Moving sculptures

Mark di Suvero’s X-Delta has moved again, this time to a site in front of Berry Library. It will move back to its permanent site below the Hood after the Visual Arts Center is finished.

And Richard Nonas’s 1976 sculpture Telemark Shortline is back:

photo by Meacham of Telemark Shortline sculpture

View of Telemark Shortline in front of Richardson Hall, June 2011.

photo by Meacham of Telemark Shortline sculpture

View of Wheeler Hall, June 2011.

See also Google Street View.

Interesting links with some connection to Dartmouth or the Granite State

  • Inside Higher Ed has a review of Bryant Tolles’s new book, Academic Architecture in New England. The book, based on Tolles’s 1970 dissertation, provides the best coverage available anywhere of Dartmouth’s original buildings.

  • A new book about the work of alumni firm Rogers Marvel is available.

  • Dartbeat has a map of warmcuts around campus. What is a warmcut? It’s a shortcut that won’t save you time but will let you stay indoors as much as possible.

  • The college publicity office has an article on the 50th anniversary of the Hanover Conservancy, formerly the Hanover Conservation Council. The group manages the Mink Brook Nature Preserve and other areas.

  • The Four Aces Diner in West Lebanon has reopened (Valley News).

  • Eli Burak, whose work has been linked here, is the new official college photographer following the retirement of Joseph Mehling (The Dartmouth, Facebook video (via Dartmouth Now)).

  • The story of the Chicken Farmer I Still Love You graffito, in the Valley News.

  • Dartmouth’s investment in sustainability (The Dartmouth) is likely to create problems when it encounters the college’s interest in preserving the historic windows still found in many campus buildings.

  • A solar-powered blue emergency phone (Dartmouth Planning).

  • Historic photos of Main Street businesses. Note the Dartmouth Bank Building before the arches were added to the front and after the arches were added (but before the building was raised by one level). More of this building and others north of Lebanon Street appear in a slide show from the Hanover Bicentennial parade on July 4, 1961 (via the Planning blog). Also in the slide show is an interesting shot of the buildings that preceded the Nugget Arcade.

  • Is the Watershed Studio’s listing of a Ledyard Canoe Club project a reference to a replacement building, a renovation, or something else?

  • The Co-op Food Store at the roundabout on Lyme Road is the subject of some detailed information provided by ORW.

  • In Norwich, Vermont’s ex-village of Lewiston (see the Rauner post) is a street that was recently named Ledyard Lane (Google Maps). The street leads to the depot, which is still standing, and one presumes it was previously called Depot Street. How strange to see John Ledyard’s name migrating via the bridge across the river to a site he had nothing to do with.

  • An interesting granite monument is set in the ground at the northwest corner of Lebanon and Summer Streets (Google Street View). The “H” must stand for Hanover, but why here? Is it a former town line? Doubtful. Perhaps a former corner of a town-owned parcel.

Lebanon Street monument, Hanover

Monument at Lebanon and Summer.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the development of the Synclavier and the origins of the Bregman Electronic Music Studio.

  • The latest college map (pdf), released in August of 2010, is the first to show the LSC, ’53 Commons, the VAC, 4 Currier, and other novelties. The map also strangely misnames more than a dozen Greek houses in an apparent attempt to Romanize or transliterate the Greek characters of their names (via Jonathan). Visually, the map might be improved if the ground were shaded and the symbols indicating accessible entrances and restrooms were made less obtrusive. And one might hope that the mustard yellow of the buildings could be replaced with gray, brown, or green.

  • Dartmouth has been digging up the small lab animals that were buried in mass graves at the Rennie Farm during the 1960s and 1970s (Valley News).

  • Dartmouth Now writes about the last male descendant of Eleazar Wheelock.

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken links Rogers Marvel and warm cuts fixed.]

Observing Berry Row

I. A recent one-paragraph review.

One alum quoted in the Alumni Council’s annual report (pdf) stated:

The north campus is appalling. The buildings look like something from USC and it is barren of trees. Further, the buildings pointlessly drift off to the right, making it an unsatisfying prospect. Seriously, from Berry north they need to plant several thousand trees to soften and obscure this severe, inappropriate landscape.

There is something worth discussing here. The unusual wording itself creates a number of questions:

  1. What does “north campus” mean? Is it the area around Kemeny, the stretch from Berry to Moore, or the stretch all the way up to Gilman? The word “severe” in reference to the landscape suggests that he* is referring to the Kemeny area, which has low granite walls. But who knows?

