master planning

BASIC at 50 and other items

April 13th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Bradley/Gerry, coat of arms, Collis Center, DHMC, graphic design, History, master planning, Med. School, Memorial Field, north campus, other projects, preservation, publications, Thayer School

  • Work continues on the Williamson Translational Research Building at the hospital in Lebanon. Here is a notable tidbit about the building’s namesake donor, the late Dr. Peter Williamson ’58: he once owned the ultimate collector car, Lord Rothschild’s Bugatti Atlantic. Williamson’s car won the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003 and is now in the Mullin Automotive Museum.
  • The Rauner Blog post on E.E. Just has a great old photo of Hallgarten. The building was built for the state ag school, known then as N.H.C.A.M.A., and its rear ell is the only part of any building from the campus to survive. The school later moved to Durham and became U.N.H., as its football website points out (via Big Green Alert). Of course, the most meaningful fact that relates to the football rivalry is that Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, indeed the entirety of its athletic complex west of Park Street, was built on one of the state farm fields. The students of the N.H.C.A.M.A. learned how to raise crops in the place where Dartmouth students now play football.
  • A group called Project VetCare is buying a house in Hanover, apparently around 65-75 Lebanon Street, to provide housing for veterans, including students (The Dartmouth).
  • Dartmouth Medicine has had a redesign by Bates Creative.
  • Wouldn’t it be interesting if the U.S. had national food appellations (Wikipedia) beyond the grape-growing regions designated by the AVA? There simply is no equivalent to the geographical indications and traditional specialities of the EU (PDO, PGI, TSG), the AOC of France, or the DOC of Italy. Not all traditional foods are old — Birmingham Balti has been proposed for the list of U.K. foods given protected status, and farmed Scottish salmon is already listed.
  • Kendal has demolished the Chieftain (Valley News).
  • Crouching Spider is going away (Flickr).
  • Dartmouth has talked about changing the name of the overall institution — the umbrella under which the undergraduate college and the graduate and professional schools operate — from Dartmouth College to Dartmouth University. The purpose would be to raise the school’s standing among observers, mostly outside the West, for whom “college” can mean a secondary school or lower school. A fascinating example of this renaming motive is found in Trinity College Dublin, another school that has landed outside the top 125 in the Times World University Rankings. Trinity was founded in 1592 (Wikipedia) as a constituent college of the University of Dublin. What makes Trinity odd is that the University never added any other colleges — Trinity is all there is, and yet the university administration survives, under its own name. Trinity’s rebranding now proposes to replace “Trinity College Dublin” with “Trinity College, University of Dublin.” Oh well; at least the “improved” name seems historically-grounded and technically accurate. Brian M. Lucey argues against it in a blog post, and another post. The real controversy in the rebranding involves the coat of arms:
  • Although the Irish Times claims that the Bible is being removed from Trinity’s arms, that does not necessarily appear to be the case. According to an informative paper by Professor John Scattergood (pdf, via Brian M. Lucey), the arms, as formally granted in 1901, require “a Bible closed, clasps to the dexter.” The rebranding includes a new, stylized version of the coat of arms that substitutes an open book, something that easily could be called “a Bible open.” Visually, neither one of the shields identifies the book to the ordinary observer. The changes in colors are all part of the stylization and do no violence to the underlying historic coat of arms. (The University of Dublin obtained its own arms in 1862, and they contain an open book, incidentally.)
  • UNH has picked a new logo, a shield designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. This shield is not one of the three shields that the firm initially proposed last year (post). Although a couple of those first ideas were intriguing, students and alumni were not pleased. The new identity guide (pdf) notes that “The specific blue color has been made a bit brighter than the past version.”
  • Just for your information, the maximum number of effective footnotes in a Word document (Word:Mac 2008) is 32,768. Notes above that number fail gracefully: they still work but are numbered incorrectly, all sharing either the number 32768 or one of a few numbers after that.
  • The school’s Flickr feed has a nice set of historic photos titled “BASIC at 50: The Democratization of Computing.” It is especially gratifying to see the buildings identified: the College Hall basement, Kiewit, and so on. (In the lower right corner of another view of Kiewit is a glimpse of someone who could have been a predecessor of Usenet celebrity and campus character Ludwig Plutonium.)
  • This fantastic photo of President Kemeny with his BASIC license plate was taken in the parking lot east of Bradley/Gerry, it appears, and has the rear addition of the Church of Christ for a backdrop (somewhat near this present-day Google Street View).
  • From an article in The Dartmouth on planning VP Lisa Hogarty: “The biggest change in the College’s capital budget, she said, will come from the proposed expansion to the Thayer School of Engineering.” See the sample master plans of Koetter Kim (post) and Beyer Blinder Belle (post) and the Thayer press release on President Hanlon’s 2013 expansion announcement.
  • The news that a family had donated $100m to support Hanlon initiatives makes one think of the Harkness gifts to create “residential colleges” at Harvard and later Yale, but reading The Dartmouth, one learns:

