Moosilauke Ravine Lodge construction continues

  • David Kotz has some nice photos of the construction of the new Ravine Lodge.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the great railroad artist Howard Fogg ’38.

  • Spotted this flag at a Richmond, Virginia, area high school:

    Photo of flag at Freeman High, Richmond VA by Meacham

    The star recalls the WWII Army Air Force insignia or the Chrysler Pentastar of the Eighties. Or it could be a battlefield map depicting a star fort surrounded by infantry units. The variety of bar widths is unusual. Flags of the World explains that it is “an official symbol of remembrance of September 11th” and that when it is hoisted vertically, the wide bars are meant to be seen as the Twin Towers.

    It turns out that the flag’s designer owns a restaurant very close to the school, and that he has also designed a monument to the flag (in the shape of the flag, hoisted vertically) for a traffic island nearby. “Given that it is the home of the Freedom Flag, Henrico County is the natural choice for the location of the Freedom Flag Monument and Virginia 9/11 Memorial.”

  • Dartmouth Now seems to have changed its name to Dartmouth News.

  • Other college buildings based on Independence Hall are found at Brooklyn College:


    and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. (see the Google Earth 3D image).

  • Amherst has chosen as its mascot the Mammoth. The blurb explaining the Mammoth proposal notes that “The Beneski Museum of Natural History famously displays the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth, unearthed by Professor Frederick Brewster Loomis and brought to the College in 1925.” Museum specimens always provide good mascot options. Dartmouth’s museum displayed both a stuffed zebra and a set of curious elephant (i.e. mammoth) bones during the late eighteenth century.

  • The University of Virginia is celebrating its 200th anniversary and will feature bicentennial-logo zipper pulls on this year’s graduation gowns.

  • The city of Krakow has a new logo in the form of a city plan.

  • Last year the New York Times published interactive articles on mapping the shadows of New York and which existing Manhattan buildings could not be built today.

  • A Times obituary of March 13 noted the passing of the architectural historian and author of the Streetscapes column Christopher Gray. I was never able to meet him, but I was honored to have my site mentioned in his column on Lamb & Rich, and I enjoyed visiting the Office for Metropolitan History to do research in his compilations of 19th-century Times building permit notices (now they are in an online database provided by OMH, an amazing resource). The New Yorker ran an article about how Gray had left his skeleton to his school, St. Paul’s. What a character —


250th anniversary planning heats up

  • One might be surprised at paucity of info out there on the demolition of a part of the Hood Museum and the construction of a large addition. The D has a demolition photo from the Green taken last fall. Curbed.com has a post with two post-demolition photos. (See also the set of fascinating photos of the architectural model at Radii Inc.)

  • Metropolis does have a story on the Hood. These are excerpts:

    Dartmouth first began seriously mulling over the Hood’s fate in 2001, when it commissioned a speculative study by Rogers Marvel Architects. In 2005, it commissioned another by Machado Silvetti, the architectural firm that designed the Hood’s newest neighbor, the Black Family Visual Arts Center. Then in 2010, it commissioned yet another study, this time by Centerbrook, the practice that Charles Moore cofounded afterparticipatory process, which put users on a level playing field Moore Grover Harper. None created the visual presence — that new front door — that Dartmouth administrators were looking for.

    The college began soliciting proposals from a broader pool of architects. A selection committee, including faculty and administrators, winnowed down a short list. In the end, four architects were selected to be interviewed. John Scherding, director of campus design and construction, vividly remembers the TWBTA proposal:

    “All of us in the room felt it was brilliant. They were the only firm that suggested disconnecting the Hood from Wilson Hall, allowing Wilson to stand proudly on the corner of the Green. They were the only firm that showed a strong identifiable front entrance to the building, infilled the courtyard to provide program space, and really strengthened the north-south axis. It was a very powerful and simple concept that satisfied all of the needs.”

