History, buildings, etc.

  • The Rauner blog has posts on Memorial Field, dorm room plans, fraternity meeting minutes, the WWI trenches around Leverone’s site, and class day clay pipes.

  • A Review interview with Thayer School’s Senior Associate Dean Ian Baker says:

    In addition to serving as the Associate Dean, Baker also chaired a community board overseeing and discussing the construction of a new building for the engineering school. The new building will be located next to MacLean where the parking lot is. “We have yet to figure out where the car park goes,” Baker mentioned, wryly suggesting that it was the only problem in the plan. Baker also serves on several academic boards for the school.

    The trustees approved a Thayer School parking garage on the Cummings Lot site back in February of 2002 (post).

  • An actual historic preservation campaign has sprung up at Dartmouth: Save Moosilauke.

  • The 65 Bunkhouse is finished, photos of the decication.

  • Nice black-and-white photos of Hanover architecture by Trevor Labarge are on line. The post office pediment looks quite grand, almost Londonesque.

  • The Hanover Conservancy is thinking about Kendal’s expansion onto the Chieftain property

  • The Valley News is covering the ongoing negotiations over construction of a palliative care center near DHMC and Boston Lot Lake.

  • The Williamson seems to be wrapping up (2014 press release, Turner Construction page).

  • ORW Landscape Architects and Planners of WRJ has been acquired by Greenman – Pedersen, Inc. of New York (pdf). ORW designed the recent improvements to the sidewalk and porte-cochere of the Inn (pdf).

  • The Norwich ad firm called Flannel created Dartmouth’s polished Strategic Plan website and others.

  • The story of how Glasgow football club Partick Thistle F.C. (Wiki) got its new mascot is almost as odd as the mascot itself.

  • Old Division Football (“the Usual Game”) seems a bit like the Florentine calcio storico (New York Times).


1. The Lone Pine really is taking over from the 1940s-1950s shield as an emblem of official college-related things other than the board of trustees.

The pine is everywhere. For example, the Campus Police were represented by this patch but now Safety & Security are using this one. A van from Computing Services (now called ITS?) features a pine dissolving into pixels. Each of the new shields of Thayer School and Grad Studies has a pine. The new-ish DDS logo presents the Lone Pine as a giant piece of broccoli. Peak magazine (Winter 2015) even has an article on the phenomenon.

2. If the residential colleges adopt coats of arms, the collection of all six will look neat together. Here’s a collaged image of the carved and painted arms of the city of Dresden, flanked by those of the city’s districts, created to honor the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the DDR in 1979:

Dresden, Germany arms. Meacham photo

3. This is not directly related, but it’s worth remembering that a portion of the money that Wheelock used to establish Dartmouth came from Merton College, Oxford (Wiki; arms shown on 1264 Society page). The college is listed as having donated £2.2s.- to Moor’s Charity School during Occom’s and Whitaker’s 1766-1767 fundraising tour of England and Scotland (appendix to Wheelock’s 1769 Narrative in Google Books).


Update 08.25.2015: Take a look at the Flag Project at the Florianopolis Design Biennale — a whole series of flags, each one representing the architectural features of a particular building.

Moosilauke schematic design

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…

House professors’ dwelling sites selected

The Valley News reports on the sites of the six dwellings of the house professors. (Each of the future “residential colleges,” also called “residential communities,” “houses,” and sometimes “clusters,” will have a resident professor.) Correlated with what are presumed to be the corresponding residential communities, the sites are:

  1. The existing Frost House (White House), part of the East Wheelock Cluster. (The continued use of this house is only implied in the article.)

  2. A new house at 16 Webster Avenue. The college will build a “two-story, three-bedroom building of about 3,000 square feet with an attached two-car garage” on vacant land west of the President’s House. Street View. This house presumably will serve the Russell Sage cluster.

  3. A new house at 5 Sanborn Road, near the Howe Library. This house and its southern yard will occupy the site of 18 East South Street, a corner house demolished recently, as well as 5 Sanborn Road, a house slated for demolition (June 2 Planning Board meeting minutes pdf). Street View. This house presumably will serve the Topliff cluster.

