Whether to build on the Golf Course

The college is looking at a “public-private partnership” — really just a private-private partnership, a form of outsourcing — to build a new biomass heating plant somewhere other than in downtown Hanover (Valley News). The college has also created a committee to study the future of the golf course (Valley News, Dartmouth News). The two efforts are directly related, as pages 12 and 14 of the 2002 college master plan (pdf) predicted:

  • “[T]he Golf Course is our land bank for beyond ten years[.]”

  • “[E]xpansion will likely be North of Dewey Field, into the Golf Course.”

  • “Golf course expansion has been contemplated for decades, and in the decades ahead will likely become a reality.”

The college could close the Country Club

The college is considering whether to shutter its historic Hanover Country Club.

Even if the college were to close the club, of course, it would never sell off the entire golf course. The golf course has been officially viewed as a “land bank” for future institutional development for at least 15 years (see the 2002 master plan pdf).

This website has proposed that if the south end of the golf course is to be developed, it should be built up with some density using “town” forms rather than as an extension of the grassy campus, irrespective of ownership (see posts of 2008 and 2012).

Whatever form it takes, the development of the south end of the golf course should not require the closure of the Country Club. The Club itself has planned since at least 2000 to move its clubhouse to Lyme Road, and one could imagine new holes being added to the east of the course, near the Rugby Clubhouse, or to the north, in the Fletcher Circle neighborhood, where residents have had concerns about groundwater contamination migrating from CRREL. If the college really needs the land near Dewey Field for more buildings, it should simply shift the golf course instead of destroying it.

Image of new Ledyard; selecting Ravine Lodge timbers

Co-Op Food Store in Centerra


11.28.2016 update: DEN project page link added.

Alas, Rivercrest

Wolff Lyons’ expansive traditionalist neighborhood plan (a post here) for the redevelopment of Rivercrest, on hold for several years, will not be built when the land is finally developed:

Tim McNamara from the Dartmouth College Real Estate Office explained that the College was instrumental in the zoning change creating the GR-4 district. A Master Plan for a suburban village had been created for Rivercrest with 300 mixed type housing units. The project has been on hold due to the recession and wanting to be patient about the transport of TCE from CRREL.

The College will soon determine what the housing demand is considering faculty and graduate students. The Rivercrest project will be designed based on this demand. The current Master Plan is unlikely to be built. When the College finally initiates Rivercrest, it is unlikely to be built out quickly. Tim envisions many smaller phases. If it were put in the queue today for planning, construction would occur in 3- 5 years. The actual start depends on demand at Dartmouth, the availability of capital and the TCE situation.1Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 5.

We also learn that “Sachem will be built out first as that housing is needed for graduate students. There are no plans for the golf course.”


Notes   [ + ]

1. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 5.

Lebanon’s pedestrian mall, other topics

  • The minutes of the Alumni Council 208th session note that “A top priority ahead is an indoor practice facility, which is under consideration for pre-campaign fundraising.”

  • The school’s new “Living[-]Learning Communities” site is up and has pages for Triangle House, etc. A link to Sasaki’s MyCampus survey is placed in a box labeled “Help Make Res Life Cool Again at Dartmouth” [ugh].

  • More on the new Thayer School buildings: Dean Joseph J. Helble, interviewed by Karen Endicott in “Growth Factors,” Dartmouth Engineer Magazine:

    Clearly if we grow the faculty substantially — certainly if we double the faculty — we’re going to need a new facility…. We’re in the early stages of conceptualizing what a facility might be, and where near Cummings and MacLean it could be located. We had a first conversation at a faculty retreat in December. The next step is to engage an architectural and engineering firm to begin working with us to explore options and ultimately provide some conceptual design options for us to consider.

  • Yestermorrow Design-Build School in Warren, Vermont offers a Semester in Sustainable Building and Design, a proper exchange program, and Dartmouth students have taken part (photo).

  • A tidbit from the biography of the late David McLaughlin, Dartmouth President from 1981 to 1987. On the D-Plan:

    Now, all these years later, I continue to think even more strongly that the adoption of the Dartmouth Plan was one of the most unfortunate decisions the college ever made — necessary at the time, but unfortunate.

    While the Dartmouth Plan was a matter of expediency, the fact that twenty-some years later it is still in effect represents, I believe, a failure in governance and leadership.1David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed, 2007), 80.

  • The Archives’ amazing on-line collection continues to yield fascinating photos, such as these aerials of the Tuck School under construction; Lebanon Street, showing the then-new McNutt addition to the Inn and the complete Rogers’ Garage (part of which later became Clement Hall, the painting and sculpture studios); the rear of Mass Row and South Fairbanks, giving a rare look at the original exterior of the Beta Goat Room; and the MHMH in an early form, showing Dewey Farm buildings.

