Memorial Field

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.”

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

Incubator progress; other items

March 28th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, Academic Center, all news, Chase Field, Leverone Field House, Memorial Field, other projects, preservation, Thompson Arena

  • A nice Burakian aerial from above the Chase Field athletic complex in the foreground shows the potential of Piazza Nervi.
  • A little more on the NCAC: it was not noted before in reference to the Alex Atwood rendering that the building’s extensive underground space was to have had at least two skylights in aboveground lanterns, almost like Pei’s Pyramid at the Louvre.
  • More on Hillflint, the clothing company mentioned here in October, from Dartmouth Now. Turns out it was started by John Shi ’12.
  • The school’s Flickr photostream has a photo of the interior of Rauner showing some of the presidential portraits. I don’t recognize the background of President Kim’s portrait — a room in Baker, perhaps?
  • Outgoing Board Chair Steve Mandel did not mention any potential construction when he wrote:

    [T]he new living arrangements will embrace the concept of the “house system.” Students will live together not only in their freshman year but also in upper-class residence clusters for their three remaining years. Investments in academic programming and affiliated faculty are planned to foster community in these residential clusters… These changes should reintroduce a dorm-based sense of identity for undergraduates.[1]

  • The Big Green Alert Blog dissects the seating figures for the new West Stands with reference to an article on the project in The D. It looks like the replacement stands will cost 2,312 seats. For reference, the current capacity of all of the stands at Memorial Field in total is about 13,000.
  • The D also writes on a planned expansion of the enrollment, faculty, and curriculum of Thayer School. No word yet on new buildings, but they seem inevitable, especially on the parking lot south of the McLean ESC.
  • An Incubator progress photo has been posted by Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network. Four Currier does seem a great place for it — downtown, in a commercial building, and yet on college property right next to campus. NHBR article notes the hiring of director Jamie Coughlin from the abi Innovation Hub in Manchester. An article in BusinessNH Magazine paraphrases Coughlin:

    He says the new 3,000-square-foot space is designed like the abi with open collaboration in mind, to host residencies for entrepreneurs, and help connect students with executives, faculty, and investors.

  • Did you know that the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network has a residential program?
  • DHMC News announces the receipt of a gift to fund the construction of a substantial hospice care center. The hospital is still looking for a site.
  • And DHMC has received the Legacy Project Award from the American College of Healthcare Architects. The press release states:

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock represents a paradigm shift in hospital design, incorporating and foretelling some of the most significant healthcare delivery and design issues of the past 25 years. This includes: […] A mall as the organizing concept and circulation backbone.

    Architects SBRA have a nice bibliography (pdf) of articles about the hospital.

—————————————-

  1. Letter from Chairmain of the Board of Trustees Steve Mandel (21 March 2014).

The West Stands replacement, for real this time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perdido and more

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

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

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

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

Triangle House project begins, other items

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

  • The Dartmouth reports that work has begun on the extensive renovation of the apartment house at 4 North Park Street, to be known as Triangle House.
  • College Photographer Eli Burakian has posted some superb aerials of Baker and the Green. The latter image shows downtown Hanover and in the distance the hospital, the smokestack of each communicating with the other as if these were The Only Two Places in the World. See also the Mt. Moosilauke panorama.
  • Stantec notes that it worked on Dartmouth’s master plan. One assumes that this was a prior plan, but since the site also lists the recent Dartmouth Row programming study, it’s not clear.
  • Bertaux + Iwerks Architects has info on the 2005 SBRA master plan for DHMC.
  • A new film on the Densmore Brick Company was shown at AVA Gallery; see also the Valley News story and this depressing Bing aerial. From AVA Gallery:

    Lebanon’s Densmore Brick Factory, which closed in 1976 after 170 years of production, made the bricks that contributed to the built environment of the Upper Valley, including much of Dartmouth College.

  • The field-side view of Davis Varsity House is improved by the removal of the scoreboard, Bruce Wood points out (Big Green Alert blog).
  • The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the correspondence between Samson Occom and Phillis Wheatley (Wikipedia).
  • The Band’s new uniforms look good (see Flickr photo). They are more “Ivy” and expensive-looking than the previous plain green blazers over white pants. Black seems to be replacing white as the accent color accompanying Dartmouth Green these days.
  • A July article in the New York Times told of Yale’s efforts to protect its name against a “Yale Academy.” As an aside, I found Yale’s recent presidential inauguration inspiring. After the ceremony the band, wearing academic gowns, led the procession up Hillhouse Avenue, where the president passed beneath a balloon arch and halted in the middle of the street between two lines of student singers. The music stopped and everyone sang Bright College Years. Fantastic. The day before, a dean carrying a yale’s head (Wikipedia) on a staff had led a dog parade around Cross Campus (New Haven Register).
  • Better than having a hockey game at Fenway Park, Virginia Tech and Tennessee will play a football game at the Bristol Motor Speedway, a Nascar track (Richmond Times Dispatch).

