Investiture and other topics

  • The report of the 210th Alumni Council meeting updates us on plans underway to create a freestanding School of Graduate Studies that will coordinate the 17 Ph.D. programs and 12 Masters’ programs that exist alongside the professional degrees of the three professional schools. Grad Studies is now holding its first investiture ceremony (Dartmouth Now). The coat of arms was just the first step…

  • The Council meeting summary states that “[t]he College has also received sufficient donations to support the initial year of the new residential model of house communities.” That’s an interesting funding method; presumably in the long term the school will seek a naming gift for each Community. The funding element is not mentioned in the full report, although the need for heraldry (again) is foreshadowed:

    House programming budgets will support a wide range of activities including “feeds,” intramurals, concerts, field trips, new annual traditions, alumni events, house swag, experiential learning, and leadership development activities.

    Happy to see the term “feed” surviving.

  • It was a surprise to find last year that the famous Concord Coach that regularly carried the football team to the railroad station more than a century ago still existed (post). Now, courtesy of Time Well Kept: Selections from the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives, we learn that the coach of famous Hanover liveryman Ira Allen survives as well! From the book:

    J.S. and E.A. Abbot and Company built coach #746 in the spring of 1864 for New Hampshire stage operator Ira B. Allen, who ordered his coach made two inches narrower and lighter than other typical nine-passenger coaches. Coach builders painted #746 dark green, a standard but seldom-chosen color requested by Allen, whose staging business in Hanover carried many students and visitors to Dartmouth College.

    The coach, which is no longer painted green, is on display in Miami.

  • The Alumni Magazine in its May-June issue featured a number of historic photos of life at the college, carefully colored by Sanna Dullaway. The photo of the Golden Corner and watering trough, the tenth or so image, looks like it gets the color right.

  • The Big Green Alert continues to cover progress at Memorial Field, with photos on May 14, 20, and 22, and June 4.

  • Really intriguing things are going on with the proposal for a natural gas pipeline from Lebanon to the Heating Plant via DHMC (Valley News).

  • Received the latest campus map through email ahead of the reunion next weekend. It looks nice. It labels all of the sports fields and, possibly for the first time, labels the Softball Park and Burnham Pavilion (I thought that one was also unnamed as the Sports Pavilion?). It depicts the Lewiston buildings. It calls attention to the fact that the parking lot behind Thayer/53 Commons is still called “DDA Lot,” even though DDA became DDS a quarter-century ago. One does wish that the mapmakers would abbreviate the “Saint” in the names of the churches. And is the official name of the cemetery really the “Town of Hanover Cemetery,” when it was built on college-owned land and run by the Dartmouth Cemetery Association? Finally, one hopes that the roadway labeled “Old Tuck Drive” is not called that in practice. There is no “new” Tuck Drive to distinguish it from, and it’s the same as it ever was: Tuck Drive.

  • The Dartmouth reports on Tri-Delt’s decision to go local.

  • The website of Gamma Delta Chi documents the changes that the organization is making to its house, including an extensive set of alterations to the Pit.

  • The Valley News, reporting on the AD derecognition, quotes college spokeswoman Diana Lawrence:

    “Students are free to join any organization that’s not recognized by the college,” she said, so as far as Dartmouth is concerned, “they can become Freemasons.”

    In case you were wondering in 1799, “the Board of Trust declared itself in a decree that any student becoming a mason should thereby cease to be a member of College.”1John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913 ), 520.

  • The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the ownership of the Green.

  • The voters of the Town defeated the West Wheelock Gateway District proposal (Valley News).

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Notes   [ + ]

1. John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913 ), 520.

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Here’s to the Polka Dot; other topics

  • The Valley News has an article with some superb photographs on the Polka Dot Restaurant by the tracks in White River Junction. The 1925 building seems to have hosted a diner from the beginning; owner Mary Shatney started working there in 1959 and had to close the place last year. It’s up for sale — let’s hope it remains a restaurant.

  • The Dartmouth Energy Program site is very impressive. In the history section, the excellent photo of the coal assistant seems to have been taken from the east end of the hall looking west. The narrow-gauge rails lead toward the coal hopper in the end of the building, now the site of the Hood Museum’s Bernstein Study-Storage Center. A couple of quibbles: first, “the good old days” actually began in 1770, not 1769; second, the timeline could mention the major addition of a second level to the building in 1922, apparently when the plant switched from coal to oil; and third, there’s something off about the wording of this sentence on the main page, however technically correct it might be: “While Dartmouth may be the smallest Ivy League university, we’re doing big things with energy efficiency.”

