October 28th, 2013 |
all news, master planning, Thayer Dining Hall, Thayer School
The cemetery is an obstacle to cross-campus foot traffic and contributes to the perception that the business and engineering schools, not to mention the River Cluster dormitories, are distant and isolated.
To get from the Green to the River Cluster, one has to walk north to Tuck Mall and then west, following the red line on the map below. West Wheelock Street looks a little shorter on a map, but most people do not walk that way because the elevation changes so much. The traffic along West Wheelock also makes the walk not particularly pleasant.
During the late 1920s, college architect Jens Larson proposed to solve this problem by building a bridge for pedestrians right over the cemetery (indicated on his 1928 master plan). The blue line above shows the approximate route. The cemetery contains several ravines, so this bridge would have flown through the treetops. It might have been like the Sky Walk in Monteverde Preserve in Costa Rica, a bridge system that has been in magazine ads lately.
Larson’s bridge was never built. It would have been an expensive way to provide mere convenience and seems unlikely to have been received well by the cemetery authorities.
But what about skirting the cemetery’s southern boundary with a bridge or causeway built on private land acquired by the college? The green line on the map above shows this route.
In the image above, based on a Bing aerial, the roofs of Thayer Dining Hall/53 Commons are visible in the foreground. A Bing view of the site from the west shows how the viaduct would create a circulation network; see also a view of the site from the south.
A Street View partway up Thayer Drive, the road that leads through the trees from Wheelock Street to Thayer School, shows just some of the elevation change that one would avoid by using the viaduct. See also a view from the east.
A viaduct here could take the form of a Larson-style brick arcade, like the one that connects Streeter to each of its neighbors in the Gold Coast, or the front facade of Memorial Field’s grandstand. This would be expensive. A stone arcade would be even more expensive. The viaduct could be a timber-framed College-Grant style suspension bridge, interesting but perhaps ephemeral. An enclosed airport terminal bridge like at Thayer (Street View) would be expensive and unnecessary. The most interesting form might be that of a very “engineered” steel bridge that recalls the Ski Jump tower. The cheapest and sturdiest form might be a basic utilitarian concrete bridge like that of the rear of the Fairchild Center (Street View) or the side of the Boss Tennis Center.
Those apartments along Wheelock Street are not apparently owned by the college, but they should be, and one guesses that eventually they will be.
This area probably should be left in apartments no matter who owns the land. Dartmouth could do a South Block project here, selectively improving or replacing buildings and potentially integrating the buildings with the viaduct. The spaces under the walkway could be inhabited or at least occupied, as in Viaduc des Arts in Paris.
By making the buildings rather tall and connecting their upper levels to the bridge, the college could even produce something like the 19-arch South Bridge in Edinburgh of 1788 (Wikipedia, historic-uk.com). A person standing on top of that high-level street in Edinburgh faces what appears to be the ground level of a modest building; in fact, he is at the fourth or fifth floor, with the lowest level of the building resting on the bottom of a valley (Bing aerial).
In Hanover, some of the buildings on the Wheelock Street side of the bridge would be five or six stories high — towers, really:
[Update 12.23.2013: Larson's 1928 plan from the Previous Master Plans portion of the school's Master Plan website shows the proposed cemetery bridge as a masonry structure. The suggestion that it was to be a suspension bridge has been removed.]
[Update 11.03.2013: The town is having Plan NH run a West Wheelock Street design charrette next weekend:
The Hanover Affordable Housing Commission and Hanover Planning Board recognize underutilized residential land area close to the downtown, a prominent gateway to our Main Street commercial district and the Dartmouth College campus, challenging topography, and the need to accommodate high traffic volumes with pedestrian safety.
(Via the Planner's Blog.)]
October 9th, 2013 |
all news, graphic design, History, other projects, publications, Quartomillennium '19
If you’re working on the branding effort (see the previous post on the topic
), I would recommend a visit to the archives to see some things:
- The green ribbon and its story. The college is represented by a single color.
- Typical accent colors are black, lavender, and white. White is used frequently in athletics. No big green-and-gold tradition seems to exist.