  • The decrepit old College Cleaners building on Allen Street (July 2013 Street View, July 2009 Street View showing equal decrepitude) was put up for sale last fall in a foreclosure auction.

  • Take a look at Max Van Pelt’s 2010 architecture class project: a design for a new clubhouse for the Hanover Country Club.

  • Some surplus bathroom sinks from the Hanover Inn renovation are available at Vermont Salvage in WRJ.

  • In 2005, John Thelin, author of A History of American Higher Education, “concluded that Dartmouth’s ‘history is not dispensable nostalgia or an antiquarian slide show. It’s the key to understanding the institution’s enduring vitality'” (Valley News; Thelin nominated Dartmouth to Booz Allen Hamilton’s list of enduring institutions (pdf)).

  • A tidbit from the McLaughlin biography. On the self-perpetuating board:

    I long ago formed a conviction that the number of trustees nominated by a board itself should be no less than seventy-five percent of the board, and that the board and the alumni should work collaboratively on selecting the balance of the nominees, being sure that the qualifications of the nominees would relate positively to the current needs of the board, with respect to specific skills and to spheres of competence. A provision that all nominees be selected through a popular vote discourages highly successful individuals who would serve the institution if invited to do so, but who would not be willing to “run for office.” Having too great a portion of the board chosen by a process that is quite likely to exclude some of the best candidates does not, in my opinion, augur well for achieving optimum effectiveness in governance.2David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed, 2007), 102.

  • The Valley News has stories on Lebanon’s epochal fire of 1964. One of the stories focuses on the pedestrian mall that replaced the devastated stretch of Hanover Street. Lebanon would be the first place to look for anyone proposing to pedestrianize Hanover’s Main Street below Wheelock.

  • A report of last year’s West Wheelock Street design charrette by Plan NH is available (pdf). Excellent ideas: dense housing on the street, a new cemetery entrance, signage indicating the Appalachian Trail route, and a statue of John Ledyard.

  • Just noticed that the Association of Alumni blog was pulled at some point during the last few months.


Notes   [ + ]

1. David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed, 2007), 80.
2. David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed, 2007), 102.

Is it time to rebuild the Ski Jump?

High school jumping is big in New Hampshire, and it sounds like it’s even bigger among the kids in Park City, Utah, where the Salt Lake Olympic facilities are located.

Although jumping was the centerpiece of Winter Carnival (see the special jumping poster for 1977 Carnival at Dartmouth Images), and Dartmouth fought hard against the end of collegiate jumping in 1980,1Dennis Gildea, “Dartmouth and the Debate over Ski Jumping in NCAA Competition,” Journal of Intercollegiate Sport 2 (2009), 286-298 (pdf). the jump on the Golf Course was dismantled in 1993.

Warren Chivers at the 1938 Winter Carnival

Warren Chivers at the 1938 Winter Carnival

Dartmouth is already years too late to have any effect on women’s jumping, a sport that will debut at this winter’s Olympics. A recent New York Times Magazine story suggests that the U.S. women’s team might be the best in the world. And collegiate jumpers started holding competitions again in 2011 (Boston Globe story, Times story).

For the last 20 years, Dartmouth has ignored a winter sport — a Nordic skiing discipline — that it once pioneered. Now the sport is coming back in this country. Other colleges seem to be able to handle the cost of insurance. Isn’t it time Dartmouth got back into the competition?


Notes   [ + ]

1. Dennis Gildea, “Dartmouth and the Debate over Ski Jumping in NCAA Competition,” Journal of Intercollegiate Sport 2 (2009), 286-298 (pdf).

Vermont windows

  • An update of the “North Block” golf course development idea: Take a look at the Perkins + Will plan for the Poplar Point Development In Washington, D.C. Naturally Dartmouth wouldn’t need this density or scale, but it could learn from the extension of the existing street grid to form irregular quadrangular blocks; the treatment of the edge condition (the Anacostia River); and the accommodation of streams flowing through the site.

  • An update of the Hop expansion post: Of course! The new theater and entrance facade represent the final realization of Larson’s old 1940s Hop designs. In this post, a still image from a college video shows how Larson wanted to put a theater and a major entrance to the Hopkins Center on what was then College Street. And the Dartmouth has an article on the Boora project.

