A new direction for the old Heating Plant

Introduction
The college announced recently that it won't upgrade its Heating Plant from No. 6 fuel oil to natural gas but will instead skip directly to a more sustainable source of energy.1Charlotte Albright, "President Hanlon: Big Green Will Go (More) Green," Dartmouth News (22 April 2017); Aimee Caruso, "Dartmouth Plans to Cut Oil Reliance," Valley News (23 April 2017). That energy source is likely to be biomass.3Rob Wolfe, "New Dartmouth Task Force Will Help School Go Green," Valley News (31 August 2016); Peter Charalambous, "College to finalize heating and energy proposals," The Dartmouth (3 February 2017); Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future," Valley News (27 April 2017). Because a biomass plant will require a lot of land on which to store piles of wood chips for combustion, the site of the current Heating Plant south of Wheelock Street will not do.2Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future."

The new plant

The college is mum on where the new heating plant will be built, but Dewey Field must be at the top of the list of possibilities. Dewey Field is a large, open site on Route 10 (Lyme Road) that is currently used as a parking lot. Most of the field is located outside the 10-minute walking radius that is supposed to define the limits of the campus proper. The field also is close to the northern end of the tunnel network that currently carries steam lines to the various buildings. Some posts on this site have speculated about the idea of putting a new heating plant in Dewey Field: here, here, and especially here.

Dewey Field aerial at Google Maps.

(Unfortunately for the college, Dewey Field is also close to the mansions of Rope Ferry Road. Would it be possible to locate a biomass plant on the other side of Lyme Road, up by the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse? Or would the inefficiency created by the long distance be too great?)

Wherever the school sites the new plant, it should be encouraged to hire an outside architect with vision. The northern gateway to Hanover is not the place for a brown, metal-sided box. While the plant at Hotchkiss might not be right for Hanover, it stands next to a golf course. It was designed by Centerbrook with civil engineering by Milone & MacBroom, both firms that have worked at Dartmouth.

Since a heating plant is a simple industrial building, it can be covered in anything. Here is an amazing plant in the Netherlands that is clad in Delft tiles.

The old plant

Heating Plant, Meacham photo

The Heating Plant.

The old Heating Plant is one of the better examples of historic preservation at the college.

The ground level of the plant was built as a one-story Romanesque building in 1898 (Lamb & Rich, Architects). The second level was added by the college's other important architectural firm, Larson & Wells, in 1923. In more recent history, each time the college has placed a new boiler in the building, it has dismantled a front facade bay and then built it back again — three times, in three different bays.

This website cannot stop talking about the importance of preserving the old exhaust stack, a fundamental Hanover landmark — it is an axial terminus for Lebanon Street — and an historic symbol of the traditional function of this neighborhood as Hanover's energy district. Yale's master plan devotes one map to showing "major vertical objects,"4Yale Master Plan pdf, 94. and this stack is one of the three most important vertical objects in Hanover. It makes no difference that the stack, built in 1958, is not "original" to the building, whatever that means for this evolving industrial structure. The stack is simply too important. It satisfies the 50-year threshold to be considered "historic" under the Secretary of the Interior's Standards anyway. (And it goes without saying that Harry A. Wells's wonderfully adaptable 1916 Store House on Crosby Street, seen in Google Street View, also must be retained.)

The stack as seen from Lebanon Street.

The old plant in the future

Old power plants are reused all the time: see "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates"5Aaron Wiener, "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates," Architect Magazine (1 December 2013). and the Bruner/Cott renovation of Amherst's 1925 power house. The only natural move would be for the college to expand the Hood Museum into the empty plant building.

The old stack should become a victory column. Or the school could install a staircase and top the column with a Classical decorative element, such as the golden flaming urn of Wren's 1677 Monument to the Great Fire of London (Wikipedia) or William Whitfield's 2003 Paternoster Square column, seen in Google Street View (that one was built as a ventilation shaft, Wikipedia notes). Or imagine commissioning a statue or an abstract sculpture as a new signpost for the arts at Dartmouth — and for the college as a whole.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Charlotte Albright, "President Hanlon: Big Green Will Go (More) Green," Dartmouth News (22 April 2017); Aimee Caruso, "Dartmouth Plans to Cut Oil Reliance," Valley News (23 April 2017).
2. Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future."
3. Rob Wolfe, "New Dartmouth Task Force Will Help School Go Green," Valley News (31 August 2016); Peter Charalambous, "College to finalize heating and energy proposals," The Dartmouth (3 February 2017); Wolfe, "Fueling a College's Future," Valley News (27 April 2017).
4. Yale Master Plan pdf, 94.
5. Aaron Wiener, "Adaptive Reuse for Power Plants by Studio Gang and Adjaye Associates," Architect Magazine (1 December 2013).

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250th anniversary planning heats up

  • One might be surprised at paucity of info out there on the demolition of a part of the Hood Museum and the construction of a large addition. The D has a demolition photo from the Green taken last fall. Curbed.com has a post with two post-demolition photos. (See also the set of fascinating photos of the architectural model at Radii Inc.)

