serve the whole college — would make an excellent “community” space.

  4. East Wheelock House. Dorms: East Wheelock Cluster (Andres, Morton, Zimmerman, and McCulloch Halls, and possibly Ledyard Apartments). Faculty Residence: Frost House/The White House (existing). “Community” space: Brace Commons (existing). House Professor: Sergi Elizalde.

    Comment: Some new students will also live here instead of in a dedicated first-year dormitory.

  5. North Park House. Dorms: RipWoodSmith (Ripley, Woodward and Smith Halls). Faculty Residence: An existing house at 3 ½ North Park Street, across from Triangle. Community space: A temporary “tent” building occuping the pair of tennis courts northwest of Davis Varsity House. It “is planned to be a ‘sprung structure,’ which generally consists of a metal arch frame with an all-weather membrane over it” (The D). Professor: Ryan Calsbeek.

    Comment: These buildings are south of the College Park and closer to two other streets than they are to North Park Street. Eventually, the college-owned Heorot house would make an ideal “community” space or Faculty Residence.

  6. South House Dorms: Topliff and New Hampshire Halls and the Lodge. Faculty Residence: A new house at 5 Sanborn Street. “Community” space: The “tent” by Davis, shared with North Park House. Professor: Kathryn Lively.

    Comment: There is a surprising amount of space west of Alumni Gym for future housing or community space, and Hallgarten would make an excellent kernel of a Faculty Residence. One hopes that the inclusion of a dorm (the Lodge) and a Faculty Residence south of Lebanon Street does not pull this grouping permanently in that direction; after the Lodge is demolished, it really must be replaced with a commercial building.

Finally, the McLaughlin Cluster (Berry, Bildner, Rauner, Byrne II, Goldstein, and Thomas Halls), while not a House, is getting a Faculty Residence (an existing house at 2 Clement Road) and a House Professor, Dennis Washburn. This group will house LLCs (Living-Learning Communities) as well as some new students who will live here instead of in a dedicated first-year dormitory. Each resident will be a nonresident member of a House located elsewhere. The Faculty Residence is relatively close, and there are good sites nearby for a future faculty house, so perhaps McL. will become a House in its own right.

map of houses

The six Houses plus one. “Community” spaces are in purple, Faculty Residences are in red, and boundaries are exaggerated to indicate (short-term?) disjointedness. Based on Bing oblique aerial.


[Update 11.04.2015: Map added.]

[Update 11.04.2015: The Dartmouth has a story today stating that the construction and renovation of the faculty houses will cost about $4 million. That amount must be coming out of the $11.75 million approved for the erection of the House system as a whole back in March (post). The two temporary “commons” will probably take up much of the rest of the budget.]

Go Go Panarchy; other news

  • College Supplies, on Main Street, is closing (The Dartmouth, Valley News).

  • Panarchy is finally tackling fire-safety upgrades to its Greek Revival house (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The group has set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise money.

  • Construction inside 4 Currier has ended and the Innovation Center has opened (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now). Construction is also ending at Kappa Delta’s new house on Occom Ridge and at the Triangle House renovation project.

  • Valley Road in Hanover now has “suggestion lanes” for bicycle and foot traffic (The Dartmouth). Other noteworthy articles in The D cover the addition to the Food Co-Op and the Wilder Dam relicensing process.

  • At the September Trustees’ meeting, according to The Dartmouth,

    Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer and campus planning vice president Lisa Hogarty gave a presentation on residential life concepts, including the neighborhood system, which would assign students to a residential cluster from the beginning of their time at Dartmouth similar to a house system.

    This new residential system is in “active planning,” Hanlon said. “It’s bold, it’s transformational and it’s also very complex.”

  • “The Board also approved the second-phase schematic design of the Hood Museum of Art project” (Dartmouth Now).

  • The rivening of the Tucker Foundation continues (The Dartmouth).

  • Watch some super aerial footage of the Dartmouth Night Bonfire (via Big Green Alert).

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the Grid-Graph, the illuminated glass display board on which students reenacted away games for football fans in the west gym of Alumni Gym.

  • The Times has an interesting article on branding/visual identity/signage at Barnard College. The third photo shows a pair of carved limestone (?) cartouches on the front facade of the school’s main building. Designed by Charles Rich, the building somewhat foreshadowed the smaller Wilder Laboratory at Dartmouth, which substitutes oval windows for the cartouches.

