The West Stands replacement, for real this time

March 12th, 2014  |  Published in all news, History, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, preservation

Finally carrying out a project that was fully planned during 2008, the college has announced that it will demolish the concrete and steel terraced seating of Memorial Field’s West Stand immediately after the Brown game on November 15 (Big Green Alert Blog, Dartmouth Sports (via BGA)). The new design by Fleck & Lewis Architects appears in an unpublicized OPD&PM project page.

The project was actually about to begin when it was put on hold. The structural elements were ready to go, and the press release notes: “The College had already invested several million dollars in precast concrete, which will now give the project a head start[.]”

Two elevation drawings and a plan of the pressbox level appear on an image page linked from the project page. On the drawing of the street facade, the subtle dots in the arches near the center presumably indicate glass or some other infill material: the second bay on either side of the center will contain a stair, and the bay to the left of the center an elevator. The tops of these stairs and elevator will be screened by a new blank entablature of two bays on either side of the center.

The field elevation drawing shows the higher-priced green seats with proper seatbacks in the center. The stair towers present some interesting blank walls: let’s hope whatever goes there is tasteful. The plan depicts the press box at the parapet level, that is, the level with the word DARTMOUTH at its top as shown in the drawing of the field facade.

The replacement seating structure will preserve Jens Larson’s 1923 brick Crosby Street facade, including its midcentury central frieze extension. The Dartmouth Uniformed Services Alumni have a page explaining the building’s memorial elements. Architect Larson, incidentally, had enlisted in Canada and had become a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps (RAF) during WWI.

This would be an ideal time to create a permanent site for Dartmouth’s Canon de 75 modèle 1897 (Wikipedia) and its ammunition carriage, both given by France in 1920 (New York Times). While the carriage remains at the college, the gun, which once defended the stadium’s entry arch, was moved to Hanover Center in 1963. The story of the gun is continued by WMUR-9 New Hampshire:

[T]he college loaned the cannon to a retired military historian and collector, according to police, and when that man died in 1990 the cannon was handed over to another person who later passed it on to another owner, referred to [in] the police statement as a “military Army colonel who wished to remain anonymous.”

All three of the men who have kept the cannon over the years spent their own money caring for and restoring it, according to the police statement.

“These men have taken great pride in restoring this cannon as an honor to its heritage,” the statement read. “All are aware that Dartmouth College could take the cannon back if it wants to.”

Perhaps it is time to ask for the cannon’s return and to install it securely in a sheltered spot in or near the West Stand.

The pause before construction season

March 2nd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Collis Center, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Parkhurst Hall, preservation, societies

  • There is a construction photo of the KD house on Occom Ridge in The Dartmouth.
  • There is now a National Historic Vehicle Register patterned on the National Register of Historic Places (Hemming’s).
  • The school architects have posted a collection of minutes from meetings of the Executive Committee for Facilities & Space, including subcommittee minutes, from the 2008-2010 period.
  • Among the interesting items in the committee minutes is a Haynes & Garthwaite plan for a replacement building at 26 East Wheelock (pdf). It was unbuilt but obviously gave rise to 2 North Park.
  • The committee minutes also describe the 2008 Parkhurst stair hall renovation (pdf). Looking around the stair hall in 2006, there was a sense that the 2005-era renovation had never been properly completed. The iron globes (?) were missing from the stair newels; the vestibule plaque had been moved to the big empty wall at the landing; and most notably the Dartmouth Seal skylight had been taken out and not returned. It is not clear that the 2008 project fixed those problems.
  • Hanover High won the NHIAA ski jumping championships at Oak Hill (Valley News).
  • Hanover is getting a food truck (The Dartmouth).
  • The school has appointed a new VP for Campus Planning Lisa Hogarty (The Dartmouth).
  • The Rauner blog posted on the Dartmouth Medal.
  • The school Flickr stream has a super winter aerial by Eli Burakian.
  • Here is a photo of the north lounge in Collis after the renovation.
  • Eastman’s Pharmacy on Main Street has closed (The Dartmouth, Valley News). It was opened in 1938.