  • Metropolis does have a story on the Hood. These are excerpts:

    Dartmouth first began seriously mulling over the Hood's fate in 2001, when it commissioned a speculative study by Rogers Marvel Architects. In 2005, it commissioned another by Machado Silvetti, the architectural firm that designed the Hood's newest neighbor, the Black Family Visual Arts Center. Then in 2010, it commissioned yet another study, this time by Centerbrook, the practice that Charles Moore cofounded afterparticipatory process, which put users on a level playing field Moore Grover Harper. None created the visual presence — that new front door — that Dartmouth administrators were looking for.

    The college began soliciting proposals from a broader pool of architects. A selection committee, including faculty and administrators, winnowed down a short list. In the end, four architects were selected to be interviewed. John Scherding, director of campus design and construction, vividly remembers the TWBTA proposal:

    "All of us in the room felt it was brilliant. They were the only firm that suggested disconnecting the Hood from Wilson Hall, allowing Wilson to stand proudly on the corner of the Green. They were the only firm that showed a strong identifiable front entrance to the building, infilled the courtyard to provide program space, and really strengthened the north-south axis. It was a very powerful and simple concept that satisfied all of the needs."

    It thoughtfully preserves the gallery spaces (one exemplary detail: To preserve the windows along the staircase, and the dance of light along the walls, TWBTA will convert some of the windows into light boxes of stained glass) and will likely improve the museum experience in many fundamental ways.

  • The sestercentennial celebration website is up. The wordmark makes some interesting typeface choices. The unique "250," which is set in a type that might be based on Bodoni, includes the most arresting element: a numeral "2" whose diagonal (neck?) is partially erased. The numeral "5" is partially hidden by the "2," but there is no explanation for the missing bit of the "2." Is it meant to look like the imperfect printing of an eighteenth-century pamphlet? It looks a bit like a stencil. In any case, the "Dartmouth" on the second line is set in the official Bembo (standard Bembo, not the Yale-only version), and the third line ("1769-2019") is set in a sans serif font.

  • The sestercentennial will involve a year-long program of events (President's message) created by a planning committee seeking to meet a number of goals.

  • Here's a clever little film about an interesting story: Goudy & Syracuse: The Tale of a Typeface Found.

  • Interesting insignia decisions here: the midcentury Institute of International Studies in California was acquired a few years ago by Middlebury College (Wikipedia). In 2015, Middlebury "introduced a brand identity system that embraces the full breadth of its educational endeavors by placing the Middlebury name on each of its schools and programs" (MIIS page). And what a varied collection of institutions it is, including summer schools, conferences, and academic programs. The unified identity is based on a shield. I don't know about the Midd shield: the globe looks like it's from a different design language, from a 1960s U.N. brochure. The chapel touches the top of the shield. The hills, because they meet the edges of the shield, read as the sleeves of a gown or as curtains. Maybe this is because the eaves of the chapel are shown as angled bars floating free on the clouds.

  • The Institute is the only Middlebury institution that gets a truly distinctive shield, a variation "that replaces the Green Mountains of Vermont and Old Chapel with the historic Segal Building from the Monterey campus and the year of the Institute's founding" (MIIS page).

  • A Kickstarter project for Design Canada, "The first documentary chronicling the history of Canadian graphic design and how it shaped a nation and its people."

  • The New Yorker has has an article on lines of desire. Speaking of unplanned paths, the aerial photo of the vacated pipeline protest camp in the New York Times is remarkable.

  • McGraw Bagnoli Architects have published a brochure about the firm that details the five urban design projects planned by William Rawn Associates during the early 2000s. This is fascinating. It will be interesting to see whether the school ever completes the Sargent Block project and what plan it follows.

  • Smith & Vansant have photos of some of the houses the firm has renovated for the college, including Unity House and Thayer Lodge, both on South Park Street, 26 East Wheelock, 19 South Park, and the Victorian professor's house of the North Park House community.

  • Architect Vital Albuquerque (again, great name) < ahref="http://rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/saahp/portfolios/alumni/vital-albuquerque-class-01">presents more unreleased renderings of the unbuilt NCAC, including a remarkable photo of a model of the project.

  • Engelberth Construction has its page for the West Stand Replacement up.

  • At the last board meeting,

    Hanlon outlined goals to renovate a number of aging buildings, and the board approved funds to proceed with a schematic design for the renovation of Dana Hall, the former home of the biomedical library located at the north end of campus, to facilitate the expansion and improvement of faculty office spaces.

    The board also approved a capital budget of $30 million to fund a number of projects, including the Morton Hall renovation and planning and feasibility studies of the abatement and demolition of Gilman Hall; renovations to Reed Hall and Thornton Hall; and undergraduate housing expansion and renewal.

  • A Moosilauke update with photos by Eli Burakian. The building has an interesting mix of construction techniques. Some of those "character" timbers are fantastic.