  • I did not learn until recently that this memorable window, visible on the way to Hanover from West Leb, is called a “Vermont window” or a “witch window” (Wikipedia):

  • Dartmouth has been phasing out the “@alum.dartmouth.org” accounts and assigning everyone, past and present, an “@dartmouth.edu” address (only the address, not an account). This is neater than the old dual system where students had one address/account and alumni another. When the “@alum.dartmouth.org” accounts came in (during 1995 or 1996?) they seemed like an awkward solution. The rationale for creating the new domain was that Dartmouth was barred (by its interpretation of the government’s pre-ICANN rules, one supposes) from using the “.edu” domain for accounts assigned to anyone but employees and students. Yet Harvard came out with its “@post.harvard.edu” domain around that time, so it is hard to see that as the reason.

    Although it was fun to use Blitzmail after college, the need for a personal, ISP-independent email account was soon satisfied more effectively on the Web by Hotmail (1996) and Yahoo Mail (1997). Students responded with WebBlitz (1998 or 1999?) but I don’t recall that it prevented the alumni accounts from slipping into some obscurity. The susceptibility of the alumni accounts to great volumes of spam did not help.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on Sgt. Allen Scott Norton of WWI with photos of the trenches dug on the future site of Leverone Field House or Red Rolfe Field.

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on a new war memorials map.

  • Finally a photo of new Hop entrance below the grand ballroom — and the ever-shrinking Zahm Courtyard. It is included in the war memorial map.

  • The College Steward was a charter office first held by Ebenezer Brewster, who established the tavern that preceded the Inn. I’ve wondered if the office could be revived, and whom it should be given to. Contemporary college statutes from England (Downing College Cambridge, published in 1800, in Google Books) suggest that a steward was the head of dining services:



    THERE shall also be one Steward appointed annually by the Master, from among the Professors and Fellows, to direct every thing which relates to the Commons and Sizings to be served in the hall at dinner and supper, and the wine and other articles provided in the combination room. He shall make all payments in respect of such Commons and Sizings to the Cook and Butler of the College, at such times as shall be appointed by the Master, and shall receive the same from the Tutor, within one week of the end of every Term, for all his Pupils who have been in Commons during the Term; and for all other persons in Commons, he shall be paid by themselves in the same time.

  • The Grad Studies Office has a photo of the professionally-made sign in its renovated 37 Dewey Field Road. (In the recent interior renovation, references to 37 Dewey Field Road seem to encompass both 37 and 50 Dewey Field Road, the old Homes 37 and 50.)

  • Insignia: From a College Grant photo album (pdf), page 20, we learn that

    The “Diamond D” log brand was stamped with a hammer into all logs leaving the College Grant so they could be identified upon reaching the sawmill.

    Unrelated: The clever Europhilia of Football as Football. And it is funny how the Maryland governor’s “Goals” website logo recalls the RAF roundel:

  • Dartmouth Now has an article on the up-close inspection of the exterior of Baker Tower.

  • Congratulations to The Dartmouth on its new website. Here’s hoping the upgrade doesn’t involve a new URL for every past article. This site has more than 220 broken links to the D at the moment.

[Update 05.03.2014: Broken link to Maryland veterans page replaced.]

Inn updates, the story of Bean’s Art Store, and other notes

  • The Dartmouth has a story on Bean’s Art Store, the little shop near the Hop (behind Ledyard National Bank) that has been furnishing Studio Art students with their squishy erasers and tubes of paint for decades.
  • Dartbeat has a post with photos on the progress at the Visual Arts Center. Big Green Alert Blog notes that the power lines along Lebanon Street are going under ground.
  • The Boston Globe links to a Valley News story on the completion of a large part of the Inn renovations (see also Dartmouth Now. The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the Inn’s predecessors on the site.
  • The Christian Science Monitor reports that the Interior Department has designated the Connecticut River and its watershed the first National Blueway in the country. The Valley News reports on the septennial perambulation of the riverine New Hampshire-Vermont border by the two states’ attorneys general.
  • The Valley News reports (again) that the Friends of Hanover Crew now have permission to build a rowing dock at Wilson’s Landing, a part of Fullington Farm. Hanover’s crews plan to move their boats out of Dartmouth’s boathouse and into a new boathouse to be built at the farm. An interesting report (pdf) from Engineering Ventures mentions that when the Friends of Hanover Crew bought their 2.4-acre portion of the farm from Dartmouth in 2008, they promised to allow Ledyard Canoe Club members to store 20 canoes and kayaks on the site, probably in the basement of the existing barn.