    Mastanduno said this gift represents a significant departure from past donations, which have tended to focus on capital infrastructure.

    “This isn’t about bricks and mortar,” he said. “It’s about the core academic mission of Dartmouth.”

[Update 04.17.2014: Broken link to Mullin removed, Kendal spelling corrected.]

Rethinking traffic around the Green

December 24th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning, other projects, the Green

The firm of RSG writes that, in connection with the BBB master plan, it:

conducted a comprehensive evaluation of traffic circulation around the campus green, which included the development of a detailed microsimulation model to evaluate the merits of various alternatives.

It is a good bet that one of the alternatives for the Green is the return of two-way traffic. Here is the current traffic pattern:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Current traffic pattern. Basemap excerpted from Dartmouth Campus Map.

It is not clear when the streets around three sides of the Green were made one-way streets. Much of the one-waying done in the Sixties and Seventies in the interest of moving traffic through American cities is now seen as undesirable for a number of reasons. The Yale Master Plan (pdf) has several observations on pages 45 and 119:

Bicyclists tend to go the wrong way on one-way streets if they view it as the shortest path to their destination. This fact suggests the benefit of reconfiguring those streets to make cycling and walking easier.

One-way streets can be particularly hostile to those visiting Downtown, and motorists often see destinations but must recirculate through the system to reach them…. Motorists must travel further and turn more in one-way street systems than along two-way streets, and crossings are also particularly difficult for pedestrians. We recommend encouraging the City to expand its recent conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic…. New Haven would certainly not be alone if it followed this initiative. Because of the direct impact of transportation on the accessibility and viability of urban centers, many cities are examining traffic patterns and the balance among transportation modes. To return downtown streets to a human scale and promote a more pedestrian and retail-friendly environment, recent initiatives in many places have concentrated on slowing traffic, and more and more cities have converted (or are considering converting) the one-way streets to two-way.

Here is a look at the Green with two-way traffic:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Restoring the Green’s historic two-way traffic pattern.

The Yale plan states on page 119:

Those traffic engineers and planners who support converting the one-way streets to two-way use readily admit that the change might selectively increase traffic congestion. However, rather than concentrating on their lost capacity to move vehicles, these professionals focus on the slower, calmer traffic and how that improves the livability and potential for growth of urban environments, business districts and neighborhoods.

Another alternative at Dartmouth might adopt another extreme, a pattern that attempts to eliminate traffic from as much of the Green as possible:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Pedestrianizing the streets around the Green.

Expanding the Green in this way could make for some very pleasant spaces, particularly if the grass were carried up to SAE. Care would have to be taken to preserve some of the proportions of the streets in the paths that replaced them, an effect not shown here. Although closing College and Wentworth Streets would increase traffic on North Main and Maynard, the increase probably would not be great. Outside of term time, the Green would seem more like a dead zone (or a park, depending on your perspective) than it does now.

The list of alternatives would not be complete without a traffic circle:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Traffic around the Green as controlled by a traffic circle.

The college planners probably are not thinking of this alternative, since the redesign of the town’s main intersection seems to be more of a task for the municipal authorities. This option also removes the space-hogging diagonal parking and the turn lane from the south end of the Green.

[Update 02.08.2014: RSG concludes (pdf) that "we do not feel that any of the two-way Green circulation options warrant additional investigation." Very interesting. The report does, however, propose to narrow East Wheelock in front of the Hop in much the same way the image above does.]

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

December 4th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning

The cover story[1] in the latest Harvard Magazine is about landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. At a presentation about 16 years ago I remember him referring to Beck’s Odelay, which I thought was pretty hip. The article states:

A professor and designer he is — the Eliot professor in practice of landscape architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and probably the most celebrated landscape architect in America.

Van Valkenburgh’s firm was selected with architects Beyer Blinder Belle to conduct Dartmouth’s master planning process.

