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).
Work on the demolition of a part of the Hood and the construction of a new wing has begun (Dartmouth Now).
The elaborate plan to move the Joel Shapiro sculpture (pdf) has been carried out, and the sculpture stands in the Maffei Arts Plaza by the VAC (Dartmouth Flickr). There is an informational exhibit about the project in the old museum shop (Expansion Updates). The project page has an updated view showing the building’s name on the north facade. The Hood Museum is opening a temporary gallery in the former Amidon Jewelers location downtown (Dartmouth Now).
It is not something the architects usually do, but one wonders whether the gate could have been preserved within the new museum as a ruin or a fragment.
The Times quotes President Hanlon as saying “We are certain that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have come up with a design that respects and preserves the core building and allows us to both repair the problems that exist and expand the museum for future generations of Dartmouth students.”
One of those problems, of course, is the obscurity of the entrance. The big gateway advertises the museum well enough, but once you go through it, you are on your own.
Curbed.com has an article with some alternative site plans proposed by Kevin Keim of the Charles Moore Foundation. Although the southern expansion would infringe on the dignity of the VAC, it really is implied by the way Moore had the museum trail off in that direction. See also the Metropolis article.
The word is that this facade is to be left undisturbed. In this context, that means “relatively undisturbed.” There will be some slicing and dicing at the righthand corner of that arched opening, as shown in this image.
[Update 08.17.2016: Coding error corrected, wording of first paragraph clarified.]
The first stage of the steam tunnel’s construction, south of this grate, was a test meant to determine whether such a project would be economical in a ledge environment.
Until recently, students entered the Hop at the end of the room. The entrance was closed off and a replacement of the same configuration built just to the north.
(Have the memorial plaques attached to the Inn there been moved to Memorial Field? That would make sense. This is not their first location anyway.)
Even more than the society houses on the south side of Webster Avenue, Triangle House has a well-used student entrance on one side, shown here, and a formal street entrance on the other.
This elaborate bicycle shelter for the Life Sciences Center joins a couple other pavilions in the area.
The town changed the street address of the building to get it to match.
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:
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.
- “West End Framework Plan,” Behind the Green (2 March 2016) pdf. ↩
- “Master Plan Process,” Dartmouth Campus Master Plan, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~masterplan/about/planprocess.html (viewed 21 April 2016). ↩
- Wheelock, “Regulations” (1779), in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 593. ↩
Hood Museum Renovation Causes a Split, New York Times.
The north end of the museum could be preserved if the school were to expand the project (and the budget) to include the renovation of Wilson Hall as the Hood’s new entrance. That was a feature of Centerbrook’s master plan for the expansion.
Last week, writes Dartmouth Now, the board:
approved a capital budget of $83 million to fund a number of projects, including strategic investment in shaping Geisel’s future, and renovations of the Hood Museum of Art and the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.
The Hood info is finally up at the TWBTA site. Ignore the thumbnail images and view the slideshow, which includes floor plans and larger images. The site plan indicates that the landscape design is by Hargreaves Associates. The expansion video at the Hood’s website give a glimpse of an interesting architectural model.
The lobby image at the firm’s site not only shows the palette of the spare space (a cool vitreous? gray brick on the outer walls, granite or other stone floor, and white plane ceiling) but gives a glimpse into the old museum — the far wall is the partly-covered, partly-revealed exterior of Hood at its dramatic stair.
The firm’s site describes this space:
An atrium above the flexible lobby space connects the museum and Bernstein Center, creating an open, accessible space for the entire Dartmouth community. Active and filled with light, it can be used for installation art, performances, and digital programming while simultaneously providing a place for students to study and learn.
This is the Google Street View of this future lobby space. It is a pity the super po-mo concrete window surrounds can’t be preserved, though.
Two interesting little restoration projects could be part of this expansion. One is the south end of Wilson, where the connection is being severed. Similar infill is depicted in the east side of the Hop where the connections — the iconic gateway and bridge — are being removed. The images give little idea of whether the goal will be to match the existing historic fabric, or do a simple fix, or make the new work stand out from the old.
Several articles provide new details on the Hood expansion:
Hannah Silverstein, “Hood Museum of Art Prepares to Expand,” Dartmouth Now (15 December 2015).
Hannah Silverstein, “The Hood: ‘Fully Engaged’ Throughout Construction,” Dartmouth Now (15 December 2015).
“Transforming the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Quarterly (Winter 2016).