  2. How quickly are trees supposed to grow? Berry Row was recently a construction site. One supposes the same trees are to a) provide general natural beauty (“The north campus is barren of trees”) and b) obscure a landscape.

  3. The buildings drift “pointlessly” to the right: does this mean that the buildings fail to lead to a point, such as the still-unbuilt terminus of the Berry Row axis, or does it mean that the alignment of the row should follow an unbending north-south line no matter what goes on in the surrounding streets? It is obvious that the curve in the line of buildings traces of the historic curve in the town’s street grid, which in turn follows the bend in the river.

  4. Is the USC comparison useful? The rather attractive buildings of USC do not look similar to the buildings of Berry Row and do not seem to have been designed by Moore’s firm, unlike, say, certain buildings of UCLA, UCSB (Kresge College, 1971), UCSC, and Berkeley (Haas School of Business, 1995).

II. Another take.

Kemeny/Haldeman seems successful. The building’s street facade is admirably modest in scale; the twin porticos are delightful. The way the building works with Sherman to bracket Carson Hall is important and it seems well done. The towers on the inside of the block are not as notable as they could be and disappoint somewhat. The handling of the termination of the main tower’s north facade might be a mistake: it is not much of a tower if it does not even meet the ridge of the roof.

Berry Row, view to north

Berry Row, view to north

The eccentric footprint of the McLaughlin Cluster has the potential to be too quirky for its own good, but it works; the apparently arbitrary inflection is not bothersome.

McLaughlin view north

McLaughlin Cluster, view north to Gilman

A brochure-quality view of McLaughlin captured by Google Street View looks to the south toward the towers of Sudikoff and Baker. The use of granite and white-painted brick, reminiscent of Dartmouth Hall, is appealing.

Bildner rear entrance

Bildner Hall, rear entrance

Street View has a photo of the hefty sculptural light-pier at Bildner’s front entrance.

The absence of shutters on McLaughlin is a bit of a let-down, but shutters seem to be the litmus test for traditionalism in Dartmouth buildings these days: Fahey-McLane was meant to be shutterless but got them anyway, according to one account, because they were important to a donor.


* Really a “he”? He seems to be under 40 (the youthful use of “seriously”) but might view himself as having the tastes of someone over 60 (the use of the antiquated “prospect” instead of “view”).

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to Alumni Council pdf fixed.]

Brand identity topics

I. The Dartmouth Company

Curiously, there is a Boston-based real estate company called The Dartmouth Company. It makes good use of serifs and a dark green color on its website and seems to operate in New Hampshire. See also the more obvious reference to the college at the Dartmouth Education Foundation.

II. The Arms of Dartmouth’s Schools

The Dartmouth College website seems to be doing something new when it describes the institution as a collection of five apparently equal schools:

shields from webpage

Excerpt from college website.

The harmonization and use of the schools’ shields is commendable.

But this arrangement seems to contradict the rule that Dartmouth is the college. The “Associated Schools” — Tuck, Thayer, Medical, and lately the graduate programs — are associated with the college but are not coequals beneath a central university administration. Because “Dartmouth” is the undergraduate college, there is no need to put the letters “CA&S” before one’s class year, for example.

Tom Owen writes in The Dartmouth today:

In the discussion following Kim’s address, Provost Carol Folt said there is a “complicated set of reasons” for the gap between Dartmouth’s national and international rankings. Two of the major contributing factors are Dartmouth’s lack of a “university” title and Dartmouth’s focus on undergraduates, both of which have hurt Dartmouth’s international reputation.


Although large-scale changes may be necessary in the next decade, alumni must see new developments as part of an institutional history of adaptation rather than as a threat to tradition, Kim said.

The school’s Quartomillennium celebration in 2019 would be a good time to launch something new.

[01.25.2012 update: Education Foundation link added.]

LSC construction wrapping up: the Yard and its paths

The Dartmouth recently published articles on the progress of construction in general and ’53 Commons in particular. The word is that football recruits like the revived Commons.

The designers of the LSC, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, call the rectangular green space framed by the new building “the Yard.” The paved paths look as if they follow routes that have been there for generations, but one has to wonder how the architects knew to put them where they are. The Dartmouth has an article with details about the building, noting that the dedication will take place next month.

The Yard under construction during June

View of LSC

October 10 view of the LSC taken from the webcam

[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to webcam removed.]

Gutting the West Stand at Memorial Field

In December of 2008, Dartmouth put on hold its planned rebuilding of Memorial Field (Dartmouth News). The project would have demolished and replaced the existing steel-framed concrete grandstand, leaving the arcaded brick facade on Crosby Street. It seems that the replacement supports, made of concrete, were actually cast and have been resting in a field in Vermont, awaiting an improvement in the college budget.

