A new direction for the old Heating Plant

Introduction
The college announced recently that it won't upgrade its Heating Plant from No. 6 fuel oil to natural gas but will instead skip directly to a more sustainable source of energy.1Charlotte Albright, "President Hanlon: Big Green Will Go (More) Green," Dartmouth News (22 April 2017); Aimee Caruso, "Dartmouth Plans to Cut Oil Reliance," Valley News (23 April 2017). That energy source is likely to be biomass.3Rob Wolfe, "New Dartmouth Task Force Will Help School Go Green," Valley News (31 August 2016); Peter Charalambous, "College to finalize heating and energy proposals," The Dartmouth (3 February 2017); Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future," Valley News (27 April 2017). Because a biomass plant will require a lot of land on which to store piles of wood chips for combustion, the site of the current Heating Plant south of Wheelock Street will not do.2Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future."

The new plant

The college is mum on where the new heating plant will be built, but Dewey Field must be at the top of the list of possibilities. Dewey Field is a large, open site on Route 10 (Lyme Road) that is currently used as a parking lot. Most of the field is located outside the 10-minute walking radius that is supposed to define the limits of the campus proper. The field also is close to the northern end of the tunnel network that currently carries steam lines to the various buildings. Some posts on this site have speculated about the idea of putting a new heating plant in Dewey Field: here, here, and especially here.

Dewey Field aerial at Google Maps.

(Unfortunately for the college, Dewey Field is also close to the mansions of Rope Ferry Road. Would it be possible to locate a biomass plant on the other side of Lyme Road, up by the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse? Or would the inefficiency created by the long distance be too great?)

Wherever the school sites the new plant, it should be encouraged to hire an outside architect with vision. The northern gateway to Hanover is not the place for a brown, metal-sided box. While the plant at Hotchkiss might not be right for Hanover, it stands next to a golf course. It was designed by Centerbrook with civil engineering by Milone & MacBroom, both firms that have worked at Dartmouth.

Since a heating plant is a simple industrial building, it can be covered in anything. Here is an amazing plant in the Netherlands that is clad in Delft tiles.

The old plant

Heating Plant, Meacham photo

The Heating Plant.

The old Heating Plant is one of the better examples of historic preservation at the college.

The ground level of the plant was built as a one-story Romanesque building in 1898 (Lamb & Rich, Architects). The second level was added by the college's other important architectural firm, Larson & Wells, in 1923. In more recent history, each time the college has placed a new boiler in the building, it has dismantled a front facade bay and then built it back again — three times, in three different bays.

This website cannot stop talking about the importance of preserving the old exhaust stack, a fundamental Hanover landmark — it is an axial terminus for Lebanon Street — and an historic symbol of the traditional function of this neighborhood as Hanover's energy district. Yale's master plan devotes one map to showing "major vertical objects,"4Yale Master Plan pdf, 94. and this stack is one of the three most important vertical objects in Hanover. It makes no difference that the stack, built in 1958, is not "original" to the building, whatever that means for this evolving industrial structure. The stack is simply too important. It satisfies the 50-year threshold to be considered "historic" under the Secretary of the Interior's Standards anyway. (And it goes without saying that Harry A. Wells's wonderfully adaptable 1916 Store House on Crosby Street, seen in Google Street View, also must be retained.)

The stack as seen from Lebanon Street.

The old plant in the future

Old power plants are reused all the time: see "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates"5Aaron Wiener, "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates," Architect Magazine (1 December 2013). and the Bruner/Cott renovation of Amherst's 1925 power house. The only natural move would be for the college to expand the Hood Museum into the empty plant building.

The old stack should become a victory column. Or the school could install a staircase and top the column with a Classical decorative element, such as the golden flaming urn of Wren's 1677 Monument to the Great Fire of London (Wikipedia) or William Whitfield's 2003 Paternoster Square column, seen in Google Street View (that one was built as a ventilation shaft, Wikipedia notes). Or imagine commissioning a statue or an abstract sculpture as a new signpost for the arts at Dartmouth — and for the college as a whole.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Charlotte Albright, "President Hanlon: Big Green Will Go (More) Green," Dartmouth News (22 April 2017); Aimee Caruso, "Dartmouth Plans to Cut Oil Reliance," Valley News (23 April 2017).
2. Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future."
3. Rob Wolfe, "New Dartmouth Task Force Will Help School Go Green," Valley News (31 August 2016); Peter Charalambous, "College to finalize heating and energy proposals," The Dartmouth (3 February 2017); Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future," Valley News (27 April 2017).
4. Yale Master Plan pdf, 94.
5. Aaron Wiener, "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates," Architect Magazine (1 December 2013).