    It thoughtfully preserves the gallery spaces (one exemplary detail: To preserve the windows along the staircase, and the dance of light along the walls, TWBTA will convert some of the windows into light boxes of stained glass) and will likely improve the museum experience in many fundamental ways.

  • The sestercentennial celebration website is up. The wordmark makes some interesting typeface choices. The unique “250,” which is set in a type that might be based on Bodoni, includes the most arresting element: a numeral “2” whose diagonal (neck?) is partially erased. The numeral “5” is partially hidden by the “2,” but there is no explanation for the missing bit of the “2.” Is it meant to look like the imperfect printing of an eighteenth-century pamphlet? It looks a bit like a stencil. In any case, the “Dartmouth” on the second line is set in the official Bembo (standard Bembo, not the Yale-only version), and the third line (“1769-2019”) is set in a sans serif font.

  • The sestercentennial will involve a year-long program of events (President’s message) created by a planning committee seeking to meet a number of goals.

  • Here’s a clever little film about an interesting story: Goudy & Syracuse: The Tale of a Typeface Found.

  • Interesting insignia decisions here: the midcentury Institute of International Studies in California was acquired a few years ago by Middlebury College (Wikipedia). In 2015, Middlebury “introduced a brand identity system that embraces the full breadth of its educational endeavors by placing the Middlebury name on each of its schools and programs” (MIIS page). And what a varied collection of institutions it is, including summer schools, conferences, and academic programs. The unified identity is based on a shield. I don’t know about the Midd shield: the globe looks like it’s from a different design language, from a 1960s U.N. brochure. The chapel touches the top of the shield. The hills, because they meet the edges of the shield, read as the sleeves of a gown or as curtains. Maybe this is because the eaves of the chapel are shown as angled bars floating free on the clouds.

  • The Institute is the only Middlebury institution that gets a truly distinctive shield, a variation “that replaces the Green Mountains of Vermont and Old Chapel with the historic Segal Building from the Monterey campus and the year of the Institute’s founding” (MIIS page).

  • A Kickstarter project for Design Canada, “The first documentary chronicling the history of Canadian graphic design and how it shaped a nation and its people.”

  • The New Yorker has has an article on lines of desire. Speaking of unplanned paths, the aerial photo of the vacated pipeline protest camp in the New York Times is remarkable.

  • McGraw Bagnoli Architects have published a brochure about the firm that details the five urban design projects planned by William Rawn Associates during the early 2000s. This is fascinating. It will be interesting to see whether the school ever completes the Sargent Block project and what plan it follows.

  • Smith & Vansant have photos of some of the houses the firm has renovated for the college, including Unity House and Thayer Lodge, both on South Park Street, 26 East Wheelock, 19 South Park, and the Victorian professor’s house of the North Park House community.

  • Architect Vital Albuquerque (again, great name) < ahref="http://rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/saahp/portfolios/alumni/vital-albuquerque-class-01">presents more unreleased renderings of the unbuilt NCAC, including a remarkable photo of a model of the project.

  • Engelberth Construction has its page for the West Stand Replacement up.

  • At the last board meeting,

    Hanlon outlined goals to renovate a number of aging buildings, and the board approved funds to proceed with a schematic design for the renovation of Dana Hall, the former home of the biomedical library located at the north end of campus, to facilitate the expansion and improvement of faculty office spaces.

    The board also approved a capital budget of $30 million to fund a number of projects, including the Morton Hall renovation and planning and feasibility studies of the abatement and demolition of Gilman Hall; renovations to Reed Hall and Thornton Hall; and undergraduate housing expansion and renewal.

  • A Moosilauke update with photos by Eli Burakian. The building has an interesting mix of construction techniques. Some of those “character” timbers are fantastic.

  • Some of the photos of the federal building that houses the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, such as the one in this New York Times story from February 9, show the elaborate metal lanterns flanking the entrance of the 1905 building. The lanterns might be familiar: architect James Knox Taylor, then Supervising Architect of the Treasury, modeled them on the torch-holders of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence of 1489 (GSA page on the Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building). The Strozzi torch-holders also inspired Charles Rich in his design for Parkhurst Hall (1913).