  • Some of the photos of the federal building that houses the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, such as the one in this New York Times story from February 9, show the elaborate metal lanterns flanking the entrance of the 1905 building. The lanterns might be familiar: architect James Knox Taylor, then Supervising Architect of the Treasury, modeled them on the torch-holders of Palazzo Strozzi in Florence of 1489 (GSA page on the Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building). The Strozzi torch-holders also inspired Charles Rich in his design for Parkhurst Hall (1913).

  • Drove past Nervi's SCOPE arena in Norfolk, Va. (1971-72) last weekend and admired the ribs that form the roof of this entrance pavilion (Google Street View):

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A statue of Fred Harris? And other tidbits

  • Sasaki Associates now has a page for its House Centers "pilot" program. This SCUP article has a "housing swarm" image that Sasaki created for Dartmouth. A Valley News article states that the college "estimated it will cost $12.8 million to build professors' residences and temporary centers for Dartmouth's Undergraduate House Communities program." But those have already been built. Presumably that estimate refers to completed construction. Any future, permanent versions of those buildings will cost a lot more than $13 million.

  • BBB has updated its page on the campus master plan to include a large version of that plan, an image of the West End plan (Green to Blue), and -- this is new -- a schematic perspective rendering of the cemetery bridge, which we can call Fletcher Viaduct.

  • This Valley News article notes Kendal's interest in building to the south on Rivercrest land and leaving the Chieftain land for recreation (rowing).

  • Sir John Soane's Museum in London has a computer model of the museum on line.

  • The architects have completed a design for the Irving Institute (Valley News).

  • The Dartmouth has an article on the success of the Town fence in front of Collis in reducing jaywalking.

  • The Hood has a brochure on public art on campus. The Class of 1965 has proposed to erect a statue of DOC founder Fred Harris in front of Robinson Hall. The campus architecture committee is considering the idea, according to the '65 newsletter.

  • A bit of biography on David Hooke, who's at the center of the new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

  • Dartmouth will play Brown at football in Fenway Park on November 10, Big Green Alert reports. Wild.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post about the Charter.

  • Kresge Library in Fairchild has turned 40 years old.

  • This Times editorial contains footnotes. Kinda neat, but also showy: if footnotes are needed here, why not everywhere? Or if the paper is to be relied on generally, why include notes here?

  • Big Green Alert points out the new use of the Lone Pine logo by the Co-Op. First impression? The trad typeface clashes with the fat Modernism of the pine. The use of the athletics nickname BIG GREEN in this seal-like, college-wide institutional device is also weird.

  • A Proliferation of Canes. Photos of the most recent Commencement show students carrying many strange, new-ish canes, most presumably representing senior societies. They feature a snake wrapped around a Native American arrow; a bearded old man; the domed main body of Shattuck Observatory (clever!); a snake clutching an apple in its mouth; a huge phoenix (for Phoenix, obviously -- is that cast resin or something?); a tail, perhaps belonging to a whale?; and a three-dimensional stylization of the stylized Lone Pine symbol (also a metal globe).

  • Two interesting new-ish concepts: literary geography and forensic architecture.

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Image of new Ledyard; selecting Ravine Lodge timbers


Co-Op Food Store in Centerra

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11.28.2016 update: DEN project page link added.

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Ledyard Canoe Club demo ahead

  • A campus construction update has a few details on the soccer pavilion expansion out at Burnham Field.

  • The Valley News reports that the new Dartmouth Coach bus station is opening in Lebanon.

  • An architect has been named for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement. The historic clubhouse will be demolished and a new building built in its place by Charney Architects of New Haven.

  • A newsletter last month described the installation of a solar array at ground level on Berry Row.

  • The Moosilauke Ravine Lodge replacement (project page) is going ahead, and one can't help but worry about the success of its central feature, the great stone fireplace-staircase (HearthStair?). Will it be plausible as a work of masonry, a little bit of Machu Picchu in the White Mountains? Or will it read as Formstone, with no visible means of support?

  • An item on memorializing the Lodge mentions some interesting digital projects and quotes OPO Director Dan Nelson: "Memorabilia will be saved, safely stored, and reinstalled; interior log elements will be reused; timbers that can't be reused in construction will be sawn into planks for wall paneling."

  • "Work is underway … planning for future renovation of the Hopkins Center" (news release; see also the story in The D).

  • "Also in the future is consideration of the north end of campus, focusing on the demolition of Gilman Hall — and creation of green space in its place" (The D). Let's hope that this is a way of saying the Gilman site will not become a parking lot.

  • "— coupled with the complete renovation of Dana Hall for faculty use" (The D). Interesting — wasn't the library moved out because Dana was to be demolished? Is that move now looking like a mistake, or would the renovation have required the building to be emptied anyway? Whatever the case, it's good to hear that Dana is being renovated. It seems like an underappreciated building that might have some merit to it, some endearing features. The small size and the scale of the building are appealing.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on the Surveyor General of the His Majesty's Woods during the 1740s. It is worth noting that John Wentworth later became Surveyor General, and Eleazar Wheelock was accused of illegally harvesting pines marked with the King’s broad arrow.

