Thayer new building details

Thayer School news from the Valley News:

In 2017, administrators hope to break ground on a new building for the Thayer School of Engineering, located near the Tuck School of Business at the western end of campus.

Joseph Helble, dean of the Thayer School, said the expansion would help to accommodate rising numbers of students and faculty, as well as increased need for lab and office space.

“Our undergraduate enrollments have grown tremendously, roughly doubling over the past 5 years, so we are in need of more classroom space, including ‘project labs’ where students work on open-ended, hands-on design projects, usually in teams,” he said in an email Sunday.

The new building would be built in place of the parking lot south of the Thayer complex, according to Hogarty, who said the cost of the project had not been fixed but was planned to come entirely through donations.

Indoor Practice Facility at the “Sunken Garden”?

Bruce Wood at BGA wrote a week ago Saturday about the inflatible stadium bubbles that some schools use for offseason sports practice:

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for news out of Dartmouth and it won’t be about a bubble. Those who attended the Friends of Football semiannual meeting in June heard the details but nothing has been officially released yet.

A guess: The news will be about the Indoor Practice Facility slated for the practice field beyond Thompson and the Boss Tennis Center. Almost four years ago the Alumni Magazine wrote that “Sheehy’s hopes for the future include the building of an indoor practice facility[.]”1

The designers of the future facility are Sasaki Associates, the firm that has been working on the “residential colleges” plan.


  1. Brad Parks, “It’s a Whole New Ballgame,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (Nov.-Dec. 2011).

History, buildings, etc.

  • The Rauner blog has posts on Memorial Field, dorm room plans, fraternity meeting minutes, the WWI trenches around Leverone’s site, and class day clay pipes.

  • A Review interview with Thayer School’s Senior Associate Dean Ian Baker says:

    In addition to serving as the Associate Dean, Baker also chaired a community board overseeing and discussing the construction of a new building for the engineering school. The new building will be located next to MacLean where the parking lot is. “We have yet to figure out where the car park goes,” Baker mentioned, wryly suggesting that it was the only problem in the plan. Baker also serves on several academic boards for the school.

    The trustees approved a Thayer School parking garage on the Cummings Lot site back in February of 2002 (post).

  • An actual historic preservation campaign has sprung up at Dartmouth: Save Moosilauke.

  • The 65 Bunkhouse is finished, photos of the decication.

  • Nice black-and-white photos of Hanover architecture by Trevor Labarge are on line. The post office pediment looks quite grand, almost Londonesque.

  • The Hanover Conservancy is thinking about Kendal’s expansion onto the Chieftain property

  • The Valley News is covering the ongoing negotiations over construction of a palliative care center near DHMC and Boston Lot Lake.

  • The Williamson seems to be wrapping up (2014 press release, Turner Construction page).

  • ORW Landscape Architects and Planners of WRJ has been acquired by Greenman – Pedersen, Inc. of New York (pdf). ORW designed the recent improvements to the sidewalk and porte-cochere of the Inn (pdf).

  • The Norwich ad firm called Flannel created Dartmouth’s polished Strategic Plan website and others.

  • The story of how Glasgow football club Partick Thistle F.C. (Wiki) got its new mascot is almost as odd as the mascot itself.

  • Old Division Football (“the Usual Game”) seems a bit like the Florentine calcio storico (New York Times).

House professors’ dwelling sites selected

The Valley News reports on the sites of the six dwellings of the house professors. (Each of the future “residential colleges,” also called “residential communities,” “houses,” and sometimes “clusters,” will have a resident professor.) Correlated with what are presumed to be the corresponding residential communities, the sites are:

  1. The existing Frost House (White House), part of the East Wheelock Cluster. (The continued use of this house is only implied in the article.)

  2. A new house at 16 Webster Avenue. The college will build a “two-story, three-bedroom building of about 3,000 square feet with an attached two-car garage” on vacant land west of the President’s House. Street View. This house presumably will serve the Russell Sage cluster.