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250th anniversary planning heats up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • At the last board meeting,

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

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

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

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

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

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Wheelock’s Mansion House sold

The Valley News reports that the college is selling Eleazar Wheelock's house to the Eleazar Wheelock Society, a "pan-denominational resource promoting a constructive role for faith in learning environments like Dartmouth," as well as at Dartmouth itself. The group will remodel the building to house 24 students. The college only acquired the house a few years ago, and it seems to be imposing a private historic preservation covenant in this sale. The renovation that turned the house into the Howe Library around 1900 was designed by Charles A. Rich, while the ominous/cute brick stacks addition is later.

The "Mansion House" for the college president was built with funds from London evangelical John Thornton, so its acquisition by this group seems particularly appropriate. The group was founded by alumni in 2008 and aims to establish "a reproducible model that can be duplicated on college and university campuses elsewhere." It admires Wheelock "because of his commitment to the biblical worldview."

In thanking Joseph Asch for his kind mention of this site on Dartblog, I am compelled to note Princeton's preservation of an early president's house1The house is not that of Princeton's founding president, if the school had such a person: the College of New Jersey was established in Elizabeth and moved to Newark before it settled in Princeton. that is both older than Dartmouth's and still in its original location. A 1764 engraving by Dawkins (reproduced in a Princeton news article) shows the Maclean House in front and to the right of Nassau Hall. The two buildings are still standing and appear in this recent Bing aerial.

Putting the president's house alongside the lawn that lay between the street and the college proper was a standard practice. This image shows Dartmouth's president's house in its original location at the righthand end of Dartmouth Row.2Although Wheelock died before Dartmouth Hall was built, he anticipated the construction of a college on the hill and likely had the site in mind when he built his own house.

1830s Currier engraving of Dartmouth

Detail of ca. 1834 Currier engraving of Dartmouth Row showing President's House at far right. Image reversed from erroneous original disposition.

The relation of the president's house to the college building made early Dartmouth look very much like early Princeton.3 Early views of the two schools are so similar, in fact, that Dartmouth once used the Dawkins engraving of Nassau Hall as the cover of its annual report in error; confirmation will be posted as it is found.

[Update 11.13.2015: Final three paragraphs added.]

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Notes   [ + ]

1. The house is not that of Princeton's founding president, if the school had such a person: the College of New Jersey was established in Elizabeth and moved to Newark before it settled in Princeton.
2. Although Wheelock died before Dartmouth Hall was built, he anticipated the construction of a college on the hill and likely had the site in mind when he built his own house.
3. Early views of the two schools are so similar, in fact, that Dartmouth once used the Dawkins engraving of Nassau Hall as the cover of its annual report in error; confirmation will be posted as it is found.

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The plaques are back at Memorial Field

The rededication of the memorial plaques that had been returned or relocated to Memorial Field took place last weekend (Alumni Relations press release, Events notice).

The green wall on which the various plaques are mounted faces westward from behind the brick arches of the West Stands. A new circular logo-like relief sculpture by Dimitri Gerakaris '69 bearing the motto "THE HILL WIND KNOWS THEIR NAME"1The phrase is a reference to a line in the "Alma Mater," which is a version of the poem "Men of Dartmouth" ("The still North remembers them, / The hill-winds know their name, / And the granite of New Hampshire / Keeps the record of their fame."). Richard Hovey, "Men of Dartmouth," in H.J. Hapgood and Craven Laycock, eds., Echoes from Dartmouth (Hanover, N.H., 1895), 12. is an organizing feature; it was donated by the Sphinx Foundation.2The Foundation, of whose board Gerakaris has been a member, maintains the Sphinx Tomb. Its other purposes include being a "reservoir" of college history and preserving the educational ceremonies of the Sphinx (it conducts a "formal annual course on Dartmouth and Sphinx history and tradition" for members). Getting good Internet access through the poured-concrete walls of the tomb must be tough, and indeed one of the group's accomplishments is the maintenance of "the building's wireless and high speed conductivity to ensure the Sphinx Building provides the strongest support for undergraduate academic activities." Those activities include using the library and study stations and engaging in "extensive peer driven learning experiences" (2013 Form 990 PDF). Gerakaris, of Canaan, is the sculptor of the rugby relief on the chimney breast in the Rugby Clubhouse.