  4. The existing house at 2 Clement Road, a Tudorbethan cottage behind LALACS. Street View. This house presumably will serve the McLaughlin cluster, although it is not close by.

  5. A new house at 12 Allen Street, next to Panarchy. “On the corner of School Street and Allen Street, the college owns land zoned for three single-family homes, on which it plans to build two residences with a shared backyard.” According to June 2 Planning Board meeting minutes (pdf), “[t]he ravine will be filled to create a lot with less topographic relief. Tim shared a little history about the lot. A person had excavated a cave in the side of the ravine and lived there for some time.” Street View. One of the two new residences presumably will serve the Mass Row cluster, blocks away.

  6. The existing house at 3 ½ North Park Street, a rambling Victorian dwelling across from Triangle House. Street View. By process of elimination, this house is presumed to serve the Fayers cluster, although it is closer to East Wheelock.

The college plans to begin site work on the new buildings in the fall “and may break ground as soon as next spring” (this and all other unattributed quotations are from the VN article).

Some of these houses are quite distant from the clusters they are meant to serve; perhaps this is only an interim step, useful during the ten or twelve years before a major gift allows the construction of a permanent (non-prefab) dwelling within the bounds of each Residential Community.

The Houses and retroactive alumnification

A new deanship under an old name — Dean of the College — now oversees the creation of the house system.1

One of the new House Professors, Ryan Hickox, said recently:

In addition to the House Professors, House members will also include faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff, alumni, and other associates of Dartmouth, so that the Houses become a true cross-section of Dartmouth in which we all take part in activities and traditions together.2

All kinds of interesting questions for the new Dean are popping up:

  • What will the Houses be named? (See some suggestions posted here in June.)

  • Will graduates march according to House affiliation at Commencement?

  • Which of Houses will put its House Professor in a modular dwelling, and how soon does the college plan to replace these structures? (See the May post here.)

  • Will a knowledgeable designer create a coat of arms for each House, as at Yale?3

  • Will any landscape changes accompany the building alterations? A few territorial walls could have a large effect on identity.

  • Will pre-2016 graduates be assigned to Houses after the fact? This question was prompted by Professor Hickox’s statement. Once the House identities are set, the college would seem to have a great opportunity to invite every alum to formally affiliate with a particular house. The Houses with the newest buildings, such as East Wheelock and especially McLaughlin, would have comparably youthful Old Members — another way in which the Houses would become differentiated notwithstanding the random assignment of New Members.

Good's proposed Dartmouth arms


  1. Priya Ramaiah, “Rebecca Biron Appointed Dean of the College,” The Dartmouth (26 June 2015), available at http://thedartmouth.com/2015/06/26/rebecca-biron-appointed-dean-of-the-college/ (viewed 1 July 2015).
  2. Ryan Hickox, interviewed by Kush S. Desai in “Inside the Mind of a House Professor,” The Dartmouth Review (12 June 2015), at http://www.dartreview.com/in-the-mind-of-a-housing-professor/ (viewed 1 July 2015).
  3. Richard Hand Parke, “Yale Keeps Alive Art of Heraldry,” New York Times (31 May 1964), available at http://www.nytimes.com/1964/05/31/yale-keeps-alive-art-of-heraldry.html?_r=0 (viewed 1 July 2015). If students are invited to come up with their own heraldry, they must obey High School Heraldry Rule No. 1: The shield shall feature a clip-art lamp as the symbol of knowledge.

Newsilauke Ravine Lodge

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.

Investiture and other topics

  • The report of the 210th Alumni Council meeting updates us on plans underway to create a freestanding School of Graduate Studies that will coordinate the 17 Ph.D. programs and 12 Masters’ programs that exist alongside the professional degrees of the three professional schools. Grad Studies is now holding its first investiture ceremony (Dartmouth Now). The coat of arms was just the first step…

  • The Council meeting summary states that “[t]he College has also received sufficient donations to support the initial year of the new residential model of house communities.” That’s an interesting funding method; presumably in the long term the school will seek a naming gift for each Community. The funding element is not mentioned in the full report, although the need for heraldry (again) is foreshadowed:

    House programming budgets will support a wide range of activities including “feeds,” intramurals, concerts, field trips, new annual traditions, alumni events, house swag, experiential learning, and leadership development activities.

