College Park meetings and tours

The Dartmouth reports on a letter from the Department of Physics and Astronomy urging the preservation of Shattuck Observatory.

The fact that Dartmouth’s astronomers feel the need to ask the college not to destroy its own observatory is pretty remarkable. The college’s response, that there is “no definitive plan” regarding Shattuck, suggests that removal is on the table.

And it’s important to oppose not only the destruction but also the moving of the 163-year old building. Opposing demolition alone gives the college an out, allowing it to claim to have “saved” the observatory by moving it to some other site.

Jack F. Mourouzis reports on a Sasaki dorm outreach or focus group meeting (“The Death of College Park?“, The Dartmouth Review):

The image on the Campus Services website is identical to a slide in architects’ PowerPoint presentation, save for one detail that is not present on the website: the upper half of the diagram — the grey space of College Park not covered by the circle labeled “Study Area” — is encircled, and labeled “Build.” I asked for clarification, and the explanation was unclear. From my best understanding, the northern area — where Dragon now stands — would be the area where dormitories themselves would be developed, and the area along the ridge behind Wilder would be made into “study areas.”

The “study area” label is probably just a reference to the current Sasaki study, but it is good to hear that the construction will be proposed for College Street north of Burke. If it does not harm the “study area,” then this dorm idea is not quite as absurd as it first seemed. But it is still short-sighted. The land north of Burke should be reserved for the physical sciences, for extensions of the Wilder-Steele-Fairchild-Burke complex. Dragon, of course, was only built in this remote location to get it out of the way of the construction of Berry.

And the underlying craziness of trying to cluster all 750 beds together is still there. This project would be a lot less awful-sounding if it were broken into five chunks and scattered around campus at appropriate sites.

The Dartmouth also had an article about an outreach meeting and site tour.

The October 30 construction update for the College Park dorm concept plan states:

An informational session for College Park neighbors will be held at 4 pm on Wednesday, November 15, on the west side of the Observatory. The group will spend 30 minutes walking the study area at College Park, followed by an informational session at Wilder Hall, room 115. In the case of inclement weather, the walking tour will be cancelled and the informational session will be held at 4:45 pm in Wilder 115.


An addition to the Rowing Boathouse

The 2012 Milone & MacBroom riverfront master plan suggested sites for additional rowing facilities, and for a while the Web page for the Ledyard Canoe Clubhouse replacement has stated that construction on that project “will be coordinated with renovation to the Rowing project.” About a year ago, the Beyer Blinder Belle “Green to Blue” framework plan (a larger image) depicted an intriguing ell coming off the bashful landward facade of the rowing boathouse. It turns out that the college is renovating the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse and building a training room addition to a design by the Seattle (!) firm of ARC Architects.

This is the site of the addition:



The addition will feature a set of rowing tanks to replace those in Alumni Gym. In plan, the tanks are reminiscent of a Mississippi River “steamboat” casino, only nominally in the water. And one wonders whether there is any way to harness the energy from the erg machines.


A tree tour of campus

  • Dartmouth News writes on the Gilman demolition and Dana renovation.

    Dana entrance

    Dana Library entrance

  • The bench at Lebanon and Crosby is a puzzling object; it was being examined by two people when the Bing StreetSide View car drove by.

  • The Valley News:

    Trustees also reviewed designs for a building to house the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, a new interdisciplinary initiative launched with an $80 million gift from the family behind Irving Oil.

    Lawrence declined to share the designs publicly, saying they were “highly preliminary.”

    Administrators in regulatory filings earlier this year discussed building a $73 million structure at the end of Tuck Mall, on the west end of campus.1 Rob Wolfe, “Dartmouth Readies Fundraising Push,” Valley News (19 September 2017).

  • Dartmouth News has a neat film on the Campus Arborist with footage taken by a drone flying up into the canopies of some of the grand trees on campus. There is a link to an interactive map of notable campus trees.

  • The monthly Enterprise magazine, a Valley News publication, has articles on the Trumbull-Nelson centennial and the Hanover Improvement Society.

  • One thing that a reader might want to learn after reading Alan Burdick’s interesting New Yorker article on watermelon snow is how watermelon snow actually tastes. It tastes like watermelon.

  • The county court has upheld the town’s rejection of the college’s proposal for an indoor practice facility or fieldhouse in the Sunken Garden (Valley News).

  • The new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is opening October 14.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. Rob Wolfe, “Dartmouth Readies Fundraising Push,” Valley News (19 September 2017).