The Big Green Alert Blog has a photo of each plaque. The post-1920s plaques were moved here from elsewhere. For pre-1920s plaques, visit Webster Hall, where an Alumni Association plaque lists the 73 Civil War dead and a Class of 1863 plaque lists the 56 class members who served in the Civil War. The two plaques were installed in 1914, about six years after Webster Hall was finished.

Dartmouth does not seem to have a war memorial for any earlier war, and Charles T. Wood's The Hill Winds Know Their Name (pdf) does not list any. Dartmouth certainly could have a monument to past and future college students and officers who fought in the Revolution; students of Moor's Charity School are actually more prominent in that war than are Dartmouth students, and at least one (Joseph Brant) took part in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. The phrase is a reference to a line in the "Alma Mater," which is a version of the poem "Men of Dartmouth" ("The still North remembers them, / The hill-winds know their name, / And the granite of New Hampshire / Keeps the record of their fame."). Richard Hovey, "Men of Dartmouth," in H.J. Hapgood and Craven Laycock, eds., Echoes from Dartmouth (Hanover, N.H., 1895), 12.
2. The Foundation, of whose board Gerakaris has been a member, maintains the Sphinx Tomb. Its other purposes include being a "reservoir" of college history and preserving the educational ceremonies of the Sphinx (it conducts a "formal annual course on Dartmouth and Sphinx history and tradition" for members). Getting good Internet access through the poured-concrete walls of the tomb must be tough, and indeed one of the group's accomplishments is the maintenance of "the building's wireless and high speed conductivity to ensure the Sphinx Building provides the strongest support for undergraduate academic activities." Those activities include using the library and study stations and engaging in "extensive peer driven learning experiences" (2013 Form 990 PDF).

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Photography at the 1904 visit of the Earl of Dartmouth

Icon1647-0645-0000020A Icon1647-0645-0000023A

These two photos from the Archives show the arrival of the Earl of Dartmouth in 1904:

Combination of two photos of Earl of Dartmouth 1904

The photos were taken from the steps of Casque & Gauntlet looking east toward the Inn. The righthand photo is the earlier of the two, and the Earl's carriage appears in both photos. The student with the white collar striding down the walkway in the righthand photo is also visible at the edge of the left photo.

In the left photo a professional photographer is visible, standing on a stepladder behind a large camera. He might have a cigar in his mouth.

What kind of image did he capture? Here is a photo he took a few seconds after the two photos above; the Earl's carriage has already rounded the corner:

panorama of Earl of Dartmouth at Inn Corner, American Memory

This photo is from the Library of Congress, which lists the copyright holder as E. Chickering & Co. A slightly cropped version of this photo is available in the Dartmouth Archives.

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Planning for the “neighborhood”

Neighborhoods

We learn from The Dartmouth of March 21 that the Board of Trustees wants to change the housing system to focus on "neighborhoods" in order to increase continuity and so on. But there will be more to it than administrative changes, according to The Dartmouth of April 1:

[Mike Wooten] said a full transition to the "neighborhoods" system could take up to 10 years.

Wooten said he hopes outside architectural firms will submit design recommendations by fall 2014. Any construction projects, including renovations, will be decided after a firm is selected.

The college has selected Sasaki Associates as the design firm. Sasaki is currently designing an indoor practice facility to stand next to the Boss Tennis Center and has designed a master plan for Vermont Law School in South Royalton. The Dartmouth writes:

Based on their research, the Sasaki team and ORL will determine by the end of the summer whether to construct new residence halls in addition to renovating existing living spaces, Wooten said.

The MyCampus survey software that Sasaki uses in its research was created for the master planning process at Babson College in Massachusetts. The firm's idea-gathering at Dartmouth started yesterday (Planner's Blog).

In this early stage, the neighborhoods idea sounds a lot like the "cluster" program of the mid- and late-1980s.

