History

Museum-like displays; a Hanover designer

April 19th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, coat of arms, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Kemeny/Haldeman, other projects, publications, the Hop, Thompson Arena, Varsity House

The old idea of the trophy room for intercollegiate athletics seems to be shifting toward something closer to a museum, with text and graphics (reproductions of historic images, not originals) arranged to tell a story. Objects are displayed in support of the story rather than as the spoils of victory.

The Friends of Dartmouth Football Timeline, Video Archive Kiosk and Memorabilia Exhibit at Floren Varsity House is an example. Designed by the Hanover firm of Charles Gibson Design, the comprehensive display is the closest thing Dartmouth has to a permanent museum of any aspect of its own history. (I do not know what proportion of the old trophies are kept in Floren, in Davis Varsity House, or in the Oberlander Lounge in Alumni Gym.) Gibson also designed a timeline for hockey in two locations in Thompson Arena and a display recognizing donors John and Carla Manley.

During the Seventies and Eighties, Charles Gibson worked in the Hop’s Graphic Design Studio, and since then his firm has done a lot of work for the college and other area institutions. The firm revised the campus map (the next-to-latest iteration); created signage (including the mainframe-like kiosk that occupied the entrance of the old Kiewit); and paper plates and cups for the Courtyard Cafe in the Hop. The Nugget Theater’s freestanding marquee, influenced by the Classical porticos of Main Street, is another product. (By the way, doesn’t the little photo of the modest portico of the Hanover Post Office make that building look like a Great Work of Architecture?)

Most notably for our purposes, Charles Gibson Design did a Comprehensive Identity Program for Cardigan Mountain School, including a revision of the school’s seal that features a green shield containing a lone pine and open book. And if you are thinking about the “Dartmouth base,” the wavy lines of water in the base of the shield of each of Dartmouth’s schools, Gibson did a logo for the local school district in conjunction with the Banwell addition to Hanover High. For the country’s first interstate school district, drawing from both Hanover and Norwich, the circular logo presents the Ledyard Bridge above wavy water lines on a green field.

The Food Co-op builds again

April 17th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Bradley/Gerry, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, other projects, preservation, publications

The Co-op Food Store is expanding and renovating its building on South Park Street with designs by Studio Nexus Architects, authors of the recent Co-op at the roundabout on Lyme Road. A floor plan in the new booklet explaining the renovation (pdf) shows that the addition will bump out the South Park Street facade along most of its length.

The Park Street building, which sort of serves as a gatepost at the southeastern entrance to Hanover, was built in 1962 to the designs of E.H. & M.K. Hunter, a firm also known for Bradley/Gerry. (Lisa Mausolf’s history of midcentury Modernist architecture in New Hampshire (pdf) mentions a few area buildings and includes several designs by the Hunters around the state.)

The Co-op’s awkward Sixties charm seems to have been renovated out of it during the Eighties and Nineties. A neat and unexpected series of massing models on page 8 of the booklet shows the building’s evolution: by putting a shed-roofed apparent second story over the new entrance, the proposed addition will hint at the original building’s high forehead, now encased in accretions.

BASIC at 50 and other items

April 13th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Bradley/Gerry, coat of arms, Collis Center, DHMC, graphic design, History, master planning, Med. School, Memorial Field, north campus, other projects, preservation, publications, Thayer School