  3. A new house at 5 Sanborn Road, near the Howe Library. This house and its southern yard will occupy the site of 18 East South Street, a corner house demolished recently, as well as 5 Sanborn Road, a house slated for demolition (June 2 Planning Board meeting minutes pdf). Street View. This house presumably will serve the Topliff cluster.

  4. The existing house at 2 Clement Road, a Tudorbethan cottage behind LALACS.
    Street View. This house presumably will serve the McLaughlin cluster, although it is not close by.

  5. A new house at 12 Allen Street, next to Panarchy. “On the corner of School Street and Allen Street, the college owns land zoned for three single-family homes, on which it plans to build two residences with a shared backyard.” According to June 2 Planning Board meeting minutes (pdf), “[t]he ravine will be filled to create a lot with less topographic relief. Tim shared a little history about the lot. A person had excavated a cave in the side of the ravine and lived there for some time.” Street View. One of the two new residences presumably will serve the Mass Row cluster, blocks away.

  6. The existing house at 3 ½ North Park Street, a rambling Victorian dwelling across from Triangle House. Street View. By process of elimination, this house is presumed to serve the Fayers cluster, although it is closer to East Wheelock.

The college plans to begin site work on the new buildings in the fall “and may break ground as soon as next spring” (this and all other unattributed quotations are from the VN article).

Some of these houses are quite distant from the clusters they are meant to serve; perhaps this is only an interim step, useful during the ten or twelve years before a major gift allows the construction of a permanent (non-prefab) dwelling within the bounds of each Residential Community.

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).

Prefab sprout space?

Many of the six Residence Communities (a post here) need dwellings for their resident House Professors and spaces that will host social gatherings. The school has a master plan by Sasaki Associates, $11.75m to work with, and a deadline of Fall Term 2016.

Thus it makes sense that representatives of the college and Sasaki would pay a visit to MIT to view modular buildings constructed by Triumph Modular. The handout from the visit on April 20 contains a proposed timeline: if design work ends by August 15, occupancy could begin on December 31.

Dartmouth has a long history with modular buildings. The most notable ones were the leftover WWII shipyard workers’ housing units that became Wigwam Circle, where the River Cluster and Whittemore Green are now. (If memory serves, those buildings became the basis for Rivercrest, up past CRREL.) On a portion of the same site, Dartmouth placed the five Tree Houses in 2001. Every institution that uses “temporary” buildings becomes dependent on the space they provide and finds it hard to remove the buildings at the allotted time.

The buildings in Triumph’s broad lineup, while modular, are not necessarily temporary.

Armatures for development and a route for navigation

The Beyer Blinder Belle master plan is so far only publicly available in the form of this attractive image from the firm’s website. Since the firm put up the image, there has been no detailed discussion of what it means.


Dartmouth, largely by happenstance, has ended up with a campus that is centered on a tower that marks the main entrance to the library. Three armatures radiate from the library. Although not exactly axes with termini, they are spines along which development is organized: the Green, Tuck Mall, and Berry Row. These three armatures are reinforced by the BBB master plan.

In addition, the plan (a) adds one small new armature; (b) extends existing armatures with new fingers in three places; and, where existing development prevents the laying out of a new armature, (c) creates a unified, singular walking route to tie together everything along the way.

The New Armature

The combination of construction on North Main and the replacement of the Choates creates an armature extending all the way from Berry Row to the Roth Center on Occom Ridge.

One appreciates the designers’ resistance to the impulse to demolish Cutter/Shabazz, but it looks as if the axis of this development could be brought into Berry Row a bit better. This is a sort of Baker Library situation, with the axes of Tuck Mall and the Green intersecting, and it might call for a tower or a gateway. One imagines a way to walk through the west wall of Berry Row, as Rocky gives access to Webster Avenue. It would be interesting to see a gateway knocked through the center of Cutter/Shabazz as well. There is a lot of potential here. (Cheering many hearts, the Choates are proposed for replacement in this plan; it is not clear that Choate House and North Hall have to go as well, though.)