In the new plan, “a significant amount of new building[] is proposed for existing parking lots,” according to BFJ Planning, another firm involved.


  1. William S. Saunders, “The Urban Landscaper,” Harvard Magazine (November-December 2013) (via MVVA news page).

Vermont windows

November 19th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Charter, Country Club, graphic design, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, master planning, other projects, preservation, site updates, the Hop

  • An update of the “North Block” golf course development idea: Take a look at the Perkins + Will plan for the Poplar Point Development In Washington, D.C. Naturally Dartmouth wouldn’t need this density or scale, but it could learn from the extension of the existing street grid to form irregular quadrangular blocks; the treatment of the edge condition (the Anacostia River); and the accommodation of streams flowing through the site.

  • An update of the Hop expansion post: Of course! The new theater and entrance facade represent the final realization of Larson’s old 1940s Hop designs. In this post, a still image from a college video shows how Larson wanted to put a theater and a major entrance to the Hopkins Center on what was then College Street. And the Dartmouth has an article on the Boora project.

  • I did not learn until recently that this memorable window, visible on the way to Hanover from West Leb, is called a “Vermont window” or a “witch window” (Wikipedia):

  • Dartmouth has been phasing out the “” accounts and assigning everyone, past and present, an “” address (only the address, not an account). This is neater than the old dual system where students had one address/account and alumni another. When the “” accounts came in (during 1995 or 1996?) they seemed like an awkward solution. The rationale for creating the new domain was that Dartmouth was barred (by its interpretation of the government’s pre-ICANN rules, one supposes) from using the “.edu” domain for accounts assigned to anyone but employees and students. Yet Harvard came out with its “” domain around that time, so it is hard to see that as the reason.

    Although it was fun to use Blitzmail after college, the need for a personal, ISP-independent email account was soon satisfied more effectively on the Web by Hotmail (1996) and Yahoo Mail (1997). Students responded with WebBlitz (1998 or 1999?) but I don’t recall that it prevented the alumni accounts from slipping into some obscurity. The susceptibility of the alumni accounts to great volumes of spam did not help.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on Sgt. Allen Scott Norton of WWI with photos of the trenches dug on the future site of Leverone Field House or Red Rolfe Field.

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on a new war memorials map.

  • Finally a photo of new Hop entrance below the grand ballroom — and the ever-shrinking Zahm Courtyard. It is included in the war memorial map.

  • The College Steward was a charter office first held by Ebenezer Brewster, who established the tavern that preceded the Inn. I’ve wondered if the office could be revived, and whom it should be given to. Contemporary college statutes from England (Downing College Cambridge, published in 1800, in Google Books) suggest that a steward was the head of dining services:



    THERE shall also be one Steward appointed annually by the Master, from among the Professors and Fellows, to direct every thing which relates to the Commons and Sizings to be served in the hall at dinner and supper, and the wine and other articles provided in the combination room. He shall make all payments in respect of such Commons and Sizings to the Cook and Butler of the College, at such times as shall be appointed by the Master, and shall receive the same from the Tutor, within one week of the end of every Term, for all his Pupils who have been in Commons during the Term; and for all other persons in Commons, he shall be paid by themselves in the same time.

  • The Grad Studies Office has a photo of the professionally-made sign in its renovated 37 Dewey Field Road. (In the recent interior renovation, references to 37 Dewey Field Road seem to encompass both 37 and 50 Dewey Field Road, the old Homes 37 and 50.)

  • Insignia: From a College Grant photo album (pdf), page 20, we learn that

    The “Diamond D” log brand was stamped with a hammer into all logs leaving the College Grant so they could be identified upon reaching the sawmill.

    Unrelated: The clever Europhilia of Football as Football. And it is funny how the Maryland governor’s “Goals” website logo recalls the RAF roundel:

  • Dartmouth Now has an article on the up-close inspection of the exterior of Baker Tower.

  • Congratulations to The Dartmouth on its new website. Here’s hoping the upgrade doesn’t involve a new URL for every past article. This site has more than 220 broken links to the D at the moment.

The Class of 1974 Bunkhouse

November 17th, 2013  |  Published in all news, cabins, master planning, Mt. Moosilauke, Organic Farm, other projects, Ravine Lodge

William Maclay Architects, creators of the master plan for the Organic Farm, have designed the Class of 1974 Bunkhouse at the Ravine Lodge. Timberhomes LLC is building the bunkhouse. The class will present it at their 40-year reunion next year. The construction site is visible north of the Lodge in this recent Google aerial:

The Ravine Lodge really seems to be evolving into a little village, less a singular outpost than a summer camp.

