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”1 is an organizing feature; it was donated by the Sphinx Foundation.2 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.


  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).

Here’s to the Polka Dot; other topics

  • The Valley News has an article with some superb photographs on the Polka Dot Restaurant by the tracks in White River Junction. The 1925 building seems to have hosted a diner from the beginning; owner Mary Shatney started working there in 1959 and had to close the place last year. It’s up for sale — let’s hope it remains a restaurant.

  • The Dartmouth Energy Program site is very impressive. In the history section, the excellent photo of the coal assistant seems to have been taken from the east end of the hall looking west. The narrow-gauge rails lead toward the coal hopper in the end of the building, now the site of the Hood Museum’s Bernstein Study-Storage Center. A couple of quibbles: first, “the good old days” actually began in 1770, not 1769; second, the timeline could mention the major addition of a second level to the building in 1922, apparently when the plant switched from coal to oil; and third, there’s something off about the wording of this sentence on the main page, however technically correct it might be: “While Dartmouth may be the smallest Ivy League university, we’re doing big things with energy efficiency.”

  • Excellent photo documentation of the construction of the West Stands continues at the Big Green Alert: April 24, April 23, April 22, April 19, April 18 (notable photos), April 8, April 7 (seating chart), March 23, and March 16.

  • The photo in the Valley News story on spring practice makes Memorial Field look as if it occupies an industrial wasteland. The runway at which Memorial Field’s concrete risers were stored for about six years, incidentally, was known as Miller Airport (Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields).

  • Victor Mair ’65 at Language Log takes on the word “schlump,” of “schlump season,” i.e. “mud season” (“breakup” in Alaska).

  • The Rauner Library Blog has interesting posts on the petition of Ledyard and others to be allowed to learn to dance and use the sword and a mysterious photo album called Along the Connecticut 1912.

  • The Watershed Studio website features several notable projects, including the Friends of Hanover Crew boathouse, the Organic Farm greenhouse, and a design for the replacement Ledyard Canoe Club.

  • Maybe the real test for the Residential Communities (a post here) will be the Commencement ceremony. Will the Communities be represented in the procession? The graduates will still have to march in alphabetical order, but will the House Professors carry the house emblems?

  • The West Wheelock Gateway District proposal is up for a vote and has been getting some press (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The VN story has this neat tidbit:

    Around the corner from Anderson, William Smalley owns a small white house sandwiched between rental buildings mostly filled with Dartmouth students.

    In an interview Monday at his home, where he has lived since 1938, Smalley said he welcomed the creation of the district and didn’t mind the parties the students occasionally threw.

    “Somebody said to me, ‘How can you stand them?'” he said of the students, but “I’ve never had a problem with them — never.”

  • The college’s Flickr account has a neat and unusual view of Dartmouth Row, Ascutney, Richardson, and the Wilder addition. See the photo of the graffiti inside the Bartlett Tower roof. The structure does not look particularly original (1895) but there are graffiti from 1910 and 1915, so perhaps it is.

  • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) contains a number of interesting tidbits, including this one: “The Town’s boundary stones and monuments are also historic landmarks. Most have the first letters of the adjacent towns incised in them.”

  • “In devising the plan of the library building, you have contemplated its indefinite extension to meet the growth of the collections,” said Mellen Chamberlain at the dedication of Wilson Hall as the school library (Google Books).

  • “Areas of potential historic interest include theoriginal center of Town; the well field of the old Aqueduct Company south of the Greensboro Road; the Granite Quarry south of Greensboro Road; the Tilton Quarry east of Moose Mountain Road and one of the earliest slate quarries on the old Tisdale property” (Hanover Master Plan pdf).

  • Finding churches that have been put to interesting new uses is just too easy, so further examples will not be added to the post here that arguing that Rollins should be turned into a library. There is a pub in a former church in Nottingham, England, and a brewery and pub in a former church in Pittsburgh, where a Romanesque nave makes an impressive beer hall.

  • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) also recommends National Register listing for various districts including the campus.

  • This has probably been posted here before, but Yale has construction photos and a slick video of the two new residential colleges it is building.

  • The Dartmouth has an article on near-future construction projects.

