A statue of Fred Harris? And other tidbits

  • Sasaki Associates now has a page for its House Centers “pilot” program. This SCUP article has a “housing swarm” image that Sasaki created for Dartmouth. A Valley News article states that the college “estimated it will cost $12.8 million to build professors’ residences and temporary centers for Dartmouth’s Undergraduate House Communities program.” But those have already been built. Presumably that estimate refers to completed construction. Any future, permanent versions of those buildings will cost a lot more than $13 million.

  • BBB has updated its page on the campus master plan to include a large version of that plan, an image of the West End plan (Green to Blue), and — this is new — a schematic perspective rendering of the cemetery bridge, which we can call Fletcher Viaduct.

  • This Valley News article notes Kendal’s interest in building to the south on Rivercrest land and leaving the Chieftain land for recreation (rowing).

  • Sir John Soane’s Museum in London has a computer model of the museum on line.

  • The architects have completed a design for the Irving Institute (Valley News).

  • The Dartmouth has an article on the success of the Town fence in front of Collis in reducing jaywalking.

  • The Hood has a brochure on public art on campus. The Class of 1965 has proposed to erect a statue of DOC founder Fred Harris in front of Robinson Hall. The campus architecture committee is considering the idea, according to the ’65 newsletter.

  • A bit of biography on David Hooke, who’s at the center of the new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

  • Dartmouth will play Brown at football in Fenway Park on November 10, Big Green Alert reports. Wild.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post about the Charter.

  • Kresge Library in Fairchild has turned 40 years old.

  • This Times editorial contains footnotes. Kinda neat, but also showy: if footnotes are needed here, why not everywhere? Or if the paper is to be relied on generally, why include notes here?

  • Big Green Alert points out the new use of the Lone Pine logo by the Co-Op. First impression? The trad typeface clashes with the fat Modernism of the pine. The use of the athletics nickname BIG GREEN in this seal-like, college-wide institutional device is also weird.

  • A Proliferation of Canes. Photos of the most recent Commencement show students carrying many strange, new-ish canes, most presumably representing senior societies. They feature a snake wrapped around a Native American arrow; a bearded old man; the domed main body of Shattuck Observatory (clever!); a snake clutching an apple in its mouth; a huge phoenix (for Phoenix, obviously — is that cast resin or something?); a tail, perhaps belonging to a whale?; and a three-dimensional stylization of the stylized Lone Pine symbol (also a metal globe).

  • Two interesting new-ish concepts: literary geography and forensic architecture.

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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.

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[Update 08.06.2016: It turns out that Robert Fletcher, who singlehandedly brought Gen. Thayer’s idea for a school into being (Lee Michaelides, “In the Beginning,” Dartmouth Engineer Magazine), is buried in the Cemetery.]

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