- The Dartmouth reports that work has begun on the extensive renovation of the apartment house at 4 North Park Street, to be known as Triangle House.
- College Photographer Eli Burakian has posted some superb aerials of Baker and the Green. The latter image shows downtown Hanover and in the distance the hospital, the smokestack of each communicating with the other as if these were The Only Two Places in the World. See also the Mt. Moosilauke panorama.
- Stantec notes that it worked on Dartmouth’s master plan. One assumes that this was a prior plan, but since the site also lists the recent Dartmouth Row programming study, it’s not clear.
- Bertaux + Iwerks Architects has info on the 2005 SBRA master plan for DHMC.
- A new film on the Densmore Brick Company was shown at AVA Gallery; see also the Valley News story and this depressing Bing aerial. From AVA Gallery:
Lebanon’s Densmore Brick Factory, which closed in 1976 after 170 years of production, made the bricks that contributed to the built environment of the Upper Valley, including much of Dartmouth College.
- The field-side view of Davis Varsity House is improved by the removal of the scoreboard, Bruce Wood points out (Big Green Alert blog).
- The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the correspondence between Samson Occom and Phillis Wheatley (Wikipedia).
- The Band’s new uniforms look good (see Flickr photo). They are more “Ivy” and expensive-looking than the previous plain green blazers over white pants. Black seems to be replacing white as the accent color accompanying Dartmouth Green these days.
- A July article in the New York Times told of Yale’s efforts to protect its name against a “Yale Academy.” As an aside, I found Yale’s recent presidential inauguration inspiring. After the ceremony the band, wearing academic gowns, led the procession up Hillhouse Avenue, where the president passed beneath a balloon arch and halted in the middle of the street between two lines of student singers. The music stopped and everyone sang Bright College Years. Fantastic. The day before, a dean carrying a yale’s head (Wikipedia) on a staff had led a dog parade around Cross Campus (New Haven Register).
- Better than having a hockey game at Fenway Park, Virginia Tech and Tennessee will play a football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway, a Nascar track (Richmond Times Dispatch).
Dartmouth is planning to convert Larson’s little faculty apartment complex at 4 North Park Street, the Whitaker Apartments, into “a 25-bed student residence affinity house with a 2-bedroom advisor apartment” (Planning Board meeting agenda). This is probably the planned LGBT affinity house (see (The Dartmouth).
Correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but after Dartmouth demolished Kiewit, it gave Computing Services an office in Baker Library, outside the Tower Room:
In 2011, however, the college apparently gave that space to the undergraduate deans and shunted Computing Services to the first floor of Berry.
The lack of any identifiable social space on the Dartmouth campus is quite striking, in comparison to all our peer institutions who have endowed graduate student centers. The ideal location for this space would be near the center of campus so that it would be easily accessible and also a visible reminder of the presence on graduate students and research on the campus.
(Graduate Education for the Future Working Group Final Report (June 2012), 13.) This desire has surfaced previously in the inclusion of a graduate suite in the original proposal for a ’53 Commons north of Maynard Street (pdf).
Compare this idea proposed by a different working group (WG) focused on research, scholarship, and creativity (RSC):
To meet all these goals, our WG recommends that Dartmouth consider the formation of a new school, the first in over 100 years. The School of Advanced Studies (SAS) would be the first-in-the-nation school focused broadly on advancing RSC for faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and undergraduates. Led by a new Dean reporting directly to the Provost, SAS’s remit would be to advance RSC at Dartmouth across all disciplines and all schools. It would invigorate the research environment at Dartmouth, spearhead better organized decisionmaking on RSC, help attract top talent to Dartmouth from all over the world, create more inclusive and enriching environment for graduate students and post-docs, and foster crossdisciplinary collaboration among faculty as well as undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. We envision a new facility on central campus that would house SAS and its associated programs, as well as housing for visiting scholars and conference attendees, conference space, and common spaces.
(Research, Creativity and Scholarship Working Group Final Report (June 2012), 5.)