  • Not much is coming out about Thayer School’s master plan. “Because the college owns Tuck Drive, any attempt to better align it with West Street will have to wait until Dartmouth’s own building plans in the area are finalized, she said” (referring to Vicki Smith, Hanover’s senior planner) (Valley News).

Memorial Field’s West Stand as Roman ruin

The Big Green Alert Daily keeps us up to date on Memorial Field with frequent photos of the demolition:

  • The posts of November 20, November 21, and November 26 show demo preparation.
  • The December 5 post shows the slot cut in the concrete cheek wall at the north end. I’d swear those concrete ends were faced in brick at some point.
  • The December 13 post has photos of the bracing. With the removal of the press box, the entry arch has been temporarily returned to its 1920s proportions.
  • The December 14 post has a photo showing the building’s original vaulted “chapel” space remaining under the central seats (see also below). It has since been demolished. Oh well.
  • The January 8 post shows demolition just about finished.
  • The January 30 post has information from the builder and photos.

Dartmouth Now has an article on the project, and the athletic department has a time-lapse video of the demolition.

Neighborhood planning, other topics

  • In 4 Currier, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator is operating (NHBR, via Dartmouth Now).

  • The extensive renovation has ended and Triangle House is now open (Dartmouth Now).

  • Amidon Jewelers is closing its store on Main Street, The Dartmouth notes. Amidon has been in town since 1935.

  • The College is looking at using natural gas or another fuel in the Heat Plant in place of No. 6 heating oil (The Dartmouth). It’s not clear that this move will lead to a new heating plant on Dewey Field, but there is always the possibility.

  • From Dartmouth Now, “neighborhoods” get a timeline:

    The Board also discussed the ongoing planning and development of possible residential housing models that could be implemented beginning with the Class of 2019.

  • Dunc’s Mill, a Vermont rum distillery, displays on its building a rare matched set of Vermont windows (see the post here).

  • The Tucker Foundation is seeking comments on its split into religious and service groups (Dartmouth Now).

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on induced demand for roads.

  • The Dartmouth has a general article on campus construction that says:

    Gilman Hall, the now-closed former home of the biology department and proposed location for the academic center, will remain vacant for the foreseeable future, Hogarty said. Though the College investigated potential uses for the building over the summer, it did not decide on an immediate course of action. While housing was considered as one option, this would have been too expensive.

    With Gilman on the road to weedy dereliction, somebody with FO&M needs to rescue those original lettered transom panels.

  • The Pine Park Association has a video of the construction of the new pedestrian bridge over Girl Brook.

  • Bruce at the Big Green Alert blog justifies his proposed name for the soon-to-be annual season-ending football game against Brown: The Tussle in the Woods.

  • There is some discussion of the Ravine Lodge demolition proposal at Views from the Top.

  • Waterfront New York: Images of the 1920s and ’30s is a new book of watercolor paintings by Aldren A. Watson, the Etna illustrator and writer who died in 2013 (Valley News, Watson might be familiar to readers from the trio of aerial sketches he did for The College on the Hill: A Dartmouth Chronicle (1965), precisely-delineated snapshots of Dartmouth in the 1770s, 1860s, and 1960s. The last of these is etched at a large scale on a glass partition in Six South.

  • There is a new football website (via Big Green Alert blog). In the Athletics > Ivy League section, the green “D” logo has mercifully shed its TM mark.

The inevitable demolition news

First, the Brown game takes place today. It will be the last game played before Jens Larson’s 1923 West Stands at Memorial Field. The steel-framed concrete seating terraces will be demolished and removed from behind the brick facade, which will remain, beginning this week.

Second, The Dartmouth reports that:

The College also plans to rebuild the Ledyard Clubhouse. The clubhouse, which used to house a few students, was vacated last fall following water intrusion and mold buildup. Hogarty said the College will eliminate the residential component when Ledyard is rebuilt.

“Rebuilt” means “replaced,” of course. This news has also been a long time coming. Students have been designing replacements for years — the original 1930 building was designed by a student, in fact — and the Milone & Macbroom Riverfront Master Plan showed a replacement building in the long term. It is worth mentioning that the Ledyard Monument is not in its original location and so probably needn’t be kept where it is.