Nicknames for Memorial Field

September 18th, 2013  |  Published in all news, History, Memorial Field, preservation

Bruce at the Big Green Alert Blog asks “If you could pick a nickname for Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, what would you choose?” He provides several suggestions, the best of which is “the Quarry” — not only did granite quarries operate in Lebanon, but Eleazar Wheelock quarried some stone in the College Park. A follow-up post provides a number of other suggestions.

A pool of potential nicknames based on the history of the site might include:

  • “The Farm” (or “the State Farm”), since the state agricultural school (New Hampshire College) used the site as a farm field prior to 1893;
  • “Crosby Street,” since the grandstand is located on that street. The street is presumably named for the able and indefatigable[1] professor Thomas Russell Crosby ’41, DMS ’41 (1816-1872), a son of Dr. Asa Crosby who served as a surgeon during the Civil War and became the Professor of Animal and Vegetable Physiology at N.H.C. and an Instructor in Natural History at Dartmouth[2];
  • “The Oval” (or “Alumni Oval”), since that was the name of the school’s first grandstand and its first dedicated football field and running track, built by Dartmouth alumni on the site in 1893;
  • “The Trenches” (or “the Western Front,” etc.), since students trained for the First World War by constructing trenches east of the Oval, and Memorial Field was built on the site of the Oval in memory of the men who died in the war; and
  • “The Arches” (or “the Arcade”), since the main, western stand of Memorial Field is faced with brick arches stacked on two levels.

To see what Alumni Oval looked like when it was new and get a sense of the farm that preceeded it, see this rare and amazing photograph digitized by the College Archives. It was taken from the top of the smokestack of the Heating Plant when the plant was new, around 1899.[3]

It is also possible that the present lack of a nickname suggests the absence of a deep-seated need for a nickname: maybe “Memorial Field” works well enough.

—–

[Update 11.11.2013: Bruce reports that Teevens picked "The Woods" as the nickname. Whose woods these are I think I know.]

——

  1. History of the University of New Hampshire: 1866-1941 (Durham, N.H.: University of New Hampshire, 1941), 23.
  2. John Badger Clarke, Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men (Manchester, N.H.: author, 1882), 248.
  3. The photographer took other shots to the north over Hallgarten, to the northwest toward the Green, to the west toward the side of the Inn, and to the southwest over the town.

A new video scoreboard at the other end of Memorial Field

August 31st, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, Memorial Field

The announcement of a new Daktronics video scoreboard for Memorial Field includes an illustration (via Big Green Alert Blog; see also Dartmouth Sports).

Although any scoreboard will have something to quibble with (please drop the trademark symbol from the big letter D!) this illustration has many things to praise. The designer has rationalized the fonts and eliminated much of the clutter of the old scoreboard. The designer also deserves credit for not using the ephemeral triangular-trapezoidal athletics logo and for getting the apostrophes right.

Here’s something notable: the scoreboard will be switching ends:

The new Daktronics scoreboard will be located at the south end of the stadium to avoid direct sunlight and maximize image clarity.

What Baseball knows about Memorial Field

July 3rd, 2013  |  Published in all news, Memorial Field

Remember last July, when it was pointed out here that a baseball team recruiting document was claiming that the stalled Memorial Field West Stand replacement project would be completed by September of 2012?

The updated version of the document (pdf) now claims that the project will be completed by September of 2013.

It is obviously not going to happen. (It is also not clear how someone could edit that document without improving the text…)

The scoreboard of the future

April 13th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Memorial Field, preservation

The Dartmouth writes on proposed amendments to the Town’s zoning ordinances, including amendments that deal with athletic scoreboards. The minutes of the Planning Board from February 5 (pdf) state that Dartmouth has eight outdoor scoreboards and provide this background:

Bob Ceplikas, Deputy Director of Dartmouth Athletics, said there have been a lot of changes over the years with the set-up of Division 1 sports venues, including technology. It is more and more standard for Division 1 football stadiums to include video displays in their scoreboards. Dartmouth is now the only Ivy League school that does not provide video display. The Ordinance’s current language does not allow for scoreboards to exist as they currently do; it does not even allow for the score to be displayed. The Ordinance should be brought up to date to reflect the real purpose of an athletic scoreboard.