  • Excellent photo documentation of the construction of the West Stands continues at the Big Green Alert: April 24, April 23, April 22, April 19, April 18 (notable photos), April 8, April 7 (seating chart), March 23, and March 16.

  • The photo in the Valley News story on spring practice makes Memorial Field look as if it occupies an industrial wasteland. The runway at which Memorial Field’s concrete risers were stored for about six years, incidentally, was known as Miller Airport (Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields).

  • Victor Mair ’65 at Language Log takes on the word “schlump,” of “schlump season,” i.e. “mud season” (“breakup” in Alaska).

  • The Rauner Library Blog has interesting posts on the petition of Ledyard and others to be allowed to learn to dance and use the sword and a mysterious photo album called Along the Connecticut 1912.

  • The Watershed Studio website features several notable projects, including the Friends of Hanover Crew boathouse, the Organic Farm greenhouse, and a design for the replacement Ledyard Canoe Club.

  • Maybe the real test for the Residential Communities (a post here) will be the Commencement ceremony. Will the Communities be represented in the procession? The graduates will still have to march in alphabetical order, but will the House Professors carry the house emblems?

  • The West Wheelock Gateway District proposal is up for a vote and has been getting some press (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The VN story has this neat tidbit:

    Around the corner from Anderson, William Smalley owns a small white house sandwiched between rental buildings mostly filled with Dartmouth students.

    In an interview Monday at his home, where he has lived since 1938, Smalley said he welcomed the creation of the district and didn’t mind the parties the students occasionally threw.

    “Somebody said to me, ‘How can you stand them?'” he said of the students, but “I’ve never had a problem with them — never.”

  • The college’s Flickr account has a neat and unusual view of Dartmouth Row, Ascutney, Richardson, and the Wilder addition. See the photo of the graffiti inside the Bartlett Tower roof. The structure does not look particularly original (1895) but there are graffiti from 1910 and 1915, so perhaps it is.

  • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) contains a number of interesting tidbits, including this one: “The Town’s boundary stones and monuments are also historic landmarks. Most have the first letters of the adjacent towns incised in them.”

  • “In devising the plan of the library building, you have contemplated its indefinite extension to meet the growth of the collections,” said Mellen Chamberlain at the dedication of Wilson Hall as the school library (Google Books).

  • “Areas of potential historic interest include theoriginal center of Town; the well field of the old Aqueduct Company south of the Greensboro Road; the Granite Quarry south of Greensboro Road; the Tilton Quarry east of Moose Mountain Road and one of the earliest slate quarries on the old Tisdale property” (Hanover Master Plan pdf).

  • Finding churches that have been put to interesting new uses is just too easy, so further examples will not be added to the post here that arguing that Rollins should be turned into a library. There is a pub in a former church in Nottingham, England, and a brewery and pub in a former church in Pittsburgh, where a Romanesque nave makes an impressive beer hall.

  • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) also recommends National Register listing for various districts including the campus.

  • This has probably been posted here before, but Yale has construction photos and a slick video of the two new residential colleges it is building.

  • The Dartmouth has an article on near-future construction projects.

  • Not much is coming out about Thayer School’s master plan. “Because the college owns Tuck Drive, any attempt to better align it with West Street will have to wait until Dartmouth’s own building plans in the area are finalized, she said” (referring to Vicki Smith, Hanover’s senior planner) (Valley News).

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Building projects budgeted for; other news

  • The Town budget includes funding for construction of walk/bike path along Lyme Road to the Reservoir Road roundabout. The paved path will be separated from the road by a tree lawn (The Dartmouth).

  • Tri-Kap appears finally to be tackling its Fuller Audit improvements, planning to erect an addition designed by Domus Custom Builders (Zoning Board minutes 22 January 2015 pdf).

  • Earlier this year, the Hood Quarterly reported that work on the museum’s addition and renovation would begin during the Spring of 2016.1”Anonymous $10 Million Gift Will Transform Teaching at the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2015), 10, available at http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/docs/2015webreadyquarterly.pdf. The college trustees met last week and approved a capital budget that includes $8.5 million “for completion of design and preconstruction activities for the Hood Museum of Art renewal and expansion project” (Dartmouth Now). The Hood project, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, “is being coordinated with a Hopkins Center for the Arts planning study” by Boora Architects.