Ledyard Canoe Club interior photo by Meacham

Interior of Ledyard looking north in 2005

Third, the focus of the article in The Dartmouth is the news that the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge feasibility study recommends demolishing and replacing the Lodge. Maclay Architects, which conducted the study, includes a drawing of the main (west) facade of a possible Ravine Lodge replacement:

detail of Maclay drawing of MRL facade

Detail of Maclay drawing of west facade of new Ravine Lodge

The drawing shows a building that seems both grander and more rustic, or more self-consciously rustic, than the 1938 Lodge. It lacks the extremely broad gable of the old lodge, but it has a signature form of its own. Maclay has extensive timber-framing experience, and with big logs scarce these days, this lodge appears to be a timber-framed building clad in shingles.

The Board of Trustees could decide whether to demolish the old building in the spring.

Graphic design, history, Friendly’s

  • Take a look at this fascinating 19th-century photograph of the rear of Dartmouth Row. It is dated to the pre-1904 period, but judging from the tents, one might guess that it was taken in 1869, at the time of the centennial celebration. Younger alumni, many of them Civil War vets, were housed here in tents borrowed from the Army. And take a look at the small building on the left — is that a Temple of Cloacina, an ephemeral outhouse? Middle Fayerweather Hall stands in that area now.

  • The push to apply the nickname “The Woods” to Memorial Field continues (see the Big Green Alert Blog). What about fashioning some of the walls of the replacement stands from board-formed concrete ( What about incorporating a couple of precast concrete columns in the shape of trees?

  • The Rauner Blog has an interesting post on John Smith, a 1773 graduate, Preceptor of Moor’s Charity School, early Tutor at Dartmouth, and Trustee.

  • Campus Planning & Facilities has a collection of articles on the Grant.

  • It turns out the football team last spring ran a uniform design contest through the same website that Graduate Studies used to design their coat of arms, 99designs. The winning football uniform design includes lots of Lone Pines, including on the shoulders and the back of the helmet; most interesting is the Pine on the palm of each glove. The design brief says “We would also like to see some designs that incorporate the ‘Lone Pine’ (pictured below) on the shoulders or in any creative way, similarly to Oregon’s ‘feathers’ on the shoulders of their jerseys.” The brief mentions the state motto but not the school motto, strangely.

  • Back in August The Dartmouth had an article on Bruce Wood, maestro of the Big Green Alert site and its blog companion Big Green Alert Daily.

  • The Rauner Blog also has posts on General Thayer’s gift of his library; the catalogs of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University; and an 1829 letter from Joseph Dow describing the college.

  • The Valley News announces that Friendly’s in West Leb is closing. I’ll never forget the disappointment on the face of a logician friend when he learned that the “ham and turkey pot pies” that our server mentioned among the dinner specials were actually nothing more than ham pot pies and turkey pot pies.

  • Cognitive Marketing designed the Thayer School shield.

  • Check out the May 1957 issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. The issue features Harrison’s initial design for the Hopkins Center. The plan is all there, but the details are changed. The view on pages 22 and 23 shows the long north-south corridor in a different form. The Barrows Rotunda, the cylindrical exhibition space in the front facade? It looks like it was descended from an unroofed two-level glass-walled shaft that features in this 1957 design — it was meant to go right through the middle of the Top of the Hop.

  • For Larson’s prior design for the Hop, see the December 1946 Alumni Magazine, beginning on page 11.

  • Tuck’s 2008 visual identity guide is available as a pdf. It’s cute that it calls the green color “Tuck green.” The book specifies the Sabon and Frutiger typefaces.

  • The athletics Graphic Standards Manual of 2005 is also available as a pdf. Now we know whom to blame for the gigantic TM connected with the green D logo (page 3). It is interesting that in addition to Dartmouth Green (PMS 349 C), this book also defines Dartmouth Black (Pro Black C) (page 11). The primary, “athletic” typeface is not named, but the secondary typeface is specified as Gill Sans Bold.

    The authors of the manual are SME Inc., the firm that created a shield for Manhattan College and the MLS logo with the boot striking the ball. (As an aside, that MLS logo recently was replaced by a shield designed by Athletics and Berliner Benson. A post at Brand New shows the shield partitioned by an almost typographical line that hangs over the border like the tail of a letter Q.)

