Ledyard Canoe Club demo ahead

  • A campus construction update has a few details on the soccer pavilion expansion out at Burnham Field.

  • The Valley News reports that the new Dartmouth Coach bus station is opening in Lebanon.

  • An architect has been named for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement. The historic clubhouse will be demolished and a new building built in its place by Charney Architects of New Haven.

  • A newsletter last month described the installation of a solar array at ground level on Berry Row.

  • The Moosilauke Ravine Lodge replacement (project page) is going ahead, and one can't help but worry about the success of its central feature, the great stone fireplace-staircase (HearthStair?). Will it be plausible as a work of masonry, a little bit of Machu Picchu in the White Mountains? Or will it read as Formstone, with no visible means of support?

  • An item on memorializing the Lodge mentions some interesting digital projects and quotes OPO Director Dan Nelson: "Memorabilia will be saved, safely stored, and reinstalled; interior log elements will be reused; timbers that can't be reused in construction will be sawn into planks for wall paneling."

  • "Work is underway … planning for future renovation of the Hopkins Center" (news release; see also the story in The D).

  • "Also in the future is consideration of the north end of campus, focusing on the demolition of Gilman Hall — and creation of green space in its place" (The D). Let's hope that this is a way of saying the Gilman site will not become a parking lot.

  • "— coupled with the complete renovation of Dana Hall for faculty use" (The D). Interesting — wasn't the library moved out because Dana was to be demolished? Is that move now looking like a mistake, or would the renovation have required the building to be emptied anyway? Whatever the case, it's good to hear that Dana is being renovated. It seems like an underappreciated building that might have some merit to it, some endearing features. The small size and the scale of the building are appealing.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on the Surveyor General of the His Majesty's Woods during the 1740s. It is worth noting that John Wentworth later became Surveyor General, and Eleazar Wheelock was accused of illegally harvesting pines marked with the King’s broad arrow.

  • Dartmouth is building a timber-framed pavilion at the Organic Farm to shelter a wood-fired pizza oven (Planning Board minutes 6 September 2016 pdf).

  • Dartmouth Engineer Magazine has a long article on the Williamson Translational Research Building by The Map Thief author Michael Blanding.

  • The D has an article about the end of football game broadcasts on campus radio; this year the football team switched to 94.5 ESPN. Dartmouth licensed athletic multimedia rights to Learfield Sports late last year. Learfield created Big Green Sports Properties to handle "all corporate sponsorship endeavors for the Big Green, including venue signage, promotions, radio advertising and ads on DartmouthSports.com" (new general manager announcement).

  • Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont is the only ski area on the National Register (history, NR nomination form pdf).

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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. Russ Klettke, "The High Performance Trail," American Builders Quarterly (2016).]

    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. Rick Mills, interviewed by Charles C.W. Jang, "Dart Kapital," The Dartmouth Review (1 June 2014) (brackets and ellipses original).]

    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...

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    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 author[1. Edwin Osgood Grover and Addison Fletcher Andrews, Dartmouth songs: a new collection of college songs (1898), 60.] 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. Patricia Averill, Camp Songs, Folk Songs (author, 2014), 232] There is an 1891 reference to "A son of a gambolier, / A son of a gun for beer."[2. Henry Collins, "Notes from an Engineers' Camp," Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (September 1891), 374, available at Google Books.] Georgia Tech's "Rambling Wreck" version was printed in 1908.[1. Averill.]

    • 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.

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    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.)

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    Photos of completed Burnham Field, Sports Pavilion

    OPDC has photos of Burnham and the Sports Pavilion that occupies the plaza between Burnham and Sculley-Fahey. The Pavilion's south (field-side) facade, which was not emphasized in the drawings published prior to construction, makes the building look like an early-twentieth century central European lockmaster's house.

    The north end of Burnham Field has a short but impressive stretch of high brick wall to serve as a sign. The decision not to employ the stepped gable motif, which appears in the gym and Spaulding Pool and was repeated in the recent Boss Tennis Center, seems like a missed opportunity to inject some coherence into Dartmouth's athletic facilities. Floren in particular might have made good use of it; but at least all of these buildings are built of brick, which does a great deal to unify them.

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    General construction update

    In general construction news, Guy C. Denechaud writes that "Projects Are Plentiful at Dartmouth College," Valley Business Journal (April 7, 2008).

    The Valley News reports that the fieldhouse at Burnham, called the Sports Pavilion, is open as the clubhouse for the soccer and lacrosse teams. The school will add an athletic trainers' facility to the north side of the building in the future.

    Alpha Theta is also working on repairs to comply with the Fuller Audit.

    The Dartmouth reports that Bartlett Hall is being rehabilitated.

    New Hampshire Hall's exterior was photographed prior to the expansions that is under way now.

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    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.

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    Landscape projects explained

    Landscape architects Saucer + Flynn have posted new information including descriptions of eight projects for Dartmouth as well as landscapes for North Park Street Graduate Student Housing, 7 Lebanon Street, the DHMC, projects in Centerra, and the Sphinx.

    The firm also designed a wrought-iron fence for Skull & Bones in New Haven, which is not the kind of landscape project you see every day.