News: Snapshot of new master plan released

November 13th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning

The firm of Beyer Blinder Belle, the first new master planner for Dartmouth in a couple of decades, has added a page to its website announcing its Dartmouth plan. Of the four images on the page, only one shows a design. It is an aerial perspective view of a computer model of the campus, and it is meant to show the landscape plan rather than any proposed buildings per se. The official master plan website has not been updated yet.

Detail of BBB master plan

Detail of Tuck/Thayer area from Beyer Blinder Belle master plan image.

The image, although not a complete plan by any means, shows several notable proposals for new construction:

  • There is a big new set of dorms behind Mass Row. This seems inevitable given the site, but one hopes that South Fairbanks, at least, could be preserved somewhere.
  • Three or more new dorms are shown continuing the line of Fahey-McLane along the slopes of Tuck Drive. It is not clear whether the President’s House is replaced or incorporated into this group. One supposes that any dorm proposed for the end of Webster Avenue will be reached by a footpath leading from Tuck Mall, so it makes sense to shift it away from the Avenue and closer to the Mall.
  • This is intriguing: The top end of Tuck Drive is shown dead-ending before Fahey/McLane. That would improve Tuck Mall and reduce traffic on the Drive, but it would also eliminate the Drive’s original and historic function as an auto road.
  • There are big changes at the pro schools: the remaining River Cluster dorms are replaced, of course, and the Maxwell-Channing Cox Apartments are also demolished to make way for something completely different. The Thayer School parking lot is finally given over to its logical purpose of supporting academic buildings. Aha: Thayer Drive, which brings traffic up the hill from Wheelock Street, is routed all the way to the west end of the plateau before it skirts the River Cluster area and reaches Whittemore Circle. Bleh: suburban. One hopes that this scheme is meant to be a shorthand for “more development” rather than a concrete proposal. Again, this landscape snapshot cannot be taken as an explanation of the final version of the overall master plan.
  • An extension is added to South Fayer or Bartlett, or maybe both. This is an excellent idea that prior plans have floated.
  • A big new athletic building, probably, is shown on the tennis courts across from the Sphinx. It connects to or replaces (one hopes not) Davis Varsity House.
  • A boxy front extension of Wheeler Hall is shown protruding into the quadrangle there. Hmmm. It is hard to tell whether the quad on the other side of Wheeler is filled with new construction or is omitted from this landscape plan.
  • On Berry Row, a new building replaces Raven House, and a new building is shown between Kemeny and Moore. Good. But that latter building extends westward to Main Street, eliminating the NAD House, Phi Tau, and Alpha Theta. Not so good.
  • The area north of Maynard is inscribed with the curving Romantic paths of Berry Row instead of the efficient rectilinear paths of the Green or Tuck Mall. But it is nice to see a green armature woven through the blocks from Berry all the way up to the LSC. New buildings are shown opposite Moore Hall and at the NCAC site along College Street, as expected. There’s another one shown near the center of the block, expanding upon or replacing Kellogg Auditorium. This makes sense, and people will be relieved to see the Med School keeping its campus from spilling behind Vail or beyond the LSC.
  • The Choates are replaced with a linear double-ranked row of buildings. The landscape here will tie Berry Row to the Roth Center, making this spoke/tendril appear to be a small-scale counterpart to Tuck Mall.
  • Sargent Block: The plan suggests that the Sargent Block master plan be carried out in some fashion. Notably, no building is shown on the FO&M/Shops corner.
  • Rich created a precedent when he put mirror-image row of buildings behind Dartmouth Row, probably based on a plan by Charles Eliot. VSBA identified the double row of buildings as a distinctive type and a useful form. MRY used it in the McLaughlin dorms. Here, BBB plans several double rows: Behind Mass Row, where the form has been anticipated, as noted above; in the Choates, where both rows would be created at the same time; and behind Dick’s House, where such a row would provide valuable organization in a long-unplanned space.
  • Some other buildings not mentioned above: A dining hall/student center stands on the street to form a southern end to Mass Row, connecting Thayer, Robinson, and Collis. This is an old Larson idea, a good idea if the building is porous enough to allow pedestrians to reach Psi Upsilon and Wheelock Street; a rear extension for the Murdough Center; and a replacement for North Hall and the Choate House. Choate House is an 18c house that has already been moved twice and really must be saved somewhere.
  • It is interesting what this landscape plan leaves out — the areas around the buildings on East Wheelock and Park Street, the athletic facilities of Chase Fields, College Park and most of the science buildings, La Casa and its neighbors, and the McLaughlin Cluster. It is not clear whether this means “no change” or “not important” or just “not part of the main circulation system.”