More on the threats to College Park and Shattuck Observatory

One hopes that the conceptual design for a housing complex in College Park does not live up to the darkest predictions. And yet one must assume that the plan will not be released until it has been blessed by the Trustees.

The key justification seems to be that College Park is the only site left on campus that can fit 750 beds. Well, the Green is the only site left on campus that can fit 1,000 beds — what difference does that make? The idea that all of the needed beds must go into a single complex — far larger than any complex ever built at the college — seems entirely arbitrary, a wholly-self imposed restriction.

  • Dartmouth News reported on September 17:

    Board members also received updates on a number of construction projects that are in the planning stages or under consideration, including the demolition of Gilman Hall, early designs for the Arthur L. Irving Institute building, the renovation of Murdough Hall, and the potential construction of new residence halls.

  • The College Park construction update for September 25 states:

    An engineering firm will begin the College Park land survey on September 25. This work will continue through late-October.

    Noise monitoring devices will be set up on October 2 in and around College Park, including 3 locations along North Park Street. The equipment will be removed in mid-October.

    Is the noise monitoring meant to establish a baseline level for comparison to later construction noise, especially the noise of blasting?

  • The Dartmouth News story on the concept plan states that “Land surveying and site analysis of the west end of the park will be done over the next six weeks by Sasaki Architects[.]” During the second half of the nineteenth century, classes in surveying were a part of the undergraduate engineering curriculum, and a survey of College Park was a typical and probably mandatory subject of a class project each year. Student surveying teams would pose for group photos in the Bema. This is probably the most-mapped plot of land in Hanover. (And recently, students in Art History 34 plotted out a half-scale footprint of a gothic church in the Bema.)

  • Marlene Heck has a letter opposing the project in the Valley News.

  • The Dartmouth has an article and an editorial about the project.

  • Here’s what the Town’s 2003 master plan said about College Park:

    Having shown great leadership in conserving the Mink Brook Nature Preserve, Dartmouth College should continue, where possible with the Town and others, to play a constructive role in the stewardship of special open areas. The College should preserve its special places such as the Green, the Bema, College Park, and Occom Pond.

  • For some reason Wikipedia has been attributing the design of Shattuck Observatory to nineteenth-century Boston architect Gridley J.F. Bryant, at least in the article about Bryant. That article also credited Bryant with the design of Dartmouth Hall, a misattribution that crept into the main Wikipedia article about Dartmouth as well as an article in the Keene Sentinel.


Reading between the lines on Shattuck’s fate

The September 19 letter from John Scherding to North Park Street neighbors1 The letter is posted with the Valley News story. Dartmouth is treading lightly now that the Town has succeeded in stopping the Indoor Practice Facility. states that “if we decide to move forward, the Bema, Bartlett Tower, and the special character of the park would be preserved.” The same phrase appears in the FAQ. What’s missing? Shattuck Observatory.

In an interview with the Valley News, Rick Mills said “When you triage the things up there, the things that rise to the absolute top are Bema and the Bartlett Tower.” There is no mention of the historic observatory, designed by Ammi Burnham Young and built in 1854.

In the September 20 Dartmouth News story by Susan Boutwell, the Bema and Bartlett Tower are described in some detail, but Shattuck Observatory is not mentioned at all. The College Park project page has no mention of existing architectural resources — only “the distinct topography, ecology, and landscape” of the site. The map is described as showing “our residential neighbors and the natural spaces to be preserved.” Of course the map also shows Shattuck Observatory, but perhaps it is not to be preserved.

One needn’t belong to the frozen-in-amber school to sense that Shattuck really should remain where it is. What if its telescopes are removed and it is surrounded by new dormitories? Fine — make Shattuck into the Professor’s House of this new House Community. Turn it into a secret society hall; put a couple of offices in there for grad students; but do not remove it.2 Green Templeton College at Oxford (Wikipedia), founded in the late 20th century, occupies a piece of land that includes an old observatory, the Radcliffe Observatory. The observatory is used as the college common room and serves as the architectural symbol of the college.

Shattuck Observatory, Meacham photo

Shattuck Observatory, Meacham photo

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Notes   [ + ]

1. The letter is posted with the Valley News story. Dartmouth is treading lightly now that the Town has succeeded in stopping the Indoor Practice Facility.
2. Green Templeton College at Oxford (Wikipedia), founded in the late 20th century, occupies a piece of land that includes an old observatory, the Radcliffe Observatory. The observatory is used as the college common room and serves as the architectural symbol of the college.