  • Dartmouth is building a timber-framed pavilion at the Organic Farm to shelter a wood-fired pizza oven (Planning Board minutes 6 September 2016 pdf).

  • Dartmouth Engineer Magazine has a long article on the Williamson Translational Research Building by The Map Thief author Michael Blanding.

  • The D has an article about the end of football game broadcasts on campus radio; this year the football team switched to 94.5 ESPN. Dartmouth licensed athletic multimedia rights to Learfield Sports late last year. Learfield created Big Green Sports Properties to handle "all corporate sponsorship endeavors for the Big Green, including venue signage, promotions, radio advertising and ads on DartmouthSports.com" (new general manager announcement).

  • Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont is the only ski area on the National Register (history, NR nomination form pdf).

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Planning the western part of campus

In September the college released a framework plan for potential construction around the professional schools (news release, story in The D). The plan, by Beyer Blinder Belle, elaborates on that firm's earlier master plan for the campus.

The plan shows several future buildings. One is the upcoming Thayer School/Computer Science building, on the site of the Thayer parking lot (new images released). Another is the Irving Institute building in front of the Murdough Center (some details released). The designer of the Irving Institute is KPMB Architects, a Canadian firm: the school's press release notes that each of the firm's three partners is a member or officer of the Order of Canada. The plan also shows the demolition of the final two River Cluster dormitories, although the school has not selected a site for the replacement beds yet.

It is good to hear that the planning involves the "consideration of the aesthetics of future buildings and improvements to signage." The future buildings depicted in the plan image do seem to perpetuate the oddly suburban bias noted in the original BBB master plan, however.

Lisa Hogarty, at the time the Vice President of Campus Planning (The D), said that "This plan creates a route from the Green to the river and adds new community green space." The new route to the River is shown in the illustration and includes a ped-bike bridge over the cemetery. The "new community green space" is presumably an improvement of the existing "Whittemore Green" behind Thayer School. Some work has been done here, but it still feels a bit like leftover space, the grassy area in the middle of the asphalt turnaround.

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Summertomb

Some tombs or tomblike buildings spotted during July and August. Any of these would make a fine model for a senior society hall:

Above: South and east facades, Getty Tomb, Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois (Louis Sullivan, 1890).

Above: Entrance detail, Getty Tomb.

Above: South facade, Neue Wache (New Guardhouse), Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany (Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1816).

Above: West facade, Neue Wache (view to south).

Above: Interior, Neue Wache (view to northwest).

Above: North and west facades, Holmes Mausoleum, Graceland Cemetery (Charles B. Blake Company, 1934).

Above: West facade, Ryerson Tomb, Graceland Cemetery (Sullivan, 1889).

Above: South facade, Mausoleum (of Queen Luise of Prussia), Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin (Schinkel, 1810).

Above: South facade, Mausoleum, Charlottenburg.

Above: South facade, Lehmann Mausoleum, Graceland Cemetery (Mundie & Jensen, 1919).

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Breweries, Fullington Farm demo, suspension railways, etc.

  • The Valley News reports that the Norwich Historic Preservation Commission was named the Commission of the Year by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.

  • Prolific N.H. beer blogger Adam Chandler posts a short but positive review of a new brewery in WRJ, the River Roost. It's less than a quarter-mile down South Main from the original Catamount Brewery, sadly missed. (Some friends and I built a website for Catamount as a class project in the Spring of 1995, but I don't think we ever showed it to the company. And it's good to see the venerable Seven Barrel Brewery still going; we ate there five times the first week it was open.)

  • It is interesting that the new plaque at Memorial Field (Flickr photo), which kinda quotes Richard Hovey's line "The hill-winds know their name," honors alums who: (a) [have] "served," (b) "are serving," or (c) "will serve their country." Although it's not clear why "have served" is not sufficient to cover everyone, especially since the only names known to the hill winds are those of alums who have striven, fought, and died, the implicit inclusion of international students in their home countries is a nice touch. (It almost reminds one of the memorial at New College, Oxford, to the German members who died in WWI; Trinity College, Oxford, created its own memorial listing the German and Austrian members who gave their lives "for their country" in that war just last year.)

  • ORL (as of last spring?) is now organizing its dorm info pages according to House Communities instead of the old clusters. Thus we have West true to purple, South in black, etc. Each page presents one of the nice Burakian aerials.

    There are still apparently no authentic pages by the House members themselves, not even rogue pages -- although the Houses do have members. Let's get with it, people!

  • The Valley News reported on Dartmouth's demolition of the Fullington Farmhouse north of town. Here's how it looked in context (view south toward town):

  • Sheldon Pennoyer Architects, PLLC of Concord designed the new Dartmouth Coach bus terminal in Lebanon, on the site of the Cadillac dealership on Labombard Road. Construction is by North Branch. See also the Valley News.

  • Beekeeping at the Orgo Farm is the subject of a news item.

  • The Dartmouth has a story on a recent celebration of the history of Dartmouth Broadcasting.

  • Courtyard Café employees will be driving a new food truck "to support programs and activities associated with the House systems" according to the Campus Services newsletter (pdf). The truck will accept only DBA payments (sounds good) and will be available only on nights other than Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (??).