  • Drove past Nervi’s SCOPE arena in Norfolk, Va. (1971-72) last weekend and admired the ribs that form the roof of this entrance pavilion (Google Street View):


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.


Image of new Ledyard; selecting Ravine Lodge timbers


Co-Op Food Store in Centerra

———

11.28.2016 update: DEN project page link added.


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).


Now is the time for heraldry

ORL has opened a “House Insignia Design” search.

Although the webpage acknowledges that the Houses “do not have to be represented as shields or coats of arms,” the relevant tradition is that of heraldry, and the four house systems that are provided as examples (those of Rice, Harvard, Yale, and SMU) are dominated by shields.

Here are some rough sketches, with speculative blazons. The arbitrary House names assigned by ORL are probably only temporary and are not referenced in the arms. Comments and suggestions are welcome; feel free to submit any of these to ORL without attribution:

Allen House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Gile, Streeter, and Lord Halls.

Associations: Tuck Mall, the Gold Coast, the Hitchcock Estate, the Cemetery, architect Jens Larson’s ocular windows and connecting arcades.

Possible blazon: Gules three arches conjoined Or in base two barrulets Argent.

East Wheelock House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Andres, Zimmerman, Morton, and McCulloch Halls.

Associations: Dr. Frost’s House, Judge Parker, the “New Dorms,” the ur-community, the postmodern entry pyramid.

Possible blazon: Sable a pyramid proper in base two barrulets Argent.

North Park House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Ripley, Woodward, and Smith Halls.

Associations: College Park, the Bema, the Old Pine or Lone Pine, the stump, the Grotto, early graduates and original college tutors Ripley, Woodward, and Smith.

Possible blazon: Azure a tree stump erased in base two barrulets all Argent.

School House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Massachusetts Row and Hitchcock Hall.

Associations: Mass Row (“Mass Rowhouse”), a temple front, Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts flag (whose reverse apparently displayed a green pine tree on a blue field from 1908 to 1971).

Possible blazon: Azure a pine tree in base two barrulets all Argent.

South House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Topliff and New Hampshire Halls and the Lodge.

Associations: Hallgarten (“Hellgate”), the New Hampshire College of Agriculture & the Mechanic Arts, the State College, present-day UNH (whose colors are blue and white), Aggies, father of NHC in Hanover Ezekiel Dimond, the State Farm (part of which is now occupied by the football field and baseball diamond), the plow.

Possible blazon: Sable a lozenge in base two barrulets all Argent.

West House.


House arms by Meacham

Constituent buildings: Butterfield, Russell Sage, Fahey, and McLane Halls.

Associations: The mansion and estate of wealthy hotelier, philanthropist, and amateur archeologist Hiram Hitchcock, the landscaped auto road of Tuck Drive, a.k.a. Webster’s Vale, Eleazar Wheelock’s first college site (behind Sage).

Possible blazon: Purpure a wheel in base two barrulets all Argent.


Summertomb

Some tombs or tomblike buildings spotted during July and August. Any of these would make a fine model for a senior society hall:

Above: South and east facades, Getty Tomb, Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois (Louis Sullivan, 1890).

Above: Entrance detail, Getty Tomb.

Above: South facade, Neue Wache (New Guardhouse), Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany (Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1816).

Above: West facade, Neue Wache (view to south).

Above: Interior, Neue Wache (view to northwest).

Above: North and west facades, Holmes Mausoleum, Graceland Cemetery (Charles B. Blake Company, 1934).

Above: West facade, Ryerson Tomb, Graceland Cemetery (Sullivan, 1889).

Above: South facade, Mausoleum (of Queen Luise of Prussia), Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin (Schinkel, 1810).

Above: South facade, Mausoleum, Charlottenburg.

Above: South facade, Lehmann Mausoleum, Graceland Cemetery (Mundie & Jensen, 1919).