    Happy to see the term “feed” surviving.

  • It was a surprise to find last year that the famous Concord Coach that regularly carried the football team to the railroad station more than a century ago still existed (post). Now, courtesy of Time Well Kept: Selections from the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives, we learn that the coach of famous Hanover liveryman Ira Allen survives as well! From the book:

    J.S. and E.A. Abbot and Company built coach #746 in the spring of 1864 for New Hampshire stage operator Ira B. Allen, who ordered his coach made two inches narrower and lighter than other typical nine-passenger coaches. Coach builders painted #746 dark green, a standard but seldom-chosen color requested by Allen, whose staging business in Hanover carried many students and visitors to Dartmouth College.

    The coach, which is no longer painted green, is on display in Miami.

  • The Alumni Magazine in its May-June issue featured a number of historic photos of life at the college, carefully colored by Sanna Dullaway. The photo of the Golden Corner and watering trough, the tenth or so image, looks like it gets the color right.

  • The Big Green Alert continues to cover progress at Memorial Field, with photos on May 14, 20, and 22, and June 4.

  • Really intriguing things are going on with the proposal for a natural gas pipeline from Lebanon to the Heating Plant via DHMC (Valley News).

  • Received the latest campus map through email ahead of the reunion next weekend. It looks nice. It labels all of the sports fields and, possibly for the first time, labels the Softball Park and Burnham Pavilion (I thought that one was also unnamed as the Sports Pavilion?). It depicts the Lewiston buildings. It calls attention to the fact that the parking lot behind Thayer/53 Commons is still called “DDA Lot,” even though DDA became DDS a quarter-century ago. One does wish that the mapmakers would abbreviate the “Saint” in the names of the churches. And is the official name of the cemetery really the “Town of Hanover Cemetery,” when it was built on college-owned land and run by the Dartmouth Cemetery Association? Finally, one hopes that the roadway labeled “Old Tuck Drive” is not called that in practice. There is no “new” Tuck Drive to distinguish it from, and it’s the same as it ever was: Tuck Drive.

  • The Dartmouth reports on Tri-Delt’s decision to go local.

  • The website of Gamma Delta Chi documents the changes that the organization is making to its house, including an extensive set of alterations to the Pit.

  • The Valley News, reporting on the AD derecognition, quotes college spokeswoman Diana Lawrence:

    “Students are free to join any organization that’s not recognized by the college,” she said, so as far as Dartmouth is concerned, “they can become Freemasons.”

    In case you were wondering in 1799, “the Board of Trust declared itself in a decree that any student becoming a mason should thereby cease to be a member of College.”1

  • The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the ownership of the Green.

  • The voters of the Town defeated the West Wheelock Gateway District proposal (Valley News).


  1. John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913 ), 520.

Welcome to Richmond, Dr. Taylor —

This site has commented now and then on the upcoming Hood Museum expansion by comparing that project to two recent expansions by the late Rick Mather’s firm, one big one at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and a somewhat cozier addition to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The news today is that the Hood’s former director, Michael Taylor, has been appointed chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the VMFA (see the VMFA press release, Valley News story).

Welcome to RVA, Dr. Taylor. I love the VMFA and try to spend a lot of time there. My kid’s even got a work on display there:

artwork VMFA

Moosilauke demo official; other items

  • Dartmouth Now reports in “House Professors Named to Residential Communities“:

    The house professors will each serve a four-year term beginning July 1, 2015, and will move into on-campus residences near their respective house communities the following summer.

    In fact, other than the current East Wheelock professor, who will continue, none of the professors has been publicly named to a particular residential community. See also The Dartmouth.

  • A new sport to try: the primitive biathlon (a href=”http://www.vnews.com/home/16288958-95/a-snowback-throwback-biathlons-receive-a-retro-makeover”>Valley News).

  • The Food Co-Op has posted a video of the renovation and addition project as it stood in March.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the remarkable collections of digital photos that are coming on line. Among the topical Photo Files:

    As of this post, approximately 34,000 images representing topics through “Lacrosse, Womens” are available.

  • Charles Gibson Design did print design and logo and stationery for the Lebanon landscape architecture firm of Saucier & Flynn.