  • The medical and other waste that the college and hospital buried at Rennie Farm years ago continues to cause problems (Valley News overview, cleanup announcement).

  • Neighbors continue to object to the plans for an athletic fieldhouse behind Thompson Arena. As reported by the Valley News, neighbors withdrew their zoning challenge during June but the controversy continues.

  • Back in 2009 Dartmouth Engineer Magazine published an interesting article called "Thayer in the Landscape" that depicted engineering projects by alumni around the world.

  • According to the Mac website Six Colors, the least popular emoji depicts a suspension railway. While passing through Wuppertal, Germany, this summer, I observed that city's suspension railway, and boy is it fantastic. Wuppertal is a long city in the valley of the winding Wupper River, and the route of the elevated railway is established by the river itself rather than by the street network. The track is hung beneath pairs of great 19th-century metal legs that straddle the river. Here is a Street View showing the track along the river:

    Here is a view with a train coming along the river:

    The stations (old and new) also must straddle the river and essentially take the form of bridges.

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[Update 09.18.2016: Tuck School expansion item removed for use in future post.]

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More on the viaduct

This extension of Hanover's historic street grid will carry Cemetery Lane across the Dartmouth Cemetery.

Generally

It is hard to resist calling it a bridge "to Thayer School." If a Thayer parking deck ever goes in, visitors to campus will park there, and so this really will be a bridge "to the college." The Thayer end of the viaduct will be the gateway to the college:

One could even imagine a brick tower, or a towering gate, at that spot, serving as both an entranceway and a landmark:

Old Town bridge tower, Prague, Meacham photo

Old Town bridge tower, Charles Bridge, Prague

Grove Street Cemetery gate, New Haven, Meacham photo

Grove Street Cemetery gate, New Haven, Ct.

The Egyptian mode would be especially appropriate here, since the viaduct crosses a cemetery and Dartmouth has a sort of Egyptian thing going on (Sphinx, the Brace Commons pyramid, Amarna). The college motto would be a good thing to put above the gateway, because the visitor will be entering a wilderness of sorts, up in the trees.

Then this will be the new welcome for visitors after they come through the cemetery:

Not bad, but obviously a back entrance at the moment.

The footings

The footings will probably be minimalist, even spidery, to avoid landing in graves. (Incidentally, do they have a plan for what to do when they find unmarked graves?)

If the footings are bulked up and built of masonry, they could really announce themselves and interact with existing monuments (see this article on graves under the bridge at Montmartre in Paris for an idea). The bridge piers could even be rendered as obelisks and given plaques or inscriptions — as cenotaphs — although that would become hokey very quickly.

The structure

The deck should be wide enough for bicyclists and pedestrians to pass. There might be a need for rules about bikes.

The designers could do a nice elegant truss, not just a set of steel girders like Bartlett Hall's rear stair (Street View).
Could the school get a set of beautiful green trusses from a historic rail or highway bridge that is being replaced somewhere in the Northeast? The trusses could be placed end-to-end and the decks hung off the sides; this could be a little museum of engineering.

Or the viaduct could refer to the ski jump, built by the Boston Bridge Company: see this simple profile drawing, in a Rauner Blog post on the ski jump.

This does not seem like the place to use a state-park style boardwalk bridge. The site seems to demand something permanent and monumental in form if not in scale. It would be better to err on the side of the depressing than the cheerful.

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[Update 08.06.2016: It turns out that Robert Fletcher, who singlehandedly brought Gen. Thayer's idea for a school into being (Lee Michaelides, "In the Beginning," Dartmouth Engineer Magazine), is buried in the Cemetery.]

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Some campus photos and notes

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, Google Street View

Steam Tunnel access under Green, Meacham photo

Steam Tunnel access grate on the Green, underside

The first stage of the steam tunnel's construction, south of this grate, was a test meant to determine whether such a project would be economical in a ledge environment.

image

North bank of HBs at former entrance to Hop, view to west

Until recently, students entered the Hop at the end of the room. The entrance was closed off and a replacement of the same configuration built just to the north.

Hop interior at Minary entrance, Meacham photo

The new Hop entrance, view to northwest onto Zahm/Memorial Garden

(Have the memorial plaques attached to the Inn there been moved to Memorial Field? That would make sense. This is not their first location anyway.)

Triangle House, Meacham photo

Triangle House entrance (west) facade

Even more than the society houses on the south side of Webster Avenue, Triangle House has a well-used student entrance on one side, shown here, and a formal street entrance on the other.

LSC bike pavilion, Meacham photo

LSC bike pavilion

This elaborate bicycle shelter for the Life Sciences Center joins a couple other pavilions in the area.

Gilman plaque, Meacham photo

Plaque moved from Gilman to LSC

LSC name lettering, Meacham photo

The town changed the street address of the building to get it to match.

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Cemetery viaduct to be built

The Valley News reports that Hanover residents voted on Tuesday for the zoning amendment that the college had requested as part of a project related to Thayer School expansion.