Breweries, Fullington Farm demo, suspension railways, etc.

  • The Valley News reports that the Norwich Historic Preservation Commission was named the Commission of the Year by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.

  • Prolific N.H. beer blogger Adam Chandler posts a short but positive review of a new brewery in WRJ, the River Roost. It’s less than a quarter-mile down South Main from the original Catamount Brewery, sadly missed. (Some friends and I built a website for Catamount as a class project in the Spring of 1995, but I don’t think we ever showed it to the company. And it’s good to see the venerable Seven Barrel Brewery still going; we ate there five times the first week it was open.)

  • It is interesting that the new plaque at Memorial Field (Flickr photo), which kinda quotes Richard Hovey’s line “The hill-winds know their name,” honors alums who: (a) [have] “served,” (b) “are serving,” or (c) “will serve their country.” Although it’s not clear why “have served” is not sufficient to cover everyone, especially since the only names known to the hill winds are those of alums who have striven, fought, and died, the implicit inclusion of international students in their home countries is a nice touch. (It almost reminds one of the memorial at New College, Oxford, to the German members who died in WWI; Trinity College, Oxford, created its own memorial listing the German and Austrian members who gave their lives “for their country” in that war just last year.)

  • ORL (as of last spring?) is now organizing its dorm info pages according to House Communities instead of the old clusters. Thus we have West true to purple, South in black, etc. Each page presents one of the nice Burakian aerials.

    There are still apparently no authentic pages by the House members themselves, not even rogue pages — although the Houses do have members. Let’s get with it, people!

  • The Valley News reported on Dartmouth’s demolition of the Fullington Farmhouse north of town. Here’s how it looked in context (view south toward town):

  • Sheldon Pennoyer Architects, PLLC of Concord designed the new Dartmouth Coach bus terminal in Lebanon, on the site of the Cadillac dealership on Labombard Road. Construction is by North Branch. See also the Valley News.

  • Beekeeping at the Orgo Farm is the subject of a news item.

  • The Dartmouth has a story on a recent celebration of the history of Dartmouth Broadcasting.

  • Courtyard Café employees will be driving a new food truck “to support programs and activities associated with the House systems” according to the Campus Services newsletter (pdf). The truck will accept only DBA payments (sounds good) and will be available only on nights other than Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (??).

  • The medical and other waste that the college and hospital buried at Rennie Farm years ago continues to cause problems (Valley News overview, cleanup announcement).

  • Neighbors continue to object to the plans for an athletic fieldhouse behind Thompson Arena. As reported by the Valley News, neighbors withdrew their zoning challenge during June but the controversy continues.

  • Back in 2009 Dartmouth Engineer Magazine published an interesting article called “Thayer in the Landscape” that depicted engineering projects by alumni around the world.

  • According to the Mac website Six Colors, the least popular emoji depicts a suspension railway. While passing through Wuppertal, Germany, this summer, I observed that city’s suspension railway, and boy is it fantastic. Wuppertal is a long city in the valley of the winding Wupper River, and the route of the elevated railway is established by the river itself rather than by the street network. The track is hung beneath pairs of great 19th-century metal legs that straddle the river. Here is a Street View showing the track along the river:

    Here is a view with a train coming along the river:

    The stations (old and new) also must straddle the river and essentially take the form of bridges.

———

[Update 09.18.2016: Tuck School expansion item removed for use in future post.]


Two hundred years ago this morning

Two hundred years ago this morning:

Resolved, that we the Trustees of Dartmouth College do not accept the provisions of an act of the legislature of New Hampshire approved June 27, 1816, entitled “An Act to amend the Charter and enlarge and improve the Corporation of Dartmouth College,” but do hereby expressly refuse to act under the same.1

——

  1. Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College, Resolution (28 August 1816), quoted in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 95-96.

New faculty houses, etc.

  • Fascinating and unexpected historic New Hampshire mica mine for sale: Eagle Tribune.