The Fingers

1. One finger extends Tuck Mall along the Fahey-McLane (Tuck Drive) axis, tying in the President’s House and new construction on Webster Avenue. This is an axis established nearly a century ago but not pushed until recently. As noted earlier, the closing of Tuck Drive is aggressive but probably inevitable. It is not clear whether the President’s House would keep its current function, but building here, especially along Webster Avenue’s vacant lots, is a wise use of space.

2. One finger bends to extend Tuck Mall beyond Murdough down through Whittemore Circle. This is not particularly original either, and while it is good that the plan shows development here, it could certainly be less suburban and might benefit from organization around an axial pedestrian path rather than a curving automobile driveway.

3. One finger extends Berry Row beyond McLaughlin up to the LSC. This is the most original of the three. It confronts the problematic fact that the Med School axis is separate from and parallel to that of Berry Row. Rather than provide an emphatic terminus for Berry Row, the plan shows a curving amble around to the medical axis.

The Navigation Route

A green band runs from Wilson (at the southeast corner of the Green) all the way to Burnham Field and presumably the softball field or even the Appalachian Trail. It shows up on the plan neatly as the shortest path between the two points, wending its way past the Heating Plant, Memorial Field, Rolfe Field and Leverone Field House, and Thompson Arena.

A person could walk this way today, but the route leads through several parking lots and is not entirely pleasant, let alone marked or coherent. Creating the route as shown on the plan will require pedestrianizing the parking lots at the Heating Plant, the area behind the Gym (that one has always seemed impromptu and inappropriate), and at Thompson Arena.

The Six Houses

President Hanlon recently announced that most of the dormitories will be divided into six groups to be called “house communities” or “Residence Communities.”


According to the announcement and Dartmouth Now, each House will have:

  • As many as 700 undergraduates as members. That is an even division of the approximate total undergraduate enrollment of 4,200.
  • “[A]pproximately half of” its members living “in residence during any given term.” Only sophomores, juniors, and seniors will live in the House, with first-year members continuing to live in existing first-year dorms. This puts the average number of beds in each house at 350.
  • A “house professor” in residence. “House professors will serve four-year terms. … They will begin their on-campus residencies in the summer of 2016, in anticipation of house openings in September 2016” (Moving Dartmouth Forward opportunities). Each house professor is probably meant to have a freestanding dwelling located within or very near to the rest of the House. The prototype would be Frost House in the East Wheelock Cluster.
  • Graduate students in residence. These members can presumably live in apartments converted from dorm rooms. An example might be the graduate advisor’s room in Ripley/Woodward/Smith.
  • “[E]ventually,” a “dedicated space for study and social interaction.” This might be like the existing Brace Commons in East Wheelock — not a dining hall, but much more than a TV room in the basement.

The Six Houses

These, presumably, are the six communities, in ascending order of difficulty:

  1. East Wheelock. It was designed to work as a community, and it already incorporates a faculty house and social hall.
  2. The Russell Sage Cluster. It is another unified grouping with a social room located near existing housing in the form of the President’s House and Alpha Chi Alpha. It is near building sites on Webster Avenue.
  3. Topliff/New Hampshire and the Lodge. With the exception of the Lodge, which is slated for eventual demolition, this is a compact and unified group. Hallgarten could be turned into an excellent House Professor’s dwelling. If something larger than the existing lounges is needed, the Store House building behind Topliff could be an excellent social hall. There is space for new buildings next to the Gym.
  4. The McLaughlin Cluster. It has the social hall already. In the short term, the school could use an existing house for the professor: Parker House (shown), the Dean’s House (13 Choate Road), 3 Clement Road (west of LALACS), 44 North College, or even Sherman House. There is plenty of space here in which to add faculty housing.
  5. Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock. It is coherent and effectively organized. South Fairbanks is the obvious faculty house, and North Fairbanks, which was built as a gymnasium, could become the social hall. The House could take over a room in ’53 Commons on a temporary basis if necessary.
  6. The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson. In the near term, the Heorot House is theoretically available as a faculty house, although such a use would cause the same controversy as a takeover of AXA. Bartlett could be remodeled as the social hall (wow!), with a sympathetic addition to the east for the faculty house. The faculty house for this community could be built between Bartlett and the Sphinx or in a remoter location, such as alongside Richardson or Smith.