Residents also approved an amendment that would allow development near or in a cemetery in some circumstances. The official zoning amendment proposal form (pdf) supplies this detail:

Providing direct pedestrian access from the parking structure and Thayer campus to the College's administrative offices, Mass Row, 53 Commons and downtown is desirable to the Town and College. In order to accommodate an elevated pedestrian walkway, construction of footings [in the Dartmouth Cemetery] is anticipated.

While the former parking deck idea is not a part of this zoning change, a parking structure certainly would be an important terminus for such a viaduct. The Planning Board minutes of 2 February 2016 (pdf), written back when the parking deck was a hot topic, say:

A pathway is also proposed from a proposed parking facility to the Green, to enhance connectivity of the west campus to the main campus, and to provide easy off-highway access from the proposed parking facility to the Green.

Aha. The viaduct that Larson proposed during the late 1920s, shown on his 1928 master plan, looks set to become a reality. (See also the Westway proposal here.)

Detail of Larson 1928 master plan

Detail of 1928 plan with viaduct lined in red

The map associated with the zoning amendment gives a general idea of the route of the new work, with the viaduct shown as a dashed orange line through the cemetery:

Planning Board map from April 2016 video

Map from "Hanover Planning Board Changes April 2016" video at 9:37 mark

The viaduct presumably will be an extension of Cemetery Lane, the road known until relatively recently as Sanborn Lane. (The map above also shows the realignment of the bottom of Engineering Drive at West Wheelock Street and the reconfiguration of the turnaround at the end of Tuck Mall.)




Keats and Yeats are on your side; Street View image from Google.

The cemetery gate, minus the unfortunately-located parking signage, would make a nice entrance to the viaduct. Here's hoping the bridge is a work of the engineer's art worthy of this historic place and its Classical monuments of carved stone. Wilson Architects, the firm that appears to be designing the Thayer building, designed a set of impressive campus pedestrian bridges at Vanderbilt University (a view of one, a view of another).

This will not be the first bridge in the cemetery: during the early 1880s, the cemetery association spanned the northern ravine with a timber bridge. It shows up on this 1890 map and a photo was reproduced in Dartmouth Now. It became unsafe and was removed by the 1920s.

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[Update 05.16.2016: Reference to Dartmouth Now added and historic bridge re-described as being of timber, not iron.]

[Update 05.12.2016: Note about dashed orange line added.]

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The West End Framework Plan, etc.

  • Regarding the Hood, Hop Director Emeritus Lewis Crickard reprises Prince Charles's National Gallery "carbuncle" comment in a letter to the Valley News.

  • The Moosilauke project includes the "[r]elocation of the preserved Manager's Cabin, a log structure built by Ross McKenney" (FAQs).

  • The article in Dartmouth Now about the construction of new social buildings and professors' residences mentions that the residences are being built off-site by Unity Homes. It looks like the school is using the Värm model.

  • There is a drive to name the lounge area of the Evans Basketball Suite in the Berry Sports Center after Coach Chris Wielgus.

  • The Valley News has an article about the indoor practice building/fieldhouse and the feelings of the neighbors. It is hard to identify the exterior cladding from the rendering -- is it metal?

  • This makes one think of Chicken Farmer I Still Love You: a playground in Ferndale, Washington is going to have a miniature version of a local landmark bridge, complete with graffito.

  • The West End Framework Plan:

    Dartmouth recently received a gift to develop a Framework Plan for the West End of campus, including the Thayer and Computer Science building, a new Tuck building, landscape, parking, infrastructure and wayfinding. Led by Joanna Whitcomb, the Director of Campus Planning, this project will engage campus stakeholders and others in the planning and zoning process and in developing strategic capacity and growth options for the entire district. The Framework Plan should be complete by September, 2016.[1."West End Framework Plan," Behind the Green (2 March 2016) pdf.]

    For background, here's the description of the master plan process from the website of the overall campus master plan:

    The plan will address both campus-wide systems ("themes") and specific strategic planning areas ("neighborhoods") that warrant more intensive study. The neighborhoods approach is a useful planning tool that enables the study of distinct challenges and opportunities in emerging precincts but is always kept within a holistic view of the campus as a whole.

    Master plan neighborhoods include:
    Core Campus
    North End
    West End
    Arts & Athletics1"Master Plan Process," Dartmouth Campus Master Plan, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~masterplan/about/planprocess.html (viewed 21 April 2016).

  • There are salmon in the Connecticut River again (Field & Stream).

  • At least one surviving drawing shows students playing bat-and-ball games on the Green in the eighteenth century. In 1779, President John Wheelock issued "Regulations for the security of the College building from damage," which stated:

    If any student shall play ball or use any other deversion that exposes the College or Hall windows within 3 rods of either he shall be fined two shillings for the first offence 4s for the 2d and so on at the discretion of the President or Tutors.2Wheelock, "Regulations" (1779), in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 593.