  • Bora (formerly Boora) Architects have put up a couple new images and larger versions of their old ones for the Hopkins Center expansion. The new porte-cochere, which would tear down Harrison’s stone wall and put up a transparent box with a glass “curtain” wall, is striking for the literalism of its opening-up of the Hop. The new reference to the project as “unbuilt” is troubling.

  • The Valley News reports on a Cambodian food truck that serves Hanover.

  • Big Green Alert reports on the plaque honoring Kathy Slattery Phillips in the new press box at Memorial Field.

  • Dartmouth Now reports that the board of trustees, at its Commencement meeting,

    affirmed plans to proceed with the renovation and expansion of the Hood Museum of Art. The trustees also voted to approve $10 million for construction of the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and $22 million to build a new indoor athletics practice facility. Each of these projects will be funded through private gifts to Dartmouth.

  • One of the goals of the current Thayer School fundraising campaign (Dartmouth Now):

    Construct a 180,000-square-foot building, which will nearly double the school’s total floor space. The building, to be located directly south of the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center, will provide more space for classroom teaching and experiential learning, with an emphasis on Thayer’s growing efforts in design and research priorities in energy technology and engineering-in-medicine.

  • The Town of Orford celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding with a reading of its charter on the East Common (Here in Hanover).

  • The Rauner Library Blog reports on a time capsule from 1977 that contained a can of Miller High Life. The can was kept in the archives but had to be drained recently.

  • Thanks to the U.Va. School of Architecture for including the Campus Guide in its 2016 Alumni Exhibit, on university living-learning environments.

  • The Valley News has a story on the Hartford Christian Camp. It sounds like a lovely place, and the kind of summertime experience that was common a century ago. In Charlottesville, Virginia, a similar camp has been incorporated into the city and its surviving cottages have become year-round houses:


  • U.Va. has a collection of campus then/now photos.

  • The Dartmouth has an article on the school’s architecture studio.

  • Big Green Alert reports on the new FieldTurf at Memorial Field.

  • Volunteers in Meriden are digitizing the E.H. Baynes slide archive, the Valley News reports. Baynes was the conservationist and traveling lecturer who, at a talk in Webster Hall during the early 1900s, suggested that Dartmouth students raise money to save the bison and adopt the animal as their mascot.

  • Green Building Advisor has a detailed look at the construction of the four new modular houses being installed for faculty as part of the “house communities” plan. The school has a video update on the construction. Big Green Alert has earlier and later photos of the tensile “community” building that now stands by Davis Varsity House.

  • It is common these days for sportswear companies to design team uniforms, logos, and mascots. For the British team at the 2016 Olympics, Adidas worked with both the College of Arms (England) and the Lord Lyon King of Arms (Scotland) to create a coat of arms that would be conferred by a dual grant (College of Arms news).


The Black VAC

VAC sidewalk, Meacham photo

Love the broad sidewalk on the Lebanon Street side. It would be even better with some ground-level shops, but this is a good start.

VAC rust, Meacham photo

This is the largest of the famous rust stains, and the only one that really detracted from the building’s appearance last summer. The concrete wall obviously shouldn’t have been pulled out far enough to catch the runoff from the Norwegian slate, that’s all. There is no point in trying to keep up with cleaning it as long as the stone still contains iron oxide. Instead the school should (1) install a drip rail to channel the runoff, (2) cast a little Modernist concrete gargoyle for this spot, or (3) embrace the stain and commission an artist to incorporate it into an evolving work of art, perhaps by using stains in other colors.

VAC interior, Meacham photo

That exterior board-formed concrete wall continues inside the building.

A detailed article from structural engineering firm Lemessurier (pdf) on the construction of the VAC contains these interesting tidbits:

Machado and Silvetti Associates designed a basement in the building that was conveniently situated directly atop the highest ridge of the bedrock spine. Although the basement required leveling of appreciable regions of bedrock, this geometry of the building allowed for a stable, flat bearing surface in the central portion of the structure.