  • Work continues on the Williamson Translational Research Building at the hospital in Lebanon. Here is a notable tidbit about the building’s namesake donor, the late Dr. Peter Williamson ’58: he once owned the ultimate collector car, Lord Rothschild’s Bugatti Atlantic. Williamson’s car won the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003 and is now in the Mullin Automotive Museum.
  • The Rauner Blog post on E.E. Just has a great old photo of Hallgarten. The building was built for the state ag school, known then as N.H.C.A.M.A., and its rear ell is the only part of any building from the campus to survive. The school later moved to Durham and became U.N.H., as its football website points out (via Big Green Alert). Of course, the most meaningful fact that relates to the football rivalry is that Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, indeed the entirety of its athletic complex west of Park Street, was built on one of the state farm fields. The students of the N.H.C.A.M.A. learned how to raise crops in the place where Dartmouth students now play football.
  • A group called Project VetCare is buying a house in Hanover, apparently around 65-75 Lebanon Street, to provide housing for veterans, including students (The Dartmouth).
  • Dartmouth Medicine has had a redesign by Bates Creative.
  • Wouldn’t it be interesting if the U.S. had national food appellations (Wikipedia) beyond the grape-growing regions designated by the AVA? There simply is no equivalent to the geographical indications and traditional specialities of the EU (PDO, PGI, TSG), the AOC of France, or the DOC of Italy. Not all traditional foods are old — Birmingham Balti has been proposed for the list of U.K. foods given protected status, and farmed Scottish salmon is already listed.
  • Kendal has demolished the Chieftain (Valley News).
  • Crouching Spider is going away (Flickr).
  • Dartmouth has talked about changing the name of the overall institution — the umbrella under which the undergraduate college and the graduate and professional schools operate — from Dartmouth College to Dartmouth University. The purpose would be to raise the school’s standing among observers, mostly outside the West, for whom “college” can mean a secondary school or lower school. A fascinating example of this renaming motive is found in Trinity College Dublin, another school that has landed outside the top 125 in the Times World University Rankings. Trinity was founded in 1592 (Wikipedia) as a constituent college of the University of Dublin. What makes Trinity odd is that the University never added any other colleges — Trinity is all there is, and yet the university administration survives, under its own name. Trinity’s rebranding now proposes to replace “Trinity College Dublin” with “Trinity College, University of Dublin.” Oh well; at least the “improved” name seems historically-grounded and technically accurate. Brian M. Lucey argues against it in a blog post, and another post. The real controversy in the rebranding involves the coat of arms:
  • Although the Irish Times claims that the Bible is being removed from Trinity’s arms, that does not necessarily appear to be the case. According to an informative paper by Professor John Scattergood (pdf, via Brian M. Lucey), the arms, as formally granted in 1901, require “a Bible closed, clasps to the dexter.” The rebranding includes a new, stylized version of the coat of arms that substitutes an open book, something that easily could be called “a Bible open.” Visually, neither one of the shields identifies the book to the ordinary observer. The changes in colors are all part of the stylization and do no violence to the underlying historic coat of arms. (The University of Dublin obtained its own arms in 1862, and they contain an open book, incidentally.)
  • UNH has picked a new logo, a shield designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. This shield is not one of the three shields that the firm initially proposed last year (post). Although a couple of those first ideas were intriguing, students and alumni were not pleased. The new identity guide (pdf) notes that “The specific blue color has been made a bit brighter than the past version.”
  • Just for your information, the maximum number of effective footnotes in a Word document (Word:Mac 2008) is 32,768. Notes above that number fail gracefully: they still work but are numbered incorrectly, all sharing either the number 32768 or one of a few numbers after that.
  • The school’s Flickr feed has a nice set of historic photos titled “BASIC at 50: The Democratization of Computing.” It is especially gratifying to see the buildings identified: the College Hall basement, Kiewit, and so on. (In the lower right corner of another view of Kiewit is a glimpse of someone who could have been a predecessor of Usenet celebrity and campus character Ludwig Plutonium.)
  • This fantastic photo of President Kemeny with his BASIC license plate was taken in the parking lot east of Bradley/Gerry, it appears, and has the rear addition of the Church of Christ for a backdrop (somewhat near this present-day Google Street View).
  • From an article in The Dartmouth on planning VP Lisa Hogarty: “The biggest change in the College’s capital budget, she said, will come from the proposed expansion to the Thayer School of Engineering.” See the sample master plans of Koetter Kim (post) and Beyer Blinder Belle (post) and the Thayer press release on President Hanlon’s 2013 expansion announcement.
  • The news that a family had donated $100m to support Hanlon initiatives makes one think of the Harkness gifts to create “residential colleges” at Harvard and later Yale, but reading The Dartmouth, one learns:

    Mastanduno said this gift represents a significant departure from past donations, which have tended to focus on capital infrastructure.

    “This isn’t about bricks and mortar,” he said. “It’s about the core academic mission of Dartmouth.”

—–
[Update 04.17.2014: Broken link to Mullin removed, Kendal spelling corrected.]

The West Stands replacement, for real this time

March 12th, 2014  |  Published in all news, History, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, preservation

Finally carrying out a project that was fully planned during 2008, the college has announced that it will demolish the concrete and steel terraced seating of Memorial Field’s West Stand immediately after the Brown game on November 15 (Big Green Alert Blog, Dartmouth Sports (via BGA)). The new design by Fleck & Lewis Architects appears in an unpublicized OPD&PM project page.