  • Memorial Field bits seen from the air

    The Valley News has a story on the upcoming demolition of the concrete terraces of the West Stands at Memorial Field.

    The West Stands building was completed in 1923. (Its 19th-century frame predecessor was a big Shingle Style roofed grandstand. It faced the football field and a cinder track. Together the complex was called Alumni Oval.)

    The current project has a fascinating history of its own that includes the casting of concrete structural elements in 2008 before the work was put on hold. From the article:

    Dick Terk, vice president and project manager at Engelberth Construction, a company with offices in Colchester, Vt., and Keene, N.H., remembers getting a call about the west stands project’s halt in 2008. It came three days before work was to begin, and he’s been looking forward to getting back underway ever since.

    Terk said his company poured about half of the needed concrete pieces back in 2008 and they’ve been sitting on an old airplane runway at Windsor’s Miller Construction Company.

    And here they are, in Google Maps:

    This Google Street View shows what appear to be the terrace risers laid on their sides.

    Ceplikas said $6 million of precast concrete sections have since been stored locally, and that an incentive to get the ball rolling was that New Hampshire building codes are due to change next year.

    “The state revises them every few years and the next time is in 2015,” Ceplikas said. “Each time they tweak something, there’s a risk that it will make the precast pieces obsolete.[“]

    College Cleaners demo, other items

    • Athletic Director Harry Sheehy interviewed in the Valley News:

      If you talked to our previous coaching staff, we were injured because we had to practice outside, but I don’t buy it. I would love to have an indoor facility so you could practice indoors for an hour and outdoors for an hour. I’m not saying the cold doesn’t put a stress on the body; I’m just saying that somehow we’ve had some (men’s lacrosse) success before and without an indoor facility.

      I don’t need one with a thousand bells and whistles. We need a functional space with an artificial surface. The problem is, it still costs you $20 million just to do that.

    • A Memorial Field bid package document (pdf) states that “[f]or the most part, with the exception of some small changes, this is the same project that was cancelled in 2008.”

    • Demolition of the College Cleaners building on Allen Street, where the cleaning business started more than 65 years ago, is going ahead. The building first appears on maps between 1912 and 1922, when it was used as a restaurant. The site will become a parking lot and, one hopes, eventually will be a site for a new commercial building. The Valley News article distinguishes Town-owned from privately-owned public parking; the sad examples of the lots at 2 or 6 West Wheelock, where proper businesses have belonged for decades, suggest that Town-owned lots suffer a certain inertia.

    • Yes, the TM symbol associated with the big green D on the new scoreboard is distracting. But is it also crass, or is it a necessity of college athletics and trademark law? It might be the former: None of the other Ivies feels the need to put such a big TM next to its logo on the league website.

    • A proposal: In order to reduce traffic on South Main Street and at the Inn Corner, the town should make South Main a one-way street and block through traffic other than buses:

      Plan of proposed one-way Main St., half closed to traffic

      The gray zones are areas newly freed up for parking. Some of the southern parking area could become a Town Square in front of the Municipal Building:

      Plan of proposed one-way Main St., half closed to traffic with town square

    • Google Street View says that this bench (Appalachian Trail? Memorial?) appeared at Lebanon and Crosby between 2009 and 2013:

    • Steve Smith has written Top 10 Natural Places to Visit in Hanover, New Hampshire: A Walking Guide (Valley News).

    • Football’s alternate uniforms were revealed on August 12 (Big Green Alert). BGA has a photo of “Stephen Dazzo modeling Dartmouth’s alternate gray pants and a helmet designed to fit the theme ‘Granite of New Hampshire.'”

    • There are some interesting details in the very detailed Wilder Dam relicensing preliminary application document of 2012 (pdf).

    • Another proposal: In order to save money, USPS should sell off its Main Street property and lease a cheaper and more efficient space downtown, perhaps in the Galleria or Hanover Park or even on Allen Street. (This might mean moving the postal sorting operation, with its tractor-trailers, to Route 120.) The college’s Real Estate Office or another developer could then rehabilitate all or part of the historic 1931 Post Office building as a commercial space and fill the vacant land around it with commercial or mixed-use construction. It seems so wasteful to maintain that truck parking lot in the middle of town, and the Post Office isn’t making the best use of its building, either.