Clusters and Faculty Residences

The cluster program now seems to have been mostly an organizational effort, but it did include a substantial architectural component. A series of projects, and presumably the prior study and planning, were carried out by the Boston firm of Charles G. Hilgenhurst Associates. The college made kitchen/lounge renovations in several dorms and built significant additions on others:

  • Lounge addition at rear of New Hampshire Hall
  • Lounge addition in crook of Topliff Hall
  • Expansion of original social room in crook of Hitchcock Hall
  • Hyphen connecting Butterfield and Sage Halls
  • Two hyphens connecting North, Middle, and South Fayerweather Halls

Lounges or social rooms, of course, are not new; they go back in a formal sense to North and South Massachusetts (1911-1912, Charles A. Rich).

The difference between an old cluster and a new neighborhood might be the inclusion of faculty residences. The institutional effort to establish a spatial association between faculty and student housing at Dartmouth goes back to the optimistic Fifties and seems to have been influenced by preparatory school practice. The Clark Preparatory School left Hanover for Cardigan Mountain in 1953 and sold its campus to Dartmouth. The college turned Clark's Alumni Hall (1938, Jens F. Larson) into a dormitory and renamed it Cutter Hall. The building's existing prep-school room layout included a faculty residence; Dartmouth seems not only to have left the floor plan unchanged but to have created a living-learning residential program to fit it.

The college also began to make plans for a whole group of dormitories on the prep school's athletic field, behind Alumni Hall. This group of Choate Road Dormitories (1956, Campbell & Aldrich) would comprise two pairs of dormitories, each with a faculty residence attached. The bold, idealistic, cinderblocky experiment of the Choates did not last long. Faculty residences were left out of the River Cluster, built by the same firm just a few years after the Choates. The Cutter Hall program also dropped the faculty element within a few years.

The only new dorms the college would erect as part of the 1980s cluster movement, the East Wheelock Cluster (1985-1987, Herbert S. Newman Associates), did not involve a faculty residence at first. They were planned, by a New Haven architect used to designing Yale colleges, to include four buildings. The program was pared to three buildings and Frost House (the White House) was spared. The house became the faculty residence for the "supercluster" iteration of East Wheelock when it was constituted in 1996 (see Dartmouth Now on the current changeover to a new faculty director).

Residential Colleges

Since the Harkness gifts of the late 1920s allowed Harvard and Yale to follow the form if not the underlying federative structure of Oxford or Cambridge,1See Alex Duke, Importing Oxbridge: English Residential Colleges and American Universities (New Haven: Yale, 1997). a lot of study has gone into the idea that a large institution should be split into smaller living-learning units (see the Collegiate Way website).

Although traditional anti-universitization sentiment requires that the Harvard/Yale idea be distinguished at Dartmouth (see the pains taken by Dartmouth Now to mention unique local circumstances), Dartmouth's administration finally seems ready to commit fully to a residential college program. During the 1920s, Dartmouth's President Hopkins

considered the possibility of breaking up the entire College into similar units. He finally decided that Dartmouth was uniquely suited to be one big unit, and that all that was lacking was a central student union which would have social and educational advantages.2Charles E. Widmayer, Hopkins of Dartmouth (Hanover: UPNE, 1977), 123.

The eventual Hopkins Center for the Arts included a snack bar and a student maibox area, but it obviously is not a glue that can hold the big unit together. Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see what architectural solutions are invented to tackle this social problem now that the administration has determined that the monolith cannot be maintained.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. See Alex Duke, Importing Oxbridge: English Residential Colleges and American Universities (New Haven: Yale, 1997).
2. Charles E. Widmayer, Hopkins of Dartmouth (Hanover: UPNE, 1977), 123.

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Google Maps; other topics




Google's latest (July 2013) Street View of the SoWhee complex: interesting sky.

  • The British Pathe Archive has a 1935 newsreel called "Tricks on Skis" that shows some early extreme skiing (or "scheeing," as the announcer says it) at Dartmouth. A film about the 1939 Carnival shows Dick Durrance winning the slalom.

    The archive also has a fascinating pre-1920 silent film of an unidentified Maori rugby team performing a haka. All of Wikipedia's examples of U.S. teams with a haka tradition involve gridiron football rather than rugby.