  • Dartmouth Sports announced some time ago that the new basketball office suite was completed in the old Kresge gym space in Berry Sports Center (via Dartmouth Now).
  • Thanks to Bruce for his proposal that as part of a Piazza Nervi project, the entrance to Thompson Arena should be redone (Big Green Alert Blog). This is a good idea, since Thompson’s entrance definitely needs replacing. But while one does notice that Thompson’s front facade is not parallel to Leverone’s, the lack of alignment is not necessarily a problem: plenty of urban spaces, especially in Italy, lack any right angles at all. And if the facades were made parallel, the difference in heights might become more noticeable. Who knows… The 2000 student life master plan (pdf) notes that the entry into Thompson Arena is obscured by existing houses along Park Street:

    There are, however, opportunities to reinforce the entry to Thompson Arena by moving or demolishing the College-owned houses on Park Street in front of the current entry. Doing so would relate the Arena to its cousin, Leverone Field House, both designed by Pier Luigi Nervi, and complete an intention planned but never realized.

  • The school’s Flickr page has a photo set showing the new ’53 Commons renovation of Thayer Dining Hall. The photos, along with plans, show that the red awnings in the main dining room have been removed and the bays opened up to allow free passage from north to south. Upstairs is where the real changes have taken place: there are lots of dining rooms up there now. The long, narrow Topside space is a dining room; the space above the leather-paneled Tindle Lounge/Paganucci Room is a private dining room; the spaces above the lobby (formerly offices?) look to be dining or meeting rooms. It is not clear where they put all the DDS offices that used to occupy the second level. At least some of the quadripylons out front were removed for the project (Street View): will they be replaced? Some kind of bollard seems necessary there, but the area might be more interesting with a different solution.
  • The 1994-era Lone Pine Tavern in the basement of Collis has been replaced by something called One Wheelock. It seems that a change in focus was needed, but did the room really have to be stripped bare? Perhaps people were stealing the memorabilia.
  • The Rauner Library blog has had too many interesting posts to count. See posts on the mathematics funerals and duckboards on the Green.
  • Dartmouth Health Connect opened a while back (The Dartmouth). It occupies the former Omer & Bob’s location following a renovation by Haynes & Garthwaite. It turns out that H&G designed Omer & Bob’s new location in Lebanon.
  • Lebanon is selling its Junior High School building, designed by Jens Larson (Valley News, Valley News). Note the similarities to Baker Library:

  • Some interesting things going on at other colleges: Yale is building a freestanding college in Singapore, designed by KieranTimberlake (Times article on the controversy). The University of Virginia is building a facility for its squash team at the Boar’s Head Sports Club, part of a fancy private resort (UVaToday). The Boar’s Head Inn is owned by the U.Va. Real Estate Foundation.
  • That Hanover war memorial that stands in front of the Town Building on Main Street? (Street View.) It was previously associated with the Green, where one would expect a war memorial, and shows up in front of the Inn in an old photo that was published in a recent story in the Mirror. It is interesting to note that a nearby space, just to the east of the Inn, later became a war memorial garden for the college.
  • “Chaste” might not be the right word, but “tasteful” is close: TruexCullins’ Buchanan Hall addition is very nice (Street View, school project page).
  • The Rauner Blog’s post on the Ski Jump features this photo of the jump’s outrun. The jump is gone now, but the Golf Course remains. Does that view show the same site as this one, from the Hanover Country Club’s map of the various holes? More historic images of the jump at Skisprungschanzen.com (via Big Green Alert Blog).
  • More information on the bypass mentioned here earlier, from page 14 of the 2002 Campus Master Plan (pdf):

    To reduce congestion, Hanover has explored alternatives to bypass the Inn corner. A Connector Highway linking Route 120, Route 10 and I-91 would be very desirable for both Hanover and the Medical Center, but Lebanon has not supported this proposal. The College should continue to study this and other by-pass proposals, making College properties available if necessary.

The “North Block,” or one way to expand onto the golf course

I. Background.

The hope is that if or when Dartmouth builds a new heat plant in Dewey Field, the prominent field north of the Life Sciences Center, it erects a building of high quality.

More important than the architecture, however, is the siting: the building should be located in such a way that it does not impede the construction of other buildings in the future. This is the second time this idea has been flogged here.

Dartmouth needs to decide upon the potential building sites for the whole area between the LSC and the 6th hole of the golf course. It should know ahead of time whether this will be a district of brown metal sheds, academic buildings, office spaces, or even general-market apartment buildings, and how these new buildings will be organized, even if the first one is not built until 2050.

Google Street Views of the overall parking lot (up from the bottom, down from the Medical School) show the tremendous amount of space available to future builders with incomplete ideas. The sort-of road that lines the western edge of the site will form a crucial axis, as is made apparent in the set of excellent views to the north from under the Kellogg bridge and to the south (uphill).

II. Proposal.

The idea of placing academic buildings or dormitories north of the LSC should be dismissed out of hand. This site is simply too far away from the center of campus. The fact that the LSC forms a great rampart walling off the outside world suggests that the college agrees: what lies beyond the pale is not a part of the campus.

