Larson, Jens

In the archives of the Alumni Magazine

September 1st, 2014  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, master planning, other projects, Parkhurst Hall, preservation, publications, Rocky

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]

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  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

July 21st, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, all news, Dartmouth Row, Green, the, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Hood, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, other projects, preservation, societies

  • 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 should[1] 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).

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

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

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  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”

May 21st, 2014  |  Published in all news, History, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, master planning, neighborhoods, other projects

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,[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.

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  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

May 4th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Collis Center, History, Hop, the, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, preservation, publications, Quartomillennium '19




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.]

New surgical wing; other topics

April 23rd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, coat of arms, Connecticut River, graphic design, History, Hood, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, Med. School, other projects, preservation, publications, Quartomillennium '19, Rugby Club

  • 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).

The West Stands replacement, for real this time

March 12th, 2014  |  Published in all news, History, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, preservation

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

February 9th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, all news, Alumni Gym, Collis Center, Heat Plant, History, Hood, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, site updates

  • 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

October 30th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Band, DHMC, History, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, Mt. Moosilauke, publications, Triangle House

  • 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).

Whitaker Apartments becoming an affinity house

June 3rd, 2013  |  Published in all news, Larson, Jens, other projects, preservation, Triangle House

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).

From Kiewit to…

April 11th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, Berry Library, History, Larson, Jens, north campus, photos May 2006, preservation

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.

Now the deans have joined Computing Services in the first floor of Berry (The Dartmouth, see floorplan pdf), and the Computer Store has been displaced to the basement of McNutt (Dartbeat).

Who dares wins: graduate studies proposals

April 7th, 2013  |  Published in '53 Commons, all news, Larson, Jens, master planning, north campus, other projects, publications

One of the Strategic Planning reports suggests that Graduate Studies be given a lounge:

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).

Finally, a photo of the Inn’s ballroom addition

March 21st, 2013  |  Published in all news, Hanover Inn, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, preservation

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.

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Update 05.03.2013: Another photo showing the new Hop entrance pavilion in the distance.

Orozco Murals a National Historic Landmark

March 19th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, graphic design, History, Larson, Jens, preservation

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.

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Update 05.03.2013: An article from The Dartmouth.

A Passion for Snow and other notes

September 26th, 2012  |  Published in all news, Burke, Carnival, DHMC, graphic design, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Larson, Jens, other projects, Outing Club, preservation, publications

  • 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:

    roof of Hayward Room at expanded Hanover Inn

A remarkable discovery about the EBA’s building

August 25th, 2012  |  Published in all news, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Larson, Jens, preservation

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:



The former garage at 5 Allen Street.

This is the new discovery: the original garage, now hidden under all that brick, was designed by Larson & Wells.[1] 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.

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[Update 05.12.2013: Broken link to EBAs replaced.]

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  1. The American Contractor 42:14 (2 April 1921), 67.

Jens Larson’s own house, etc.

July 29th, 2012  |  Published in all news, Larson, Jens, Ledyard Canoe Club, master planning

  • 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:



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[Update 08.19.2012: Tram comment reworded.]

Memorial Field West Stand demo going ahead?

July 11th, 2012  |  Published in all news, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, preservation

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.”

Memorial Field

View to the north under the stands.

Now a baseball recruiting presentation (pdf), undated but describing the 2012 season, provides this interesting tidbit:


Project Cost Year Completed
[...] [...] [...]
Memorial Field West Stand Replacement $ 16 Million Sept. 2012

Hmmm.

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[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...]

The next Visual Arts Center

June 11th, 2012  |  Published in all news, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Heat Plant, History, Hood, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, other projects, photos May 2006, preservation, Sargent Block, Visual Arts Center

I. Introduction

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.

Crosby and Lebanon Streets, existing

Existing conditions. All maps based on official campus map (pdf).

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.

author photo of Crosby and Lebanon Streets, 2006

View to the northwest showing the corner, 2006.

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.

author photo of Memorial Field, 2006

View to the north showing the front (west) facade of Memorial Field, 2006. The sidewalk preserves Crosby’s original alignment.

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:

maximum arts proposal

The maximum arts proposal.

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:

variation on maximum arts proposal

Variation on the maximum arts proposal.

III. The Minimum Arts

Crosby could be pulled to the west, adding a big empty lawn in front of Memorial Field:

minimum arts proposal

The minimum arts proposal.

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:

square and temple proposal

The square and temple proposal.

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.

author photo of St. Denis, 2006

View to the southeast showing north (front) and west facades of St. Denis, 2006.

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[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to Memorial Field image fixed.]