    (Playing "ball" generally meant playing a bat-and-ball game, not playing football.) Informal baseball games continued over the years, and in 1862 students formed the Dartmouth Baseball Club. The club faced another college for the first time in 1866 when it met the Nicean Club of Amherst. The Baseball Team celebrated its 150th anniversary recently. TV station WCAX has a video (via BGA), and the Valley News has an article.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. "Master Plan Process," Dartmouth Campus Master Plan, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~masterplan/about/planprocess.html (viewed 21 April 2016).
2. Wheelock, "Regulations" (1779), in John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913), 593.

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The seven-year lounge

The two temporary social buildings are moving ahead (Dartmouth Now, The Dartmouth).

The building that will stand next to Davis Varsity House, House Center A, will be a one-story tensile or tensioned membrane structure built around an aluminum frame. The building will occupy a plot of 4,750 square feet. The Planning Board looked at the plans in December and its minutes contain mentions of a deck, a fire pit, and a tower (Planning Board minutes pdf). The Montshire Museum, incidentally, has a 2,400-square-foot tensile building called the Hughes Pavilion (see Eileen Herring, "Montshire Museum of Science -- Not Just for Children," New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors; sprung.com).

House Center B will be a two-story, 6,920 square foot building behind Hitchcock (Planning Board minutes 11.03.2015 pdf). The ground level will include a snack bar (construction update pdf). The school has a video of the start of construction (not working any longer; it is linked from the OPDC Projects page).

The article in The Dartmouth states that the school eventually will build permanent additions to the dorms:

The structures are intended to be temporary so that the College can evaluate the type of spaces needed for student programming, Hogarty said. She noted that future renovations will be based on the information gathered.

"Before we move forward with [renovation], we'd like to build temporary structures with enough flexibility so students can make the space their own," Hogarty said. "We wanted to figure out what makes a great space for students before updating the residence halls themselves."

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Wheelock’s Mansion House sold

The Valley News reports that the college is selling Eleazar Wheelock's house to the Eleazar Wheelock Society, a "pan-denominational resource promoting a constructive role for faith in learning environments like Dartmouth," as well as at Dartmouth itself. The group will remodel the building to house 24 students. The college only acquired the house a few years ago, and it seems to be imposing a private historic preservation covenant in this sale. The renovation that turned the house into the Howe Library around 1900 was designed by Charles A. Rich, while the ominous/cute brick stacks addition is later.

The "Mansion House" for the college president was built with funds from London evangelical John Thornton, so its acquisition by this group seems particularly appropriate. The group was founded by alumni in 2008 and aims to establish "a reproducible model that can be duplicated on college and university campuses elsewhere." It admires Wheelock "because of his commitment to the biblical worldview."

In thanking Joseph Asch for his kind mention of this site on Dartblog, I am compelled to note Princeton's preservation of an early president's house1The house is not that of Princeton's founding president, if the school had such a person: the College of New Jersey was established in Elizabeth and moved to Newark before it settled in Princeton. that is both older than Dartmouth's and still in its original location. A 1764 engraving by Dawkins (reproduced in a Princeton news article) shows the Maclean House in front and to the right of Nassau Hall. The two buildings are still standing and appear in this recent Bing aerial.

Putting the president's house alongside the lawn that lay between the street and the college proper was a standard practice. This image shows Dartmouth's president's house in its original location at the righthand end of Dartmouth Row.2Although Wheelock died before Dartmouth Hall was built, he anticipated the construction of a college on the hill and likely had the site in mind when he built his own house.

1830s Currier engraving of Dartmouth

Detail of ca. 1834 Currier engraving of Dartmouth Row showing President's House at far right. Image reversed from erroneous original disposition.

The relation of the president's house to the college building made early Dartmouth look very much like early Princeton.3 Early views of the two schools are so similar, in fact, that Dartmouth once used the Dawkins engraving of Nassau Hall as the cover of its annual report in error; confirmation will be posted as it is found.

[Update 11.13.2015: Final three paragraphs added.]

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Notes   [ + ]

1. The house is not that of Princeton's founding president, if the school had such a person: the College of New Jersey was established in Elizabeth and moved to Newark before it settled in Princeton.
2. Although Wheelock died before Dartmouth Hall was built, he anticipated the construction of a college on the hill and likely had the site in mind when he built his own house.
3. Early views of the two schools are so similar, in fact, that Dartmouth once used the Dawkins engraving of Nassau Hall as the cover of its annual report in error; confirmation will be posted as it is found.

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Residential College details released — two temporary “commons” to be built

The college has released some information about the units that will make up the new House system (Dartmouth Now, Dartmouth Now details, The Dartmouth).

Every student will be assigned to a House randomly. (One wonders whether each House will eventually be able to choose some or all of its members.) Most new students, all of them House members, will start out living in first-year dorms: Richardson Hall, Wheeler Hall, the Fayers (North, Middle, and South Fayerweather Halls), the River (French and Judge Halls), and the Choates (Bissell, Cohen, Little, and Brown Halls). Upperclass students, all House members, will not be required to live in-House.