- The seal and its history. More effort could be devoted to reserving the seal for official uses only.
- The midcentury shield now in use, and the recent proposal for an heraldic coat of arms.
- The Bicentennial medal designed by Rudolph Ruzicka.
- Anything designed by John Scotford.
- Anything produced by the Stinehour Press (photo of exhibit, Valley News story) or Ray Nash, of the Graphic Arts Workshop (Rauner bio); also books published by the Dartmouth College Press.
- Copies of the ORC from various periods.
- Copies of The Dartmouth from various periods, especially before WWII.
- Carnival posters, especially those produced before 1959.
- Things made of leather and wood: Daniel Webster’s water bucket and old ski boots, senior canes and snowshoes.
Around campus, you might take note of the white color of Dartmouth Hall and the finely-speckled gray/white of the granite used in the foundations of many buildings. (That granite is not likely to be local; for a local granite, see the pinkish stone of Rollins Chapel, a stone that has not been used very widely on campus.) The brick walls with their varied colors, from black to brown to red, are characteristic of the campus, although the style of brickwork was originally called “Harvard brick.” There are many useful greens, including the patina of the copper roofs, the paint used on building shutters, the color of the shaggy pines along the riverbank, and the sometimes-black color of the river itself. An example of lavender appears in the glass of the Baker Tower clock.
A list of style guides from Logo Design Love has some nice examples. Duke’s guide announces that the word “University” in the Duke wordmark is set in Interstate, the typeface developed for road signs by the Department of Transportation. Yale’s identity site is prepared by the Office of the University Printer rather than the PR office. Princeton’s guide (pdf) on page 21 explains the difference between the seal and the shield, and it goes so far as to deface the seal with the word “SAMPLE” since, as the text explains, the seal is not for the public — not even by way of example! (Unlike B.U.) Oxford’s logo page has great visual appeal and actually is fairly flexible in its rules. University College Oxford has a guide by Franks and Franks (portfolio example) that looks nice and builds a traditionalist logotype around an abbreviation and nickname (“Univ.”).
October 7th, 2013 |
4 Currier, all news, other projects
President Hanlon, on September 20 (from The Dartmouth):
I am proud to announce today we are creating an Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator, to provide vital resources to student entrepreneurs.
Whether they are interested in business start-ups or social ventures, this facility will give them a world-class entrepreneurial competency, delivered by faculty and staff from across the campus as well as Dartmouth alumni around the world.
The official announcement (from Dartmouth Now):
Four Currier Place, with C&A’s on the left.
The center will be located on the first floor of Dartmouth’s 4 Currier Place building, adjacent to campus and just south of the Arts District on Lebanon Street. Renovations are slated to begin next month and continue through 2013 toward an expected opening in early 2014.
October 5th, 2013 |
all news, graphic design, History, master planning, other projects, preservation, publications, Visual Arts Center
- The new mobile-centric campus map is available as a pdf document. It shows fine details like the trails in the College Park and the lanes on the running track.
- That nice brick house on Lebanon Street in the Sargent Block was built ca. 1840 by John Williams (Frank J. Barrett, Early Dartmouth College and Downtown Hanover (2008), in Google Books).
- The folks over at Hillflint, big fans of Take Ivy (NYT, Wikipedia), are using a line drawing of Dartmouth Hall in their logo.
- College master planners Beyer Blinder Belle have contracted with BFJ Planning to come up with a transportation plan (pdf).
- Hokie Stone, the locally-quarried building stone of the Virginia Tech campus, has been mentioned here before. Now the football team is wearing helmets that are completely covered by a graphic depicting a wall made of Hokie Stone (Richmond Times Dispatch).
- With the Digital Production Unit added to Preservation Services (Rauner Blog), the library has been scanning old photos and putting them on line. The amazing collection is searchable and will provide the subjects for many posts here in the future.
- American Architects has an email interview with Machado and Silvetti regarding the Black VAC. The photos, by Esto, are also available on their own.
- The Times had an interesting article on the Caracas practice of naming intersections rather than streets.