  • Post-VAC, the art studios in the Hop have been renamed the Hop Garage and Loew's has been renamed the Hood Auditorium.

  • Oudens Ello has photos of the Collis renovation.

  • As part of Brown's 250th anniversary celebration, Brown's museum (in the amazing Doric Manning Hall) is presenting an exhibit titled "In Deo Speramus: The Symbols and Ceremonies of Brown University" through October 2015. The exhibit sounds worthy of being made a permanent one. Dartmouth should have a permanent one too -- a permanent presentation of a history of the college and place where significant objects are kept. Part of the space can be devoted to the changing exhibits that now appear in the College History Room, which is really more of an Alcove.

  • Back in March the cover story in the DAM was a history of Dartmouth in fifty objects. The text notes that the College Usher, "usually the dean of libraries," has carried Lord Dartmouth's Cup at Commencement since 1983. That is an interesting (E.C. Lathem?) innovation, since the cup has been at the college since 1969; its use in the procession definitely removes any need for a mace. And let this post serve as a further encouragement of the revival of any other unfilled charter offices in time for 2019. The charter authorizes the trustees to "from time to time as occasion shall require elect constitute & appoint a TREASURER a CLERK an USHER & a Steward."

  • By the way, the Alumni Magazine has announced that it's going to have every issue on line soon, back to No. 1 in 1908.

  • Google Maps now let you see Street Views back in time (C|Net, Google Lat Long). In Hanover, the McLean ESC appears with and without the penthouse addition as you toggle between October 2010 and July 2013. Some places have three or four generations of imagery: at 8 Occom Ridge you can see a real turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts house get replaced. On Webster Avenue you can see the original Sig Ep house, then the current house under construction, then the finished product. And let's not forget Alpha Phi, replacing Larson's faculty apartments.

  • Google Maps also lets you rotate aerial views now. The new perspective makes a place seem foreign: what's this zig-zaggy campus tucked into a neighborhood of nice houses?

  • Much will change in the Sargent Block (Bing aerial), possibly starting during 2015. Naturally the Beyer Blinder Belle master plan (post) shows the block transformed.

  • Naming: NATO's practice of assigning a reporting name to each type of Soviet aircraft (Bear, Foxbat) is familiar, but NATO also has named a U.S.-built aircraft, the P-63 Kingcobra. It was called Fred.

  • Archeology for fun: the unsold Atari cartridges for the E.T. video game have been found in a New Mexico landfill where they were dumped in 1983 (Kotaku.com, Wikipedia).

  • The Valley News story on the success of the equestrian team states that although the team once was the province

    of the Dean of the College and the Dartmouth Outing Club, equestrian moved over to the college's athletic department three years ago.


Dig the buttressing on the brick screening wall behind the Life Sciences Center.

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[Update 05.18.2014: I must have read this but forgotten the details. From Edward Connery Lathem's 2009 memorial:

Mr. Lathem's having in 1983 pointed out that Dartmouth's royal charter of 1769 provides for inclusion among the institution's officers of an usher, as well as a steward, caused the college's board of trustees to reinstitute both of those long-dormant posts, and he from that point onward served as college usher, functioning as such within the ceremonial pagentry of annual convocation and commencement exercises.

I hope the steward's present obscurity does not mean that the office goes unfilled.]

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New surgical wing; other topics

  • The college recently unveiled a plaque announcing the Orozco Frescoes' status as a National Historic Landmark (Dartmouth Now). No images yet.

  • Dartmouth Engineer has a story on the new Center for Surgical Innovation. This addition to DHMC is one of the few parts of the complex not designed by SBRA (post).

  • A Kendal news release on master planning refers to the acquisition of the Chieftain. A future expansion of the retirement center could make a neat feature out of the Chieftain's rowing dock.

  • The New York Times has a story on the planned demolition of the Folk Art Museum to make way for an expansion of MOMA next door. (The architects of the Folk Art Museum, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, are designing an expansion of Dartmouth's Hood Museum that preserves and reuses Wilson Hall next door.)

  • Enjoy the retro poster (via Big Green Alert Daily) for round one of the Varsity Cup rugby tournament, held at the Rugby Clubhouse. Dartmouth won the match.

