master planning

A master play mystery

September 5th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Buchanan Hall, master planning, preservation, Tuck School

The BBB/MVVA master plan has not been presented to the public, but one small illustration from it has been published on the Web. Reading much into this one image is difficult. The image emphasizes a system of green circulation armatures; although it depicts several new buildings, it does not distinguish them from existing buildings.

Nevertheless some fairly significant proposals for new construction can be discerned. One of the most intriguing involves Tuck Drive, which curves gently uphill from the left:

Detail from Beyer Blinder Belle master plan for Dartmouth

Tuck Drive is simply cut off in the image; it dead-ends behind Buchanan instead of emerging from Webster’s Vale to join with Tuck Mall. (Here is a recent Bing aerial of the site.) Perhaps the blocking of Tuck Drive would not be much of a change. The upper end was already bollarded by 2010, a change presumably made when Fahey and McLane were built.

Where does the master plan have this Tuck Mall driveway leading, then? It goes to a parking lot. The broad, curving sidewalk and new lawn behind Buchanan appear to be level, bridging over the Vale.

Whether it is a small surface lot or an underground garage, this would not be an all-school parking area; it would serve the Tuck School. Indeed the green bridge with its broad path appear to link Buchanan to the current President’s House and the two or three new buildings shown nearby. It looks as if the designers are reviving the idea that the President’s House, whose address is technically 1 Tuck Drive, be made a part of the Tuck School. If an appropriate replacement for the executive mansion could be found, it would make a lot of sense.

College Cleaners demo, other items

September 3rd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Connecticut River, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Indoor Practice Facility, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, preservation, publications

  • Athletic Director Harry Sheehy interviewed in the Valley News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

—–

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

In the archives of the Alumni Magazine

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]

—–

  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.

A black hole telescope; other news

August 2nd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, DHMC, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, master planning, Memorial Field, Mt. Moosilauke, other projects, preservation, societies, Wilson Hall

  • An earlier post here expressed concern about the plaque added to the Orozco Room after the National Historic Landmark listing. Dartmouth Digital Orozco depicts the plaque, a very dense text panel, on what it calls the “National Historic Landmark Pillar” near the center of the room. The other pillar is labeled “Manton Pillar” and bears the nice stone plaque created earlier.

  • CRREL site manager Larry Danyluk, paraphrased in the minutes of a Planning Board meeting:

    Expansions planned include another wing of offices, a new cold room and, in partnership with the Smithsonian, a radio telescope for black hole research. The telescope will be installed for 2-3 years, then moved to Greenland. Ten to twelve people will be added to staff the telescope project.[1]

  • The Dartmouth has an article on student-made graffiti, murals, and decorative painting in society buildings.

  • The renovation of Home 37 by ADD Inc. as the temporary location of Dana library gets a mention in Architect, the AIA magazine. ADD Inc. is the firm of Fred Kramer ’77 (DAM class notes).

  • Kresge Library is turning 40.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on George Ticknor and the Ticknor Room.

  • The Times has a story on an interesting project at Brown, the recreation of part of a 19th-century natural history museum. Dartmouth also gave away much of its own collection, but a lot of it went to the Montshire Museum. One wonders whether enough dinosaur skeletons and mounted fauna remain there to supply a project in Wilson Hall like the one at Brown.

  • The Dew Construction Corp newsletter for June 2013 (pdf) mentions the Heater Road Medical Office Building and the Dana Library project.

  • The Class of 1974 Bunkhouse at Moosilauke (“the 74tress”), designed by MacLay Architects, has been completed, according to a post at TimberHomes LLC. The default construction mode at Moosilauke has shifted from log (or, in the case of the older bunkhouses, what seems to be conventional balloon framing) to substantial post-and-beam timber framing. If the Ravine Lodge ends up needing to be replaced, will its replacement even be a log building? What wonders could TimberHomes accomplish if it were given the once-in-a-lifetime project of erecting a Ravine Lodge to last 500 years?

  • A resident of the Lyme Road/Richmond School area, commenting at a recent neighborhood planning party:

    There should be a bridge between I-91 and DHMC. That would divert a lot of through traffic away from our neighborhood.[2]

  • Will the architects of the West Stands replacement incorporate any quotations into the new concrete terraces or pediments? Whose woods these are I think I know.

—-

  1. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 5.
  2. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 2.

Will everyone still walk under the porte-cochere?