“Expansion Details,” Hood Museum of Art.
Construction will begin during late July 2017 and end during 2018. The museum will open early 2019 (Planning Board minutes 01.05.2016 pdf).
The addition will share the roof line of the Hop, as seen in the main image accompanying the details article. It is not clear yet how likeable the box will be, but the dialogue with the Hop could be appealing.
Where the Hop’s front comprises a glass wall delineated by a thin masonry frame, the museum will be a blank masonry wall pierced by a single smallish opening.
It is interesting that a major goal of the expansion is a presence on the Green; that was a goal of the first Hood. And until it was found to be in the way of growth, the Hood’s signature entry arch was called “iconic.” Now the recently-revealed south facade of the building has been designated its “iconic” facade.
The path of the former College Street will be emphasized and widened. That seems to require the completion of the south facade arch. The original can be seen in this Dartmouth Flickr photo. As noted earlier, this completion eradicates a small pomo witticism. A bit of awkwardness replaces the wit; the arch is just an arch now, and it lands too close to the existing vertical window. But, again, if there’s any firm whose stature could make this okay, it’s this firm.
In the Hood’s Fall Quarterly (pdf), Interim Director Juliette Bianco writes of
the College’s exciting expansion and renovation of the Hood building with architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. The finishing touches of the design development phase of the project will happen this fall, and we look forward to sharing renderings of what the new gallery, teaching, and lobby spaces may look like as we prepare for groundbreaking in mid-2016—look for this news […] in the winter 2016 issue of the Hood Quarterly.
This weekend’s Alumni Council meeting will include a discussion called “Hood Museum Expansion: A Case Study in Capital Project Development at Dartmouth.” The speakers will be Bianco, Lisa Hogarty, vice president of Campus Services, and Bob Lasher ’88, senior vice president for Advancement.
This site has commented now and then on the upcoming Hood Museum expansion by comparing that project to two recent expansions by the late Rick Mather’s firm, one big one at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and a somewhat cozier addition to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
The news today is that the Hood’s former director, Michael Taylor, has been appointed chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the VMFA (see the VMFA press release, Valley News story).
Welcome to RVA, Dr. Taylor. I love the VMFA and try to spend a lot of time there. My kid’s even got a work on display there:
So far, the only image officially released has been the one distant view of a white box projecting into the museum’s first courtyard. What about Charles Moore’s famous arch?
Although the white box leaves a gap alongside the Hop, it does appear to demolish the arch. This seems a bit of a shame; was there no way to enclose part of the iconic arch as a fragment?
The expansion seems humorless, especially in comparison to Moore’s quirky work; the project now seems focused on geometric purity. In replacing the intentionally retiring presence that is created by the Hood’s recessed siting and netlike form, the white box is giving the Hood a do-over. This is what should have been done in the first place, it is suggested: not an infill skein but a proud, freestanding building.
[Update 04.16.2015: Links, image, and information removed at request of author.]
[Update 03.22.2015: Links to Centerbrook study and Wikimedia image added.]
The Town budget includes funding for construction of walk/bike path along Lyme Road to the Reservoir Road roundabout. The paved path will be separated from the road by a tree lawn (The Dartmouth).
Earlier this year, the Hood Quarterly reported that work on the museum’s addition and renovation would begin during the Spring of 2016.1 The college trustees met last week and approved a capital budget that includes $8.5 million “for completion of design and preconstruction activities for the Hood Museum of Art renewal and expansion project” (Dartmouth Now). The Hood project, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, “is being coordinated with a Hopkins Center for the Arts planning study” by Boora Architects.
Also in the new capital budget (Dartmouth Now) are:
– Funds for the planning and design of a restoration project for Baker Tower.
– “$11.75 million for design and construction of facilities related to initial work on the configuration of new residential housing communities.” That is likely work by Sasaki Associates, with the funding presumably going to build something less than the total number of dining-hall additions, faculty houses, or other “neighborhood” improvements the firm is proposing.
– “$100,000 for planning and conceptual design for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement project.” The growth of mold in the clubhouse has sealed its fate; the designer of the replacement has not been named.
– “$200,000 for schematic design for renovation of Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.” After Maclay Architects studied the feasibility of preserving or replacing the Lodge, it was not known which route the board would take. Maclay even sketched a design for a possible replacement. Now it seems that the Lodge is going to be preserved.
The Planner’s Blog mentions that there are more than 42 types of bollard on campus. Almost as impressive is the fact that all the bollards have been cataloged and are being evaluated in a critical way.