  • Also in the new capital budget (Dartmouth Now) are:

    – Funds for the planning and design of a restoration project for Baker Tower.

    – “$11.75 million for design and construction of facilities related to initial work on the configuration of new residential housing communities.” That is likely work by Sasaki Associates, with the funding presumably going to build something less than the total number of dining-hall additions, faculty houses, or other “neighborhood” improvements the firm is proposing.

    – “$100,000 for planning and conceptual design for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement project.” The growth of mold in the clubhouse has sealed its fate; the designer of the replacement has not been named.

    – “$200,000 for schematic design for renovation of Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.” After Maclay Architects studied the feasibility of preserving or replacing the Lodge, it was not known which route the board would take. Maclay even sketched a design for a possible replacement. Now it seems that the Lodge is going to be preserved.

  • The Planner’s Blog mentions that there are more than 42 types of bollard on campus. Almost as impressive is the fact that all the bollards have been cataloged and are being evaluated in a critical way.

  • Dartmouth Now has a nice post on the Book Arts Workshop in Baker.2Hannah Silverstein, “Book Arts Workshop: Hands-On Learning, Global Reach,” Dartmouth Now (25 February 2015), at
    http://now.dartmouth.edu/2015/02/book-arts-workshop-hands-on-learning-global-reach/.

  • The feasibility study for that future Mass Row renovation was conducted a couple of years ago by Lawson Bell Architects.

  • Miller Chevrolet Cadillac, down on Route 120 not far from Fort Harry’s, has been sold, and its site is to be redeveloped:

    Although Cicotte declined to identify the buyer, she said it wasn’t a hotel developer, Dartmouth College, or Hanover developer Jay Campion. The Miller Chevrolet Cadillac property, which is accessed on Labombard Road, is adjacent to the New Hampshire National Guard Armory on Heater Road. The property is also next to a planned hotel and conference center under review by Lebanon planning authorities, and near a natural gas depot under development by Campion.

    One possible buyer mentioned is Dartmouth Coach, which has a facility on nearby Etna Road.

    (Valley News). If I’m not mistaken, Miller is the dealership that eventually acquired Rodgers’ Garage, the REO/Packard/Chevrolet dealer on Lebanon Street where the VAC now stands.

  • That natural gas project is by Campion’s Valley Green Natural Gas, which plans to transfer gas from tanker trucks on Route 120 and then send it by pipeline to Hanover, particularly to Dartmouth (Valley News 18 May 2014, 4 November 2014). Dartmouth will finish analyzing a possible fuel switch this fall (Valley News).

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Notes   [ + ]

1. ”Anonymous $10 Million Gift Will Transform Teaching at the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2015), 10, available at http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/docs/2015webreadyquarterly.pdf.
2. Hannah Silverstein, “Book Arts Workshop: Hands-On Learning, Global Reach,” Dartmouth Now (25 February 2015), at
http://now.dartmouth.edu/2015/02/book-arts-workshop-hands-on-learning-global-reach/.

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Neighborhood planning, other topics

  • In 4 Currier, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator is operating (NHBR, via Dartmouth Now).

  • The extensive renovation has ended and Triangle House is now open (Dartmouth Now).

  • Amidon Jewelers is closing its store on Main Street, The Dartmouth notes. Amidon has been in town since 1935.

  • The College is looking at using natural gas or another fuel in the Heat Plant in place of No. 6 heating oil (The Dartmouth). It’s not clear that this move will lead to a new heating plant on Dewey Field, but there is always the possibility.

  • From Dartmouth Now, “neighborhoods” get a timeline:

    The Board also discussed the ongoing planning and development of possible residential housing models that could be implemented beginning with the Class of 2019.

  • Dunc’s Mill, a Vermont rum distillery, displays on its building a rare matched set of Vermont windows (see the post here).

  • The Tucker Foundation is seeking comments on its split into religious and service groups (Dartmouth Now).

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on induced demand for roads.

  • The Dartmouth has a general article on campus construction that says:

    Gilman Hall, the now-closed former home of the biology department and proposed location for the academic center, will remain vacant for the foreseeable future, Hogarty said. Though the College investigated potential uses for the building over the summer, it did not decide on an immediate course of action. While housing was considered as one option, this would have been too expensive.

    With Gilman on the road to weedy dereliction, somebody with FO&M needs to rescue those original lettered transom panels.