  • The Dartmouth reports that the trustees have finally decided to replace both the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and the Ledyard Canoe Club clubhouse. Although the article uses the word “rebuild” several times, the buildings are not going to be carefully dismantled and put back together like the Ise Jingu grand shrine (Smithsonian mag), and they will not be replaced with replicas as Dartmouth Hall was. Each one will be demolished and have a novel building designed by Maclay Architects put up in its place. Given the past work of that firm and collaborator TimberHomes LLC, the timber-framing company co-founded by D.O.C. historian David Hooke, the results should be excellent. Built of posts and beams instead of stacked logs, a new Ravine Lodge could really be “an unlikely cathedral,” as the film calls it.

  • Dartmouth Now reports that the William Jewett Tucker Foundation is splitting into the Dartmouth Center for Service, so named for the time being, and the William Jewett Tucker Center. The endowment funds whose donors are no longer living will be split evenly between the two new foundations.

  • The football team has unveiled its new black uniforms; Big Green Alert has photos.

  • With the 250th anniversary of the charter grant approaching on December 13, 2019, the newly-admitted Class of 2019 is being called the Anniversary Class (see The Dartmouth).

    Here’s to the Polka Dot; other topics

    • The Valley News has an article with some superb photographs on the Polka Dot Restaurant by the tracks in White River Junction. The 1925 building seems to have hosted a diner from the beginning; owner Mary Shatney started working there in 1959 and had to close the place last year. It’s up for sale — let’s hope it remains a restaurant.

    • The Dartmouth Energy Program site is very impressive. In the history section, the excellent photo of the coal assistant seems to have been taken from the east end of the hall looking west. The narrow-gauge rails lead toward the coal hopper in the end of the building, now the site of the Hood Museum’s Bernstein Study-Storage Center. A couple of quibbles: first, “the good old days” actually began in 1770, not 1769; second, the timeline could mention the major addition of a second level to the building in 1922, apparently when the plant switched from coal to oil; and third, there’s something off about the wording of this sentence on the main page, however technically correct it might be: “While Dartmouth may be the smallest Ivy League university, we’re doing big things with energy efficiency.”

    • Excellent photo documentation of the construction of the West Stands continues at the Big Green Alert: April 24, April 23, April 22, April 19, April 18 (notable photos), April 8, April 7 (seating chart), March 23, and March 16.

    • The photo in the Valley News story on spring practice makes Memorial Field look as if it occupies an industrial wasteland. The runway at which Memorial Field’s concrete risers were stored for about six years, incidentally, was known as Miller Airport (Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields).

    • Victor Mair ’65 at Language Log takes on the word “schlump,” of “schlump season,” i.e. “mud season” (“breakup” in Alaska).

    • The Rauner Library Blog has interesting posts on the petition of Ledyard and others to be allowed to learn to dance and use the sword and a mysterious photo album called Along the Connecticut 1912.

    • The Watershed Studio website features several notable projects, including the Friends of Hanover Crew boathouse, the Organic Farm greenhouse, and a design for the replacement Ledyard Canoe Club.

    • Maybe the real test for the Residential Communities (a post here) will be the Commencement ceremony. Will the Communities be represented in the procession? The graduates will still have to march in alphabetical order, but will the House Professors carry the house emblems?

    • The West Wheelock Gateway District proposal is up for a vote and has been getting some press (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The VN story has this neat tidbit:

      Around the corner from Anderson, William Smalley owns a small white house sandwiched between rental buildings mostly filled with Dartmouth students.

      In an interview Monday at his home, where he has lived since 1938, Smalley said he welcomed the creation of the district and didn’t mind the parties the students occasionally threw.

      “Somebody said to me, ‘How can you stand them?'” he said of the students, but “I’ve never had a problem with them — never.”

    • The college’s Flickr account has a neat and unusual view of Dartmouth Row, Ascutney, Richardson, and the Wilder addition. See the photo of the graffiti inside the Bartlett Tower roof. The structure does not look particularly original (1895) but there are graffiti from 1910 and 1915, so perhaps it is.

    • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) contains a number of interesting tidbits, including this one: “The Town’s boundary stones and monuments are also historic landmarks. Most have the first letters of the adjacent towns incised in them.”

    • “In devising the plan of the library building, you have contemplated its indefinite extension to meet the growth of the collections,” said Mellen Chamberlain at the dedication of Wilson Hall as the school library (Google Books).

    • “Areas of potential historic interest include theoriginal center of Town; the well field of the old Aqueduct Company south of the Greensboro Road; the Granite Quarry south of Greensboro Road; the Tilton Quarry east of Moose Mountain Road and one of the earliest slate quarries on the old Tisdale property” (Hanover Master Plan pdf).

    • Finding churches that have been put to interesting new uses is just too easy, so further examples will not be added to the post here that arguing that Rollins should be turned into a library. There is a pub in a former church in Nottingham, England, and a brewery and pub in a former church in Pittsburgh, where a Romanesque nave makes an impressive beer hall.

    • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) also recommends National Register listing for various districts including the campus.

    • This has probably been posted here before, but Yale has construction photos and a slick video of the two new residential colleges it is building.

    • The Dartmouth has an article on near-future construction projects.

    • Not much is coming out about Thayer School’s master plan. “Because the college owns Tuck Drive, any attempt to better align it with West Street will have to wait until Dartmouth’s own building plans in the area are finalized, she said” (referring to Vicki Smith, Hanover’s senior planner) (Valley News).

    Prefab sprout space?

    Many of the six Residence Communities (a post here) need dwellings for their resident House Professors and spaces that will host social gatherings. The school has a master plan by Sasaki Associates, $11.75m to work with, and a deadline of Fall Term 2016.

    Thus it makes sense that representatives of the college and Sasaki would pay a visit to MIT to view modular buildings constructed by Triumph Modular. The handout from the visit on April 20 contains a proposed timeline: if design work ends by August 15, occupancy could begin on December 31.

    Dartmouth has a long history with modular buildings. The most notable ones were the leftover WWII shipyard workers’ housing units that became Wigwam Circle, where the River Cluster and Whittemore Green are now. (If memory serves, those buildings became the basis for Rivercrest, up past CRREL.) On a portion of the same site, Dartmouth placed the five Tree Houses in 2001. Every institution that uses “temporary” buildings becomes dependent on the space they provide and finds it hard to remove the buildings at the allotted time.

    The buildings in Triumph’s broad lineup, while modular, are not necessarily temporary.

    Armatures for development and a route for navigation

    The Beyer Blinder Belle master plan is so far only publicly available in the form of this attractive image from the firm’s website. Since the firm put up the image, there has been no detailed discussion of what it means.


    Dartmouth, largely by happenstance, has ended up with a campus that is centered on a tower that marks the main entrance to the library. Three armatures radiate from the library. Although not exactly axes with termini, they are spines along which development is organized: the Green, Tuck Mall, and Berry Row. These three armatures are reinforced by the BBB master plan.

    In addition, the plan (a) adds one small new armature; (b) extends existing armatures with new fingers in three places; and, where existing development prevents the laying out of a new armature, (c) creates a unified, singular walking route to tie together everything along the way.

    The New Armature

    The combination of construction on North Main and the replacement of the Choates creates an armature extending all the way from Berry Row to the Roth Center on Occom Ridge.

    One appreciates the designers’ resistance to the impulse to demolish Cutter/Shabazz, but it looks as if the axis of this development could be brought into Berry Row a bit better. This is a sort of Baker Library situation, with the axes of Tuck Mall and the Green intersecting, and it might call for a tower or a gateway. One imagines a way to walk through the west wall of Berry Row, as Rocky gives access to Webster Avenue. It would be interesting to see a gateway knocked through the center of Cutter/Shabazz as well. There is a lot of potential here. (Cheering many hearts, the Choates are proposed for replacement in this plan; it is not clear that Choate House and North Hall have to go as well, though.)

    The Fingers

    1. One finger extends Tuck Mall along the Fahey-McLane (Tuck Drive) axis, tying in the President’s House and new construction on Webster Avenue. This is an axis established nearly a century ago but not pushed until recently. As noted earlier, the closing of Tuck Drive is aggressive but probably inevitable. It is not clear whether the President’s House would keep its current function, but building here, especially along Webster Avenue’s vacant lots, is a wise use of space.