- Professor Jeff Sharlet and his students are producing an online journal called 40 Towns (Corin Hirsch, “Dartmouth Literary Journal 40 Towns Documents Upper Valley,” Seven Days (4 September 2013)). Lindsay Ellis’s story “Kings of the Counter” is about people at the Fort (a.k.a. Fort Harry’s, etc.).
- DSpace@MIT, an online collection of MIT research papers, has the late Frederick Stahl’s 1955 MIT architecture thesis, an interesting proposal for the Hopkins Center (pdf). Stahl graduated from Dartmouth in 1952 and died on July 26 (Globe obituary, Boston Architectural College obituary).
- Princeton has moved the Dinky Station again, reports the Buildings & Grounds Blog of the Chronicle. The Dinky Line is a short railroad branch that connects the campus in Princeton to the town of Princeton Junction.
- This railroad news is unrelated to the campus but stirs the heart: The Union Pacific is going to restore a Big Boy, Engine 4114, to running condition. Who thought one of these creatures would ever come back to life? Unbelievable.
October 5th, 2013 |
all news, Connecticut River, Ledyard Canoe Club, preservation
Maybe this is a cynical view, but the framing of the story in The Dartmouth, with its quote from the college spokesman about the inevitability of mold, suggests that people are thinking about demolishing the Ledyard Canoe Club’s historic clubhouse.
The Riverfront Master Plan (image) is a guide rather than a manifesto, but it shows the building as being replaced during the next 10 years.
October 3rd, 2013 |
all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History
President Hanlon has named Cornell’s PR head, Thomas Bruce, to a similar position at Dartmouth (Dartmouth Now, via The Dartmouth). The Dartmouth reports that Bruce “oversaw the redesign of the university’s logo” at Cornell.
Indeed, Cornell’s massive “Brand Book” covers everything, from the essence of the Cornell brand (our brand “speaks to the satisfaction and emotional connection we provide to our stakeholders”) to the proper use of the logo — with the obligatory gallery of misuse. Cornell modestly uses Palatino as its primary typeface, gives the proper abbreviation of its motto (“… any person … any study.”), and specifies the correct shade of red.
[Update 10.05.2013: It appears that Cornell's identity project was done by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. That firm is the same one that nicely simplified the Brown University coat of arms and replaced the busy seal of the Harvard University Press with a simple design appropriate for book spines. Also in the firm's portfolio are logos for such obscure brands as the Smithsonian Institution, NBC, National Geographic, the U.S. Bicentennial, and PBS.
And hey, look at this: the firm recently proposed three new logos for UNH (Manchester Union Leader). The school is still deciding which one to use. Of the three alternative directions, the middle one seems the most appealing: it has the uniform solidity of a railroad herald -- or maybe it can't avoid recalling Herbert Matter's work for the New Haven Railroad.
Some of the push for branding at Cornell came from a student-run image committee, as a 2006 New York Times article explains:
But when committee members first approached administrators to talk about their concerns — including what they saw as the university's passive response to a slight drop in some ranking guides — they met with resistance.
That changed three years ago, they said, with the arrival of a new president, Jeffrey S. Lehman, and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Bruce, who took their critique seriously, particularly their thoughts about the so-called view book for potential applicants and about the Web site.
Dartmouth had a similar student group around that time, called Buzzflood (The Dartmouth). Founder David Gardner describes it as "an organization that aggregated, created, and spread positive community news" (Gardner's ColorJar bio). The Buzzflood website had received three million hits by 2005 (PRWeb) but it folded that year (The Dartmouth).]
September 18th, 2013 |
all news, History, Memorial Field, preservation
Bruce at the Big Green Alert Blog asks “If you could pick a nickname for Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, what would you choose?” He provides several suggestions, the best of which is “the Quarry” — not only did granite quarries operate in Lebanon, but Eleazar Wheelock quarried some stone in the College Park. A follow-up post provides a number of other suggestions.