To increase the overall efficiency of the foundation placement, the contractor suggested that larger pits be dug by hand while some shafts continued to be slowly drilled elsewhere on-site. The proposed hand digging involved timber lagging to support the excavation. A single worker shoveled soil into a bucket by hand, and the bucket was then lifted from the pit base to the surface. Ironically, a simple technique used to excavate mine shafts in Thoreau’s era would become critical to the success of a state-ofthe-art 21st-century construction project. So atypical was this type of construction that the workers and engineers present at the site came to refer to the work as 1850s foundations.

The curved wood panel ceiling is the only surface in the building not rectilinear in its expression. The art forum is otherwise bound by straight lines that are vertical, horizontal, and even diagonal as the grand staircase descends from the upper levels. The columns, however, are set away from the main forum to allow an unimpeded view of the central space as the visitor walks the hallways between offices and studios. The absence of columns in the immediate vicinity necessitates serially cantilevering floor framing—in other words, cantilevers off cantilevers off cantilevers—extending into the forum space and supporting loads by means other than direct column support.

VAC window onto Hop, Meacham photo


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.

————-

[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.]


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

    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

    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…

  • —————————-

    1. Russ Klettke, “The High Performance Trail,” American Builders Quarterly (2016).
    2. Rick Mills, interviewed by Charles C.W. Jang, “Dart Kapital,” The Dartmouth Review (1 June 2014) (brackets and ellipses original).

    “Venomous” liquors and school rules

    Georgia’s Governor recently explained his veto of a “campus carry” bill in part by quoting the University of Virginia:

    Perhaps the most enlightening evidence of the historical significance of prohibiting weapons on a college campus is found in the minutes of October 4, 1824, Board of Visitors of the newly created University of Virginia. Present for that meeting were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, along with four other members. In that meeting of the Board of Visitors, detailed rules were set forth for the operation of the University which would open several months later. Under the rules relating to the conduct of students, it provided that “No student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or venomous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind…”1

    The 1824 Visitors, of course, were referring to “vinous” liquors, i.e. wines. A “venomous” liquor is probably something that involves rattlesnakes and is distilled by Texans. The full paragraph of the Visitors’ minutes reads:

    No Student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or vinous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder, keep a servant, horse or dog, appear in school with a stick, or any weapon, nor, while in school, be covered without permission of the Professor, nor use tobacco by smoking or chewing, on pain of any of the minor punishments at the discretion of the Faculty, or of the board of Censors, approved by the Faculty.2

    In addition to banning the possession of arms, the rules also ban the firing of a gun or pistol within the precincts of the University. Those particular meeting minutes contain no prohibition against foot-ball or playing ball, by the way.

    Finally, the minor punishments are interesting:

    [T]he Minor punishments shall be Restraint within those Precincts, within their own chamber, or in diet; Reproof, by a Professor privately, or in presence of the school of the offender, or of all the schools, a seat of degradation in his school room of longer or shorter duration, Removal to a lower class, Dismission from the schoolroom for the day, imposition of a task, and insubordination to these sentences shall be deemed & punished as Contumacy.3

    ————-

    1. Governor Nathan Deal, veto statement for HB 859 (2016), viewed 4 May 2016, pdf.
    2. University of Virginia Board of Visitors, Meeting Minutes (4 October 1824), (viewed 4 May 2016). Other statements, such as a rule about “ardent spirits or wine mixed or unmixed,” confirm that the Visitors are talking about wine.
    3. U.Va. Meeting Minutes. “Diet” refers to dining.

    The West End Framework Plan, etc.

    • Regarding the Hood, Hop Director Emeritus Lewis Crickard reprises Prince Charles’s National Gallery “carbuncle” comment in a letter to the Valley News.

    • The Moosilauke project includes the “[r]elocation of the preserved Manager’s Cabin, a log structure built by Ross McKenney” (FAQs).