  • CurbedNY has a bit on the Guastavino family. The one grandly-scaled Guastavino-tiled space at Dartmouth, the surgical theatre at the old hospital, no longer exists, but the firm's vault in the hospital's one surviving wing remains on Rope Ferry Road. Also check out the entry vestibule of McNutt Hall, likely a Guastavino structure (post).

  • UPNE is listing a publication of a partner called Voice of the Åland Churches by Åsa Ringbom. How about that. Åland (Wikipedia) is an autonomous island province of Finland located in the Baltic partway to Sweden. It has its own stamps and a striking flag that reflect its largely Swedish ethnicity.

  • Dartmouth needs to name at least one building for the building's architect. This is not an uncommon practice, although only one example comes to mind, the Norman Shaw Buildings at Parliament in London (Wikipedia; W&M's main building was not designed by Christopher Wren). The designers who need recognition at Dartmouth are Charles A. Rich and Jens F. Larson. The bulk of the campus was created by these two College Architects in succession between about 1895 and 1939. The one building on which both architects did extensive work is the Heating Plant, which Rich built as a one-story building and Larson raised by one story. Maybe when the Heating Plant is taken over by the college museum, these artists can be credited and the building can be known as the Rich-Larson Wing of the Hood Museum of Art.

  • Brown started up its 250th anniversary celebration last month. Dartmouth's ex-president Jim Yong Kim, a 1982 Brown graduate, gave a lecture at the Opening Celebration. The "Traditions" section of the 250th website explains that Brown chose the brown bear as its mascot in 1904 and in 1905 brought a live bear to a football game -- the Dartmouth game -- for the first time. Dartmouth won. (Brown doesn't call the anniversary a "quartomillenium" or "sestercentenary" but a "semiquincentenary.")

  • DUSA (Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni) has an informative page devoted to its symbols. As is traditional, the shield has the wavy lines representing the Connecticut River in the base. One wonders whether every organization, including the college, would benefit from depicting the River as a set of wavy bars thick enough to have their own colors, perhaps blue or even white (alternating with the green color of the field).

  • Interface: News and Information from Dartmouth Computing Services is back. One might recall the nice paper magazine iteration of Interface from the late 1990s.

  • The football team will wear an alternate helmet design at some point this fall, notes Tris Wykes in the Valley News. Perhaps influenced by trends in cars (Financial Times, Autoweek) or the Pro-Tec helmets worn by skateboarders or special operators, matte black seems to be gaining popularity in football. Examples are found at Cincinnati and Oregon; Missouri seems to have been an early proponent in 2009 with its Nike Pro Combat uniform (see Uniform Critics).

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Update 05.22.2014: Banwell architect Ingrid Nichols's resume (pdf) states:

Banwell has joined forces with a national Kendal design architect, RLPS and together are completing a master plan for a new 20 acre abutting parcel they have recently purchased. We are also completing a master plan for their existing campus including: Additions for independent living, nursing, health center, fitness center (pool, locker rooms, exercise rooms and activity room).

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Wintry aerials, etc.

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

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

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

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

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


    Google Street View of Fairchild.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Advanced Surgery Center addition to open in summer

  • The Advanced Surgery Center addition to the north end of the DHMC complex will open this summer (Thayer School News). A presentation about the ASC reveals that it will have a distinct circulation route for animals.
  • Thayer School's $300 House Project from a while back has been written up in The Guardian:

    After the contest, a workshop was held at Dartmouth University where selected designers and architects further sharpened their ideas. Jack Wilson, team leader at Dartmouth, is now preparing to build two pilot projects in Haiti, one rural and the second urban.

  • Not related to anything on campus, but an interesting idea encountered while perusing aerial views of Berlin, Germany: K.F. Schinkel's pioneering 1830s Bauakademie building (Wikipedia), demolished by the East Germans, was recreated as a cloth-covered scaffolding in 2005. It appears in current Bing low-angle aerial views.
  • Charlottesville architect William McDonough '73 (Wikipedia) shares an anecdote about attending a Dartmouth talk by Buckminster Fuller in a blog post at the Times.
  • Phase I of the Collis renovation, focused on the café, is finished (The Dartmouth).
  • The Dartmouth Club of New York (at the 1915 J.G. Rogers clubhouse of the Yale Club) had a pong tournament last month (more).
  • New information about the 2005 SBRA master plan for DHMC is coming to light:

    An analysis revealed that the original DHMC organizational structure is reached its limits, necessitating a new way of organizing the campus. To provide an effective way to unify a larger assemblage of buildings, the master plan proposes a new circulation paradigm, employing a perimeter loop road that provides a sense of orientation and hierarchy to the dispersed building sites on land owned by DHMC and Dartmouth College.