The feasibility study for that future Mass Row renovation was conducted a couple of years ago by Lawson Bell Architects.
Miller Chevrolet Cadillac, down on Route 120 not far from Fort Harry’s, has been sold, and its site is to be redeveloped:
Although Cicotte declined to identify the buyer, she said it wasn’t a hotel developer, Dartmouth College, or Hanover developer Jay Campion. The Miller Chevrolet Cadillac property, which is accessed on Labombard Road, is adjacent to the New Hampshire National Guard Armory on Heater Road. The property is also next to a planned hotel and conference center under review by Lebanon planning authorities, and near a natural gas depot under development by Campion.
One possible buyer mentioned is Dartmouth Coach, which has a facility on nearby Etna Road.
(Valley News). If I’m not mistaken, Miller is the dealership that eventually acquired Rodgers’ Garage, the REO/Packard/Chevrolet dealer on Lebanon Street where the VAC now stands.
That natural gas project is by Campion’s Valley Green Natural Gas, which plans to transfer gas from tanker trucks on Route 120 and then send it by pipeline to Hanover, particularly to Dartmouth (Valley News 18 May 2014, 4 November 2014). Dartmouth will finish analyzing a possible fuel switch this fall (Valley News).
- “Anonymous $10 Million Gift Will Transform Teaching at the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2015), 10, available at http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/docs/2015webreadyquarterly.pdf. ↩
- Hannah Silverstein, “Book Arts Workshop: Hands-On Learning, Global Reach,” Dartmouth Now (25 February 2015), at
In the fabulous Alumni Magazine archives one sometimes comes across photos and descriptions of “the Old Stage Coach.”1
The 1852 Concord Coach was used to haul people to and from train stations at Norwich (Lewiston) and White River Junction and to take fraternity groups to their banquets at inns in neighboring towns and so on.2
As the coach became more old-fashioned, its use became more ceremonial, and it was used to give athletic teams a notable sendoff or arrival. The Archives has an excellent photo of the coach in front of the Wheelock Hotel (pre-Inn) in 1897, carrying the baseball team, and a faded photo of the coach carrying Casque & Gauntlet members (and dates?) in 1898, possibly at a baseball game.
The coach’s last use was about 1912, and in 1929, not long after being spared destruction in a student bonfire, it was placed in the college museum in Wilson Hall.3 I do not remember the coach from the early 1990s, and it does not seem like the sort of thing the museum would keep around, especially after Wilson became overcrowded or the Hood Museum was built.
And yet the Hood did not get rid of the coach until the fall of 2012! The deaccession pdf explains that it went to a good home:
Transferred to Abbot-Downing Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Abbot and Downing companies and the Concord Coach, which they manufactured.
The society features the spruced-up coach on its home page.
Construction inside 4 Currier has ended and the Innovation Center has opened (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now). Construction is also ending at Kappa Delta’s new house on Occom Ridge and at the Triangle House renovation project.
Valley Road in Hanover now has “suggestion lanes” for bicycle and foot traffic (The Dartmouth). Other noteworthy articles in The D cover the addition to the Food Co-Op and the Wilder Dam relicensing process.
At the September Trustees’ meeting, according to The Dartmouth,
Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer and campus planning vice president Lisa Hogarty gave a presentation on residential life concepts, including the neighborhood system, which would assign students to a residential cluster from the beginning of their time at Dartmouth similar to a house system.
This new residential system is in “active planning,” Hanlon said. “It’s bold, it’s transformational and it’s also very complex.”
“The Board also approved the second-phase schematic design of the Hood Museum of Art project” (Dartmouth Now).
The rivening of the Tucker Foundation continues (The Dartmouth).
The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the Grid-Graph, the illuminated glass display board on which students reenacted away games for football fans in the west gym of Alumni Gym.
The Times has an interesting article on branding/visual identity/signage at Barnard College. The third photo shows a pair of carved limestone (?) cartouches on the front facade of the school’s main building. Designed by Charles Rich, the building somewhat foreshadowed the smaller Wilder Laboratory at Dartmouth, which substitutes oval windows for the cartouches.
The West Wheelock Charrette Report was presented to the Planning Board (minutes pdf). There were several comments about “cleaning up” the area.