The project was actually about to begin when it was put on hold. The structural elements were ready to go, and the press release notes: “The College had already invested several million dollars in precast concrete, which will now give the project a head start[.]”

Two elevation drawings and a plan of the pressbox level appear on an image page linked from the project page. On the drawing of the street facade, the subtle dots in the arches near the center presumably indicate glass or some other infill material: the second bay on either side of the center will contain a stair, and the bay to the left of the center an elevator. The tops of these stairs and elevator will be screened by a new blank entablature of two bays on either side of the center.

The field elevation drawing shows the higher-priced green seats with proper seatbacks in the center. The stair towers present some interesting blank walls: let’s hope whatever goes there is tasteful. The plan depicts the press box at the parapet level, that is, the level with the word DARTMOUTH at its top as shown in the drawing of the field facade.

The replacement seating structure will preserve Jens Larson’s 1923 brick Crosby Street facade, including its midcentury central frieze extension. The Dartmouth Uniformed Services Alumni have a page explaining the building’s memorial elements. Architect Larson, incidentally, had enlisted in Canada and had become a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps (RAF) during WWI.

This would be an ideal time to create a permanent site for Dartmouth’s Canon de 75 modèle 1897 (Wikipedia) and its ammunition carriage, both given by France in 1920 (New York Times). While the carriage remains at the college, the gun, which once defended the stadium’s entry arch, was moved to Hanover Center in 1963. The story of the gun is continued by WMUR-9 New Hampshire:

[T]he college loaned the cannon to a retired military historian and collector, according to police, and when that man died in 1990 the cannon was handed over to another person who later passed it on to another owner, referred to [in] the police statement as a “military Army colonel who wished to remain anonymous.”

All three of the men who have kept the cannon over the years spent their own money caring for and restoring it, according to the police statement.

“These men have taken great pride in restoring this cannon as an honor to its heritage,” the statement read. “All are aware that Dartmouth College could take the cannon back if it wants to.”

Perhaps it is time to ask for the cannon’s return and to install it securely in a sheltered spot in or near the West Stand.

The pause before construction season

March 2nd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Collis Center, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Parkhurst Hall, preservation, societies

  • There is a construction photo of the KD house on Occom Ridge in The Dartmouth.
  • There is now a National Historic Vehicle Register patterned on the National Register of Historic Places (Hemming’s).
  • The school architects have posted a collection of minutes from meetings of the Executive Committee for Facilities & Space, including subcommittee minutes, from the 2008-2010 period.
  • Among the interesting items in the committee minutes is a Haynes & Garthwaite plan for a replacement building at 26 East Wheelock (pdf). It was unbuilt but obviously gave rise to 2 North Park.
  • The committee minutes also describe the 2008 Parkhurst stair hall renovation (pdf). Looking around the stair hall in 2006, there was a sense that the 2005-era renovation had never been properly completed. The iron globes (?) were missing from the stair newels; the vestibule plaque had been moved to the big empty wall at the landing; and most notably the Dartmouth Seal skylight had been taken out and not returned. It is not clear that the 2008 project fixed those problems.
  • Hanover High won the NHIAA ski jumping championships at Oak Hill (Valley News).
  • Hanover is getting a food truck (The Dartmouth).
  • The school has appointed a new VP for Campus Planning Lisa Hogarty (The Dartmouth).
  • The Rauner blog posted on the Dartmouth Medal.
  • The school Flickr stream has a super winter aerial by Eli Burakian.
  • Here is a photo of the north lounge in Collis after the renovation.
  • Eastman’s Pharmacy on Main Street has closed (The Dartmouth, Valley News). It was opened in 1938.

Perdido and more

February 9th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, all news, Alumni Gym, Collis Center, Heat Plant, History, Hood, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, site updates, the Hop

  • 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.

The Geisel School’s identity guidelines and their breaking

December 15th, 2013  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, Med. School

The Geisel School’s thorough Visual Identity and Naming Conventions (pdf) state:

FIRST REFERENCE:

+ The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

OR

The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Although the web version of the medical school magazine for Fall ’13 has no logo graphics on its table of contents, it describes itself in the masthead as “The magazine of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth”. The website of the school itself features this graphic:

Geisel logotype 2012

Detail from Geisel School website, December 2013.