Overall, the image suggests that the plan will be notable for its restraint. It does not set out to expand the borders of the campus.

[Update 11.15.2013: President's House item altered, items after Sargent Block added.]

Google updates its aerial, and other news

November 11th, 2013  |  Published in 4 Currier, Academic Center, all news, CHCDS, DHMC, History, master planning, Med. School, north campus, other projects, publications

The Courtyard Cafe will be going away

November 7th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Hood, master planning, preservation, the Hop

Boora Architects has released some of its designs for the expansion of the Hopkins Center.

The first image is a view of the area now occupied by the café and lawn seen in this Google Street View image:

The hill appears to have been carved away and a new glass-walled entrance inserted at the basement level. The blank-walled righthand portion of this three-level infill addition presumably contains the new theater. A balcony projects from each of the upper levels. This might be a sort of Bass Concert Hall facade.

The second image shows the main corridor, presumably at ground level. This seems to be a view to north: the box office and Moore Theatre scene shop have been blasted through, and we can see straight into the existing Darling Courtyard, the unroofed sculpture atrium behind the Warner Bentley bust. The coffering in the ceiling (or in the underside of the floor of the level above) refers to the oval coffering of the original building; in the center a cutout reveals yet another level above. Something interesting must be happening around the current Spaulding lobby if the new stair is to fit. The existing studio range is not necessarily removed, although it is hard to tell.

This part of the Hop currently stands only one level above ground, of course. In this Bing aerial, the corridor is the flat-roofed, black-surfaced element, while the café is the curving Hood-era addition below it.

The fourth image shows the interior of the new theater, presumably looking to the northwest. Off to the left is visible the main corridor with its green seat.

The fifth image appears to show the expanded Darling Courtyard. It looks like the floor has been dropped into Paddock in the basement and a glass roof placed overhead.

The third image depicts Alumni Hall as transformed into a concert chamber. Presumably the vaults will need to be closed up for acoustic purposes (see Jonathan Owens’s study). The existing wooden plaques seem likely to be moved, since they would be obscured by the proposed wall paneling and raked seating.



[Update 11.21.2013: Last sentence, about Alumni Hall windows, removed. The rendering looks west, not east.]

NCAC now unlikely to come to pass

November 5th, 2013  |  Published in Academic Center, all news, DHMC, Gilman, Life Sciences Ctr., master planning, preservation

The Dartmouth reports again, this time with conviction, that the NCAC project as we know it is stalled. It seems as if it might have been effectively cancelled.

Bertaux + Iwerks Architects present an interesting might-have-been, a pre-NCAC design for a new central DMS building. The design would have given DMS a new signature structure and knitted together the existing campus by connecting Vail to Dana and the Life Sciences Center.

It is hard to tell whether this design would have been any more successful as a work of urbanism than the NCAC design, for all its faults. Then again, the NCAC had more space to play with, enjoying the removal of both Dana and Gilman.

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).

Dartmouth’s “Westway,” an alternative to Larson’s Cemetery Bridge

October 28th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning, Thayer Dining Hall, Thayer School

  1. The cemetery is an obstacle to cross-campus foot traffic and contributes to the perception that the business and engineering schools, not to mention the River Cluster dormitories, are distant and isolated.

    To get from the Green to the River Cluster, one has to walk north to Tuck Mall and then west, following the red line on the map below. West Wheelock Street looks a little shorter on a map, but most people do not walk that way because the elevation changes so much. The traffic along West Wheelock also makes the walk not particularly pleasant.

    Meacham map of proposed Westway

  2. During the late 1920s, college architect Jens Larson proposed to solve this problem by building a bridge for pedestrians right over the cemetery (indicated on his 1928 master plan). The blue line above shows the approximate route. The cemetery contains several ravines, so this bridge would have flown through the treetops. It might have been like the Sky Walk in Monteverde Preserve in Costa Rica, a bridge system that has been in magazine ads lately.