Here’s hoping the project will be restarted soon.

Memorial Field

South facade, showing concrete structure to be demolished

Memorial Field

The memorial in Memorial Field, view to northwest

Memorial Field

View to the north under the stands showing steel frame to be demolished

The Big Green Alert Blog has been providing extensive coverage of the installation of lights at Memorial Field (June 11, June 25 morning and afternoon, August 3) in advance of the first night game on October 1. The game will be against Penn and will begin at the extravagantly late hour of 6 pm. It will be Dartmouth’s first-ever night game at any field.

[Update 08.22.2011: Replaced line reading “The project recently was restarted” (thanks Big Green Alert Blog).]

Bruner Cott designed the ’53 Commons renovation of Thayer Dining Hall

53 Commons interior rendering posted on Thayer Hall

Rendering of interior of Class of 1953 Commons posted outside the building

An article in The Dartmouth today credits Bruner Cott with the design of the ongoing Class of 1953 Commons renovation of Thayer Dining Hall.

The identity of the designer of this project has been the object of some curiosity. Initially, Bruner Cott designed a new dining hall to be called the Class of 1953 Commons (pdf) as part of the McLaughlin Cluster. Once food service was available at the north end of campus, the school would have been free to demolish the historic Thayer Dining Hall and replace it with a new dining facility by Kieran Timberlake (see planning document pdf).

The downturn and other factors caused Dartmouth to drop both dining halls and to settle for renovating Thayer, renaming it ’53 Commons. The answer to the question of which firm would get the job has not been answered publicly until recently. (Bruner Cott’s site also lists this project and has a rendering of the main dining room.)

The article is illustrated with a photo depicting nearly the view shown above.

Parker Apartments to be demolished

Contrary to what was reported here in March, it looks as if Dartmouth is going to demolish the 1921 Parker Apartments at 2 North Park Street:

Parker Apartments

Rear (west) facade of Parker

The July 6 minutes of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (pdf) state that the board granted an exemption “to allow for the demolition of an existing apartment building and construction of a new building to be used as a student residence.” Curiously, the minutes list no applicant; it was presumably Dartmouth.

The building appears to be serviceable, and one wonders why the college did not decide to renovate it. The faculty apartment next door is older and smaller, but its renovation worked out well:

Parkside Apartments, 17 East Wheelock

Rear (north) facade of Parkside

Unbuilt Dartmouth, an exhibit and an article

A graphical article based on research by Barbara Krieger in the July/August Alumni Magazine nicely covers a larger exhibit in the History Room in Baker. It is good to see the site for the amphitheater named as Murdough rather than the Bema, which is the site that that drawing is usually said to describe.

One or two quibbles: the 1931 courtyard Inn on page 53 was meant not not the Robinson Hall area but for the Spaulding Auditorium site, as is shown on the exhibit’s Dartmouth House Plot Plan. The gateway shown in the Larson drawing would have faced east, and Lebanon Street is depicted on the left of the drawing. (The main block of the current Inn was completed in 1967 rather than 1887.)

The focus on the Dartmouth Hall cupola is a bit of a wild goose chase. The plans depicted are by William Gamble and show a masonry building that was never built. Dartmouth Hall was built from some other plans, long since lost, that almost certainly showed a cupola. Those plans might or might not have been by Gamble and probably were not by Peter Harrison. (The cupola that Tucker admired was probably a somewhat different midcentury replacement for the original.)

Here is an image that did not make it into the article, a pre-Leverone proposal for a field house by Eggers & Higgins:

Eggers & Higgins Field House proposal

Wow. That is a view to the southeast from above the gym. South Park Street runs behind the field house, and the field in the upper right corner is the site of the later Leverone Field House.

The article quotes Eisenhower on “what a college ought to look like.” Conan O’Brien recently paraphrased this commentary while adding something of his own:

It’s absolutely beautiful here, though. It is the quintessential college cam-… American college campus. It does look like a movie set.

(Video, at 1:27.)

Framing the Visual Arts Center

Steelworkers topped off the frame for the Visual Arts Center on June 22 (Boston/SF News). (Still no updates on the Machado & Silvetti site.)

Visual Arts Center

VAC southwest corner (photos taken 06.21.2011)

The whole thing is shaping up just as Jeff Stikeman‘s renderings predicted.

Visual Arts Center

What does not come across in the close-up rendering of the Hood vista is just how important that newly-exposed view is to Currier Street (formerly South College Street):

View of Hood from Currier Street