Meacham map of six houses

Speculative map of the Houses and their bounds

This map, based on the official mobile campus map, shows the six presumed Houses and their proposed bounds. It is important to create boundaries and manipulate them to create a street presence and a border with a neighboring rival if possible. Each House should have a main gate and edges marked by masonry walls or hedges, or at least permanent lines on the ground.

Initial Construction

Design and construction funds of $11.75m have been budgeted. Although Sasaki appears to be in charge of the planning for this system, the school is presumably hiring local firms to design the projects that might be called for.

Assuming that neither a fraternity nor the President is displaced from a college-owned house, and that existing dwellings are used wherever possible, even if they are too far away, the school could get by without erecting any new buildings. The construction work could be limited to the renovation of existing buildings as House Professors’ dwellings and existing dorms as graduate student apartments and especially social halls.

Dean Ameer said last month:

Right now we’re looking to create community spaces for the houses. We don’t have anything definite yet, but we will. Areas like McLaughlin were designed for that, so it’s going to work really nicely. This is a long-term project, over the next several years; we will hopefully be renovating each space as we go along. In the meant time, there are things we can do quickly to create more community space; I’m hoping to have a café in each [house], like the east Wheelock café.1


“During the 2015–2016 academic year, these [house] professors will work with Student Affairs staff to select inaugural student leaders, develop house identities, and plan house programs” (Moving Dartmouth Forward opportunities).

As the Houses create their identities, they will come up with names for themselves. Perhaps the Enchanted Broccoli Forest of Stanford is too far-out, and one hopes Gryffindor and Slytherin will not be used, but there is room for some whimsy and arbitrariness. In any case, the Houses should not be known by their old “cluster” names. (The one exception is McLaughlin, the only cluster so particularly named; it honors an individual.)

In case no donors step forward, here are some terms associated with the history of each site:

  1. East Wheelock: College Park, Frost.
  2. The Russell Sage Cluster: Tuck Drive, Hitchcock Estate, Hutt of Loggs, Webster’s Vale.
  3. The McLaughlin Cluster: McLaughlin, Old Hospital, Mary Maynard Hitchcock.
  4. Topliff/New Hampshire and the Lodge: New Hampshire College, New Hampshire, A&M.
  5. Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock: Gold Coast, Tuck Mall, Rich-Larson.
  6. The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson. Fayers, Terrace, Tutors.

Future Houses: Shrinking by Building

Two of the six Houses listed above are larger than they should be.

The collection of Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock would be better if the Gold Coast and Hitchcock were separated into their own House. This House would take over the Blunt Alumni Center as its House Professor’s dwelling and possibly its social hall (indicated by a purple oval on the map). There is also room for a new building or two.

The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson are lumped together in an understandable attempt to avoid orphaning the low-capacity Wheeler and Richardson. This grouping simply does not work spatially. Wheeler and Richardson form a coherent group and should be separated into a new House (as suggested here in 2010). Without using SAE or Shattuck Observatory, locating a House Professor’s dwelling will be difficult. A house could be built near Richardson or Ripley.

  1. Inge-Lise Ameer, in “A Conversation with Dean Ameer,” interview with Ashwath M. Srikanth, The Dartmouth Review, at (posted 19 March 2015).

Building projects budgeted for; other news

  • The Town budget includes funding for construction of walk/bike path along Lyme Road to the Reservoir Road roundabout. The paved path will be separated from the road by a tree lawn (The Dartmouth).

  • Tri-Kap appears finally to be tackling its Fuller Audit improvements, planning to erect an addition designed by Domus Custom Builders (Zoning Board minutes 22 January 2015 pdf).