    • The article in Dartmouth Now about the construction of new social buildings and professors’ residences mentions that the residences are being built off-site by Unity Homes. It looks like the school is using the Värm model.

    • There is a drive to name the lounge area of the Evans Basketball Suite in the Berry Sports Center after Coach Chris Wielgus.

    • The Valley News has an article about the indoor practice building/fieldhouse and the feelings of the neighbors. It is hard to identify the exterior cladding from the rendering — is it metal?

    • This makes one think of Chicken Farmer I Still Love You: a playground in Ferndale, Washington is going to have a miniature version of a local landmark bridge, complete with graffito.

    • The West End Framework Plan:

      Dartmouth recently received a gift to develop a Framework Plan for the West End of campus, including the Thayer and Computer Science building, a new Tuck building, landscape, parking, infrastructure and wayfinding. Led by Joanna Whitcomb, the Director of Campus Planning, this project will engage campus stakeholders and others in the planning and zoning process and in developing strategic capacity and growth options for the entire district. The Framework Plan should be complete by September, 2016.1

      For background, here’s the description of the master plan process from the website of the overall campus master plan:

      The plan will address both campus-wide systems (“themes”) and specific strategic planning areas (“neighborhoods”) that warrant more intensive study. The neighborhoods approach is a useful planning tool that enables the study of distinct challenges and opportunities in emerging precincts but is always kept within a holistic view of the campus as a whole.

      Master plan neighborhoods include:
      Core Campus
      North End
      West End
      Arts & Athletics2

    • There are salmon in the Connecticut River again (Field & Stream).

    • At least one surviving drawing shows students playing bat-and-ball games on the Green in the eighteenth century. In 1779, President John Wheelock issued “Regulations for the security of the College building from damage,” which stated:

      If any student shall play ball or use any other deversion that exposes the College or Hall windows within 3 rods of either he shall be fined two shillings for the first offence 4s for the 2d and so on at the discretion of the President or Tutors.3

      (Playing “ball” generally meant playing a bat-and-ball game, not playing football.) Informal baseball games continued over the years, and in 1862 students formed the Dartmouth Baseball Club. The club faced another college for the first time in 1866 when it met the Nicean Club of Amherst. The Baseball Team celebrated its 150th anniversary recently. TV station WCAX has a video (via BGA), and the Valley News has an article.

    ———————

    1. “West End Framework Plan,” Behind the Green (2 March 2016) pdf.
    2. “Master Plan Process,” Dartmouth Campus Master Plan, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~masterplan/about/planprocess.html (viewed 21 April 2016).
    3. Wheelock, “Regulations” (1779), in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 593.

    Houses update, parking garage discussion

    Detail of House Center B rendering from OPDC video

    Detail of rendering of House Center B shown in OPDC video

    • Dartmouth Now has a post on “Founders’ Day,” the day when “students gathered at Baker-Berry Library to receive personalized letters indicating their membership in one of the six new house communities” (see also photos). Each House gets a different color: probably arbitrary, but not much more arbitrary than most of the House names.

    • The Valley News has an article by Tris Wykes on Thompson Arena’s 40 years.

    • The Thayer School construction project of the future sounds like an expansion rather than a new building, which would fit with the Thayer tradition. (See the Planning Board minutes 2 February 2016 pdf.)

    • There is lots of talk about the Thayer School parking structure proposed for the intersection of Thayer Drive and West Wheelock Street (Valley News).

    • “A pathway is also proposed from a proposed parking facility to the Green, to enhance connectivity of the west campus to the main campus, and to provide easy off-highway access from the proposed parking facility to the Green” (Planning Board minutes 2 February 2016 pdf).

    • “The College has no plans to undertake construction for the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, though administrators are exploring options for establishing a designated community space for graduate students” Dartmouth Now).

    • The college’s Flickr photostream has a picture of the temporary fence recently erected on North Main Street.