Campus Planning & Facilities seems to have shifted its news output from its website to a newsletter called Behind the Green. From issue 1:3 (July 2014) (pdf) we learn that the old roof shingles of Webster Cottage have been replaced with shingles of Alaskan Yellow Cedar (a.k.a. Nootka Cypress), and that design is under way for landscape work carrying out elements of the Van Valkenburgh plan near Collis, Robinson, and the Gold Coast.
Dartmouth is somewhat notable because its buildings are completely absent from the National Register of Historic Places. The Sphinx Tomb, privately owned, is on the Register, and the college’s Orozco Murals are listed as a National Historic Landmark, but no college building or historic district appears on either list.1
Thus interesting things happen when a construction project with federal involvement triggers a review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The construction of the Ledyard Bridge prompted some research on the riverbank and West Wheelock Street, and the current Mobility Hub is going to change things right in the center of town, so it is undergoing a review as well.
Hartgen Archeological Associates is doing the Section 106 work for this project. The report of a meeting last November reveals an intriguing discussion about the Area of Potential Effect of the Mobility Hub:
The APE is generally described as including the plaza in front of Hopkins Center, the spaces internal to Hopkins Center and Hanover Inn overlooking the plaza, Dartmouth Green, the four streets around Dartmouth Green, and the “frontyards” of the buildings around Dartmouth Green.2
L Black recommended looking at Dartmouth College as a potential Historic District with added emphasis on the APE. J Edelmann asked if the college had ever looked into such a thing and J Whitcomb stated that have not and that there isn’t real interest in doing so. J Whitcomb did state that the college has an inventory of buildings, but not to a National Register level of detail.3
Concerns were raised that a large scale look at the campus as a whole for Historic District consideration would be well beyond the budget of the project. A suggestion was made for the use of a “hybrid” form. After continued discussion it was generally agreed that the important elements to document are those that define the character of the APE. These include, but not necessarily limited to, building faÃ§ades, building architectural style, landscaping treatments, hardscape treatments, and other elements that contribute to the overall context of the APE.4
It is worth noting that the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards discourage the imitation of historical forms and styles in new construction, so the final bus shelter is not likely to look like it was designed by Wallace Harrison.
- No policy against listing seems to exist; the absence might result from a combination of inertia, suspicion of potential regulation, and cost concerns. Occasionally, proponents of listing also are surprised to learn that the school’s principal building, Dartmouth Hall, was completed in 1906. ↩
- New Hampshire Bureau of Environment, Conference Report of Monthly SHPO-FHWA-ACOE-NHDOT Cultural Resources Meeting (14 November 2013), pdf, 17. ↩
- Report, 17. ↩
- Report, 18. ↩
A little film introduces Perdido, the new sculpture on East Wheelock.
The Alumni Magazine has put up its electronic archive of every issue since the October 1905 Dartmouth Bi-Monthly, edited by E.M. Hopkins.
The post here on the topic of the new bus stop at the Hop complained about the sidewalk in front of the Inn. It turns out that that area is going to be reworked as well (Dartmouth Now). The sidewalk is growing, according to DCREO associate director of real estate Tim McNamara:
The planned changes to the sidewalk and surrounding areas will effectively create two lanes as well as smoothing out the frost-heaved sections of sidewalk.
“At present, pedestrians walking down East Wheelock have to pass under the porte-cochère,” says McNamara. “We will relocate the sidewalk to the outside of the porte-cochÃ¨re so that pedestrians will not conflict with cars and guests coming and going from the Inn.”
Moving the curb line out beyond the street’s current shoulder will also allow expansion of the Inn’s outdoor dining.
The Hopkins Center’s iconic Moore Theatre facade is also getting new double-pane windows (Dartmouth Now) ahead of the planned expansion and renovation. The D has a photo. (The Planner’s Blog has a post on the project)
Lebanon Junior High (J.F. Larson) is being renovated and reused, in part as the Spark Community Center. Studio Nexus is working on the building.
Project VetCare has purchased the 1907 house at 80 Lebanon Street and plans to rent rooms to three or more student veterans (Valley News). It’s the brown bungalow at the center of this Bing bird’s-eye view.
More great aerials: the Shower Towers and Kiewit, showing the committed but incongruous Bradley Plaza, and a 1919 photo of the Green showing the big tent set up for the 150th anniversary celebration. Most intriguing are this aerial and this aerial of Dartmouth Hall on fire in 1935. That was the fire that led Larson to gut the 1906 building and insert new floors and interiors, and to put up the current belfry and the three front gables showing the notable years.