    2. One finger bends to extend Tuck Mall beyond Murdough down through Whittemore Circle. This is not particularly original either, and while it is good that the plan shows development here, it could certainly be less suburban and might benefit from organization around an axial pedestrian path rather than a curving automobile driveway.

    3. One finger extends Berry Row beyond McLaughlin up to the LSC. This is the most original of the three. It confronts the problematic fact that the Med School axis is separate from and parallel to that of Berry Row. Rather than provide an emphatic terminus for Berry Row, the plan shows a curving amble around to the medical axis.

    The Navigation Route

    A green band runs from Wilson (at the southeast corner of the Green) all the way to Burnham Field and presumably the softball field or even the Appalachian Trail. It shows up on the plan neatly as the shortest path between the two points, wending its way past the Heating Plant, Memorial Field, Rolfe Field and Leverone Field House, and Thompson Arena.

    A person could walk this way today, but the route leads through several parking lots and is not entirely pleasant, let alone marked or coherent. Creating the route as shown on the plan will require pedestrianizing the parking lots at the Heating Plant, the area behind the Gym (that one has always seemed impromptu and inappropriate), and at Thompson Arena.

    Major additions to Tri-Kap

    As noted here last month, Tri-Kap is beginning a major renovation of and addition to its house (The Dartmouth).

    The Weimann-Lamphere plans are available from the fraternity as a pdf. They show a full-height addition to each end of the house.

    This is probably not the first time architects have designed spaces for pong,1 but it might be the first time that pong tables have been depicted on building plans. The architects’ basement plan shows five tables and their surrounding spaces, each table with its “net” indicated by a line.


    1. The same firm designed Phi Tau, and Smith & Vansant extensively renovated Zeta Psi (although the Smith & Vansant photo of the Zeta Psi basement shows round café tables).

    The Six Houses

    President Hanlon recently announced that most of the dormitories will be divided into six groups to be called “house communities” or “Residence Communities.”


    According to the announcement and Dartmouth Now, each House will have:

    • As many as 700 undergraduates as members. That is an even division of the approximate total undergraduate enrollment of 4,200.
    • “[A]pproximately half of” its members living “in residence during any given term.” Only sophomores, juniors, and seniors will live in the House, with first-year members continuing to live in existing first-year dorms. This puts the average number of beds in each house at 350.
    • A “house professor” in residence. “House professors will serve four-year terms. … They will begin their on-campus residencies in the summer of 2016, in anticipation of house openings in September 2016” (Moving Dartmouth Forward opportunities). Each house professor is probably meant to have a freestanding dwelling located within or very near to the rest of the House. The prototype would be Frost House in the East Wheelock Cluster.
    • Graduate students in residence. These members can presumably live in apartments converted from dorm rooms. An example might be the graduate advisor’s room in Ripley/Woodward/Smith.
    • “[E]ventually,” a “dedicated space for study and social interaction.” This might be like the existing Brace Commons in East Wheelock — not a dining hall, but much more than a TV room in the basement.

    The Six Houses

    These, presumably, are the six communities, in ascending order of difficulty:

    1. East Wheelock. It was designed to work as a community, and it already incorporates a faculty house and social hall.
    2. The Russell Sage Cluster. It is another unified grouping with a social room located near existing housing in the form of the President’s House and Alpha Chi Alpha. It is near building sites on Webster Avenue.
    3. Topliff/New Hampshire and the Lodge. With the exception of the Lodge, which is slated for eventual demolition, this is a compact and unified group. Hallgarten could be turned into an excellent House Professor’s dwelling. If something larger than the existing lounges is needed, the Store House building behind Topliff could be an excellent social hall. There is space for new buildings next to the Gym.
    4. The McLaughlin Cluster. It has the social hall already. In the short term, the school could use an existing house for the professor: Parker House (shown), the Dean’s House (13 Choate Road), 3 Clement Road (west of LALACS), 44 North College, or even Sherman House. There is plenty of space here in which to add faculty housing.
    5. Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock. It is coherent and effectively organized. South Fairbanks is the obvious faculty house, and North Fairbanks, which was built as a gymnasium, could become the social hall. The House could take over a room in ’53 Commons on a temporary basis if necessary.
    6. The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson. In the near term, the Heorot House is theoretically available as a faculty house, although such a use would cause the same controversy as a takeover of AXA. Bartlett could be remodeled as the social hall (wow!), with a sympathetic addition to the east for the faculty house. The faculty house for this community could be built between Bartlett and the Sphinx or in a remoter location, such as alongside Richardson or Smith.