July 31st, 2014  |  Published in all news, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Hop, the, master planning, other projects

More details on the Inn’s end of the East Wheelock sidewalk:

The sidewalk will be pushed out 3.5′ from its current location. A higher grade pedestrian zone will be provided near the Inn garage entrance. Radisch said the design approach is to create a pedestrian plaza that is shared by cars. The pavement of the porte cochere will be either colored concrete or exposed aggregate. Pavement and pedestrian crossings will be at the same grade.[1]

The Appalachian Trail plaque in the sidewalk will be moved as well.

It does sound like a good plan, having the cars share the plane of the sidewalk, but one wonders whether pedestrians will follow the intended route. Seeing two cars just sitting under the existing porte-cochère, or two empty “travel” lanes, a lot of people might take the shortest route.

—-

  1. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (3 June 2014), pdf, 6.

Alas, Rivercrest

July 29th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Country Club, Dresden Vil./Rivercr., master planning, Sachem Village

Wolff Lyons’ expansive traditionalist neighborhood plan (a post here) for the redevelopment of Rivercrest, on hold for several years, will not be built when the land is finally developed:

Tim McNamara from the Dartmouth College Real Estate Office explained that the College was instrumental in the zoning change creating the GR-4 district. A Master Plan for a suburban village had been created for Rivercrest with 300 mixed type housing units. The project has been on hold due to the recession and wanting to be patient about the transport of TCE from CRREL.

The College will soon determine what the housing demand is considering faculty and graduate students. The Rivercrest project will be designed based on this demand. The current Master Plan is unlikely to be built. When the College finally initiates Rivercrest, it is unlikely to be built out quickly. Tim envisions many smaller phases. If it were put in the queue today for planning, construction would occur in 3- 5 years. The actual start depends on demand at Dartmouth, the availability of capital and the TCE situation.[1]

We also learn that “Sachem will be built out first as that housing is needed for graduate students. There are no plans for the golf course.”

—-

  1. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 5.

Kendal, sprawling onto the Chieftain property?

July 25th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Connecticut River, Dresden Vil./Rivercr., Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., master planning, other projects

Banwell Architects has a page noting their work with architects RLPS on the Kendal master plan.

In the image provided, a random scatter of foreground parking lots is ornamented by several identical new buildings. The designers are dealing with a lot of topography; but still, this design lacks the coherence or focus of the existing Kendal complex.

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).

—–

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

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

—–

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

Report from the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter

July 14th, 2014  |  Published in all news, DHMC, History, Life Sciences Ctr., master planning, Med. School, north campus, other projects, preservation, Rollins Chapel

Several posts here over the past few years have commented on the redevelopment of what’s called the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford, comparing it to Hanover’s own hospital district north of Maynard.

Rafael Viñoly Architects devised a 2008 master plan for the area that appears in an aerial view before the makeover:

  • The Oxford University Press building is visible at the right, outside the quarter.

  • That church opposite the Press (St. Paul’s) was a coffee shop/bar called FREVD that served as an example here in the Rollins Chapel reuse post.

  • Just beyond the church is the future site of the building of the Blavatnik School of Government (founded 2010, Wikipedia). Circle-in-a-square buildings do have a special history here, but even a person with some fondness for spaceship buildings could find something to quibble with in this project by Herzog & de Meuron.

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

Blavatnik site, with St. Paul’s at left

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

View of construction site through hoarding

Oxford Blavatnik site Meacham photo

View of site from west: Templeton Green College, with Observatory

The broad approach taken by the university as developer is interesting: there was archeology beforehand (Neolithic ring ditches!) and during construction there was an artist in residence and a set of public art presentations.

—–

[Update 07.20.2014: View through hoarding added. Thanks to Hugin for panoramic image software.]

The Hanover Mobility Hub is what it’s called

July 5th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Green, the, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Hood, Hop, the, master planning, other projects, preservation, Wilson Hall

The conceptual design by ORW, which won a design award from Vital Communities, shows a redesign and replacement of a group of features in front of the Hop: the pedestrian crossing, bus loading area, bus shelter, empty grass rectangle, etc. It will be a partly-federally funded Town project built on College land by an architect chosen by the College. Even though the original timeline aimed to finish the work in 2013 (Request for Qualifications pdf), it was not built then, but it looks like it was in design last fall (UVLSRPC minutes) and is out for bids now (Construction Data Company).

detail from ORW concept plan

Everything in the proposal is sensitive and unobtrusive, but one should note that this project will affect the appearance of the Hopkins Center. (In fact this will be one piece in the great parade of architectural interventions in the south side of the Green of 2012 through 2020.) During the warmer months, a dense block of trees here would hide several parts of the Hop, setting up the Moore Theatre as an independent pavilion — not necessarily a bad thing, and perhaps a good stopgap until we receive a full and true Hop addition, one that brings the building right up to the street.[1]

Paving

The Site Plan Concept by ORW (pdf page 4) is impressive. The most noticeable change might be the grove of trees. With a pea-gravel floor, this outdoor room screened by two ranks of trees arranged formally on axis with Wilson’s entrance (and a realigned set of Hop plaza steps) will be novel and interesting and civilized. This allee could be exquisitely beautiful in the winter with snow on the bare limbs and the tables.