So far so good. This form of the name complies with the conventions.

But when one views the pdf version of the same magazine table of contents, one sees this:

Geisel logotype 2013

Detail from Geisel School magazine, December 2013.

The school’s Youtube channel also follows this new form. Not only does this reordering violate the first rule of the Guidelines, it violates the second:

SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT REFERENCES:

+ Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

+ Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine

+ Geisel School of Medicine

This transition was first spotted by Joe Asch at Dartblog.

Is it time to rebuild the Ski Jump?

November 26th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Country Club, History, preservation

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,[1] 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?

————

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

Vermont windows

November 19th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Charter, Country Club, graphic design, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, master planning, other projects, preservation, site updates, the Hop

  • 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:

    STATUTE XI.

    OF THE STEWARD.

    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.

Google updates its aerial, and other news

November 11th, 2013  |  Published in 4 Currier, Academic Center, all news, CHCDS, DHMC, History, master planning, Med. School, north campus, other projects, publications

A new Associated School?

November 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, other projects

Dartmouth College, the undergraduate college, has almost always maintained one or more “Associated Institutions”[1] or “Associated Schools”[2] alongside it:

  1. Geisel School of Medicine, 1797-
  2. Chandler School of Science and the, Arts 1851-1892
  3. New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, 1866-1892
  4. Thayer School of Engineering, 1867-
  5. Tuck School of Business Administration, 1900-

Thus the college has not added a new school in more than a century. Although a college department granted its first graduate degree in 1885, and the college began turning out significant numbers of doctoral degrees during the 1960s, the college has not created a separate graduate school of arts and sciences. The institution known as Graduate Studies has only recently begun to assert its own identity.

Now President Hanlon has proposed to elevate Graduate Studies to the stature of an Associated School. The Dartmouth reports on his speech at Monday’s faculty meeting:

As part of his goal to increase Dartmouth’s global impact, Hanlon proposed the creation of a freestanding graduate school, whose dean would report directly to the College Provost instead of to the Dean of the Faculty, as is current practice. This endeavor would mainly involve changes to the existing graduate school structure. Dartmouth’s graduate studies programs are tied to the undergraduate departments, but the College might see changes to this model in the near future.

The Valley News describes the idea similarly.

While the new school would not necessarily require any more space, it would find itself in a better position to lobby for a building of its own in the future. It claims more than 1,200 students (Graduate Studies Facts), which makes it larger than Tuck and Thayer combined.

Where could a new building be located? Several of the most likely sites lie at the north end of the Berry Row axis, close to the flexible buildings of Rope Ferry Road and not too far from the graduate student housing of North Park Street. Another, more limited site is located at the end of Webster Avenue: the President’s House could be extended westward and the school installed there, with a pedestrian bridge over Tuck Drive to join it to Tuck School.

—–

  1. See the 1890 General Catalog (Google Books).
  2. See the 1900 General Catalog (Google Books).

Triangle House project begins, other items

October 30th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Band, DHMC, History, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, Mt. Moosilauke, publications, Triangle House

  • The Dartmouth reports that work has begun on the extensive renovation of the apartment house at 4 North Park Street, to be known as Triangle House.
  • College Photographer Eli Burakian has posted some superb aerials of Baker and the Green. The latter image shows downtown Hanover and in the distance the hospital, the smokestack of each communicating with the other as if these were The Only Two Places in the World. See also the Mt. Moosilauke panorama.
  • Stantec notes that it worked on Dartmouth’s master plan. One assumes that this was a prior plan, but since the site also lists the recent Dartmouth Row programming study, it’s not clear.
  • Bertaux + Iwerks Architects has info on the 2005 SBRA master plan for DHMC.
  • A new film on the Densmore Brick Company was shown at AVA Gallery; see also the Valley News story and this depressing Bing aerial. From AVA Gallery:

    Lebanon’s Densmore Brick Factory, which closed in 1976 after 170 years of production, made the bricks that contributed to the built environment of the Upper Valley, including much of Dartmouth College.