But there will be buildings built here, and there are some functions that would be appropriate for the college to develop here.

Present zoning aside, this could be a great place for commercial rental buildings with integrated parking garages. The Development Office could be here. Look to Centerra; look to the space the college is renting in downtown Hanover at the moment. This site is no farther from the Green than is Ledyard Bridge, and walking distance is obviously of little importance to non-student functions. Retail and residential uses would be essential to add life to the district when it is finally built out, but they might be too much to hope for.

north block proposal

Sketch of possible “North Block” development on Dewey Field and golf course.

What about the golf course? Add a couple of holes to the north or east; build a new clubhouse at the north end of this commercial project, or in the Reservoir Road area as a companion to the Rugby Club.

[02.25.2012 update: first paragraph reworded slightly.]

The Dartmouth Institute of Health Care Delivery Science

A Valley News article reports President Kim’s suggestion that Dartmouth host a national institute of the science of the delivery of health care. One imagines that it would accompany or expand upon the existing Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. That institute is scheduled to occupy the postponed future Koop Medical Science Complex at the south end of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (map).

If not located at the hospital, however, such an institute would make an excellent candidate for placement north of the medical school, even on the golf course. It would not require parking for patients; it would benefit from its proximity to downtown — walkable if not convenient enough for a student function — and yet it would be indisputably part of the college.

To allay the concerns expressed here last year, this building and any other buildings on the site should be made to follow the form of the town, not the campus. A grid of streets with sidewalks and buildings, rather than a network of curving driveways with lawns, would promote density while acknowledging that the college does not expect students to walk this far from the Green on a regular basis. The buildings would harmonize with the campus without pretending to be a part of it — much more South Block than McLaughlin Cluster.

The Institute for Security, Technology, and Society could move to the site, along with other administrative offices now at remote locations, such as the offices in the bank building on Main Street and the Development Office, which is in Centerra.

The perfect completion of such a plan would involve the Hanover Country Club House. The club has wanted a larger and more convenient clubhouse for several years. A new east-west connector street at the north end of this expansion project, crossing the south end of the golf course between Lyme Road to Rope Ferry Road, could provide an excellent site for such a building. The clubhouse would occupy the north side of this street, looking up the stretch of greensward; the south side of the street would be a densely-built wall representing the end of the urban development of Hanover. Compare the fascinating conditions of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

In Hanover, the clubhouse would stand on the north side of the northern cross-street, whichever was built:

South end of Golf Course with street grid superimposed
Example of town-form development

[Update 05.03.2014: Broken link to DIHP&CP facts and figures replaced.]
[Update 09.25.2010: With all this talk of buildings, it never occurred to me that the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science would be mostly on-line.]
[Update 02.06.2010: Map added.]

Concerns about expanding the campus onto the Golf Course

Over the last decade, Dartmouth’s planners have concluded that the College must expand northward onto the Golf Course relatively soon. See, for example, the 2001 Master Plan, page 11 (pdf).

The latest 2001 plan tentatively suggests a location for the new road that would be required to make this expansion possible. The road would run from the Medical School/Dewey Field, cut through Dewey Hill, and head to the northwest to provide building sites on the very edge of — or actually on top of — the 17th hole of the Golf Course.

proposed road on Golf Course

Rough compilation of maps suggesting route of golf course road north of Medical School, with potential building sites indicated by solid red dots; Baker at lower left

The buildings on this road would lie beyond the 10-minute walking radius that Dartmouth takes for granted as defining its pedestrian campus. The road, which would traverse fairly steep slopes, seems likely to go nowhere and to lack a connection to either Rope Ferry or Lyme Road. Because this development would focus on a paved thoroughfare instead of an architectural space, as all of Dartmouth’s most successful expansions do, it seems likely to be suburban in character — more Centerra than Tuck Mall.

Such an expansion would only seem inevitable if one were to begin with the premise that the existing campus is “full.” That premise cannot be accurate. Dartmouth should do everything possible to prevent it from becoming accurate. There are still plenty of places to add to existing buildings or erect new ones near the center of campus. Many of these sites contained buildings in the past or have been the subjects of building proposals dating to the 1920s:

unsolicited master plan for Dartmouth 2008

Unsolicited master plan showing approximate sites to be built upon in preference to Golf Course; the only demolition required is in the Choates

Dartmouth should replicate existing densities before it expands in ways that are suburban, needlessly university-like, or simply cause the College to spread too far from the Green.

[Update 02.06.2010: Although campuslike development beyond the walking radius should be avoided, townlike development is desirable.]