The House names are obviously temporary. Of the six Houses, one carries on its existing name (East Wheelock), while two are named for their locations relative to the other Houses (South and West Houses). The remaining three Houses are named, arbitrarily, for the streets on which their associated faculty residences happen to be located -- just temporarily located, one hopes. For example, the Gold Coast is associated with a house being built in another part of town, on Allen Street, and so the cluster is called Allen House. The same goes for Mass Row (School Street = "School House") and RipWoodSmith (North Park Street = "North Park House").

These are the houses. The two temporary buildings are described in numbers 2 and 5.

  1. West House. Dorms: Fahey, McLane, Butterfield, and Russell Sage Halls. Faculty Residence: A house being built at 16 Webster Avenue, west of the President's House. "Community" space or "commons": Presumably the existing common area in the "hinge" in Fahey/McLane. Professor: Ryan Hickox.

    Comment: This Faculty Residence makes as much sense as any of the new Residences does.

  2. Allen House. Dorms: Gold Coast (Gile, Streeter, and Lord Halls). Faculty Residence: A house being built at 12 Allen Street, next to Panarchy. "Community" space: A temporary (lasting five to ten years) "two-level building with a snack bar and outdoor area between Gile and Hitchcock" (The D). Professor: Jane Hill.

    Comment: One hopes that eventually this House's Professor lives in (a) Blunt, the perfect location, (b) a new house built behind the Gold Coast, where there are several great sites, or at worst (c) a new or existing house near the President's House on Webster Avenue.

  3. School House. Dorms: Hitchcock Hall and Mass Row (North, Middle, and South Massachusetts Halls). Faculty Residence: A house being built on School Street, next to the Allen House Faculty Residence. "Community" space: The temporary building behind Hitchcock, to be shared with Allen House. Professor: Craig Sutton.

    Comment: This House's Faculty Residence is about as distant as that of Allen House. Instead, South Fairbanks would make an ideal long-term Residence. North Fairbanks -- or '53 Commons, if it is ever not required to serve the whole college -- would make an excellent "community" space.

  4. East Wheelock House. Dorms: East Wheelock Cluster (Andres, Morton, Zimmerman, and McCulloch Halls, and possibly Ledyard Apartments). Faculty Residence: Frost House/The White House (existing). "Community" space: Brace Commons (existing). House Professor: Sergi Elizalde.

    Comment: Some new students will also live here instead of in a dedicated first-year dormitory.

  5. North Park House. Dorms: RipWoodSmith (Ripley, Woodward and Smith Halls). Faculty Residence: An existing house at 3 ½ North Park Street, across from Triangle. Community space: A temporary "tent" building occuping the pair of tennis courts northwest of Davis Varsity House. It "is planned to be a 'sprung structure,' which generally consists of a metal arch frame with an all-weather membrane over it" (The D). Professor: Ryan Calsbeek.

    Comment: These buildings are south of the College Park and closer to two other streets than they are to North Park Street. Eventually, the college-owned Heorot house would make an ideal "community" space or Faculty Residence.

  6. South House Dorms: Topliff and New Hampshire Halls and the Lodge. Faculty Residence: A new house at 5 Sanborn Street. "Community" space: The "tent" by Davis, shared with North Park House. Professor: Kathryn Lively.

    Comment: There is a surprising amount of space west of Alumni Gym for future housing or community space, and Hallgarten would make an excellent kernel of a Faculty Residence. One hopes that the inclusion of a dorm (the Lodge) and a Faculty Residence south of Lebanon Street does not pull this grouping permanently in that direction; after the Lodge is demolished, it really must be replaced with a commercial building.

Finally, the McLaughlin Cluster (Berry, Bildner, Rauner, Byrne II, Goldstein, and Thomas Halls), while not a House, is getting a Faculty Residence (an existing house at 2 Clement Road) and a House Professor, Dennis Washburn. This group will house LLCs (Living-Learning Communities) as well as some new students who will live here instead of in a dedicated first-year dormitory. Each resident will be a nonresident member of a House located elsewhere. The Faculty Residence is relatively close, and there are good sites nearby for a future faculty house, so perhaps McL. will become a House in its own right.

map of houses

The six Houses plus one. "Community" spaces are in purple, Faculty Residences are in red, and boundaries are exaggerated to indicate (short-term?) disjointedness. Based on Bing oblique aerial.

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[Update 11.04.2015: Map added.]

[Update 11.04.2015: The Dartmouth has a story today stating that the construction and renovation of the faculty houses will cost about $4 million. That amount must be coming out of the $11.75 million approved for the erection of the House system as a whole back in March (post). The two temporary "commons" will probably take up much of the rest of the budget.]

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Indoor Practice Facility at the “Sunken Garden”?

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

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

A guess: The news will be about the Indoor Practice Facility slated for the practice field beyond Thompson and the Boss Tennis Center. Almost four years ago the Alumni Magazine wrote that "Sheehy's hopes for the future include the building of an indoor practice facility[.]"1Brad Parks, "It’s a Whole New Ballgame," Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (Nov.-Dec. 2011).

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

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Notes   [ + ]

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

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