    Meacham map of six houses

    Speculative map of the Houses and their bounds

    This map, based on the official mobile campus map, shows the six presumed Houses and their proposed bounds. It is important to create boundaries and manipulate them to create a street presence and a border with a neighboring rival if possible. Each House should have a main gate and edges marked by masonry walls or hedges, or at least permanent lines on the ground.

    Initial Construction

    Design and construction funds of $11.75m have been budgeted. Although Sasaki appears to be in charge of the planning for this system, the school is presumably hiring local firms to design the projects that might be called for.

    Assuming that neither a fraternity nor the President is displaced from a college-owned house, and that existing dwellings are used wherever possible, even if they are too far away, the school could get by without erecting any new buildings. The construction work could be limited to the renovation of existing buildings as House Professors’ dwellings and existing dorms as graduate student apartments and especially social halls.

    Dean Ameer said last month:

    Right now we’re looking to create community spaces for the houses. We don’t have anything definite yet, but we will. Areas like McLaughlin were designed for that, so it’s going to work really nicely. This is a long-term project, over the next several years; we will hopefully be renovating each space as we go along. In the meant time, there are things we can do quickly to create more community space; I’m hoping to have a café in each [house], like the east Wheelock café.1


    “During the 2015–2016 academic year, these [house] professors will work with Student Affairs staff to select inaugural student leaders, develop house identities, and plan house programs” (Moving Dartmouth Forward opportunities).

    As the Houses create their identities, they will come up with names for themselves. Perhaps the Enchanted Broccoli Forest of Stanford is too far-out, and one hopes Gryffindor and Slytherin will not be used, but there is room for some whimsy and arbitrariness. In any case, the Houses should not be known by their old “cluster” names. (The one exception is McLaughlin, the only cluster so particularly named; it honors an individual.)

    In case no donors step forward, here are some terms associated with the history of each site:

    1. East Wheelock: College Park, Frost.
    2. The Russell Sage Cluster: Tuck Drive, Hitchcock Estate, Hutt of Loggs, Webster’s Vale.
    3. The McLaughlin Cluster: McLaughlin, Old Hospital, Mary Maynard Hitchcock.
    4. Topliff/New Hampshire and the Lodge: New Hampshire College, New Hampshire, A&M.
    5. Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock: Gold Coast, Tuck Mall, Rich-Larson.
    6. The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson. Fayers, Terrace, Tutors.

    Future Houses: Shrinking by Building

    Two of the six Houses listed above are larger than they should be.

    The collection of Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast, and Hitchcock would be better if the Gold Coast and Hitchcock were separated into their own House. This House would take over the Blunt Alumni Center as its House Professor’s dwelling and possibly its social hall (indicated by a purple oval on the map). There is also room for a new building or two.

    The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, and Wheeler & Richardson are lumped together in an understandable attempt to avoid orphaning the low-capacity Wheeler and Richardson. This grouping simply does not work spatially. Wheeler and Richardson form a coherent group and should be separated into a new House (as suggested here in 2010). Without using SAE or Shattuck Observatory, locating a House Professor’s dwelling will be difficult. A house could be built near Richardson or Ripley.

    1. Inge-Lise Ameer, in “A Conversation with Dean Ameer,” interview with Ashwath M. Srikanth, The Dartmouth Review, at http://www.dartreview.com/a-conversation-with-dean-ameer/ (posted 19 March 2015).

    A Hood expansion design released

    On the heels of the unfortunate news (Culturegrrl, Dartblog) that Michael Taylor has left the directorship of the Hood Museum, a few details regarding the expansion of the museum have surfaced.

    So far, the only image officially released has been the one distant view of a white box projecting into the museum’s first courtyard. What about Charles Moore’s famous arch?