Building a dormitory wall in College Park

The college has hired Sasaki Associates1 If this complex is built, the college should get another firm to handle the design. Sasaki’s Modernist college residential buildings look nice enough (see Regis College and the N.C. State project page and aerial) but they do not belong on this site. to come up with a conceptual design for a massive dormitory complex to be shoehorned between the Wilder Lab and Shattuck Observatory, on the edge of College Park (College Park Conceptual Design page, Dartmouth News article, Valley News article ).

The design brief calls for a capacity of 750 beds. That is more than twice the size of the East Wheelock Cluster (now East Wheelock House), including the later McCulloch Hall:

Andres Hall   84 beds
McCulloch Hall   78 beds
Morton Hall   84 beds
Zimmerman Hall   86 beds2 East Wheelock House site.
Total   336 beds

One of the goals of the conceptual design process is to “respect the ridge.” Keeping the buildings low, especially at the upper end of the site, will require the college to use all of the buildable land within the entire study area. This complex is likely to be a Byker Wall (Wikipedia, Google aerial).

(To truly respect the ridge, of course, the college would have to stack all of this dormitory space into a tower sited behind Richardson Hall. That idea was raised and dropped in the 1960s.3 As strange as a dormitory tower sounds in small-town New England, it was not too much for Bowdoin College (Google Street View).)

Terrace and College Park

College Park has been encroached upon for decades and is significantly smaller now than when it was created. The park could be a necessary building site some day, but the college is certainly not there yet. (And construction costs will be higher than average here because of the limits on access, the necessity of protecting trees and historic buildings, and the fact that the whole site is made up of ledges of bedrock: there will be a lot of dynamite required.)

This site was chosen because it is the only one that can hold all of the 750 beds the college believes to be necessary. The college could stand to think more creatively — there are plenty of sites around campus where new beds could be built. There is space for hundreds of beds behind Mass Row and in front of Davis Varsity House, both sites that have been reserved for residential use for years. There is a site behind Fahey/McLane. Closer to College Park, Andres could be extended to the west. Ripley and Smith could be extended to the west and east. Richardson Hall could stand to have a rear ell added, incorporating an arched gateway to the park.

While a small building or addition at the bottom end of the College Park site would be a fine idea, a double-East Wheelock Cluster simply is not appropriate here. One would love to see the campus-wide master planning4 Recently, Beyer Blinder Belle completed a master plan for the campus and were brought back to create a framework plan for the west end of Tuck Mall. Sasaki Associates were hired to plan out the House Communities system and were brought back to design two temporary social buildings as part of that system. Some unreleased plan presumably shows College Park as the last big unused site on campus. Could it be that the planners are now rejecting the Mass Row and Davis Varsity sites because those sites are already reserved for the various permanent, on-campus professors’ dwellings and social halls that the House Communities will need to be fully realized? That plan would be an interesting one to see. that led to the conclusion that a great wall of buildings on a cramped site of such sensitivity and meaning was the best move to make.

———————

Notes   [ + ]

1. If this complex is built, the college should get another firm to handle the design. Sasaki’s Modernist college residential buildings look nice enough (see Regis College and the N.C. State project page and aerial) but they do not belong on this site.
2. East Wheelock House site.
3. As strange as a dormitory tower sounds in small-town New England, it was not too much for Bowdoin College (Google Street View).
4. Recently, Beyer Blinder Belle completed a master plan for the campus and were brought back to create a framework plan for the west end of Tuck Mall. Sasaki Associates were hired to plan out the House Communities system and were brought back to design two temporary social buildings as part of that system. Some unreleased plan presumably shows College Park as the last big unused site on campus. Could it be that the planners are now rejecting the Mass Row and Davis Varsity sites because those sites are already reserved for the various permanent, on-campus professors’ dwellings and social halls that the House Communities will need to be fully realized? That plan would be an interesting one to see.

President for the time being

  • A task force is exploring the possibility of expanding college enrollment from about 4,310 to as many as 5,387 (press release, Inside Higher Ed). Maybe that’s why the Golf Course land is so appealing.

  • Freeman French Freeman has a rendering and a plan of the expansion of the Sports Pavilion out at Burnham Field (FFF brochure). The building is still not named after anyone. The rendering shows some lettering on the side of the building: DONOR PAVILION.

  • Morton Hall, a building in the East Wheelock Cluster, has opened again after it was damaged in a fire (press release). The building was gutted and a new interior was designed by Harriman Associates of Portland, Maine (Harriman).