This sounds a bit like the famous Institute for Advanced Study, which occupies a Jens Larson building near Princeton University, but that organization is independent of its local university (see also Wikipedia).
The school’s Flickr photostream has a new set of photos covering the renovation and expansion of the Hanover Inn. As noted here a year ago, the construction of a “Grand Ballroom” in the Hopkins Center’s Zahm Garden seems as much an addition to the Hop as to the Inn.
The first photo of this addition foreshortens the composition somewhat — the glass pavilion actually projects from the metal-clad box — but it explains the relationship of the various building masses.
Update 05.03.2013: Another photo showing the new Hop entrance pavilion in the distance.
A week ago, the Orozco Frescoes in Baker’s Reserve Corridor were designated as a National Historic Landmark (National Park Service, The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now, NHPR). The nomination was noted here last November. The Planner’s Blog has some information on the effort.
Update 05.03.2013: An article from The Dartmouth.
- Here in Hanover ran a profile of architect Randall Mudge in its Spring 2011 issue (pdf).
- David’s House at CHaD is adding a wing (Valley News).
- This unusual stucco house at 28 East Wheelock has a whiff of Larson about it; it is owned by the college (see Dartmouth Real Estate):
- A trailer for the upcoming Dartmouth ski documentary A Passion for Snow is available.
- A map art company is selling a print of a stylized map of the campus.
- Something big has happened to 8 Occom Ridge:
The later aerial views from Google and Bing (below) appear to show a replacement:
- A Dartmouth shirt sold on eBay says “Go Green and White.” Hmmm.
- The Development Office has its own in-house PR firm, the Office of Development Communications.
- An article on archeology in Columbia, Connecticut explains that the first building of Moor’s Indian Charity School still stands, on a later foundation.
- Both the renovated Hanover High and the new Richmond Middle School have biomass plants. It is hard to imagine that any future Dartmouth heating plant would not rely at least in part on burning wood chips.
- The Dartmouth Planner reports that the Town of Hanover is beginning to rewrite its zoning ordinances.
- Last spring, van Zelm Heywood & Shadford helped renovate Burke Chemistry Laboratory (The Dartmouth).
- A recent photo of the roof of the expanded Hayward Room at the Inn, taken with the Class of 1966 Webcam:
Frank Barrett’s book Early Dartmouth College and Downtown Hanover explains on page 110 that Charles Nash and Frank Tenney built the Inn Garage at 5 Allen Street in 1922. It is the gambrel-roofed building on the right, half way down Allen Street:
(An excellent view of the building appears on page 111 of the book, but that page is not in my Google Books preview. Page 111 is visible in Amazon‘s “Search inside This Book” — search for “Nash.”)
Barrett goes on to note this amazing fact: the old garage building is still there. In its heavily-modified present form, it houses EBA‘s on most of the ground level and one of the Bookstore’s several annexes on the second level:
This is the new discovery: the original garage, now hidden under all that brick, was designed by Larson & Wells. Larson & Wells were the official campus architects during the two decades before WWII and designed Baker Library. While their many campus projects are well known, their utilitarian buildings remain obscure.
[Update 05.12.2013: Broken link to EBAs replaced.]
- The American Contractor 42:14 (2 April 1921), 67. ↩
- Jens Larson’s house and studio on East Wheelock Street are for sale.
- The Dartmouth has an article on Shattuck Observatory.
- The Valley News reports that the New London, N.H. realtor Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty has opened an office in Hanover. It is on Lebanon Street, east of C&A’s Pizza.
- A traffic study (pdf) raised the possibility of erecting a 663-car parking deck atop the Ledyard lot at the bottom of Tuck Drive. A shuttle bus would ferry employees from the lot up to campus. While a pine-screened parking garage alongside the river could be an interesting thing, Dartmouth seems wise to have avoided this scheme, and the consultants declined to recommend it.
- Too bad there’s no tram to the Hospital. The idea of a little train through woods is neat, but it wouldn’t save much time compared to the road, which is relatively direct; it is probably not worth the hassle. And on the other hand it could not run through the woods the whole way: it would have to go down Park Street and then along Lebanon Street.