A pool of potential nicknames based on the history of the site might include:
- “The Farm” (or “the State Farm”), since the state agricultural school (New Hampshire College) used the site as a farm field prior to 1893;
- “Crosby Street,” since the grandstand is located on that street. The street is presumably named for the able and indefatigable professor Thomas Russell Crosby ’41, DMS ’41 (1816-1872), a son of Dr. Asa Crosby who served as a surgeon during the Civil War and became the Professor of Animal and Vegetable Physiology at N.H.C. and an Instructor in Natural History at Dartmouth;
- “The Oval” (or “Alumni Oval”), since that was the name of the school’s first grandstand and its first dedicated football field and running track, built by Dartmouth alumni on the site in 1893;
- “The Trenches” (or “the Western Front,” etc.), since students trained for the First World War by constructing trenches east of the Oval, and Memorial Field was built on the site of the Oval in memory of the men who died in the war; and
- “The Arches” (or “the Arcade”), since the main, western stand of Memorial Field is faced with brick arches stacked on two levels.
To see what Alumni Oval looked like when it was new and get a sense of the farm that preceeded it, see this rare and amazing photograph digitized by the College Archives. It was taken from the top of the smokestack of the Heating Plant when the plant was new, around 1899.
It is also possible that the present lack of a nickname suggests the absence of a deep-seated need for a nickname: maybe “Memorial Field” works well enough.
[Update 11.11.2013: Bruce reports that Teevens picked "The Woods" as the nickname. Whose woods these are I think I know.]
September 14th, 2013 |
all news, Boathouse, DHMC, Fullington Farm, Hanover Inn, Hood, other projects, preservation, the Hop, Wilson Hall
The Alumni Office’s twitter account has a photo of the huge elm tree on the ground in front of the Hood Museum. The Valley News reports that the tree struck Wilson as it fell, but it sounds like the damage is minor.
On the bright side, this frees up Tod Williams and Billie Tsien as they redesign Wilson’s entrance.
- The Hanover Crew’s boathouse is being built.
- ORW designed the landscape for the Williamson Building at DHMC and has some nice images of the design.
- ORW also has put up a project page for the transit hub in front of the Hop. The original design included a little heated pavilion.
- The conceptual design for Boora’s Hopkins Center renovation was completed during Spring 2013 (OPD&PM).
September 2nd, 2013 |
all news, graphic design, Thayer School
Thayer School now has an official logo guide, complete with examples of unacceptable variations of the logo.
The guide seems fairly down-to-earth, unlike some of the highly technical standards found elsewhere. Dartmouth itself does not seem to have taken this step yet.
[Update 12.14.2013: The Geisel School seems to have been first: its guidelines (pdf), much more rigorous, were published in April of 2012. See this post.]
August 31st, 2013 |
all news, graphic design, Memorial Field
The announcement of a new Daktronics video scoreboard for Memorial Field includes an illustration (via Big Green Alert Blog; see also Dartmouth Sports).
Although any scoreboard will have something to quibble with (please drop the trademark symbol from the big letter D!) this illustration has many things to praise. The designer has rationalized the fonts and eliminated much of the clutter of the old scoreboard. The designer also deserves credit for not using the ephemeral triangular-trapezoidal athletics logo and for getting the apostrophes right.
Here’s something notable: the scoreboard will be switching ends:
The new Daktronics scoreboard will be located at the south end of the stadium to avoid direct sunlight and maximize image clarity.
August 12th, 2013 |
Academic Center, all news, Connecticut River, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., other projects, Visual Arts Center
- The Dartmouth has an article on campus construction projects.
- Nice photos of the Visual Arts Center are to be found in ArchDaily (via Dartmouth College Planning).
- The Grad Studies Office is moving from Wentworth to a renovated space at 37 Dewey Field Road (Home 37).
- Bruce Wood at the Big Green Alert Blog has this tidbit regarding Memorial Field: “Keep your eyes peeled for a significant improvement to the facility at some point this fall.”
- Architect Michael McKee was a principal with Moshe Safdie and Associates when he served as a “Special Consultant” with KSWA to handle the design development for the North Campus Academic Center (Somerville, Ma. PowderHouse Arts Center submittal pdf).
- The school has obtained permission from the state to extend the existing floating wharf at the boathouse from 170 ft. to 218 ft. The project will involve dredging (download state letter, wetlands permit, etc.).