    • The Valley News has stories on Lebanon’s sale of school buildings, one with interior photos of Larson’s former Junior High School and one with an exterior photo of the building.


    [Update 09.03.2014: Typo corrected, wording altered for clarity.]

    In the archives of the Alumni Magazine

    Some fun things are to be found by rummaging indiscriminately in the new on-line archive:

    Harrison’s first design for the Hop appeared in a remarkable illustrated article from 1957.1 This is the boxy, pre-arcade version of the building. The Top of the Hop was to have a cylindrical glass-walled void running through its center, all the way from the roof to the theater lobby. This seems to have evolved into the modest Barrows Exhibition Rotunda at the building’s entrance.

    Ray Nash wrote on the college seal in 1941.2 Speaking of the seal, “Hanover’s best skylight… is found in Parkhurst Hall” according to a “best-of” list written in 1984.3 The skylight, which depicted the seal, was removed during a interior renovation and seemed to have been lost by May of 2006. Was it ever returned?

    An article on the Rockefeller Center included architectural commentary by designer Lo-Yi Chan.4

    In the election of John Steel to the board of trustees, the alumni association counted its ballots on May 23, 1980. The board put off its vote of June 6, however, asking the association to investigate “any irregularities” in the campaign. On July 28 the association recommended action on the nomination, and the board elected Steel on August 16 — a delay of about ten weeks. He was seated at the board’s November meeting.5

    George Hathorn wrote a well-illustrated article on “Unbuilt Dartmouth” in 1978.6

    The master plan for Memorial Field appeared in a 1920 article.7

    Noel Perrin wrote an observant 1974 photographic study of Hanover-area sprawl.8


    1. “The Hopkins Center,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1957), 17-21, 25.
    2. Ray Nash, “Rediscovering the College Seal,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1941), 17-20.
    3. “Hanover’s Bests,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1984), 42.
    4. Donald McNemar, “Rockefeller Center: The Ideal of Reflection and Action,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (June 1981), 30-33.
    5. Editor, “The College. Steel Elected,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (September 1980), 26. Compare Todd Zywicki, “History of Trustee Election Rules,” Dartmouth Review (6 October 2006), 2 (“In 1980 a man named John Steel ran as a petition candidate for trustee and was elected in a landslide. Efforts were made by the College and the board at the time to refuse to seat him and after protracted litigation, he finally prevailed.”).
    6. George Hathorn, “Unbuilt Dartmouth: Castles in the Clouds,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1978), 29-33.
    7. James P. Richardson, “The Plans for Memorial Field,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (February 1920), 640-643.
    8. Noel Perrin, “The College in the Suburb,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1974), 18-23.

    Bus stop construction begins; other items

    • The Innovation Center in 4 Currier has opened (Dartmouth Now). The design appears to be by Truex Cullins, who did the original building.

    • A little film introduces Perdido, the new sculpture on East Wheelock.

    • The Alumni Magazine has put up its electronic archive of every issue since the October 1905 Dartmouth Bi-Monthly, edited by E.M. Hopkins.

    • The post here on the topic of the new bus stop at the Hop complained about the sidewalk in front of the Inn. It turns out that that area is going to be reworked as well (Dartmouth Now). The sidewalk is growing, according to DCREO associate director of real estate Tim McNamara:

      The planned changes to the sidewalk and surrounding areas will effectively create two lanes as well as smoothing out the frost-heaved sections of sidewalk.

      “At present, pedestrians walking down East Wheelock have to pass under the porte-cochère,” says McNamara. “We will relocate the sidewalk to the outside of the porte-cochère so that pedestrians will not conflict with cars and guests coming and going from the Inn.”

      Moving the curb line out beyond the street’s current shoulder will also allow expansion of the Inn’s outdoor dining.

    • The Hopkins Center’s iconic Moore Theatre facade is also getting new double-pane windows (Dartmouth Now) ahead of the planned expansion and renovation. The D has a photo. (The Planner’s Blog has a post on the project)

    • Lebanon Junior High (J.F. Larson) is being renovated and reused, in part as the Spark Community Center. Studio Nexus is working on the building.

