The Moosilauke project is beginning. Wow. See the aerial of timber framing. And see the unique, oddly-shaped timbers destined to become crucks and idiosyncratic railings and so on. Much of timber, the update states, was harvested under the direction of the College Forester from college lands on Trescott Road, off Grasse Road in Hanover.
The project page for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement has a depiction of the future building. Taking advantage of the slope like a Pennsylvania bank barn, the clubhouse will stand three stories high.
The Rauner Library blog has a post on Dartmouth Night telegrams and a post on the Old Pine, particularly the fragment of the pine kept in the archives.
A presentation (pdf) from the summer shows possible bike lanes connecting Hanover and DHMC.
Speaking of Schinkel (in a post of two months ago), Adobe has produced a time-lapse video of Mike Campau recreating Schinkel’s lost painting Cathedral Towering Over a Town using thousands of bits of stock photos.
The 2015 Jones Media Center interior renovation in Berry Library was designed by Jones Architecture and built by North Branch. Jones also designed the DartmouthX Studio around the same time. It occupies the far east end of Berry.
What if the college, finding itself expanding onto the south end of the golf course, simply added another nine holes to the east (by the Rugby Clubhouse) and to the north (behind the Fire Department, even into the Fletcher Circle neighborhood)? The Times had an article on swapping the front and back nine on a golf course.
Microsoft’s Bing has its Streetside view (like Google Street View), and the service has come to Hanover. Are its photos taken at shorter increments than Google’s? It does seem easier to navigate, but it offers less coverage nationally and in Hanover. The photos seem less sharp. The aerial and bird’s eye views are superior to Google’s.
Some of the best photos yet of the DEN space in 4 Currier (project page) are in the Truex Cullins blog.
If the Dartmouth Cup (see the post from the summer) does not fill the role of a mace, the college’s eagle feather staff, featured in Dartmouth Now, surely could.
Dean of Libraries Jeffrey Horrell retired in June.
The Valley News reports that the owners of the Salt Hill Pub have bought the Seven Barrel Brewery in West Leb and that the college has sold its interest in Centerra Marketplace, the suburban mall partway to the hospital that houses a Co-Op Food Store location.
Co-Op Food Store in Centerra
11.28.2016 update: DEN project page link added.
In the “Giving” part of its website, the college has posted a new page for the replacement Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (thanks Rick). The page includes some new renderings, a site plan (showing Benton and McKenny cabins as slated for replacement), and most notably a video flythrough of the future Lodge.
These illustrations are in addition to the watercolors released earlier.
The building’s somewhat jumbled massing and the layering of its roofs of varied pitches give the impression of accretion over time. There are many traditional elements, including the post-and-beam construction of heavy logs, but the building is unmistakeably Modernist.
Pulling back the basement wall on the downhill side, leaving just the stone piers, reduces the bulk of the building and adds to its elemental, primitive character. One wonders where all the stone will come from; this building will require a lot of stone.
The side-gabled roof of the lower porch, with one of its planes draining back toward the face of the building, seems a bit odd. (This at :51 in the video.) Is this traditional? Is it because this roof must support the big vertical members above? The form of the roof almost implies that this colonnade started as a freestanding covered walkway.
The heavy landscaping for the amphitheater might be a little precious. The outdoor pizza oven sounds like fun, but is not very characteristic of this place. Maybe it will become a part of a new Dartmouth tradition.
Conceiving of the multistory interior chimney as a great stone tower is a good idea. But will it be weird to give this tower so much heft upstairs while it rests on relatively slim pillars downstairs? Will visitors who go “inside” the chimney downstairs feel like they are about to be crushed? The log beams in the ceiling could not possibly hold up the boulders above; will there be any convincing trabeation to create a roof? The bookshelves occupying an Inca ruin downstairs look great; this is more of a library than one would expect.
The new project page for the Ravine Lodge replacement links to a pdf of the schematic design.
The new design seems to recognize that the building’s “rear” facade, which faces away from the road, is its most prominent side.
Within the dining room is a great cairn-like chimney. Projecting from two sides of the chimney is a Swiss-Family-Robinson style cantilevered balcony or mezzanine. The stair to reach this mezzanine is located inside the chimney. It’s not clear how convincing the fireplace will be…
The college has released four watercolor sketches of the future Ravine Lodge replacement (see also the accompanying Dartmouth Now announcement; the Valley News has a story). The building depicted looks similar to the one that was shown in the sketch posted here back in November 2014.
As is always said, although the demolition is regrettable, if the Lodge is to be replaced, this looks like a good replacement. The designers have taken care to depict a number of existing signs and other decorative elements. The stone foundations and footings should be more attractive and characteristic of Mt. Moosilauke than the current 1939 concrete walls. The massive stone mountain of a chimney structure looks like it could be interesting.
First, the Brown game takes place today. It will be the last game played before Jens Larson’s 1923 West Stands at Memorial Field. The steel-framed concrete seating terraces will be demolished and removed from behind the brick facade, which will remain, beginning this week.
Second, The Dartmouth reports that:
The College also plans to rebuild the Ledyard Clubhouse. The clubhouse, which used to house a few students, was vacated last fall following water intrusion and mold buildup. Hogarty said the College will eliminate the residential component when Ledyard is rebuilt.
“Rebuilt” means “replaced,” of course. This news has also been a long time coming. Students have been designing replacements for years — the original 1930 building was designed by a student, in fact — and the Milone & Macbroom Riverfront Master Plan showed a replacement building in the long term. It is worth mentioning that the Ledyard Monument is not in its original location and so probably needn’t be kept where it is.