Perdido and more

February 9th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, all news, Alumni Gym, Collis Center, Heat Plant, History, Hood, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, Memorial Field, site updates

  • Jens Larson is on the cover of a Bucknell University magazine from 2009 (pdf). The cover story describes his 1932 master plan in the context of new plan by SBRA.
  • The roof of Alumni Gym over the Michael Pool is to be renovated again (The Dartmouth).
  • Clement Meadmore’s 1978 COR-TEN sculpture Perdido has been installed on East Wheelock Street below South Fayerweather Hall (Hood press release pdf, Flickr photo of installation, Facebook photo).
  • Collis renovations are nearing an end (The Dartmouth), and people are talking about switching fuels for the Heating Plant (The Dartmouth).
  • Bruce Wood discusses the possibility of a hockey game on the turf at Memorial Field (Big Green Alert blog).
  • Rauner presents interesting research on the conch that students blew as a horn instead of ringing a bell during the eighteenth century (Rauner Library Blog).
  • The Valley News has a remembrance of timber framer Edward Levin ’69.
  • Interior demolition soon will begin at 4 Currier, where the college is building a 3,000 s.f. innovation center (The Dartmouth).
  • Telemark Shortline, the sculpture now located in front of Richardson Hall, has an interesting past as described by the Hood Museum:

    Telemark Shortline was originally designed by the artist for a specific site between the Hopkins Center and Wilson Hall on Dartmouth’s campus. When construction commenced on the Hood Museum of Art in 1982, the work was removed. In 2009, it was re-constituted by the artist in its current location. The first part of the title comes from the sculpture’s form, which resembles a deep-snow turn made with a pair of Nordic skis. “Shortline” refers to both the railroad company name (the sculpture’s composition brings to mind railroad tracks) and the artist’s term for the bevel-cut ends of his beams.

  • The post on traffic patterns around the Green has been updated.

Rethinking traffic around the Green

December 24th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Green, the, master planning, other projects

The firm of RSG writes that, in connection with the BBB master plan, it:

conducted a comprehensive evaluation of traffic circulation around the campus green, which included the development of a detailed microsimulation model to evaluate the merits of various alternatives.

It is a good bet that one of the alternatives for the Green is the return of two-way traffic. Here is the current traffic pattern:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Current traffic pattern. Basemap excerpted from Dartmouth Campus Map.

It is not clear when the streets around three sides of the Green were made one-way streets. Much of the one-waying done in the Sixties and Seventies in the interest of moving traffic through American cities is now seen as undesirable for a number of reasons. The Yale Master Plan (pdf) has several observations on pages 45 and 119:

Bicyclists tend to go the wrong way on one-way streets if they view it as the shortest path to their destination. This fact suggests the benefit of reconfiguring those streets to make cycling and walking easier.

One-way streets can be particularly hostile to those visiting Downtown, and motorists often see destinations but must recirculate through the system to reach them…. Motorists must travel further and turn more in one-way street systems than along two-way streets, and crossings are also particularly difficult for pedestrians. We recommend encouraging the City to expand its recent conversion of one-way streets to two-way traffic…. New Haven would certainly not be alone if it followed this initiative. Because of the direct impact of transportation on the accessibility and viability of urban centers, many cities are examining traffic patterns and the balance among transportation modes. To return downtown streets to a human scale and promote a more pedestrian and retail-friendly environment, recent initiatives in many places have concentrated on slowing traffic, and more and more cities have converted (or are considering converting) the one-way streets to two-way.

Here is a look at the Green with two-way traffic:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Restoring the Green’s historic two-way traffic pattern.

The Yale plan states on page 119:

Those traffic engineers and planners who support converting the one-way streets to two-way use readily admit that the change might selectively increase traffic congestion. However, rather than concentrating on their lost capacity to move vehicles, these professionals focus on the slower, calmer traffic and how that improves the livability and potential for growth of urban environments, business districts and neighborhoods.

Another alternative at Dartmouth might adopt another extreme, a pattern that attempts to eliminate traffic from as much of the Green as possible:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Pedestrianizing the streets around the Green.

Expanding the Green in this way could make for some very pleasant spaces, particularly if the grass were carried up to SAE. Care would have to be taken to preserve some of the proportions of the streets in the paths that replaced them, an effect not shown here. Although closing College and Wentworth Streets would increase traffic on North Main and Maynard, the increase probably would not be great. Outside of term time, the Green would seem more like a dead zone (or a park, depending on your perspective) than it does now.

The list of alternatives would not be complete without a traffic circle:

Map of Dartmouth Green traffic pattern

Traffic around the Green as controlled by a traffic circle.