    • Project VetCare has purchased the 1907 house at 80 Lebanon Street and plans to rent rooms to three or more student veterans (Valley News). It’s the brown bungalow at the center of this Bing bird’s-eye view.

    • More great aerials: the Shower Towers and Kiewit, showing the committed but incongruous Bradley Plaza, and a 1919 photo of the Green showing the big tent set up for the 150th anniversary celebration. Most intriguing are this aerial and this aerial of Dartmouth Hall on fire in 1935. That was the fire that led Larson to gut the 1906 building and insert new floors and interiors, and to put up the current belfry and the three front gables showing the notable years.

    • One is relieved to see the College Usher (Dean of Libraries Jeffrey Horrell) identified as such in a Commencement photo showing him carrying Lord Dartmouth’s Cup.

    • A tidbit from the biography of the late David McLaughlin, Dartmouth President from 1981 to 1987. On the elimination of fraternities and sororities:

      In hindsight, I am convinced that the wrong approach was taken. Having been in a unique position to restructure the fraternity system, I should1 have been more decisive early in my presidency, during my “Honeymoon” period. Perhaps I could and should have eliminated the fraternities in their current form and redefined them — brought about some positive fundamental restructuring of the campus social system. Neither my predecessor nor my successors had such a golden opportunity, both being non-Dartmouth alumni and academics and, therefore, suspect from the outset, by alumni and students, as men having little, if any, use for the Greek system. But football-playing, fraternity-member David McLaughlin was a different story. Oh, the howling would have been long and loud, and many on the board would undoubtedly have opposed me, but I believe that I could have brought a majority of my fellow trustees along with me. What I should have said, quite emphatically, in that inaugural speech of mine was, “Dartmouth needs to dismantle fraternities as they exist today.”2

    • The Hood now has put up a page on the expansion, with no new info since June 11.

    • Memorial Field construction is set to begin November 17 and finish by September 1 (Planning Board minutes pdf).


    [Update 07.29.2014: Link to Planner’s Blog post added.]

    [Update 07.22.2014: Link to photo of Hop windows added.]


    1. David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed 2007), 135.
    2. David T. McLaughlin with Howard J. Coffin, Choices Made (Hanover, N.H.: Privately printed 2007), 136.

    Planning for the “neighborhood”


    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,1 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.2

    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.


    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.

    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 (, 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.


    [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.]

    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).


    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).

    The West Stands replacement, for real this time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Perdido and more

    • Jens Larson is on the cover of a Bucknell University magazine from 2009 (pdf). The cover story describes his 1932 master plan in the context of new plan by SBRA.
    • The roof of Alumni Gym over the Michael Pool is to be renovated again (The Dartmouth).
    • Clement Meadmore’s 1978 COR-TEN sculpture Perdido has been installed on East Wheelock Street below South Fayerweather Hall (Hood press release pdf, Flickr photo of installation, Facebook photo).
    • Collis renovations are nearing an end (The Dartmouth), and people are talking about switching fuels for the Heating Plant (The Dartmouth).
    • Bruce Wood discusses the possibility of a hockey game on the turf at Memorial Field (Big Green Alert blog).
    • Rauner presents interesting research on the conch that students blew as a horn instead of ringing a bell during the eighteenth century (Rauner Library Blog).
    • The Valley News has a remembrance of timber framer Edward Levin ’69.
    • Interior demolition soon will begin at 4 Currier, where the college is building a 3,000 s.f. innovation center (The Dartmouth).
    • Telemark Shortline, the sculpture now located in front of Richardson Hall, has an interesting past as described by the Hood Museum:

      Telemark Shortline was originally designed by the artist for a specific site between the Hopkins Center and Wilson Hall on Dartmouth’s campus. When construction commenced on the Hood Museum of Art in 1982, the work was removed. In 2009, it was re-constituted by the artist in its current location. The first part of the title comes from the sculpture’s form, which resembles a deep-snow turn made with a pair of Nordic skis. “Shortline” refers to both the railroad company name (the sculpture’s composition brings to mind railroad tracks) and the artist’s term for the bevel-cut ends of his beams.

    • The post on traffic patterns around the Green has been updated.

    Triangle House project begins, other items

    • 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).