- The great Reggie Watts (video) was photographed eating a sandwich at Amarna on East Wheelock.
- The computer store is moving to McNutt (The Dartmouth).
- The LSC got LEED’s platinum certification. See also sustainability in The Dartmouth.
- The Radcliffe Observatory Quarter of Oxford occasionally receives coverage here. The old hospital north of the university is still visible in this excellent and somewhat outdated oblique aerial from Bing, with the eighteenth-century observatory owned by the newly-formed Green Templeton College prominent. Most of those buildings have been demolished, as this Google aerial shows:
And now some construction has begun, as this Bing aerial shows:
[Update 08.19.2012: Tram comment reworded.]
Several years ago Dartmouth planned to demolish and replace the terraced steel-and-concrete seating structure of the main stand at Memorial Field, preserving the screening brick facade on Crosby Street.
Then, in December of 2008, Provost Scherr wrote in a letter that “[t]he full renovation of the West Stands was originally scheduled for November 2008-August 2009. The decision to defer is due to the current global economic downturn, which is impacting Dartmouth, as well as many other institutions.”
Now a baseball recruiting presentation (pdf), undated but describing the 2012 season, provides this interesting tidbit:
|Memorial Field West Stand Replacement||$ 16 Million||Sept. 2012|
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to baseball presentation fixed.]
[Update 07.16.2012: In other words, this is a strangely specific mistake for the baseball team to make. One can imagine how an old date, such as August of 2009, might have been left in the presentation over the years; but was the project ever scheduled to finish during September of 2012? Aren't the $16 million price tag and the September date rather arbitrary to be pure oversights? Who knows where this information came from...]
June 11th, 2012 | Published in all news, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Heat Plant, History, Hood, Larson, Jens, master planning, May 2006 photos, Memorial Field, other projects, preservation, Sargent Block, the Hop, Visual Arts Center
The nearing completion of the Visual Arts Center points up the current underuse of the site next door at the corner of Crosby and Lebanon Streets.
This is a large and important site. Whatever building goes here — let’s assume it is an arts-related building — will be visible to visitors arriving on Lebanon Street. It will need to be a gateway building, as the 2000 downtown Hanover plan illustrates so thoroughly. The Rogers Marvel 2002 Arts Center Analysis (pdf) also emphasizes the potential of this site on page 38.
The first impulse is to follow the footprint of the existing low-scale facilities building. But this site is not only large, it is also unusually malleable. The college and town might be able to relocate Crosby Street in radical ways to completely reshape the ground available for the gateway building.
Why might Crosby be changeable? Because it has been changed in the past. Crosby Street was first laid out in 1872, to separate the state farm on the east from the state college dormitory site and other buildings on the west.
Crosby Street originally ran straight through to Lebanon Street. It was not until the early 1960s that Crosby’s southern delta was given its current incongruously suburban form. When Dartmouth sought permission to close down South College Street for the Hopkins Center, the Town asked Dartmouth to rework Crosby Street in return, aligning the street with Sanborn Road to form an ex post facto four-way intersection.
Should we worry about Sanborn Road if Crosby is realigned? No. In fact, the downtown Hanover plan proposes in text and an illustration that Sanborn Road be blocked off. Instead, Hovey Lane will give access to this neighborhood through a short outlet punched through to South Street (see map below).
Would the abandonment of Crosby Street’s current alignment open up any possibilities for a college building on the corner? Each of the following proposals assumes that McKenzie Hall/Shops on Crosby is preserved; Sanborn Road is rerouted; and commercial buildings are built on the college land along the south side of Lebanon Street.
II. The Maximum Arts
The gateway building could expand to fill all of the empty land added to the corner:
This plan would block an important view of Memorial Field and make Crosby Street into a narrow tunnel. A good use of space, but not good preservation or townscape.
Some variation on this plan, however, might be a good one:
III. The Minimum Arts
Crosby could be pulled to the west, adding a big empty lawn in front of Memorial Field:
This plan would not make efficient use of space, and its creation of new lawns would not actually improve the view of Memorial Field.