  • The West Wheelock Charrette Report was presented to the Planning Board (minutes pdf). There were several comments about “cleaning up” the area.

  • Campus Planning & Facilities seems to have shifted its news output from its website to a newsletter called Behind the Green. From issue 1:3 (July 2014) (pdf) we learn that the old roof shingles of Webster Cottage have been replaced with shingles of Alaskan Yellow Cedar (a.k.a. Nootka Cypress), and that design is under way for landscape work carrying out elements of the Van Valkenburgh plan near Collis, Robinson, and the Gold Coast.

Ravine Lodge upgrade study; other news

  • It does seem a little strange that Dartmouth is replacing the roof over the Karl Michael Pool in Alumni Gym (see The Dartmouth) so soon after the 2006 renovation. It turns out that the roof insulation failed some time ago, and the college sued the renovation architects and builders back in 2012 (see the order on preliminary motions pdf; the Union Leader article). The suit is ongoing.

  • Charles Collis has died at age 99 (The Dartmouth).

  • Dartbeat has a Q&A with dlandstudio architect Susannah Drake ’87.

  • Two items from the Planner’s Blog: New chairs with built-in writing tablets to replace the old ones in Dartmouth Hall, and a new paint scheme for the pedestrian refuge in the middle of Wheelock Street by the Hop. On the Planning Board agenda for June are a request to modify site plans for a renovation of the porte-cochere area of the Inn and a review of the site plan “for vehicular, pedestrian & bus stop improvements” in front of the Hop.

  • The new (replacement) Class of ’65 Bunkhouse at Moosilauke is being designed by Maclay Architects (prospectus pdf). Timber will come from the college wood at Corinth Vt. (Grant newsletter pdf). The same firm is evaluating the state of the Ravine Lodge itself in anticipation of extensive future work (The Dartmouth).

  • The Hill Winds Know Their Name (pdf) is a beautifully-produced booklet by the late Professor Wood about the college’s war memorials. One suggestion for the next edition of this valuable work involves the transcription of the Stanley Hill inscription on page 13:


    It should read:


    (See the shower room plaque; see also Kenneth C. Cramer, “Dick Hall and His Friends,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (April 1992).)

  • Interesting examples of public or urban typography from Tobias Frere-Jones.

  • A Google aerial shows the preparation for the sorority construction on Occom Ridge, and an earlier Street View captures the OnTarget guy marking utilities on the sidewalk.

  • Who knew there were so many new senior societies? The official ORL page lists a couple “new” ones that have survived (Abaris, Griffin/Gryphon) along with several even newer ones (Andromeda, Chimera, Olympus, Order of the Sirens).

  • The new Hop entrance under the Inn’s Grand Ballroom (Street View) was labeled “Minary Conference Center” when it was finished last year (see the image at the DUSA page). Perhaps it makes sense, since that is the most direct route to the conference center. One of these days someone will build a real, direct, and prominent entrance to the Hopkins Center proper.

  • Remember John Flude, the London pawnbroker who had a large medal engraved and sent to the president of Dartmouth in 1786? (See Dick Hoefnagel, “John Flude’s Medal,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (November 1991).) Here’s his testimony in the Old Bailey regarding one James Smith, indicted for stealing on July 10, 1764 a gold ring from Flude’s shop:

    When he was gone, I opened the paper to look at my ring, and found I was deceived; I ran out, and happened to take the right way: I ran up Hart-street, and at the upper end I saw him; when I had been twenty or thirty yards in Monkwell-street, he run as hard as he could, and turned into Silver-street; I pursued him into the Castle and Faulcon yard: he stopped running, and was opening the paper to look at the ring: I got up to him, and laid hold of him, and said, my friend, you shall not drop the ring: I took hold of his hand, and led him to the first public house I came to, and desired Mr. Hayns, who was there, to open the prisoner’s hand; he did, and there I took out my ring: bringing him back in Monkwell-street, he desired I would not take hold of his coat to expose him, saying, he had a great family; I let go his coat: when we came to the corner of Hart-street, he endeavoured to escape, and ran as hard as he could; and we took him again in Wood-street.

    Smith was found guilty of stealing.

  • Museum-like displays; a Hanover designer

    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

    • 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?

    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

    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

    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

    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.]

    Photo updates for construction projects

    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.

    Varsity House progress

    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.