  • The field-side view of Davis Varsity House is improved by the removal of the scoreboard, Bruce Wood points out (Big Green Alert blog).
  • The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the correspondence between Samson Occom and Phillis Wheatley (Wikipedia).
  • The Band’s new uniforms look good (see Flickr photo). They are more “Ivy” and expensive-looking than the previous plain green blazers over white pants. Black seems to be replacing white as the accent color accompanying Dartmouth Green these days.
  • A July article in the New York Times told of Yale’s efforts to protect its name against a “Yale Academy.” As an aside, I found Yale’s recent presidential inauguration inspiring. After the ceremony the band, wearing academic gowns, led the procession up Hillhouse Avenue, where the president passed beneath a balloon arch and halted in the middle of the street between two lines of student singers. The music stopped and everyone sang Bright College Years. Fantastic. The day before, a dean carrying a yale’s head (Wikipedia) on a staff had led a dog parade around Cross Campus (New Haven Register).
  • Better than having a hockey game at Fenway Park, Virginia Tech and Tennessee will play a football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway, a Nascar track (Richmond Times Dispatch).

Ideas for the visual identity guidelines

October 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, other projects, publications, Quartomillennium '19



If you’re working on the branding effort (see the previous post on the topic), I would recommend a visit to the archives to see some things:

  • The green ribbon and its story. The college is represented by a single color.
  • Typical accent colors are black, lavender, and white. White is used frequently in athletics. No big green-and-gold tradition seems to exist.
  • The seal and its history. More effort could be devoted to reserving the seal for official uses only.
  • The midcentury shield now in use, and the recent proposal for an heraldic coat of arms.
  • The Bicentennial medal designed by Rudolph Ruzicka.
  • Anything designed by John Scotford.
  • Anything produced by the Stinehour Press (photo of exhibit, Valley News story) or Ray Nash, of the Graphic Arts Workshop (Rauner bio); also books published by the Dartmouth College Press.
  • Copies of the ORC from various periods.
  • Copies of The Dartmouth from various periods, especially before WWII.
  • Carnival posters, especially those produced before 1959.
  • Things made of leather and wood: Daniel Webster’s water bucket and old ski boots, senior canes and snowshoes.

version of proposed coat arms

Around campus, you might take note of the white color of Dartmouth Hall and the finely-speckled gray/white of the granite used in the foundations of many buildings. (That granite is not likely to be local; for a local granite, see the pinkish stone of Rollins Chapel, a stone that has not been used very widely on campus.) The brick walls with their varied colors, from black to brown to red, are characteristic of the campus, although the style of brickwork was originally called “Harvard brick.” There are many useful greens, including the patina of the copper roofs, the paint used on building shutters, the color of the shaggy pines along the riverbank, and the sometimes-black color of the river itself. An example of lavender appears in the glass of the Baker Tower clock.

medal reverse   medal obverse

A list of style guides from Logo Design Love has some nice examples. Duke’s guide announces that the word “University” in the Duke wordmark is set in Interstate, the typeface developed for road signs by the Department of Transportation. Yale’s identity site is prepared by the Office of the University Printer rather than the PR office. Princeton’s guide (pdf) on page 21 explains the difference between the seal and the shield, and it goes so far as to deface the seal with the word “SAMPLE” since, as the text explains, the seal is not for the public — not even by way of example! (Unlike B.U.) Oxford’s logo page has great visual appeal and actually is fairly flexible in its rules. University College Oxford has a guide by Franks and Franks (portfolio example) that looks nice and builds a traditionalist logotype around an abbreviation and nickname (“Univ.”).

Some campus-related links

October 5th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, master planning, other projects, preservation, publications, Visual Arts Center