One is relieved to see the College Usher (Dean of Libraries Jeffrey Horrell) identified as such in a Commencement photo showing him carrying Lord Dartmouth’s Cup.
A tidbit from the biography of the late David McLaughlin, Dartmouth President from 1981 to 1987. On the elimination of fraternities and sororities:
In hindsight, I am convinced that the wrong approach was taken. Having been in a unique position to restructure the fraternity system, I should1 have been more decisive early in my presidency, during my “Honeymoon” period. Perhaps I could and should have eliminated the fraternities in their current form and redefined them — brought about some positive fundamental restructuring of the campus social system. Neither my predecessor nor my successors had such a golden opportunity, both being non-Dartmouth alumni and academics and, therefore, suspect from the outset, by alumni and students, as men having little, if any, use for the Greek system. But football-playing, fraternity-member David McLaughlin was a different story. Oh, the howling would have been long and loud, and many on the board would undoubtedly have opposed me, but I believe that I could have brought a majority of my fellow trustees along with me. What I should have said, quite emphatically, in that inaugural speech of mine was, “Dartmouth needs to dismantle fraternities as they exist today.”2
The Hood now has put up a page on the expansion, with no new info since June 11.
Memorial Field construction is set to begin November 17 and finish by September 1 (Planning Board minutes pdf).
[Update 07.29.2014: Link to Planner’s Blog post added.]
[Update 07.22.2014: Link to photo of Hop windows added.]
The conceptual design by ORW, which won a design award from Vital Communities, shows a redesign and replacement of a group of features in front of the Hop: the pedestrian crossing, bus loading area, bus shelter, empty grass rectangle, etc. It will be a partly-federally funded Town project built on College land by an architect chosen by the College. Even though the original timeline aimed to finish the work in 2013 (Request for Qualifications pdf), it was not built then, but it looks like it was in design last fall (UVLSRPC minutes) and is out for bids now (Construction Data Company).
Everything in the proposal is sensitive and unobtrusive, but one should note that this project will affect the appearance of the Hopkins Center. (In fact this will be one piece in the great parade of architectural interventions in the south side of the Green of 2012 through 2020.) During the warmer months, a dense block of trees here would hide several parts of the Hop, setting up the Moore Theatre as an independent pavilion — not necessarily a bad thing, and perhaps a good stopgap until we receive a full and true Hop addition, one that brings the building right up to the street.1
The Site Plan Concept by ORW (pdf page 4) is impressive. The most noticeable change might be the grove of trees. With a pea-gravel floor, this outdoor room screened by two ranks of trees arranged formally on axis with Wilson’s entrance (and a realigned set of Hop plaza steps) will be novel and interesting and civilized. This allee could be exquisitely beautiful in the winter with snow on the bare limbs and the tables.
The street improvements (bulbs, insular pedestrian refuge near the site of the former grassy median) are all important. The crosswalk has a note indicating that it is aligned with an axial view of Baker Library. One proposal is pretty subtle: the use of plaza paving materials (concrete pavers, say) in place of asphalt in the bus/dropoff zone. This is crucially important in reducing the perceived width of the street: Hanover is not that big, and it doesn’t need a five-lane street below the Green. Here’s hoping the paving proposal is realized. (Even if not, the plan will still remove the diagonal parking in front of the hop — good riddance.)
Maybe after this is built and enjoyed for a few years the Town will go further by raising the street level and bollarding off the plaza and the Green. The same thing should be done with the Inn’s porte-cochere and its garage ramp.2
One neat detail is a bit hidden: a little visitor’s information pavilion. In the site plan on page 4 it’s obscured by trees but is described as measuring 12 x 15 feet. On page 5 its side is shown as if seen from Wilson Hall.3
I imagine this pavilion helpfully blocking the wind in the winter but spending most of its time enclosing a few desultory racks of brochures for Quechee Gorge and Simon Pearce. It could replace the staffed, temporary kiosk that the Chamber of Commerce puts on the Green each summer [check]. But it could be much more: you can see its potential in the photo in the lower right part of page 3, the one showing the café tables and the menu board.
This pavilion could be a little coffee kiosk, a snack bar, or even a real bar, serving drinks out of a window.4 Not quite the Tavern on the Green or even the Out of Town News in Cambridge, but certainly at least as good as a sandwich kiosk in Bryant Park.