IV. The Square and Temple
A big public square could be carved out of the surrounding buildings:
If the big square feels barren, a little temple that shares an alignment with nothing else could be dropped down in front of Memorial Field.
This plan would take advantage of the interesting fact that both Memorial Field and St. Denis Roman Catholic Church were designed in the early 1920s by Jens F. Larson. The two buildings appear to be perpendicular to each other, both aligned with Crosby Street.
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to Memorial Field image fixed.]
The publicity around the Inn expansion constantly emphasizes the building’s “historic” nature. The label seems to come from the Inn’s inclusion in 2011 in the Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
How does a hotel get into the program?
To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance.
The nomination form states that “Properties must be a minimum age of 75 years” under the blank for “Year originally built.”
The main block of the Inn will not be 50 years old until 2016. The Inn is not listed on the National Register, and one doubts that any historian has determined the building to be eligible for listing. (If the dates on the main block and the subsidiary wing were swapped, that would be another story.) Nor does anyone, including the National Trust, appear to have recognized the Inn as having historic significance. The phrase “historic significance” refers to the fact that the building was “home to, or on the grounds of, a former home of famous persons or [a] significant location for an event in history.” This HHA definition is in line with one of the criteria for National Register eligibility.
What, then, did the Inn tell the National Trust in its application? Some clues might lie in the text of the HHA page provided for the Inn:
- General Ebenezer Brewster, whose home occupied the present site of the Inn, founded the Dartmouth Hotel in 1780 but later [it] burned to the ground and was replaced two years later on the same site by the Wheelock Hotel.
As corrected, this sentence is adequate as an anecdote, although it makes one wonder who would care about something occurring “two years later” than an unspecified date.
To be a bit more accurate, the page might say that the inn established by Brewster was usually called Brewster’s Tavern. Around 1813, Brewster’s son replaced the building with a completely different building called the Dartmouth Hotel. That building burned in 1887 and was replaced in 1889 with a completely different building called the Wheelock Hotel. That building was demolished in the 1960s and is no longer standing:
- From 1901-1903, Dartmouth College carried out extensive renovations to the facility, which was then renamed the Hanover Inn.
This sentence could be worded better, but it is correct. What is not clear is why anyone would care about those renovations, since the renovated building no longer exists.
- An east wing was added in 1924, followed in 1939 by an exterior expansion.
And that east wing is the oldest part of the Inn. The 1939 information is interesting but irrelevant.
- In 1968 a west wing was added.
Another, more accurate way to put it would be to say that “in 1968, the historic 1889 Hanover Inn was completely demolished, leaving only the 1924 east wing.” The main block of the Inn today, the building standing on the corner, is not “a west wing” attached to something greater than itself: it is the Inn.
- Before Dartmouth College became co-ed, the fourth floor of the Hanover Inn was a single women’s dormitory. The Inn provided chaperones for the single female guests.
These statements probably have some basis in fact. First, if the school was yet not co-ed, why were women living in a dormitory? Because they were Carnival visitors, in town for a few days each year. Second, if they were college-aged, why bother describing them (twice) as “single”? It cannot be meant to distinguish them from the veterans’ wives living in married students’ housing after WWII, since those women were not segregated by gender. Third, the statement about the chaperones is interesting, if true. But considering that Carnival dates at the Inn were not staying in a temporarily-cleared dormitory, and thus were paying for their rooms, the Inn must have found it cost-effective to station a few women in the halls to mind the furnishings.
- The Hanover Inn is the oldest continuous[ly-operated] business in the state of New Hampshire.
That might be true, if the various hotels dating back to Brewster are considered as a single business. One might prefer Tuttle Farm, which has been operating since 1632 and apparently has been owned by just one family.
[Update 07.14.2012: The Inn is now accurately emphasizing the fact that a hostel has existed on the site since 1780. See for example Dartmouth Now.]