    Meacham image of Monte Verde bridge

    Larson’s bridge was never built. It would have been an expensive way to provide mere convenience and seems unlikely to have been received well by the cemetery authorities.

  3. But what about skirting the cemetery’s southern boundary with a bridge or causeway built on private land acquired by the college? The green line on the map above shows this route.

    Meacham image of Westway viaduct

    In the image above, based on a Bing aerial, the roofs of Thayer Dining Hall/53 Commons are visible in the foreground. A Bing view of the site from the west shows how the viaduct would create a circulation network; see also a view of the site from the south.

    A Street View partway up Thayer Drive, the road that leads through the trees from Wheelock Street to Thayer School, shows just some of the elevation change that one would avoid by using the viaduct. See also a view from the east.

  4. A viaduct here could take the form of a Larson-style brick arcade, like the one that connects Streeter to each of its neighbors in the Gold Coast, or the front facade of Memorial Field’s grandstand. This would be expensive. A stone arcade would be even more expensive. The viaduct could be a timber-framed College-Grant style suspension bridge, interesting but perhaps ephemeral. An enclosed airport terminal bridge like at Thayer (Street View) would be expensive and unnecessary. The most interesting form might be that of a very “engineered” steel bridge that recalls the Ski Jump tower. The cheapest and sturdiest form might be a basic utilitarian concrete bridge like that of the rear of the Fairchild Center (Street View) or the side of the Boss Tennis Center.

  5. Those apartments along Wheelock Street are not apparently owned by the college, but they should be, and one guesses that eventually they will be.

    This area probably should be left in apartments no matter who owns the land. Dartmouth could do a South Block project here, selectively improving or replacing buildings and potentially integrating the buildings with the viaduct. The spaces under the walkway could be inhabited or at least occupied, as in Viaduc des Arts in Paris.

  6. By making the buildings rather tall and connecting their upper levels to the bridge, the college could even produce something like the 19-arch South Bridge in Edinburgh of 1788 (Wikipedia, A person standing on top of that high-level street in Edinburgh faces what appears to be the ground level of a modest building; in fact, he is at the fourth or fifth floor, with the lowest level of the building resting on the bottom of a valley (Bing aerial).

    In Hanover, some of the buildings on the Wheelock Street side of the bridge would be five or six stories high — towers, really:

Meacham image of towers along Westway viaduct


[Update 12.23.2013: Larson's 1928 plan from the Previous Master Plans portion of the school's Master Plan website shows the proposed cemetery bridge as a masonry structure. The suggestion that it was to be a suspension bridge has been removed.]

[Update 11.03.2013: The town is having Plan NH run a West Wheelock Street design charrette next weekend:

The Hanover Affordable Housing Commission and Hanover Planning Board recognize underutilized residential land area close to the downtown, a prominent gateway to our Main Street commercial district and the Dartmouth College campus, challenging topography, and the need to accommodate high traffic volumes with pedestrian safety.

(Via the Planner's Blog.)]

Some campus-related links

October 5th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, master planning, other projects, preservation, publications, Visual Arts Center

  • The new mobile-centric campus map is available as a pdf document. It shows fine details like the trails in the College Park and the lanes on the running track.
  • That nice brick house on Lebanon Street in the Sargent Block was built ca. 1840 by John Williams (Frank J. Barrett, Early Dartmouth College and Downtown Hanover (2008), in Google Books).
  • The folks over at Hillflint, big fans of Take Ivy (NYT, Wikipedia), are using a line drawing of Dartmouth Hall in their logo.
  • College master planners Beyer Blinder Belle have contracted with BFJ Planning to come up with a transportation plan (pdf).
  • Hokie Stone, the locally-quarried building stone of the Virginia Tech campus, has been mentioned here before. Now the football team is wearing helmets that are completely covered by a graphic depicting a wall made of Hokie Stone (Richmond Times Dispatch).
  • With the Digital Production Unit added to Preservation Services (Rauner Blog), the library has been scanning old photos and putting them on line. The amazing collection is searchable and will provide the subjects for many posts here in the future.
  • American Architects has an email interview with Machado and Silvetti regarding the Black VAC. The photos, by Esto, are also available on their own.
  • The Times had an interesting article on the Caracas practice of naming intersections rather than streets.
  • Professor Jeff Sharlet and his students are producing an online journal called 40 Towns (Corin Hirsch, “Dartmouth Literary Journal 40 Towns Documents Upper Valley,” Seven Days (4 September 2013)). Lindsay Ellis’s story “Kings of the Counter” is about people at the Fort (a.k.a. Fort Harry’s, etc.).
  • DSpace@MIT, an online collection of MIT research papers, has the late Frederick Stahl’s 1955 MIT architecture thesis, an interesting proposal for the Hopkins Center (pdf). Stahl graduated from Dartmouth in 1952 and died on July 26 (Globe obituary, Boston Architectural College obituary).
  • Princeton has moved the Dinky Station again, reports the Buildings & Grounds Blog of the Chronicle. The Dinky Line is a short railroad branch that connects the campus in Princeton to the town of Princeton Junction.
  • This railroad news is unrelated to the campus but stirs the heart: The Union Pacific is going to restore a Big Boy, Engine 4114, to running condition. Who thought one of these creatures would ever come back to life? Unbelievable.