- Did you know that there’s a short line called the Claremont Concord Railroad with a transfer facility in West Lebanon near the dilapidated old B&M roundhouse? In this aerial, the red Four Aces Diner is visible in its new location and the Railroad’s classic early-1950s Alco (?) is the yellow engine on the left.
- DartmouthSports.com has announced that NeuLion will stream home games in several sports (via the Big Green Alert Blog). NeuLion is the leader in the field, and it seems to be moving away from a dependence on Flash. (Flash has a bad reputation on the desktop, see Steve Jobs’s letter of April 2010, and does not work on many mobile devices: Adobe announced in November 2011 that it had halted the development of Flash for mobile browsers according to Wikipedia.)
July 24th, 2013 |
all news, History
First. We recognize and acknowledge with grateful pride, the heroic sacrifices and valiant deeds of many of the sons of Dartmouth, in their endeavors to defend and sustain the Government against the present wicked and remorseless rebellion; and we announce to the living, now on the battlefield, to the sick and maimed in the hospitals and among their friends, and to the relatives of such of them as have fallen in defense of their country, that Dartmouth College rejoices to do them honor, and will inscribe their names and their brave deeds upon her enduring records.
Second. We commend the cause of our beloved country to all the Alumni of this Institution; and we invoke from them, and pledge our own most efficient and cordial support, and that of Dartmouth College, to the Government, which is the only power by which the rebellion can be subdued. We hail with joy, and with grateful acknowledgments to the God of our fathers, the cheering hope that the dark cloud which has heretofore obscured the vision and depressed the hearts of patriots and statesmen, in all attempts to scan the future, may in time disappear entirely from our horizon; and that American slavery, with all its sin and shame, and the alienations, jealousies, and hostilities between the people of different sections, of which it has been the fruitful source, may find its merited doom in the consequence of the war which it has evoked.
The board adopted these motions 150 years ago this morning in an effort to get president Nathan Lord to resign. Although Lord had been an abolitionist during the 1840s, by the time of the war he had come to believe that slavery was justified by the Bible. He resigned later in the day.
To my ear, the text has some of the sense of the Gettysburg Address, which it predates by about four months.
July 21st, 2013 |
all news, Dartmouth Row, Fairchild, other projects, preservation, societies, Triangle House
The Offices of Planning & Design and Project Management (ex-OPDC, ex-FPO) have a new site with an extensive list of projects. Among the new revelations are:
- An image of what looks like a sensitive renovation by Smith & Van Sant of the Whitaker Apartments at 4 North Park. The building is now called Triangle House (not to be confused with Triangle Fraternity (Wikipedia)), and some details are given at the OPaL website.
- Information on the new Kappa Delta sorority house by Truex Cullins. Although the house will have the address of 1 Occom Ridge, its main entrance will occupy the west or rear facade, which faces the parking lot and the campus (image). Not sure about those boxed eaves and shed-roofed dormers; it is a big house.
- Information on the Dartmouth Row modernization plan. This project was mentioned during May of 2012 along with the NCAC.
- News of a renovation of Fairchild Hall by Wilson Architects.
July 19th, 2013 |
all news, Boathouse, Connecticut River, master planning, publications
The riverfront master plan has already been mentioned here, but a reading of the plan’s new page on the OPDPM site has turned up some interesting proposals.
At the lower entrance to Tuck Drive, the plan recommends:
- Preserving the existing brick pillars, built as part of Tuck Drive;
- Replacing the metal guard rails with simple wooden rails in keeping with the school’s outdoorsy theme; and
- Installing a new sign for the college.
Also interesting is the solution to the Fuller Boathouse problem: “Accommodate increased storage space needs by constructing new Fuller boathouse into hillside that is double current size.”
July 16th, 2013 |
all news, Chase Field, Indoor Practice Facility
The new site of the Offices of Planning and Design and Project Management devotes a page to the design of a new indoor sports practice facility:
- It will be designed by the big-name firm of Sasaki.
- It will occupy that somewhat depressed field where the Band practiced marching:
- It will be connected to the Gordon Pavilion and the Boss Tennis Center — no more bridge.