  • The timber-framed picnic pavilion has opened at the Organic Farm (Dartmouth News).

  • An old railroad station in West Lebanon has been moved (Valley News).

  • Dana, once on the chopping block, is being renovated by Leers Weinzapfel Architects of Boston,
    authors of some great chiller plants and the huge UPenn athletic field complex of Penn Park (with MVVA).
    Dana is expected to be ready in the fall of 2019. Gilman will be demolished by the end of this year (Campus Services).

  • The Class of 1967 Bunkhouse has opened at Moosilauke.1 Tricia McKeon, “New Class of 1967 Bunkhouse Supports Dartmouth’s Spirit of Adventure,” Alumni News (19 July 2017).

  • The Rauner Blog has an article on the demolition of “Dartmouth College,” one of the original buildings of the school.

  • The Irving Institute building page notes that the 50-55,000 gsf building will connect to the Murdough Center through an atrium and will attempt to meet LEED platinum requirements.

  • Enjoy Michael Hinsley’s local history corner at DailyUV, Tragedies and Disasters.

  • There is some good insight in Callie Budrick’s article “Victorian Foppishness & Making the McSweeney’s Generation,” Print (11 August 2017) (via Things Magazine)

  • Project VetCare, which was not an animal hospital but a military veterans’ organization with laudable aims, is being shut down after apparent embezzlement (Valley News). The group had a house in Hanover that it intended as a residence for Dartmouth vets.

  • There are some nice photos of the fireplace masonry at the construction updates page. Timberhomes LLC helped build the new Lodge.

  • Flude’s Medal (also called the Flude Jewel) is the badge of office of Dartmouth’s president. It is engraved on the reverse:

    The Gift of / John Flude, / Broker, / Gracechurch Street, / London, 5th April 1785 / to / the President of / Dartmouth College / for the time being / at Hanover, in / the State of / New Hampshire.2 Dick Hoefnagel, “John Flude’s Medal,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (November 1991).

    President Emeritus Wright picked up on the “time being” phrase in a speech in 2005, responding with the statement that “We’re still here.” The phrase was read to refer to “Dartmouth College, for the time being at Hanover.” Flude, however, might have intended to give the medal to “the President of Dartmouth College for the time being,” in other words, whoever was the president in April of 1785 (and, perhaps, all future presidents, which is the way it has been treated).

  • Hanover is building a park called School Street Park with Byrne Foundation funds. The Park will occupy a vacant lot (Street View) across from Panarchy, two doors north of Edgerton House. A Town pdf has a small landscape plan, and the Valley News has an article.

  • An interesting turn of events: Kendal, which purchased the old Chieftain Motor Inn, is not going to expand onto the neighboring property after all. Instead, it will buy part of Rivercrest to the south and expand in that direction (Valley News).

  • The May-June Alumni Magazine had an article by William Clark on the Thayer-Partridge rivalry.

  • The dining halls in the new colleges at Yale feature some cheeky inscriptions:

    Brian Meacham interior photo Yale new college

    Inscription, Murray College Hall, Yale. Brian Meacham photo.

    Brian Meacham interior photo Yale new college

    Fireplace, Franklin College Hall, Yale. Brian Meacham photo.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. Tricia McKeon, “New Class of 1967 Bunkhouse Supports Dartmouth’s Spirit of Adventure,” Alumni News (19 July 2017).
2. Dick Hoefnagel, “John Flude’s Medal,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (November 1991).

The college could close the Country Club

The college is considering whether to shutter its historic Hanover Country Club.

Even if the college were to close the club, of course, it would never sell off the entire golf course. The golf course has been officially viewed as a “land bank” for future institutional development for at least 15 years (see the 2002 master plan pdf).

This website has proposed that if the south end of the golf course is to be developed, it should be built up with some density using “town” forms rather than as an extension of the grassy campus, irrespective of ownership (see posts of 2008 and 2012).

Whatever form it takes, the development of the south end of the golf course should not require the closure of the Country Club. The Club itself has planned since at least 2000 to move its clubhouse to Lyme Road, and one could imagine new holes being added to the east of the course, near the Rugby Clubhouse, or to the north, in the Fletcher Circle neighborhood, where residents have had concerns about groundwater contamination migrating from CRREL. If the college really needs the land near Dewey Field for more buildings, it should simply shift the golf course instead of destroying it.


A village in the Park?