  • The Pine Park Association has a video of the construction of the new pedestrian bridge over Girl Brook.

  • Bruce at the Big Green Alert blog justifies his proposed name for the soon-to-be annual season-ending football game against Brown: The Tussle in the Woods.

  • There is some discussion of the Ravine Lodge demolition proposal at Views from the Top.

  • Waterfront New York: Images of the 1920s and ’30s is a new book of watercolor paintings by Aldren A. Watson, the Etna illustrator and writer who died in 2013 (Valley News, aldrenwatson.com). Watson might be familiar to readers from the trio of aerial sketches he did for The College on the Hill: A Dartmouth Chronicle (1965), precisely-delineated snapshots of Dartmouth in the 1770s, 1860s, and 1960s. The last of these is etched at a large scale on a glass partition in Six South.

  • There is a new football website (via Big Green Alert blog). In the Athletics > Ivy League section, the green “D” logo has mercifully shed its TM mark.

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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.

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Wintry aerials, etc.

  • The design of the Black VAC landscape, including the Arts Plaza, was by Richard Burck Associates, the Boston-area firm that designed Berry Row. The project manager was Lisa Giersbach.

  • An article on the Williamson Translational Research Building in Dartmouth Medicine (Spring 2013) includes this exchange with Geisel School Senior Associate Dean for Research Duane Compton:

    DM: Plans for a translational research building began several years ago. What makes this the right time to move forward with this project?

    COMPTON: In 2007, Dr. Peter Williamson and his wife, Susan, made a landmark gift commitment to support the construction of a translational research building for the medical school. A year later, the economy collapsed and nearly all Dartmouth College building plans were put on hold, including the Williamson Building. Now, with the stronger economy, fundraising momentum growing, and the need for additional research space intensifying, it’s imperative that we move forward with the building.

  • Is Fairchild getting a deck? The floorplan provided as part of the Fairchild renovation project page shows what appears to be a plank-floored deck with tables on the College Street side of the building.


    Google Street View of Fairchild.

  • Dartmouth Engineer Magazine (March 2013) has an article on the Advanced Surgery Center at DHMC, an extension of an existing wing of the complex.

  • This site keeps harping on the need to preserve and reuse the Heating Plant. For an elegant reuse of a powerplant as a college library, see Moore Ruble Yudell’s U.W. Tacoma project. An 1875 waterworks building in Bonn, Germany was renovated in 1986 to serve as the Plenary Chamber of the Bundestag (photo gallery). And on a different scale, G.G. Scott’s 1947 and 1963 Bankside Power Station was rehabbed in 2000 by Herzog & de Meuron as the Tate Modern (Wikipedia; Louise Bourgeois, sculptor of Crouching Spider, was the first artist to have work commissioned for the Turbine Hall). Dartmouth’s smokestack, although only about a half-century old, must be retained as part of the complex, especially in an environment of few spires. Yale’s master plan devotes one map to locating “major vertical objects” on the campus (pdf, page 94).

  • I didn’t know that Tuck is offering a dual-degree program (Master of Environmental Law and Policy/Master of Business Administration) with Vermont Law School (VLS pdf).

  • Congratulations to the football team on an excellent conclusion to the season in the Princeton game (see this photo of the snowy evening in The Woods). The coverage on WDCR on line was enjoyable. For some reason, however, DartmouthSports.com still depends on Flash for much of its free live content. A hint: Adobe announced that it would stop developing mobile Flash more than two years ago, and Flash has never worked on iOS devices.

  • Boora’s design for the Hop renovation, according to the website, will include “a series of transparent boxes that penetrate the opaque modern exterior at entry points.” The article in The Dartmouth also mentions eliminating confusion in navigation “by changing the entryway structures.” Could these additions include a new street-level front entry pavilion located between the Inn and the Moore Theater (the iconic Hop facade)? This remarkable photo from Aerial Design shows the site, with the recent Grand Ballroom box and its depressed entrance to the Hop visible behind the reduced Zahm Garden.

  • Aerial Design has a number of excellent photos taken after a snowfall during December of 2012. The streets are uniformly free of snow and look almost like chilly canals in some of the images: the VAC, the Hop, and downtown; the south end of the Green and town; east along Lebanon Street to Memorial Field; and eastward across the campus from Tuck Mall.

  • Did you know that the New Hampshire legislature gave degree-granting authority to a for-profit university with its main administrative office in Concord and its campus in a 16th-century castle near Turin? St. John International University is having problems according to Inside Higher Ed.