An entrance gateway idea

July 19th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Boathouse, Connecticut River, master planning, publications

The riverfront master plan has already been mentioned here, but a reading of the plan’s new page on the OPDPM site has turned up some interesting proposals.

At the lower entrance to Tuck Drive, the plan recommends:

  • Preserving the existing brick pillars, built as part of Tuck Drive;
  • Replacing the metal guard rails with simple wooden rails in keeping with the school’s outdoorsy theme; and
  • Installing a new sign for the college.

Also interesting is the solution to the Fuller Boathouse problem: “Accommodate increased storage space needs by constructing new Fuller boathouse into hillside that is double current size.”

The new campus map

May 4th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., master planning, publications

The new campus map is available to mobile devices from the Dartmouth Mobile website (Dartmouth Planning announcement). The new map is better-looking than the current map, a pdf released in August of 2010 (Flash version). The society names are spelled out in Roman type, eliminating the orthographic creativity that rendered “ΦΔΑ” as “FDA” on the current map.

Because it’s electronic, this new map has a fantastic scope. Zooming out will display everything from the hospital to the Organic Farm, and the map’s coverage includes nodes for the airport and the Skiway. The Morton Farm equestrian center is included within the known world as well.

Advanced Surgery Center addition to open in summer

April 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Collis Center, DHMC, History, Lamb & Rich, master planning, other projects, preservation, site updates

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

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

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

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

Site updates:

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

[Update 06.09.2013: Broken link to presentation removed.]

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).

Organic Farm master planning, other topics

March 23rd, 2013  |  Published in all news, Connecticut River, DHMC, Fullington Farm, Hanover Inn, History, master planning, Organic Farm, other projects, preservation

  • The Planner’s Blog announced that Maclay Architects of Vermont is working on a master plan for the Organic Farm north of campus. One proposed land-use diagram mentions a possible site for a child-care center.
  • Dartmouth Now has an article on the new restaurant in the Inn, located right at the southeast corner of the intersection of Main and Wheelock.
  • Wikimedia Commons has a nice reproduction of the unbuilt 1923 addition designed by Larson & Wells. Surely the firm’s only design in the Egyptian mode, the rear range placed perpendicular to the original building is difficult to read as anything but living quarters; the firm did a similarly large and even more domestic proposal for a newbuild Dragon around the same time.
  • The Rauner Blog has a post on George Stibitz and his remote operation of a digital computer in 1940. The terminal in Hanover was located in McNutt.
  • Vermont Public Radio has a story on the Ice Chimes sculpture. See also the unrelated Alumni Relations post on Carnival snow sculptures.
  • The Victor C. Mahler 1954 Visiting Architects Lecture is now bringing one architect to campus each year for a lecture, starting with J. Meejin Yoon (Dartmouth Now).
  • The Williamson is moving ahead at the DHMC complex (The Dartmouth, Green Building Council profile).

Boora Architects to design Hop expansion

November 30th, 2012  |  Published in all news, History, master planning, preservation, the Hop

Obscured by the news of Phil Hanlon’s appointment as the college’s next president (Dartmouth, Valley News, The Dartmouth) is the announcement by the Hop that Boora Architects of Portland, Oregon will design the long-awaited Hopkins Center expansion (Dartmouth Now). Boora has done several projects at Stanford and appears to have a lot of experience in expanding existing arts centers. The University of Oregon’s School of Music + Dance is an appealing project, and the Hop-like opening up of the Bass Concert Hall at UT Austin is remarkable.

[Update 03.31.2013: Broken link to Hop announcement removed.]