No comment on the possibility of a video display (one of the thrills of seeing a college football game in person is the presence of it: there is no replay, so you have to pay attention), but the idea that the scoreboard at Memorial Field could be redesigned is intriguing.

A generous donation of the Class of 1966, the scoreboard is informative, traditional, and appealing — but it could be made even better. The number of typefaces could be reduced from five or so to three. The various vertical surfaces could be brought into the same plane. The “TIME OUTS LEFT” text could be aligned in a more balanced way. A little more space could be given inside some of the white borders, and the general crowding and busyness could be reduced.

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[Update 06.09.2013: The text of the ordinance, as found in the March 12 Planning Board minutes (pdf), prohibits advertising:

Athletic scoreboards may display:
A. Information pertinent to the event and facility
B. Recognition of donors and sponsors by name only
C. Other general athletic or institutional information
D. Any other information customarily displayed on contemporary scoreboards, but not to include commercial advertising.

That should remove some concerns.]

Memorial Field West Stand demo going ahead?

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

Several years ago Dartmouth planned to demolish and replace the terraced steel-and-concrete seating structure of the main stand at Memorial Field, preserving the screening brick facade on Crosby Street.

Then, in December of 2008, Provost Scherr wrote in a letter that “[t]he full renovation of the West Stands was originally scheduled for November 2008-August 2009. The decision to defer is due to the current global economic downturn, which is impacting Dartmouth, as well as many other institutions.”

Memorial Field

View to the north under the stands.

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


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

Hmmm.

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[Update 11.17.2012: Broken link to baseball presentation fixed.]

[Update 07.16.2012: In other words, this is a strangely specific mistake for the baseball team to make. One can imagine how an old date, such as August of 2009, might have been left in the presentation over the years; but was the project ever scheduled to finish during September of 2012? Aren't the $16 million price tag and the September date rather arbitrary to be pure oversights? Who knows where this information came from...]

The next Visual Arts Center

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

I. Introduction

The nearing completion of the Visual Arts Center points up the current underuse of the site next door at the corner of Crosby and Lebanon Streets.

Crosby and Lebanon Streets, existing

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

This is a large and important site. Whatever building goes here — let’s assume it is an arts-related building — will be visible to visitors arriving on Lebanon Street. It will need to be a gateway building, as the 2000 downtown Hanover plan illustrates so thoroughly. The Rogers Marvel 2002 Arts Center Analysis (pdf) also emphasizes the potential of this site on page 38.

author photo of Crosby and Lebanon Streets, 2006

View to the northwest showing the corner, 2006.

The first impulse is to follow the footprint of the existing low-scale facilities building. But this site is not only large, it is also unusually malleable. The college and town might be able to relocate Crosby Street in radical ways to completely reshape the ground available for the gateway building.

Why might Crosby be changeable? Because it has been changed in the past. Crosby Street was first laid out in 1872, to separate the state farm on the east from the state college dormitory site and other buildings on the west.

Crosby Street originally ran straight through to Lebanon Street. It was not until the early 1960s that Crosby’s southern delta was given its current incongruously suburban form. When Dartmouth sought permission to close down South College Street for the Hopkins Center, the Town asked Dartmouth to rework Crosby Street in return, aligning the street with Sanborn Road to form an ex post facto four-way intersection.

author photo of Memorial Field, 2006

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

Should we worry about Sanborn Road if Crosby is realigned? No. In fact, the downtown Hanover plan proposes in text and an illustration that Sanborn Road be blocked off. Instead, Hovey Lane will give access to this neighborhood through a short outlet punched through to South Street (see map below).

Would the abandonment of Crosby Street’s current alignment open up any possibilities for a college building on the corner? Each of the following proposals assumes that McKenzie Hall/Shops on Crosby is preserved; Sanborn Road is rerouted; and commercial buildings are built on the college land along the south side of Lebanon Street.

II. The Maximum Arts

The gateway building could expand to fill all of the empty land added to the corner:

maximum arts proposal

The maximum arts proposal.

This plan would block an important view of Memorial Field and make Crosby Street into a narrow tunnel. A good use of space, but not good preservation or townscape.