  • Earlier this year, the Hood Quarterly reported that work on the museum’s addition and renovation would begin during the Spring of 2016.1 The college trustees met last week and approved a capital budget that includes $8.5 million “for completion of design and preconstruction activities for the Hood Museum of Art renewal and expansion project” (Dartmouth Now). The Hood project, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, “is being coordinated with a Hopkins Center for the Arts planning study” by Boora Architects.

  • Also in the new capital budget (Dartmouth Now) are:

    – Funds for the planning and design of a restoration project for Baker Tower.

    – “$11.75 million for design and construction of facilities related to initial work on the configuration of new residential housing communities.” That is likely work by Sasaki Associates, with the funding presumably going to build something less than the total number of dining-hall additions, faculty houses, or other “neighborhood” improvements the firm is proposing.

    – “$100,000 for planning and conceptual design for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement project.” The growth of mold in the clubhouse has sealed its fate; the designer of the replacement has not been named.

    – “$200,000 for schematic design for renovation of Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.” After Maclay Architects studied the feasibility of preserving or replacing the Lodge, it was not known which route the board would take. Maclay even sketched a design for a possible replacement. Now it seems that the Lodge is going to be preserved.

  • The Planner’s Blog mentions that there are more than 42 types of bollard on campus. Almost as impressive is the fact that all the bollards have been cataloged and are being evaluated in a critical way.

  • Dartmouth Now has a nice post on the Book Arts Workshop in Baker.2

  • The feasibility study for that future Mass Row renovation was conducted a couple of years ago by Lawson Bell Architects.

  • Miller Chevrolet Cadillac, down on Route 120 not far from Fort Harry’s, has been sold, and its site is to be redeveloped:

    Although Cicotte declined to identify the buyer, she said it wasn’t a hotel developer, Dartmouth College, or Hanover developer Jay Campion. The Miller Chevrolet Cadillac property, which is accessed on Labombard Road, is adjacent to the New Hampshire National Guard Armory on Heater Road. The property is also next to a planned hotel and conference center under review by Lebanon planning authorities, and near a natural gas depot under development by Campion.

    One possible buyer mentioned is Dartmouth Coach, which has a facility on nearby Etna Road.

    (Valley News). If I’m not mistaken, Miller is the dealership that eventually acquired Rodgers’ Garage, the REO/Packard/Chevrolet dealer on Lebanon Street where the VAC now stands.

  • That natural gas project is by Campion’s Valley Green Natural Gas, which plans to transfer gas from tanker trucks on Route 120 and then send it by pipeline to Hanover, particularly to Dartmouth (Valley News 18 May 2014, 4 November 2014). Dartmouth will finish analyzing a possible fuel switch this fall (Valley News).


  1. “Anonymous $10 Million Gift Will Transform Teaching at the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2015), 10, available at
  2. Hannah Silverstein, “Book Arts Workshop: Hands-On Learning, Global Reach,” Dartmouth Now (25 February 2015), at


Following the lead of the charrette, the Town is creating a West Wheelock Gateway zoning district (Planning Board WWGD details pdf). The area will have a higher density than before (Planning Board WWGD pdf). A lot of work and thought is going into this project:

The amendment proposes permitted uses of single-family, two-family, multi-family dwellings, and parking facility. Proposed uses allowed by Special Exception include neighborhood retail sales, restaurant, and property management office. These non- residential uses will be limited to 1,000 sf. Parking is only required for the proprietor. The proposed building heights can accommodate 4-story buildings.

Smith said UK Architects was hired to create a model of what could be. Chris Kennedy of UK Architects walked the Board through a digital terrain model of full build-out. Kennedy said in an effort to align houses on the street, there is a requirement that 30% of a building must be located within 6′ of the front setback.

(Planning Board minutes 2 December 2014 pdf). More discussion, including talk of where to draw the southern boundary, appears in the minutes (Planning Board minutes 9 December 2014 pdf).

Planning for “House Communities”

House professors will begin living in college-owned residences near their house communities in the summer of 2016. Staff members are working on details related to the makeup of the house communities and location of faculty housing.