  • The new mobile-centric campus map is available as a pdf document. It shows fine details like the trails in the College Park and the lanes on the running track.
  • That nice brick house on Lebanon Street in the Sargent Block was built ca. 1840 by John Williams (Frank J. Barrett, Early Dartmouth College and Downtown Hanover (2008), in Google Books).
  • The folks over at Hillflint, big fans of Take Ivy (NYT, Wikipedia), are using a line drawing of Dartmouth Hall in their logo.
  • College master planners Beyer Blinder Belle have contracted with BFJ Planning to come up with a transportation plan (pdf).
  • Hokie Stone, the locally-quarried building stone of the Virginia Tech campus, has been mentioned here before. Now the football team is wearing helmets that are completely covered by a graphic depicting a wall made of Hokie Stone (Richmond Times Dispatch).
  • With the Digital Production Unit added to Preservation Services (Rauner Blog), the library has been scanning old photos and putting them on line. The amazing collection is searchable and will provide the subjects for many posts here in the future.
  • American Architects has an email interview with Machado and Silvetti regarding the Black VAC. The photos, by Esto, are also available on their own.
  • The Times had an interesting article on the Caracas practice of naming intersections rather than streets.
  • Professor Jeff Sharlet and his students are producing an online journal called 40 Towns (Corin Hirsch, “Dartmouth Literary Journal 40 Towns Documents Upper Valley,” Seven Days (4 September 2013)). Lindsay Ellis’s story “Kings of the Counter” is about people at the Fort (a.k.a. Fort Harry’s, etc.).
  • DSpace@MIT, an online collection of MIT research papers, has the late Frederick Stahl’s 1955 MIT architecture thesis, an interesting proposal for the Hopkins Center (pdf). Stahl graduated from Dartmouth in 1952 and died on July 26 (Globe obituary, Boston Architectural College obituary).
  • Princeton has moved the Dinky Station again, reports the Buildings & Grounds Blog of the Chronicle. The Dinky Line is a short railroad branch that connects the campus in Princeton to the town of Princeton Junction.
  • This railroad news is unrelated to the campus but stirs the heart: The Union Pacific is going to restore a Big Boy, Engine 4114, to running condition. Who thought one of these creatures would ever come back to life? Unbelievable.

New branding push likely

October 3rd, 2013  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History

President Hanlon has named Cornell’s PR head, Thomas Bruce, to a similar position at Dartmouth (Dartmouth Now, via The Dartmouth). The Dartmouth reports that Bruce “oversaw the redesign of the university’s logo” at Cornell.

Indeed, Cornell’s massive “Brand Book” covers everything, from the essence of the Cornell brand (our brand “speaks to the satisfaction and emotional connection we provide to our stakeholders”) to the proper use of the logo — with the obligatory gallery of misuse. Cornell modestly uses Palatino as its primary typeface, gives the proper abbreviation of its motto (“… any person … any study.”), and specifies the correct shade of red.

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[Update 10.05.2013: It appears that Cornell's identity project was done by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. That firm is the same one that nicely simplified the Brown University coat of arms and replaced the busy seal of the Harvard University Press with a simple design appropriate for book spines. Also in the firm's portfolio are logos for such obscure brands as the Smithsonian Institution, NBC, National Geographic, the U.S. Bicentennial, and PBS.

And hey, look at this: the firm recently proposed three new logos for UNH (Manchester Union Leader). The school is still deciding which one to use. Of the three alternative directions, the middle one seems the most appealing: it has the uniform solidity of a railroad herald -- or maybe it can't avoid recalling Herbert Matter's work for the New Haven Railroad.

Some of the push for branding at Cornell came from a student-run image committee, as a 2006 New York Times article explains:

But when committee members first approached administrators to talk about their concerns — including what they saw as the university's passive response to a slight drop in some ranking guides — they met with resistance.
That changed three years ago, they said, with the arrival of a new president, Jeffrey S. Lehman, and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Bruce, who took their critique seriously, particularly their thoughts about the so-called view book for potential applicants and about the Web site.

Dartmouth had a similar student group around that time, called Buzzflood (The Dartmouth). Founder David Gardner describes it as "an organization that aggregated, created, and spread positive community news" (Gardner's ColorJar bio). The Buzzflood website had received three million hits by 2005 (PRWeb) but it folded that year (The Dartmouth).]

Nicknames for Memorial Field

September 18th, 2013  |  Published in all news, History, Memorial Field, preservation

Bruce at the Big Green Alert Blog asks “If you could pick a nickname for Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, what would you choose?” He provides several suggestions, the best of which is “the Quarry” — not only did granite quarries operate in Lebanon, but Eleazar Wheelock quarried some stone in the College Park. A follow-up post provides a number of other suggestions.