  • The Moosilauke page has a section called “Building has begun.” Dartmouth News has a report with some recent photos showing the building taking shape. Trips this year will conclude at the McLane Family Lodge at the Skiway because the Ravine Lodge will not be ready.

  • Photos show the steel going up at the Hood Museum addition; see also the Hood’s updates on steel, progress, and the topping-out ceremony.

  • More than 20 years ago an architecture magazine published a small photo of Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill’s adaptation (cleverly invasive rehabilitation? creeping residential takeover?) of an old cement plant. The work has held a fascination ever since. Now Designboom has a comprehensive article. An amazing long-term project of simultaneously inhabiting a ruin and making a “ruin”; and don’t those trees on the roof remind one of J.M. Gandy’s fantasy illustrations of Soane’s Bank of England as a ruin?

  • A while back the absence of personality on the part of any of the new House Communities was noted. The apparently provisional names are still in use, but the communities do seem to be coming to life. West House (on the north side of Tuck Mall) has a blog with a bit of personality. For example: West House members are called Westians. The house has a Westletter and a team in the House volleyball league. West House has been using a logo that features an image of the great elm tree that stands between Fahey and Russell Sage. Incidentally, the deadline for House Community insignia design ideas was April 10. No word yet on results.

  • The Dartmouth says in an article that the college is thinking of developing “a kind of ‘village'” near the Bema in the College Park. One hopes that if it is built, it is sited at the north end or on the back side of the park instead of near the Bema.

    The College Park has been eyed as a building site for decades, most recently as a site for a pre-recession SLI “Commons House.” There were some terrible ideas for building there in the Fifties and Sixties; and RipWoodSmith, after all, is an encroachment on the College Park, and Richardson was probably seen that way when it was built more than a century ago.

  • U.Va. artisit-in-residence Mark Dion has created a “cabin of curiosities” down the hill from the Architecture School. Interesting.

  • Heraldry news: Along with renaming Calhoun College for Grace Hopper, Yale has given Hopper College a new coat of arms (Calhoun notice, Yale Daily News). Yale also built two new residential colleges recently, Murray and Franklin. Rather than create stone Gothic buildings, the firm of Robert A.M. Stern has designed a Tudorbethan complex of brick. The two colleges have had complimentary coats of arms for a year or more (pdf). Finally, at Harvard, the sustainability website replaces the crimson of the school’s historic shield with a pea-soup green.

  • The Big Green Alert Blog has a seating diagram showing Fenway Park as it will be configured for the Dartmouth v. Brown football game there on November 10.

  • The Medal of Honor Foundation is running elaborate eight-page print ads, such as those in Fortune Magazine, that attribute this quotation to Abraham Lincoln: “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”

    Really? That sure does not sound like something Lincoln would say. Of course he used the phrase “can long endure” with reference to a nation in the Gettysburg Address, but that is all the more reason to doubt that this quote, similar and yet different, is also from him. And does it even make sense? Isn’t the maintenance of the military, or the food supply, or the economic might of the nation a bit more important to the nation’s survival than its treatment of its “heroes”? (And, objectively speaking, are they really heroes if they are not honored?)

    The Grand Army of the Republic, which should know a Lincoln quote when it sees it, printed an article in 1909 (actually it was the GAR Department of Iowa in its Journal of Proceedings of the Annual Encampment) that contained this passage:

    A man once said, “The nation which does not honor its heroes, itself should die. The nation which does not teach its children to honor its heroes, itself will die.”

    No Lincoln. Someone asked the “Queries and Answers” column in the New York Times Review of Books in 1959 for the source of this statement: “A nation which does not honor its heroes soon has no heroes to honor.” I am unable to find a response.

  • Here’s an idea: If Davis Varsity House needs to be moved out of the way (see this snippet of the latest master plan), why not move it to the intersection of Lebanon and Crosby Streets, a roundabout-worthy urban room that could be called Larson Square? Davis would occupy the parking lot next to the Black VAC, a spot that is very close to the current location of Davis, avoiding a lot of big trees; and it fits perfectly with an intersection that is already home to two other major institutional buildings by Jens Larson.

  • Stained glass, old and new.

    Chartres

    Signature panel, window in sixth bay, north side of nave, Chartres.

    South

    Window in south transept, Sainte-Mère-Église.

——

[Update 08.10.2017: Broken links to Hood photos removed, Lincoln quotation image added.]


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 Associates5Aaron 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).

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):


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.


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.


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).


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.


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).


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.]


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.]