(“Work Is Under Way on Moving Dartmouth Forward PlanDartmouth Now (26 February 2014).)

Frost House (“The White House”) in the East Wheelock Cluster is an obvious choice, but what about the other House Communities? South Fairbanks would work for Mass Row; Blunt for the Gold Coast; Hallgarten for Topliff; and the recent faculty residence for Cutter/Shabazz, but the others might be tough. The Hitchcock/Fayers Cluster will be especially tough, unless SAE or Bartlett is commandeered.

Names that change, or don’t change; various topics

  • The Food Co-Op is in the second phase of its renovation.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has two posts (one, two) on a big scrapbook created by Francis Gilman Blake of the Class of 1908.

  • The Mirror (of The D) is doing a series of photos and descriptions of campus buildings, with some info drawn from the book.

  • A neat database gives information on all the memorials in London.

  • Old news: DCHCDS is being folded into DIHPCP (Valley News). The number of logotypes in the row (post) is reduced by one.

  • The Valley News reported that the Town is considering the creation of an affordable housing development.

  • The Trumbull-Nelson Newsletter (pdf) has an interesting history of the company, basically the Builders to the College, by Frank Barrett.

  • Brian Schott wrote a neat essay in the DAM about a wall painting in one of the East South Street houses demolished for South Block (pdf).

  • Long-time Valley News sports editor Don Mahler wrote that the one sports-related letter to the editor that made him laugh was a 1983 letter

    from a Dartmouth alum taking “newcomers to the Dartmouth scene” to task over the use of the term “homecoming.”

    According to the writer, “some clod started using the word just a few years ago.”

    “(A) large percentage of the Dartmouth alumni body, certainly prior to 1970 or thereabouts, never heard the word and when they do they associate it with cow colleges.”

    “Cow colleges”? I guess he meant those colleges with alphabet monikers like A&T, A&M and A&I — you know, institutions of lower learning, never to be confused with the Ivy League.

    He declared Dartmouth Night to be a great tradition that was being undermined by the increasing use of the word “homecoming.” And he also lamented that “fall houseparties” were gradually slipping from usage.

    Our correspondent revealed his true blue-blood colors in the last paragraph: “I may go down swinging on this, but I’m going to keep standing at the plate. … I’d rather work hard at teaching a clod a touch of class than let a drift to a common denominator prevail.”

    Thirty-one years later, we know that the old boy did go down, not just swinging but presumably with a stiff upper lip. These days, the Dartmouth alumni relations office puts out an annual calendar of events that includes a celebration of homecoming. I can’t recall anybody objecting to the bovine vulgarity of the event in recent years.

    Of course that alum was hyper-obnoxious, especially since he was directing his complaint at the VN, which can describe Dartmouth events using any terms it wants. But buried in the pointless snobbishness is an historical observation: the event known as “Homecoming” was not always called that. The college called it Dartmouth Night Weekend until recently. (It must be acknowledged that both Alumni Relations and the Registrar now call it Homecoming.)

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on some Wheelock documents.

  • The Valley News did a story and graphic on the history of the Dartmouth football uniform.

  • Beyer Blinder Belle has posted a new, larger depiction of the firm’s master plan for the college campus. Wow.

  • The Geisel magazine has an article on the Williamson.

  • Sometimes King’s College London is pointed to as evidence in the argument that Dartmouth need not drop the word “college” from its name. Recently, however, KCL took up a rebranding plan (Inside Higher Ed, Roar News story on proposed logo). The reason to change the name to King’s London, as quoted in the Times Higher Education, echoed concerns heard at Dartmouth:

    “However, our research conducted over the last 18 months with potential students, parents, staff, students and alumni, revealed that our current name was causing considerable confusion: is King’s a residential college, is it an academic college akin to the colleges of Oxbridge, or is it an educational institution of some other type such as a further education college?

    “Internationally, there was further misunderstanding because ‘college’ is not a widely understood term in many countries,” he added.

    The article in THE doesn’t actually say which of those three types of institutions KCL is, and the institution seems not to be any of them. Although it is one of two original colleges in the University of London, making it like an Oxbridge college, it is now a research university divided among nine schools of its own.