A pool of potential nicknames based on the history of the site might include:

  • “The Farm” (or “the State Farm”), since the state agricultural school (New Hampshire College) used the site as a farm field prior to 1893;
  • “Crosby Street,” since the grandstand is located on that street. The street is presumably named for the able and indefatigable[1] professor Thomas Russell Crosby ’41, DMS ’41 (1816-1872), a son of Dr. Asa Crosby who served as a surgeon during the Civil War and became the Professor of Animal and Vegetable Physiology at N.H.C. and an Instructor in Natural History at Dartmouth[2];
  • “The Oval” (or “Alumni Oval”), since that was the name of the school’s first grandstand and its first dedicated football field and running track, built by Dartmouth alumni on the site in 1893;
  • “The Trenches” (or “the Western Front,” etc.), since students trained for the First World War by constructing trenches east of the Oval, and Memorial Field was built on the site of the Oval in memory of the men who died in the war; and
  • “The Arches” (or “the Arcade”), since the main, western stand of Memorial Field is faced with brick arches stacked on two levels.

To see what Alumni Oval looked like when it was new and get a sense of the farm that preceeded it, see this rare and amazing photograph digitized by the College Archives. It was taken from the top of the smokestack of the Heating Plant when the plant was new, around 1899.[3]

It is also possible that the present lack of a nickname suggests the absence of a deep-seated need for a nickname: maybe “Memorial Field” works well enough.

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[Update 11.11.2013: Bruce reports that Teevens picked "The Woods" as the nickname. Whose woods these are I think I know.]

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  1. History of the University of New Hampshire: 1866-1941 (Durham, N.H.: University of New Hampshire, 1941), 23.
  2. John Badger Clarke, Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men (Manchester, N.H.: author, 1882), 248.
  3. The photographer took other shots to the north over Hallgarten, to the northwest toward the Green, to the west toward the side of the Inn, and to the southwest over the town.

Dartmouth’s board on the Civil War

July 24th, 2013  |  Published in all news, History

First. We recognize and acknowledge with grateful pride, the heroic sacrifices and valiant deeds of many of the sons of Dartmouth, in their endeavors to defend and sustain the Government against the present wicked and remorseless rebellion; and we announce to the living, now on the battlefield, to the sick and maimed in the hospitals and among their friends, and to the relatives of such of them as have fallen in defense of their country, that Dartmouth College rejoices to do them honor, and will inscribe their names and their brave deeds upon her enduring records.

Second. We commend the cause of our beloved country to all the Alumni of this Institution; and we invoke from them, and pledge our own most efficient and cordial support, and that of Dartmouth College, to the Government, which is the only power by which the rebellion can be subdued. We hail with joy, and with grateful acknowledgments to the God of our fathers, the cheering hope that the dark cloud which has heretofore obscured the vision and depressed the hearts of patriots and statesmen, in all attempts to scan the future, may in time disappear entirely from our horizon; and that American slavery, with all its sin and shame, and the alienations, jealousies, and hostilities between the people of different sections, of which it has been the fruitful source, may find its merited doom in the consequence of the war which it has evoked.[1]

The board adopted these motions 150 years ago this morning in an effort to get president Nathan Lord to resign. Although Lord had been an abolitionist during the 1840s, by the time of the war he had come to believe that slavery was justified by the Bible. He resigned later in the day.

To my ear, the text has some of the sense of the Gettysburg Address, which it predates by about four months.

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  1. Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College (24 July 1863), quoted in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 324.

The new campus map is out; other topics

July 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, publications, Rollins Chapel, site updates, Wilson Hall

  • That Occom Ridge house that was captured in a state of extreme disarray in various aerials has indeed been replaced by a new house by Haynes & Garthwaite. Bing has a more recent aerial view.
  • The graduate and professional schools’ heraldry is on display on the college’s new website. The graduation gowns of the schools also carry uniform shields now, with Flickr examples of Tuck, Thayer, and Graduate Studies. The Trustees get the Old Pine.
  • The Planner has a post presenting the new campus map. This is an almost-final version of the traditional paper map. It’s notable that the two freestanding lounge buildings in the Choates are given their own names, Brittle and Bissco, for the first time on a campus map. I lived in the Choates during the early ’90s and don’t recall those names being used, even informally.
  • The Friends of Hanover Crew have a new design for the site. It is hard to remember, but the prior design might have made more use of Wilson’s Landing Road.
  • Thanks to Melvin I. Smith for the citation to the Old Division Football paper in his Evolvements of Early American Foot Ball: Through the 1890/91 Season (2008).
  • The Rauner Blog has a nice post on the dedication of Rollins Chapel and Wilson Hall. It’s always interesting to see this fraternal twin to Rollins, designed by the same architect (John Lyman Faxon) in Newton, Mass. (See also the Bing view.)