Interior of Ledyard looking north in 2005
Third, the focus of the article in The Dartmouth is the news that the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge feasibility study recommends demolishing and replacing the Lodge. Maclay Architects, which conducted the study, includes a drawing of the main (west) facade of a possible Ravine Lodge replacement:
Detail of Maclay drawing of west facade of new Ravine Lodge
The drawing shows a building that seems both grander and more rustic, or more self-consciously rustic, than the 1938 Lodge. It lacks the extremely broad gable of the old lodge, but it has a signature form of its own. Maclay has extensive timber-framing experience, and with big logs scarce these days, this lodge appears to be a timber-framed building clad in shingles.
The Board of Trustees could decide whether to demolish the old building in the spring.
Back in 2008 this site noted with suspicion the talk of the possible demolition and replacement of the Ravine Lodge.
A reading the 2010 edition of the Moosilauke Land Management Plan (pdf) is reassuring, however. While concerned, the folks in charge seem to be the last ones who would want to get rid of the building. From page 24 of the plan:
In 2005, the Moosilauke Advisory Committee and Outdoor Programs began discussing the replacement of the Ravine Lodge, because of maintenance issues and because the building was felt to be not sufficient for existing needs. In the fall of 2008, the College administration decided that, for the foreseeable future (at least five years) it does not envision reconstruction of the Ravine Lodge. The existing main building will be maintained as it long as it can safely be done, and rotten logs will be replaced, as part of the College operating budget through the Facilities Operations & Maintenance department (FO&M).
However, concerns about sufficiency of facilities continue.
That paragraph concludes with a warning of “the significant possibility of replacement of the Lodge in the not-too-distant future.”
When a dinner crowd can no longer be seated safely, or when a weakened log can only be replaced at great expense, how should the replacement Ravine Lodge look?
The recent Moosilauke practice has been to build excellent buildings with timber frames, but one could argue that the Ravine Lodge simply must be a log cabin. Does New Hampshire still have forests that can supply big logs economically? I have no idea. Could a sustainable harvest in the Grant provide the right timber? This could be the perfect time to play out Gregory Bateson’s “New College roof beam” story.
The Ravine Lodge is famous for its collection of cast-off trail signs and other jetsam, and all of this would go to the replacement. Some of the original logs would be incorporated as well. Maybe the new lodge could have a foundation of granite instead of concrete. And the upgrades would be irresistable: it could have a high-capacity septic system, dedicated Croo quarters, a modern kitchen, an accessible elevator, and all the infrastructure the current lodge lacks. Maybe its dining room would be able to seat 125 instead of 85.
If fire safety is the main concern, could the old lodge be saved if its program were reduced drastically? Build the grand new lodge next door and turn the old lodge into a spacious but relatively little-used visitor center, bunkhouse, or storage building.
William Maclay Architects, creators of the master plan for the Organic Farm, have designed the Class of 1974 Bunkhouse at the Ravine Lodge. Timberhomes LLC is building the bunkhouse. The class will present it at their 40-year reunion next year. The construction site is visible north of the Lodge in this recent Google aerial:
The Ravine Lodge really seems to be evolving into a little village, less a singular outpost than a summer camp.
The Rauner Library Blog has a nicely-illustrated set of posts on the first Freshman Trip in 1935, Trips during WWII, and Trips in the present. The program is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Robin Meyers created a time-lapse video of scenes at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, focusing on a feed and square dance (via Dartmouth College Planning).
The Moosilauke Advisory Committee recommends that Dartmouth demolish the historic Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (Richard Butterfield, 1938-39) near Warren, New Hampshire.
The article on the Committee’s recommendation in The Dartmouth does not suggest that the Committee has consulted with an accredited preservation architect, or an architect who is familiar with historic log buildings. The reasons given for demolishing Dartmouth’s most unusual and most sustainable building are not yet very convincing:
Reason :: Typical solution
logs cracking :: seal them
logs rotting :: replace them
current building codes :: upgrade/overlook – most old buildings fail
not large enough :: add on by extending the Great Hall
The idea that the building was “built to last 50 years” is especially insidious because every building has such a number. No one in 1938 planned for Moosilauke to be demolished in 1988 any more those who built Moore or Berry in 1998 planned to have it torn down in 2048. A “lifetime” number exists for every building and simply describes the period after which significant elements will need replacement. Swapping out logs or replacing a roof is nothing a competent construction crew cannot handle.
Dartmouth should not let the cost of proper maintenance justify destruction, even if an historic log building might cost a bit more to maintain than the cheap imitation that would replace it. The Lodge was built by volunteers and low-paid local loggers, during the Depression, which means that Dartmouth has been enjoying the savings of a low initial purchase price for 70 years. A little extra expense today would be well justified.
Destroying the Ravine Lodge would also waste all of the energy the building embodies, and by rights it should prevent any replacement from claiming to be “green.” The Lodge was constructed using sustainable local timber hauled by horses. All of its systems are indefinitely replaceable and will not tie up valuable metals or harmful chemicals in landfills when they are thrown away after failing suddenly at the end of their useful lives, as the parts of a new building will do.
The college that is gearing up to celebrate the centennial of its Outing Club, that is sincerely dedicated to meeting voluntary “green” regulations, and that produces graduates such as William McDonough should be embarrassed to consider destroying the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. Just as with any other National-Register eligible building, if parts of it are broken, they need to be fixed. Before any demolition takes place, I’d hope that Dartmouth justify such a decision by reporting no that federal and state historic preservation laws will be implicated; that a certified preservation architect with log building experience has written off the building; and that the replacement will not seek any kind of LEED certification.
[Update 01.13.2013: Broken link to McDonough removed.]
[Update 11.17.2012: Broken links to McDonough and image fixed.]