- And unlike its immediate neighbors, it will be a Modernist, metal-clad building.
July 9th, 2013 |
all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, publications, Rollins Chapel, site updates, Wilson Hall
- That Occom Ridge house that was captured in a state of extreme disarray in various aerials has indeed been replaced by a new house by Haynes & Garthwaite. Bing has a more recent aerial view.
- The graduate and professional schools’ heraldry is on display on the college’s new website. The graduation gowns of the schools also carry uniform shields now, with Flickr examples of Tuck, Thayer, and Graduate Studies. The Trustees get the Old Pine.
- The Planner has a post presenting the new campus map. This is an almost-final version of the traditional paper map. It’s notable that the two freestanding lounge buildings in the Choates are given their own names, Brittle and Bissco, for the first time on a campus map. I lived in the Choates during the early ’90s and don’t recall those names being used, even informally.
- The Friends of Hanover Crew have a new design for the site. It is hard to remember, but the prior design might have made more use of Wilson’s Landing Road.
- Thanks to Melvin I. Smith for the citation to the Old Division Football paper in his Evolvements of Early American Foot Ball: Through the 1890/91 Season (2008).
- The Rauner Blog has a nice post on the dedication of Rollins Chapel and Wilson Hall. It’s always interesting to see this fraternal twin to Rollins, designed by the same architect (John Lyman Faxon) in Newton, Mass. (See also the Bing view.)
July 7th, 2013 |
Academic Center, all news
Architect Michael McKee was a Senior Project Manager with KSWA when that firm designed the North Campus Academic Center. Now he has his own firm, and its website includes a page on the NCAC. It says that the project is “On hold, to commence Fall ’13.”
The page includes an interior rendering and a site plan. This website’s guess at a likely footprint last November was actually not that far off.
[Update 08.31.2013: Broken link to KSWA replaced.]
July 5th, 2013 |
all news, Hood, Wilson Hall
Hood Director Michael Taylor writes:
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the architects of the Hood’s upcoming expansion and renovation, have now completed the pre-schematic design for the project, and we look forward to showing these plans to incoming president Phil Hanlon after he begins his tenure at Dartmouth on June 10.
Michael Taylor, “Letter from the Director,” Hood Museum of Art Quarterly (Summer 2013), 2 (pdf).
A low-angle aerial view from Bing shows where the addition will go.
Another look at the Web summary of Centerbrook’s master plan for the Hood suggests many opportunities for interesting work:
- In the Centerbrook proposal, Wilson’s exterior stair is effectively pulled inside the building and the central room is hollowed out to transform it into an entry vestibule and stair hall. One can imagine a polished concrete floor with thin metal railings meeting the brick walls, as in Rafael Moneo’s Museum of Roman Art.
- The octagonal reading room at the north end of Wilson Hall will probably remain outside the secure portion of the building and thus might be a good place for the museum shop. The building’s original wooden doors and polished granite WILSON lintel might be incorporated into this space. It is not clear whether the stair in the tower would remain useable.
- The main reading room that occupies the building’s south end becomes the place where people check their coats and pick up audio guides.
- Passing through the arched opening at the south end of the building, one reaches the circulation core of the museum complex. This area occupies the wedding-cake part of the building shown in Centerbrook’s exterior images, and it might terminate in a skylight or lantern.
- The fifth image depicts the existing Hood bridge and looks toward the new circulation core to the northeast. (This seems like an early version of the design: it shows an addition behind Wilson that does not appear in other images.)
- The sixth image is a view from the east side of the circulation core looking northwest. The two sets of stairs descending on the left are coming from the top level of Wilson Hall and from the lobby level of Wilson Hall, respectively.
[Update 07.06.2013: Maybe the Hood is showing the pre-schematic designs already? A Class of 1958 Reunion Schedule for this month includes a presentation of the expansion plans at the Hood.
I just learned that architect Rick Mather died in April (Oxford Mail obituary). He designed big expansions at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Mather grew up in Portland, Oregon, had his office in London, and did a number of projects in Oxford.]