Site updates:

  • The fifteen-year backlog of linkrot has been tackled. All 270 or so broken links have been fixed or eliminated since November. Mobile formatting has been added and the old "Links" page was removed 11.17.2012. The html version of the "Notes toward a Catalog..." was deleted today.
  • Sorry about the login screen popping up for comments. It is not supposed to appear.
  • If this site proves too exciting, head over to the Lamb & Rich, Architects site. Small improvements and sometimes a few discoveries have been creeping into each iteration of the catalog of the firm's buildings.
  • Please do click on the new advertisements on the right-hand side of this page.
  • Thanks to Bruce at Big Green Alert for linking to the book at Google Books and this site in a post last month about "Dartmouth University."

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[Update 06.09.2013: Broken link to presentation removed.]

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Collis renovations wrapping up

The Dartmouth reported on March 4:

At this month's meeting, the Board of Trustees also voted to allocate $38 million to ongoing projects to improve existing facilities, including the Collis Center and Baker-Berry Library.

The Planner's Blog has a post with photos of the servery nearing completion in the renovation of the Collis Center.

While you weren't looking, they changed the name of the Collis Center to "the Collis Student Center," and then they changed that to "the Collis Center for Student Involvement."

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Minor updates on building renovations, other items

  • Rauner's blog has a nicely-illustrated post on Upper-Valley photographer George Fellows, who died in 1916.
  • The Dartmouth on the Collis renovation:

    The new cafe will have an expanded serving area and new cooking equipment, including eight burners at the hot-food station instead of the previous six. The space will feature a larger salad bar, and a Freestyle Machine with over 100 different sodas. The sandwich station will be larger and may feature more filling options.

  • While the ground-level space in the Grange building (Rosey Jekes) is unoccupied, a tapas place called Candela is moving into the coffee shop space in the basement (The Dartmouth).
  • Page 7 of the Winter issue of the Hood Quarterly (pdf) has a guide to public art at Dartmouth: a map with a dozen works listed.
  • Hanover has received the findings of a parking consultant (The Dartmouth).
  • Student slang: The adjective grim makes an appearance in this year's Carnival theme, "The Grimmest Carnival of Them All" (Mirror cover). On a related note, did anyone else wonder whether the word "joe" in this Sports Illustrated piece on Adam Nelson '97 was meant to be written with a lower-case j?

    A few days after that win, I met with him at his training base at Stanford, where he explained the mechanics of shot putting with the memorable description: "Little Joe makes the ball go," while patting his round belly.

  • The New York Times has an interesting travel article on skiing the old CCC trails in New England. It mentions Dick Durrance.
  • A post about Ross Ashton's Five Windows projection at Dartmouth gives new details on the effort that was required for the show. Each of the windows on the front facade of the Hop was covered with a custom-made Spandex shade attached to the steel window frame by magnetic strips.
  • On the expansion of the Hood Museum:

    We have received a tremendous response to the last issue of the Hood Quarterly, in which we began coverage of our ambitious plans for the museum's future by interviewing Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the architects chosen by Dartmouth College to renovate and expand the museum's current facility, as well as the adjacent historic Wilson Hall. Planning for this project, which will see the museum double its gallery space and triple the number of its classrooms through the addition of a new Museum Learning Center, is well underway. I look forward to sharing Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's breathtaking and highly innovative designs for the expansion with you in an upcoming issue of the Hood Quarterly.

    Michael Taylor, "Letter from the Director," Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2013), 2 (pdf).

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[Update 03.31.2013: Broken link to Ashton post removed.]

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Wilder’s unfortunate plaque

Dartmouth has marred the generally-well preserved front facade of the historic Wilder Laboratory by gluing (?) a plaque to it (APS News). It is hard to blame the American Physical Society for overlooking Dartmouth's historic preservation goals or for drafting the text of the plaque with less care than one might hope for,* but Dartmouth should be embarrassed by this oversight.