    • The Valley News ran a photo that it described this way:

      Garrett Hubert, of Newport, is the first to carry the torch during the 30-mile run, roller-ski and ski relay to Newport from Hanover on Friday. A relay team re-enacted the solo trip John McCrillis took in 1916 when he skied to Newport from Dartmouth College to attend the town’s first Winter Carnival. David McCrillis, left, is McCrillis’ grandson.


    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 author1 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 There is an 1891 reference to “A son of a gambolier, / A son of a gun for beer.”3 Georgia Tech’s “Rambling Wreck” version was printed in 1908.4

    • 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.

    ———

    1. Edwin Osgood Grover and Addison Fletcher Andrews, Dartmouth songs: a new collection of college songs (1898), 60.
    2. Patricia Averill, Camp Songs, Folk Songs (author, 2014), 232
    3. Henry Collins, “Notes from an Engineers’ Camp,” Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine (September 1891), 374, available at Google Books.
    4. Averill.

    The Sestercentennial and the College Mace

    Introduction

    It is common for an academic institution to possess among its “crown jewels” a big ceremonial mace (Wikipedia) that is carried at the head of the Commencement procession and might rest in a special spot during the times when the board of trustees is in session. Dartmouth does not have a mace per se, but the College Usher leads the Commencement procession with Lord Dartmouth’s Cup (visible at the right side of this college Flickr photo), a tall 1848 silver vessel that certainly serves the purpose of a mace.

    The mace in the U.S.

    The college received the cup until 1969 and did not start using it in processions until 1983. Dartmouth does not seem to have had a mace before that time. Why not? It is not clear. It might be that the academic mace is mostly a recent phenomenon in this country. Here is a list of some notable North American college maces:

    A future mace

    It would not be surprising if some alumnus or organization were to come up with the idea of presenting the college with a mace on the occasion of its 250th anniversary in 2019. (That time is not too far off: the 250th anniversary class is already in college.) The mace would not only commemorate the granting of the charter but also would symbolize the independence of the institution from the state, with 2019 being the bicentennial of the Dartmouth College Case.

    At best, this old-style mace would be fashioned by New England craftspeople,1 but it need not follow the traditional mace form. Why not have it refer to to a Cabin & Trail splitting maul; a woodsman’s cant hook or peavey; a Mountaineering Club ice axe; or an Organic Farm timber-framer’s mallet?

    Perhaps the mace could encapsulate within it some historic implement, such as a cane or cane-head that belonged to Daniel Webster; a nineteenth-century axe used in the Second College Grant; a Boston Post Cane from a defunct New Hampshire town with some connection to the college; an ice axe used on a Himalayan expedition during the 1960s; a broom handle used by John Kemeny to prop open the cabinet of an overheating computer; or a hatchet that Robert Frost used in his woodlot. What about a nineteenth-century canoe paddle?

    Any of these venerable tools would be sheathed in a protective silver capsule before being gilded, covered in worked sheets of precious metals, engraved, and decorated with jewels. The encrusting might include polished fragments of the Old Pine, the granite front step of Dartmouth Hall,2 or a piece of wood or stone from the original building of Moor’s Charity School in Connecticut. Parts of the weathered head and handle of the enclosed cane or axe might be left uncovered, and other parts, perhaps the sharp ones, might be made visible through small crystal windows.

    So that a person would be available to carry this new ceremonial mace, the board might have to create the office of Quartomillenial Beadle or Semiquincentennial Macebearer.3

    [Update 12.06.2015: Three broken links fixed.]

    ——–

    1. In addition, the Medallic Art Company has available a selection of maces, mostly with wooden staffs, and Thomas Fattorini Ltd. of England (pdf) makes metal maces.
    2. That step is located at the entrance to Dick’s House.
    3. The charter office of College Usher, currently conferred upon the Treasurer, now imposes upon its occupant the task of carrying Lord Dartmouth’s Cup in processions. The charter office of College Steward might be available, although one might expect its occupant to be the head of DDS and to carry, say, a giant silver repoussé ladle engraved with the word “COMMONS.”