The street improvements (bulbs, insular pedestrian refuge near the site of the former grassy median) are all important. The crosswalk has a note indicating that it is aligned with an axial view of Baker Library. One proposal is pretty subtle: the use of plaza paving materials (concrete pavers, say) in place of asphalt in the bus/dropoff zone. This is crucially important in reducing the perceived width of the street: Hanover is not that big, and it doesn’t need a five-lane street below the Green. Here’s hoping the paving proposal is realized. (Even if not, the plan will still remove the diagonal parking in front of the hop — good riddance.)

Maybe after this is built and enjoyed for a few years the Town will go further by raising the street level and bollarding off the plaza and the Green. The same thing should be done with the Inn’s porte-cochere and its garage ramp.[2]

Pavilion

One neat detail is a bit hidden: a little visitor’s information pavilion. In the site plan on page 4 it’s obscured by trees but is described as measuring 12 x 15 feet. On page 5 its side is shown as if seen from Wilson Hall.[3]

I imagine this pavilion helpfully blocking the wind in the winter but spending most of its time enclosing a few desultory racks of brochures for Quechee Gorge and Simon Pearce. It could replace the staffed, temporary kiosk that the Chamber of Commerce puts on the Green each summer [check]. But it could be much more: you can see its potential in the photo in the lower right part of page 3, the one showing the café tables and the menu board.

This pavilion could be a little coffee kiosk, a snack bar, or even a real bar, serving drinks out of a window.[4] Not quite the Tavern on the Green or even the Out of Town News in Cambridge, but certainly at least as good as a sandwich kiosk in Bryant Park.

——–

  1. If the Hopkins Center were less of a suburban arts island and more of a conventional urban building (see 7 Lebanon Street), there would be no need for a warming shelter here. The business end of the Hop — everything on this facade except for the theater entrance — would come right up to the street alongside the Inn, and it would provide plenty of commercial rental space for a newsstand or a coffee shop that catered to bus travelers.
  2. At the moment these two asphalt drives are intrusions of the street into the sidewalk, not small portions of the sidewalk opened up to cars. The paving is opposite what it should be (Street View). In both cases, the sidewalk paving should extend all the way down to the street’s edge, and the boundary line should be located there. The existing bollards and floor level/lack of curbing are appropriate, however.
  3. In the perspective view on page 6 the pavilion is a bit hard to read. It is the dark glass box whose roof is the same height as that of the seating area in the foreground. The tall glass box near the center appears to be a possible Hop addition. The document is from July of 2011.
  4. For that matter, couldn’t the Inn breach the eastern wall of its patio and start serving people who sit under the trees here?

It looks like dining halls are out

June 22nd, 2014  |  Published in all news, master planning, neighborhoods

The Valley News:

Hanlon reiterated his support for the creation at Dartmouth of a “house system” similar to those in existence at a majority of Ivy League colleges. That system, in which undergraduates have a stable affiliation with a residence hall where faculty are present, is aimed at “creating a greater variety of social options on campus,” he said. Dartmouth could create houses in existing residence buildings or clusters of such buildings, but without their own dining facilities, he said. The cost of the undertaking is currently being assessed by architects who recently visited the campus.[1]

What’s left to distinguish the new neighborhood from the Eighties cluster? Perhaps only a faculty residence, if that.

——

Ravine Lodge upgrade study; other news

May 25th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, cabins, Hanover Inn, History, Hop, the, master planning, Mt. Moosilauke, other projects, Outing Club, preservation, societies

  • It does seem a little strange that Dartmouth is replacing the roof over the Karl Michael Pool in Alumni Gym (see The Dartmouth) so soon after the 2006 renovation. It turns out that the roof insulation failed some time ago, and the college sued the renovation architects and builders back in 2012 (see the order on preliminary motions pdf; the Union Leader article). The suit is ongoing.

  • Charles Collis has died at age 99 (The Dartmouth).

  • Dartbeat has a Q&A with dlandstudio architect Susannah Drake ’87.

  • Two items from the Planner’s Blog: New chairs with built-in writing tablets to replace the old ones in Dartmouth Hall, and a new paint scheme for the pedestrian refuge in the middle of Wheelock Street by the Hop. On the Planning Board agenda for June are a request to modify site plans for a renovation of the porte-cochere area of the Inn and a review of the site plan “for vehicular, pedestrian & bus stop improvements” in front of the Hop.