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The next Visual Arts Center

I. Introduction

The nearing completion of the Visual Arts Center points up the current underuse of the site next door at the corner of Crosby and Lebanon Streets.

Crosby and Lebanon Streets, existing

Existing conditions. All maps based on official campus map (pdf).

This is a large and important site. Whatever building goes here — let’s assume it is an arts-related building — will be visible to visitors arriving on Lebanon Street. It will need to be a gateway building, as the 2000 downtown Hanover plan illustrates so thoroughly. The Rogers Marvel 2002 Arts Center Analysis (pdf) also emphasizes the potential of this site on page 38.

author photo of Crosby and Lebanon Streets, 2006

View to the northwest showing the corner, 2006.

The first impulse is to follow the footprint of the existing low-scale facilities building. But this site is not only large, it is also unusually malleable. The college and town might be able to relocate Crosby Street in radical ways to completely reshape the ground available for the gateway building.

Why might Crosby be changeable? Because it has been changed in the past. Crosby Street was first laid out in 1872, to separate the state farm on the east from the state college dormitory site and other buildings on the west.

Crosby Street originally ran straight through to Lebanon Street. It was not until the early 1960s that Crosby’s southern delta was given its current incongruously suburban form. When Dartmouth sought permission to close down South College Street for the Hopkins Center, the Town asked Dartmouth to rework Crosby Street in return, aligning the street with Sanborn Road to form an ex post facto four-way intersection.

author photo of Memorial Field, 2006

View to the north showing the front (west) facade of Memorial Field, 2006. The sidewalk preserves Crosby’s original alignment.

Should we worry about Sanborn Road if Crosby is realigned? No. In fact, the downtown Hanover plan proposes in text and an illustration that Sanborn Road be blocked off. Instead, Hovey Lane will give access to this neighborhood through a short outlet punched through to South Street (see map below).

Would the abandonment of Crosby Street’s current alignment open up any possibilities for a college building on the corner? Each of the following proposals assumes that McKenzie Hall/Shops on Crosby is preserved; Sanborn Road is rerouted; and commercial buildings are built on the college land along the south side of Lebanon Street.

II. The Maximum Arts

The gateway building could expand to fill all of the empty land added to the corner:

maximum arts proposal

The maximum arts proposal.

This plan would block an important view of Memorial Field and make Crosby Street into a narrow tunnel. A good use of space, but not good preservation or townscape.

Some variation on this plan, however, might be a good one:

variation on maximum arts proposal

Variation on the maximum arts proposal.

III. The Minimum Arts

Crosby could be pulled to the west, adding a big empty lawn in front of Memorial Field:

minimum arts proposal

The minimum arts proposal.

This plan would not make efficient use of space, and its creation of new lawns would not actually improve the view of Memorial Field.

IV. The Square and Temple

A big public square could be carved out of the surrounding buildings:

square and temple proposal

The square and temple proposal.

If the big square feels barren, a little temple that shares an alignment with nothing else could be dropped down in front of Memorial Field.

This plan would take advantage of the interesting fact that both Memorial Field and St. Denis Roman Catholic Church were designed in the early 1920s by Jens F. Larson. The two buildings appear to be perpendicular to each other, both aligned with Crosby Street.

author photo of St. Denis, 2006

View to the southeast showing north (front) and west facades of St. Denis, 2006.

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[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to Memorial Field image fixed.]

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Ideas for a new heating plant

Heating Plant
Dartmouth Heating Plant

The trend these days seems to be for colleges to drop coal (and probably oil, which is what powers Dartmouth’s plant) and go with natural gas, as at Cornell, or biomass, as at Middlebury.

From a planning standpoint alone, a new heating plant would be beneficial for Dartmouth. It would allow the Studio Art department to colonize the well-worn but supremely adaptable old heating plant. Assuming that a steam plant works as well at one end of the line as the other, Dartmouth could build an up-to-date replacement in what might be called the development zone north of the Life Sciences Center, an area that arguably should be developed densely and like a town, not like a campus.

Dartmouth is pragmatic enough that it might do a new heating plant as a metal shed. But because this is a gateway to campus, and for art’s sake, Dartmouth should have an interesting architect do it. No need to cite the great power plants through history, just look at this chiller plant at Chicago:

This is not to say that Hanover needs a building that looks like one by Murphy/Jahn, only that the utilitarian parts of campus could stand to be invested with some artistry.

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