The Valley News reports that the project’s first phase will finish by June, “even as the price of the project has skyrocketed and town officials say the college may have underestimated the scope of the work.” Google’s Street View sort of shows where the addition is going. The Town’s Flickr stream has a mid-1960s photo that shows a clean Scout driving in the foreground and the original 1880s Inn being demolished in the background. The Inn’s 1923 wing, also visible, still stands.
Images of selective demolition are on line from contractor Dectam, including photos of some guest rooms without walls, only bathtubs; a team of workers going after the exterior concrete pavers; and the demolition of the lobby plaza area wall.
Dana Lowe, a subcontractor on the project, died on March 13th after a construction accident involving a crane and a scissor-lift (The Dartmouth).
[Update 03.31.2013: Broken link to Dectam replaced.]
Although Dartmouth probably deserves criticism for what appears to be a failure to maintain Larson’s faculty apartment house at 2 North Park Street, the college might be working to redeem itself by building a quality replacement: a new sorority house designed by Haynes & Garthwaite of Norwich. The article in The Dartmouth has a photo of the house under construction.
The article notes that Alpha Phi was originally meant to occupy the historic house at 26 East Wheelock, next door to KKG (see Dartmouth Life, October 2008). Town zoning prohibited that change of use, and putting the sorority closer to the Green would seem to be better for the group and better for the campus.
At the end of last month Dartmouth has named its new visual arts building The Black Family Visual Arts Center (Dartmouth Now, The Dartmouth). The name honors Leon ’73 and Debra Black, who donated $48 million to the project.
The photo accompanying the article in The Dartmouth shows the building before its Norwegian slate exterior was attached. The Planner’s blog had a post in January about the slate going up. See also before and after Street Views of Brewster and Clement halls, the buildings that were demolished to make room for the arts center.
I. King Arthur Café.
Several weeks ago, this post was set to mention Norwich’s King Arthur Flour with a link to this Google blog post about the company. Since then, Google’s promotion of the article has become controversial. Let’s hope this ends up boosting business for King Arthur, which runs the café located off the catalogue room in Baker Library (King Arthur blog, The Dartmouth, Dartbeat).
II. Potential Baker alterations.
The Dartmouth reports that the Undergraduate Deans Office moved out of Parkhurst and into the library over the summer. The new offices appear to be temporary, with a large suite in Baker or elsewhere in the works:
These changes follow announcements made by College President Jim Yong Kim in May 2010 that the College would implement a new student advising structure beginning Fall 2011. The revamped advising structure would be modeled after a hospital triage system centralizing all relevant offices in one location where students could have their advising needs diagnosed, he said.
The deans are in Baker temporarily and will announce a new location in the spring (The Dartmouth).
III. The weathervane and the reference desk.
IV. Comparing Baker and Berry.
VSBA designed major additions to two Larson buildings at Dartmouth. The first was the Thayer School addition, which was fairly popular and well-regarded when it opened. The Trustees praised it, probably thinking of the front part:
But the Thayer School addition also had a large rear component, a basic laboratory loft:
The firm’s second major project was the Berry Library and Carson Hall addition to the Baker Library complex. Expected to carry over the classical pavilion from the front of the Thayer project, the firm instead replicated the loft from the rear:
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken links to VSBA and Dartbeat fixed.]
The site where Leverone Field House and Thompson Arena face each other across South Park Street, with a couple of houses in between, is an interesting one (Google Maps aerial, aerial, street view entering from the south). It is getting some attention these days.
First, the transit report proposes a bus shelter here (pdf).
Second, Athletic Director Harry Sheehy commented in an interview in the Alumni Magazine that the school needs another field house. Chase Fields seems a likely site, and the building could even take over a part of the Thompson parking lot facing South Park Street.
Third, the owner of the private house just below the entrance to the parking lot, at 31 1/2 South Park Street, has demolished the building and is replacing it with a three-story building containing a dental office with apartments above (Planning Board minutes Sept. 13 (pdf); see also Planning Board minutes Sept. 6 (pdf)).