  • The new (replacement) Class of ’65 Bunkhouse at Moosilauke is being designed by Maclay Architects (prospectus pdf). Timber will come from the college wood at Corinth Vt. (Grant newsletter pdf). The same firm is evaluating the state of the Ravine Lodge itself in anticipation of extensive future work (The Dartmouth).

  • The Hill Winds Know Their Name (pdf) is a beautifully-produced booklet by the late Professor Wood about the college’s war memorials. One suggestion for the next edition of this valuable work involves the transcription of the Stanley Hill inscription on page 13:

    IT IS DEDICATED IN HIS NAME TO THE BRAVE AND CLEAN OF HIS BELOVED DARTMOUTH

    It should read:

    IT IS DEDICATED IN HIS NAME TO THE BRAVE AND CLEAN YOUNG MANHOOD OF HIS BELOVED DARTMOUTH

    (See the shower room plaque; see also Kenneth C. Cramer, “Dick Hall and His Friends,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (April 1992).)

  • Interesting examples of public or urban typography from Tobias Frere-Jones.

  • A Google aerial shows the preparation for the sorority construction on Occom Ridge, and an earlier Street View captures the OnTarget guy marking utilities on the sidewalk.

  • Who knew there were so many new senior societies? The official ORL page lists a couple “new” ones that have survived (Abaris, Griffin/Gryphon) along with several even newer ones (Andromeda, Chimera, Olympus, Order of the Sirens).

  • The new Hop entrance under the Inn’s Grand Ballroom (Street View) was labeled “Minary Conference Center” when it was finished last year (see the image at the DUSA page). Perhaps it makes sense, since that is the most direct route to the conference center. One of these days someone will build a real, direct, and prominent entrance to the Hopkins Center proper.

  • Remember John Flude, the London pawnbroker who had a large medal engraved and sent to the president of Dartmouth in 1786? (See Dick Hoefnagel, “John Flude’s Medal,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (November 1991).) Here’s his testimony in the Old Bailey regarding one James Smith, indicted for stealing on July 10, 1764 a gold ring from Flude’s shop:

    When he was gone, I opened the paper to look at my ring, and found I was deceived; I ran out, and happened to take the right way: I ran up Hart-street, and at the upper end I saw him; when I had been twenty or thirty yards in Monkwell-street, he run as hard as he could, and turned into Silver-street; I pursued him into the Castle and Faulcon yard: he stopped running, and was opening the paper to look at the ring: I got up to him, and laid hold of him, and said, my friend, you shall not drop the ring: I took hold of his hand, and led him to the first public house I came to, and desired Mr. Hayns, who was there, to open the prisoner’s hand; he did, and there I took out my ring: bringing him back in Monkwell-street, he desired I would not take hold of his coat to expose him, saying, he had a great family; I let go his coat: when we came to the corner of Hart-street, he endeavoured to escape, and ran as hard as he could; and we took him again in Wood-street.

    Smith was found guilty of stealing.

  • A new master plan for CRREL

    May 23rd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Connecticut River, Dresden Vil./Rivercr., Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., master planning, other projects, preservation

    This is impressive and fairly unexpected: an Oregon firm called The Urban Collaborative has helped design a master plan and building code for CRREL.

    Here’s a recent aerial of the site from Google Maps:

    Master planning started back in 2010 (see Public Works Digest pdf). The Army bought from Dartmouth the bulk of the land beneath its labs during 2012 (post).

    The development next door to the north of CRREL is Rivercrest, which is owned by the college and has a thoughtful New Urbanist master plan of its own (post). Progress on that redevelopment has been halted for several years, and the plan lives only on paper.

    Perhaps the two institutions can jointly reduce the suburbanity of the area by connecting each of their grids to the other. The CRREL plan even depicts, perhaps optimistically, a grand boulevard running west from Lyme Road toward the river, lined on one side with a new CRREL signature building and on the other with commercial blocks not previously shown in the Rivercrest plan. (Connections to Kendal to the north are probably too much to ask, however.)

    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.

    —–

    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.

    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, Green, the, master planning, other projects

    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, Hop, the, master planning, other projects, preservation, site updates

    • 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 “@alum.dartmouth.org” accounts and assigning everyone, past and present, an “@dartmouth.edu” 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 “@alum.dartmouth.org” 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 “@post.harvard.edu” 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:

      STATUTE XI.

      OF THE STEWARD.

      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.

    —–
    [Update 05.03.2014: Broken link to Maryland veterans page replaced.]