- If the Hopkins Center were less of a suburban arts island and more of a conventional urban building (see 7 Lebanon Street), there would be no need for a warming shelter here. The business end of the Hop — everything on this facade except for the theater entrance — would come right up to the street alongside the Inn, and it would provide plenty of commercial rental space for a newsstand or a coffee shop that catered to bus travelers. ↩
- At the moment these two asphalt drives are intrusions of the street into the sidewalk, not small portions of the sidewalk opened up to cars. The paving is opposite what it should be (Street View). In both cases, the sidewalk paving should extend all the way down to the street’s edge, and the boundary line should be located there. The existing bollards and floor level/lack of curbing are appropriate, however. ↩
- In the perspective view on page 6 the pavilion is a bit hard to read. It is the dark glass box whose roof is the same height as that of the seating area in the foreground. The tall glass box near the center appears to be a possible Hop addition. The document is from July of 2011. ↩
- For that matter, couldn’t the Inn breach the eastern wall of its patio and start serving people who sit under the trees here? ↩
1. Along with the new Minary entrance and perhaps a future Boora expansion of the Hop’s Faculty Lounge, the new entrance pavilion for the Hood will transform the south side of the Green into a row of Modernist glass facades (this Street View shows the current state of the street, with the insular Hop). Tod Williams said:
Charles Moore, who was Billie’s thesis advisor, did very fine work that was just right in the 1980s, but we really need to bring a fresh face to this. It is crucial that we create a visible destination that is woven into the heart of the campus[.]
The one image released so far (post) shows a lot of concrete walling in front of Wilson. Is it blocking off Wilson’s entrance, as the walls do at Steele and Wilder, or is it sheltering a ramp? (The firm does not seem ready to abandon Wilson: “We aim to restore its identity not only as a building with a remarkable exterior, but one where the interior is profoundly connected to its exterior.”)
The Valley News mentions that President Kim put the project on hold and that President Hanlon started it up again. The current design takes advantage of the absence of the Wilson Elm, which fell during September of 2013 (post).
2. The addition sure goes back a ways — it cannot help but swallow or more likely demolish Charles Moore’s layered, recessed gateway. This is unexpected. And it makes one wonder whether this addition occupies part of the Bedford Couryard, as The Dartmouth suggests.
The Hood’s original entrance ramp certainly will no longer be needed. That area might make a good building site. (In the small rendering, is that sculpture in the window Joel Schapiro’s Untitled, currently in the Bedford Courtyard?)
But the sequence of outdoor spaces experienced by anyone walking through the Bedford Courtyard is crucial to the character of the Hood, and unique at Dartmouth. One wonders whether so much demolition and infill are necessary. Have the imperatives that caused Moore to recess the museum rather than make it project it toward the street really changed?
Did Dartmouth choose this image for the press release because it doesn’t show very much?
3. Here is a theory: the deservedly-praised opening of the Maffei Courtyard south of the Hood (Burak image on Flickr) has created a new signature view for the museum that renders the preservation of the Hood’s current iconic gateway and courtyard unnecessary.
4. More on Moore from Tsien, in ArchDaily:
“I can’t remember him ever saying a single word about my work,” Tsien says. “But what I do remember are the crazy field trips he would lead. A single day might include the Neutra House on Catalina, a ride on the 360-degree roller coaster at Magic Mountain, the world’s largest miniature golf course, and a glass of wine at the Del Coronado. He was funny and shy and generous and he taught me that inspiration comes from many places. Making a wonderful place for people drove his work.”
Dartmouth Now has a press release announcing the gift of $10 million to fund part of the Hood’s Museum Learning Center. There is nothing yet on the TWBTA site or the school’s project page. Construction will begin in 2016 and end in 2018, according to the release.
An image accompanying the press release provides a distant view of a Modernist glass exhibition building next to the Hopkins Center, its front facade aligned with that of the Hop. The fairly prominent addition will fill the gap between the Hop and Wilson Hall. The second story of the addition projects toward the Hop in the form of a cantilevered box. This addition is an unexpectedly big move on the heels of Centerbrook’s retiring master plan for the addition.
This new facade will finally give the Hood the prominence it has always deserved, a prominence that architects Charles Moore and Chad Floyd considered giving it when they designed the building during early 1980s. The rendering also raises questions. Is the new overall entrance to the Hood going to be placed in Wilson? The rendering at least suggests that it will be, although the press release does not mention Wilson at all. The addition will block the view of the Hood’s grim old concrete portal, but will it also require the demolition of that portal? That would be very surprising. Will it also block the old route of College Street? One cannot imagine that the architects would propose to block this major travel route.