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    Blackman Fieldhouse?

    A closer look at Burnham Field shows that it really involves two independent parts:

    1. Burnham Field (plan), with a grandstand and earth berms around it for seating (not shown in the pre-design concept).
      The architects, Freeman French Freeman, renovated the 1920s baseball and soccer grandstand at UVM's Centennial Field.

    2. A Fieldhouse (plan; west elevation, with Scully-Fahey grandstand in background; aerial perspective from northwest above the soccer field). The Fieldhouse will present its higher principal facade, toward the Blackman Fields -- not toward either nearby grandstand. This facade situates the entrances to the building's two locker rooms beneath a porch or an awning.

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    [Update 11.11.2012: Broken link to concept image at the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience replaced with link to Dartmouth Life; broken link to Centennial Field removed and replaced with link to firm.]

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    Ivy Football

    The New York Times examines the decline in Ivy football attendance that accompanied the shift from NCAA Division IA to Division IAA.

    That decline is one of the reasons why Princeton recently demolished Palmer Stadium (Henry J. Hardenburgh, 1914) and replaced it with the lower-capacity Princeton Stadium (Rafael Viñoly, 1998), and why Dartmouth recently replaced some of Memorial Field's seating with the Floren Varsity House (Centerbrook, 2006).

    (The Times notes that Ivy schools' teams "were perennial national champions from 1869 to 1939." That should read "from 1874 to 1939," since 1874 was the first time college football was ever played in the U.S. (Harvard v. McGill). The game that teams played for several years following 1869 was soccer. The confusion might come from Hickok Sports, which lists pre-1874 soccer games at the head of a line of football champions, or from the Rutgers University football page, which still claims that the 1869 game makes Rutgers the home of college football, although the very same webpage acknowledges that the game was played under rules "adopted from those of the London Football Association," i.e. soccer. The first game of college football ever played between two U.S. teams was the Harvard-Yale game of 1875.)

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    [Update 11.10.2012: Broken link to Princeton Stadium news item replaced with Wikipedia link.]

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    Oxon. v. Dartmo.

    In the wake of Britain's education fees controversy, The Guardian has seized on the similarities between the endowments and enrollments of Dartmouth and Oxford to compare Dartmouth favorably to the English institution.

    Dartmouth's stadium, tiny in Ivy terms, comes out as peculiarly impressive in the article because it has enough seats for everyone...

    Somehow it is hard to picture American football as seen from an English football terrace (see an image of Arsenal's new stadium in the UAE, proof that terraces are not a result of budget constraints; terrace stories; terrace songs and chants).

    The author of the Guardian piece might be shocked to learn that "enrollment" in the U.S. means total students, not just the entering class. That means that the comparison is even less valid: Dartmouth is less than one-quarter the size of Oxford's 17,000 "enrollment." There are dormitory clusters at Dartmouth that are larger than Oxford colleges.

    [Update 12.12.2006: Enrollment information added.]

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    Article on Old Division Football posted

    A somewhat disjointed article on Dartmouth's local pre-soccer form of soccer, Old Division Football, has been posted.

    The only information of any interest outside Dartmouth might be the conclusions, obvious enough but still not widely known, that:

    1. The first soccer game in the world between two universities seems to have been the Princeton-Rutgers game of 1869. Oxford and Cambridge did not play until 1872. (The Football Association wrote the rules of "soccer" in 1863, and Rutgers was using those rules, possibly with slight variations.) The story that Princeton and Rutgers played the first American gridiron football game before rugby had arrived is so obviously incorrect that it is hard to imagine why it is still told, yet it is the official line at Rutgers. Back then, soccer was called "football" and allowed the use of the hands, just not running with the ball.

    2. The first college football game in the U.S. was the McGill-Harvard rugby game of 1874. College football and pro football as we know them today are descendants of the rugby that McGill played. The first college football game between U.S. teams was the Harvard-Yale game of 1875. Princeton, Rutgers, and the other schools that had been playing soccer dropped it and switched to rugby. All American football is played under the rules of rugby as used by Harvard and Yale and modified by them and their later competitors during the succeeding decades.

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    Football history

    Errata for the first page of the enjoyable Dartmouth College Football: Green Fields of Autumn by David Shribman and Jack DeGange (page 10):

    1. "Old Division," later known as "Whole Division," was Dartmouth's distinctive football game in the mid-19th century.
      Should read:
      "Old Division," later known as "Whole Division," was Dartmouth's distinctive soccer-style game by the mid-19th century.

    2. The "field," originally the entire campus, was later narrowed to "the college yard," now the Green.
      Should read:
      The field was the Green.

    3. The buildings in the background of this photograph (including the Church of Christ) that had not already been moved or replaced were relocated from the north end of the Green when Baker Library was built in the 1920s
      Should read:
      The houses in the background of this photograph were relocated from the north end of the Green before Baker Library was built in the 1920s, and the Church of Christ burned down in 1931.

    The first and last notes are merely pickiness regarding imprecisions (though the implication that Old Division was related to American Football would be inaccurate). The second note deserves some clarification. The College Yard was and is east of the Green, between College Street and Dartmouth Hall. The "Campus," of course, was what's now called the Green.

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