    Although the white box leaves a gap alongside the Hop, it does appear to demolish the arch. This seems a bit of a shame; was there no way to enclose part of the iconic arch as a fragment?

    The expansion seems humorless, especially in comparison to Moore’s quirky work; the project now seems focused on geometric purity. In replacing the intentionally retiring presence that is created by the Hood’s recessed siting and netlike form, the white box is giving the Hood a do-over. This is what should have been done in the first place, it is suggested: not an infill skein but a proud, freestanding building.


    [Update 04.16.2015: Links, image, and information removed at request of author.]

    [Update 03.22.2015: Links to Centerbrook study and Wikimedia image added.]

    Building projects budgeted for; other news

    • The Town budget includes funding for construction of walk/bike path along Lyme Road to the Reservoir Road roundabout. The paved path will be separated from the road by a tree lawn (The Dartmouth).

    • Tri-Kap appears finally to be tackling its Fuller Audit improvements, planning to erect an addition designed by Domus Custom Builders (Zoning Board minutes 22 January 2015 pdf).

    • Earlier this year, the Hood Quarterly reported that work on the museum’s addition and renovation would begin during the Spring of 2016.1 The college trustees met last week and approved a capital budget that includes $8.5 million “for completion of design and preconstruction activities for the Hood Museum of Art renewal and expansion project” (Dartmouth Now). The Hood project, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien, “is being coordinated with a Hopkins Center for the Arts planning study” by Boora Architects.

    • Also in the new capital budget (Dartmouth Now) are:

      – Funds for the planning and design of a restoration project for Baker Tower.

      – “$11.75 million for design and construction of facilities related to initial work on the configuration of new residential housing communities.” That is likely work by Sasaki Associates, with the funding presumably going to build something less than the total number of dining-hall additions, faculty houses, or other “neighborhood” improvements the firm is proposing.

      – “$100,000 for planning and conceptual design for the Ledyard Canoe Club replacement project.” The growth of mold in the clubhouse has sealed its fate; the designer of the replacement has not been named.

      – “$200,000 for schematic design for renovation of Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.” After Maclay Architects studied the feasibility of preserving or replacing the Lodge, it was not known which route the board would take. Maclay even sketched a design for a possible replacement. Now it seems that the Lodge is going to be preserved.

    • The Planner’s Blog mentions that there are more than 42 types of bollard on campus. Almost as impressive is the fact that all the bollards have been cataloged and are being evaluated in a critical way.

    • Dartmouth Now has a nice post on the Book Arts Workshop in Baker.2

    • The feasibility study for that future Mass Row renovation was conducted a couple of years ago by Lawson Bell Architects.

    • Miller Chevrolet Cadillac, down on Route 120 not far from Fort Harry’s, has been sold, and its site is to be redeveloped:

      Although Cicotte declined to identify the buyer, she said it wasn’t a hotel developer, Dartmouth College, or Hanover developer Jay Campion. The Miller Chevrolet Cadillac property, which is accessed on Labombard Road, is adjacent to the New Hampshire National Guard Armory on Heater Road. The property is also next to a planned hotel and conference center under review by Lebanon planning authorities, and near a natural gas depot under development by Campion.

      One possible buyer mentioned is Dartmouth Coach, which has a facility on nearby Etna Road.

      (Valley News). If I’m not mistaken, Miller is the dealership that eventually acquired Rodgers’ Garage, the REO/Packard/Chevrolet dealer on Lebanon Street where the VAC now stands.

    • That natural gas project is by Campion’s Valley Green Natural Gas, which plans to transfer gas from tanker trucks on Route 120 and then send it by pipeline to Hanover, particularly to Dartmouth (Valley News 18 May 2014, 4 November 2014). Dartmouth will finish analyzing a possible fuel switch this fall (Valley News).


    1. “Anonymous $10 Million Gift Will Transform Teaching at the Hood Museum of Art,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Winter 2015), 10, available at http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/docs/2015webreadyquarterly.pdf.
    2. Hannah Silverstein, “Book Arts Workshop: Hands-On Learning, Global Reach,” Dartmouth Now (25 February 2015), at