When Wilder undergoes a restoration in the future, the plaque will probably be moved to an appropriate location. It is not clear whether the removal will leave permanent damage.

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*The plaque reads:


At this site, the Wilder Physical Laboratory, Dartmouth College, from 1900 to 1903 E.F.
Nichols and G.F. Hull performed the first precise measurement of the radiation pressure
of light on a macroscopic body, as predicted by J.C. Maxwell in 1873. The Nichols-Hull
experiment provided convincing evidence for the pressure of light, and the transfer of
momentum between light and matter, a phenomenon which has enabled critical
developments in a wide range of fields from atomic physics to biology to astrophysics.


HISTORIC PHYSICS SITE, REGISTER OF HISTORIC SITES
AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY


Quibbles with the wording:

  • The plaque has enough space to inform the reader that he is at Dartmouth College but too little space to provide the first names of the two researchers? They are Ernest and Gordon.
  • Why say "At this site" when the event really did not take place at the front of the building? (I would argue that "At this site" usually indicates either a precise location or the site of a non-existent building, neither of which is the case here.)
  • The experiments actually took place in some laboratory, probably upstairs: wouldn't it be great if the plaque could tell us this by its text or its placement?
  • Why omit the comma after 1903, especially if you are not going to end the first line after 1903? This mistake makes "E.F." look like a new form of "A.D."
  • Are the pressure of light and the transfer of momentum between light and matter really one phenomenon, or are they two phenomena, as indicated by the commas around the momentum phrase?
  • Is it traditional to include three items in the "from x to y" formulation, or would it be better to say "a wide range of fields including x, y, and z"?
  • Does the redundant phrase "REGISTER OF HISTORIC SITES" imply some undeserved connection with the National Register of Historic Places? Wouldn't that phrase be more accurate and explanatory if it occurred after the phrase "AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY"?

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A view of the Collis project

Not described in the June post on this project is the wonderful aerial view of the Collis Center cutaway model created by Oudens Ello.

With its decapitated columns and especially its full trees, which encroach on the building and Romantically cast shadows on the floors of nearby rooms, it really does look like A View of the Ruins of the Collis Center. If the walls were crumbling instead of sliced cleanly, the image would be a complete homage to Giovanni Battista Piranesi or Joseph Gandy (Wikipedia; his unfortunately prescient painting of John Soane's Bank of England as a ruin is in the Wikimedia Commons).

The project is bringing the serving area of the cafe right out to the front of the building, into the original reading room space. The existing mid-1990s dining room, originally built as the Club Room, will remain where it is.

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The Collis renovation is starting

The Dartmouth:

Renovations will also allow Collis joint usage of the air handler that currently supplies the Class of 1953 Commons with air conditioning and heating. The Collis Center is frequented by students year-round, but the lack of air conditioning minimizes usage during the warmer months, according to Ramsey.

The Oudens Ello project will expand the cafe and reorganize other interior spaces. It is interesting how the same pattern has recurred two or three times over the last 25 years: (1) The food is popular, and the food-service area becomes way too crowded; (2) when the cafe is finally expanded, it is time to take an off term.

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Wilder to be plaqued

Dartmouth Now reports that Wilder Laboratory has been added to the American Physical Society's list of historic sites. More than 110 years ago, Ernest Fox Nichols and Gordon Ferrie Hull conducted experiments in the building to measure the pressure of light. Their work will be the subject of a symposium during October.

The building's history certainly deserves recognition. One hopes, however, that Dartmouth isn't actually planning to alter Wilder's historic and "largely unchanged" front facade by bolting a commemorative plaque to it, as is suggested by the Dartmouth Now article. Perhaps a freestanding granite monument or an interior wall would be the most respectful place for the plaque.

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A renovation of Collis

Oudens Ello Architecture of Boston has created a nice computer model of the Collis Center as part of its $5m renovation of the building.

Prior to founding their practice in 2007, Mr. Oudens and Mr. Ello held senior leadership positions at Machado and Silvetti Associates[.]

The work will improve the air conditioning and expand the food-service area eastward to the front wall of the building, taking over the narrow eating area and corridor that occupied that space (The Dartmouth).

Aerial view of Collis (Bing).

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[Update 07.07.2012: Details on reconfiguration of spaces and link to The Dartmouth added.]

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