Some variation on this plan, however, might be a good one:

variation on maximum arts proposal

Variation on the maximum arts proposal.

III. The Minimum Arts

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

minimum arts proposal

The minimum arts proposal.

This plan would not make efficient use of space, and its creation of new lawns would not actually improve the view of Memorial Field.

IV. The Square and Temple

A big public square could be carved out of the surrounding buildings:

square and temple proposal

The square and temple proposal.

If the big square feels barren, a little temple that shares an alignment with nothing else could be dropped down in front of Memorial Field.

This plan would take advantage of the interesting fact that both Memorial Field and St. Denis Roman Catholic Church were designed in the early 1920s by Jens F. Larson. The two buildings appear to be perpendicular to each other, both aligned with Crosby Street.

author photo of St. Denis, 2006

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

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

Football and the Night Visitors

October 1st, 2011  |  Published in all news, History, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, preservation

Dartmouth’s and Memorial Field’s first night game under the new lights will begin at 6pm tonight against Penn.

The sports publicity office’s extraordinary promotional efforts, as chronicled by the Big Green Alert Blog, include a banner across Main Street, an advertising poster, and a drinks coaster distributed to local establishments.

Gutting the West Stand at Memorial Field

August 18th, 2011  |  Published in all news, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, photos June 2011, preservation

In December of 2008, Dartmouth put on hold its planned rebuilding of Memorial Field (Dartmouth News). The project would have demolished and replaced the existing steel-framed concrete grandstand, leaving the arcaded brick facade on Crosby Street. It seems that the replacement supports, made of concrete, were actually cast and have been resting in a field in Vermont, awaiting an improvement in the college budget.

Here’s hoping the project will be restarted soon.

Memorial Field

South facade, showing concrete structure to be demolished

Memorial Field

The memorial in Memorial Field, view to northwest

Memorial Field

View to the north under the stands showing steel frame to be demolished

The Big Green Alert Blog has been providing extensive coverage of the installation of lights at Memorial Field (June 11, June 25 morning and afternoon, August 3) in advance of the first night game on October 1. The game will be against Penn and will begin at the extravagantly late hour of 6 pm. It will be Dartmouth’s first-ever night game at any field.

[Update 08.22.2011: Replaced line reading "The project recently was restarted" (thanks Big Green Alert Blog).]

Unbuilt Dartmouth, an exhibit and an article

July 13th, 2011  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, Burnham Field, Chase Field, Hanover Inn, History, Larson, Jens, Leverone Field House, master planning, Memorial Field, other projects, photos June 2011, publications

A graphical article based on research by Barbara Krieger in the July/August Alumni Magazine nicely covers a larger exhibit in the History Room in Baker. It is good to see the site for the amphitheater named as Murdough rather than the Bema, which is the site that that drawing is usually said to describe.

One or two quibbles: the 1931 courtyard Inn on page 53 was meant not not the Robinson Hall area but for the Spaulding Auditorium site, as is shown on the exhibit’s Dartmouth House Plot Plan. The gateway shown in the Larson drawing would have faced east, and Lebanon Street is depicted on the left of the drawing. (The main block of the current Inn was completed in 1967 rather than 1887.)

The focus on the Dartmouth Hall cupola is a bit of a wild goose chase. The plans depicted are by William Gamble and show a masonry building that was never built. Dartmouth Hall was built from some other plans, long since lost, that almost certainly showed a cupola. Those plans might or might not have been by Gamble and probably were not by Peter Harrison. (The cupola that Tucker admired was probably a somewhat different midcentury replacement for the original.)

Here is an image that did not make it into the article, a pre-Leverone proposal for a field house by Eggers & Higgins:

Eggers & Higgins Field House proposal

Wow. That is a view to the southeast from above the gym. South Park Street runs behind the field house, and the field in the upper right corner is the site of the later Leverone Field House.

The article quotes Eisenhower on “what a college ought to look like.” Conan O’Brien recently paraphrased this commentary while adding something of his own:

It’s absolutely beautiful here, though. It is the quintessential college cam-… American college campus. It does look like a movie set.

(Video, at 1:27.)

Memorial Field is getting lights

May 13th, 2011  |  Published in all news, Memorial Field

For the first time in nearly 120 years of football on the site, night games will be possible (The Dartmouth, Valley News, WMUR Manchester). Dartmouth Sports has a rendering.

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[Update 01.13.2013: Broken link to WMUR removed.]