    In any case, the plan was controversial and was scrapped not very long after it was proposed (THE).

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.

Go Go Panarchy; other news

  • College Supplies, on Main Street, is closing (The Dartmouth, Valley News).

  • Panarchy is finally tackling fire-safety upgrades to its Greek Revival house (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The group has set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise money.

  • Construction inside 4 Currier has ended and the Innovation Center has opened (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now). Construction is also ending at Kappa Delta’s new house on Occom Ridge and at the Triangle House renovation project.

  • Valley Road in Hanover now has “suggestion lanes” for bicycle and foot traffic (The Dartmouth). Other noteworthy articles in The D cover the addition to the Food Co-Op and the Wilder Dam relicensing process.

  • At the September Trustees’ meeting, according to The Dartmouth,

    Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer and campus planning vice president Lisa Hogarty gave a presentation on residential life concepts, including the neighborhood system, which would assign students to a residential cluster from the beginning of their time at Dartmouth similar to a house system.

    This new residential system is in “active planning,” Hanlon said. “It’s bold, it’s transformational and it’s also very complex.”

  • “The Board also approved the second-phase schematic design of the Hood Museum of Art project” (Dartmouth Now).

  • The rivening of the Tucker Foundation continues (The Dartmouth).

  • Watch some super aerial footage of the Dartmouth Night Bonfire (via Big Green Alert).

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the Grid-Graph, the illuminated glass display board on which students reenacted away games for football fans in the west gym of Alumni Gym.

  • The Times has an interesting article on branding/visual identity/signage at Barnard College. The third photo shows a pair of carved limestone (?) cartouches on the front facade of the school’s main building. Designed by Charles Rich, the building somewhat foreshadowed the smaller Wilder Laboratory at Dartmouth, which substitutes oval windows for the cartouches.

  • The West Wheelock Charrette Report was presented to the Planning Board (minutes pdf). There were several comments about “cleaning up” the area.

  • Campus Planning & Facilities seems to have shifted its news output from its website to a newsletter called Behind the Green. From issue 1:3 (July 2014) (pdf) we learn that the old roof shingles of Webster Cottage have been replaced with shingles of Alaskan Yellow Cedar (a.k.a. Nootka Cypress), and that design is under way for landscape work carrying out elements of the Van Valkenburgh plan near Collis, Robinson, and the Gold Coast.

School of Grok

The office of new Provost Carolyn Dever is launching two task forces, one of which is aimed at “evaluating the prospect of giving Dartmouth’s graduate and advanced studies programs a physical plant” (The Dartmouth of September 30; see also The Graduate Forum of October 3, The Dartmouth of October 7).

Dartmouth has operated a number of graduate programs for years. Most are attached to relevant undergraduate departments. Thus the creation of a freestanding school of graduate studies need not involve any expansion; it could be done as an administrative reorganization, and, in theory, it could even result in a streamlining of staff. Whether or not a grad studies building is a goal at the moment, however, a building seems likely. As far back as 2007 the unbuilt design (pdf page 9) for a freestanding Class of 1953 Commons included a Graduate Suite.

Maybe some part of the old hospital site is as good as any; maybe when Dana Library moves out of its temporary location in Home 57, that building could house the School of Graduate Studies. Maybe a new building for Dana could terminate the Berry Row axis and link the Medical School with the Graduate School, as the Murdough Center links Tuck and Thayer.

Of course all this growth became inevitable once the program/school adopted a coat of arms back in 2010.

Coat of arms for Graduate Studies at Dartmouth
Graduate Studies coat of arms, from Graduate Studies

Siting a new building for Thayer School

The Dartmouth reports that Wilson Architects is “exploring potential designs and locations” for a new Thayer School building:

The parking lot is the most obvious site, Helble said, though it would create a need for another parking facility elsewhere.

The firm will present its report in January. Wilson Architects, of Boston, has worked on a design for the renovation of Fairchild Hall.