All of this activity gets one thinking about the two old houses in front of Thompson Arena at 25 and 27 South Park Street, both designed by Jens F. Larson.
On the one hand, the presence of the two houses preserves the historic appearance of the east side of the street and maintains the rhythm of solids and voids that stretches all the way up to Wheelock Street. Number 29, the Fire & Skoal house, is also a Larson product.
The view that the houses frame is interesting and surprising — it looks like there is some kind of hangar back there, and a walk along the beach-flat ground that reveals the ribs and upturned hulk of Thompson behind the brown shingled house can create a nautical impression. Removing the houses to create a plaza would be a bit arbitrary: very few people actually walk from the front door of Leverone to the front door of Thompson.
On the other hand, the two Nervi buildings were meant to face each other, and the two houses have always been meant to come out. Master plans have long proposed that the houses be removed and a plaza be constructed to link the two concrete arenas. The 2007 Landscape Master Plan included such a proposal (pdf). The 2000 student life master plan (pdf) notes that the entry into Thompson Arena is obscured by existing houses along Park Street:
There are, however, opportunities to reinforce the entry to Thompson Arena by moving or demolishing the College-owned houses on Park Street in front of the current entry. Doing so would relate the Arena to its cousin, Leverone Field House, both designed by Pier Luigi Nervi, and complete an intention planned but never realized.
The two Larson houses at 25 and 27 could be moved across the street, above Cobra, and a plaza could be built in their place.
The plaza would be difficult to make uniform in footprint. The two Nervi buildings do not face each other directly. Each stands a different distance from the street and rises to a different height.
Piazza Nervi would become the student entrance to the whole Chase Fields complex. Pedestrians walking down Park Street would swing diagonally across the Thompson forecourt and then head eastward. The present route into the parking lot is relatively convoluted and disappointing.
As a bonus, the piazza could tie into a new path cut westward through the Crosby-Park block. The need for this path to Lebanon Street, the only cross-block route between Wheelock and Summer Streets, has been obvious for years, and the Ped/Bike Master Plan released in October (pdf) recommends it. A long brick wall built to shield the neighbors’ houses could serve as a venue for a horizontal climbing race put on by the DOC: speed-bouldering.
The new piazza would be the first work of architecture of any kind in Hanover — whether a plaque, monument, room, or building — dedicated to an architect.
It would make a nice gateway for drivers entering the campus from the southeast. That might be its most important function.
The danger is that Piazza Nervi would be a windswept Modernist wasteland: there is a fine line between minimalism and barrenness. But something good is possible.
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to oblique image fixed.]
[Update 06.10.2012: Link to and quote from 2000 master plan added. Thanks to Big Green Alert: The Blog for the link here and ideas.]
The rising cost of the Inn addition has been controversial lately, and The Dartmouth now has an article about it.
It seems strange to say that “[g]reat effort has been made to preserve the Inn’s exterior” when that exterior is undistinguished at best. Perhaps this is a reaction to negative comments from alumni, cited in a previous post.
The four buildings involved here may be seen in the plan provided by Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.:
The west wing of the Inn (Larson & Wells, 1923), built with a donation from Randolph McNutt, is historic but undistinguished. It will contain the prefunction room and restrooms as shown in the plan.
The Lang Building (Larson, 1937) faces Main Street at the southwest corner of the site (the upper right of the plan). It is both historic and well done and is worth preserving. Its upper level will be given over to hotel rooms.
The Hopkins Center (Harrison & Abramowitz, 1959-1962) is a notable building by a world-class architect and must be modified carefully.
The main block of the Hanover Inn (William Benjamin Tabler, 1966-1967) is both unhistoric and undistinguished. While fairly effective at disguising the great bulk of the hotel, the Inn is only nominally Georgian in style.
The comment about preservation is especially interesting in light of the fact that one of the Cambridge Seven images proposes to add shutters to the windows of the main block:
(Another view by the firm shows the Inn without shutters added.)
Big Green Alert: The Blog has a couple of construction photos.
[Update 11.17.2012: Three broken links to C7A images removed, two replaced with generic links to firm page.]