The college planners probably are not thinking of this alternative, since the redesign of the town’s main intersection seems to be more of a task for the municipal authorities. This option also removes the space-hogging diagonal parking and the turn lane from the south end of the Green.

[Update 02.08.2014: RSG concludes (pdf) that "we do not feel that any of the two-way Green circulation options warrant additional investigation." Very interesting. The report does, however, propose to narrow East Wheelock in front of the Hop in much the same way the image above does.]

A short presentation of unbuilt Academic Center design

December 21st, 2013  |  Published in Academic Center, all news

Watch a presentation of the North Campus Academic Center design by architect Kyu Sung Woo:

This is episode 2633 of “Heart to Heart” on Arirang, uploaded last May. It was filmed when the Center for Health Care Delivery Science was still slated to occupy the building. That center is now expecting to move into the Williamson Building at the hospital, and the construction of the Academic Center is on hold at best.

KSWA rendering of Dartmouth NCAC

KSWA rendering of NCAC design, from Arirang.

Several of the views are new. The aerial view above looks from north to south and finally explains the plaza area, where Gilman currently connects to Remsen and to the skybridge to Kellogg. According to the video, the building’s classrooms and social spaces were to be located under the plaza (see the second image at the firm’s website).

KSWA rendering of Dartmouth NCAC

KSWA rendering of NCAC design, from Arirang.

Woo mentions “a social science wing” of the building for the departments of anthropology and sociology. That was probably the south end, visible at left in this north-south view of a model’s College Street facade.

KSWA rendering of Dartmouth NCAC

KSWA rendering of NCAC design, from Arirang.

This north-south view shows the Medical School/courtyard facade.

The Geisel School’s identity guidelines and their breaking

December 15th, 2013  |  Published in all news, coat of arms, graphic design, History, Med. School

The Geisel School’s thorough Visual Identity and Naming Conventions (pdf) state:


+ The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth


The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Although the web version of the medical school magazine for Fall ’13 has no logo graphics on its table of contents, it describes itself in the masthead as “The magazine of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth”. The website of the school itself features this graphic:

Geisel logotype 2012

Detail from Geisel School website, December 2013.

So far so good. This form of the name complies with the conventions.

But when one views the pdf version of the same magazine table of contents, one sees this:

Geisel logotype 2013

Detail from Geisel School magazine, December 2013.

The school’s Youtube channel also follows this new form. Not only does this reordering violate the first rule of the Guidelines, it violates the second:


+ Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

+ Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine

+ Geisel School of Medicine

This transition was first spotted by Joe Asch at Dartblog.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

December 4th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning

The cover story[1] in the latest Harvard Magazine is about landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. At a presentation about 16 years ago I remember him referring to Beck’s Odelay, which I thought was pretty hip. The article states:

A professor and designer he is — the Eliot professor in practice of landscape architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and probably the most celebrated landscape architect in America.

Van Valkenburgh’s firm was selected with architects Beyer Blinder Belle to conduct Dartmouth’s master planning process.

In the new plan, “a significant amount of new building[] is proposed for existing parking lots,” according to BFJ Planning, another firm involved.


  1. William S. Saunders, “The Urban Landscaper,” Harvard Magazine (November-December 2013) (via MVVA news page).

How long before the Ravine Lodge will be replaced?

December 2nd, 2013  |  Published in all news, cabins, Mt. Moosilauke, preservation, Ravine Lodge

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.[1]

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.


  1. As told by Stuart Brand, William McDonough, and others, the story is that there were no sufficiently-large oak trees on the market in all of England when the ancient beams in the hall of New College, Oxford finally needed replacement. The college head mentioned this to the college forester, and he replied, “we were wondering when you were going to ask about those trees.” It turns out that the forester and his predecessors through the centuries had been maintaining a stand of oaks specifically for the replacement of the hall roof. The story is mythical, of course, but it does seem to be based on real events, since the hall roof was replaced during the 1860s using oaks from college forests (Snopes quote from now-unavailable New College trivia page).

More on the sensitive reuse of churches by colleges

November 30th, 2013  |  Published in all news, preservation, Rollins Chapel

This superb Doric temple is one of my favorite Richmond buildings:

Built in 1841 as the First Baptist Church, it was designed by Thomas U. Walter, who would go on to design the dome of the U.S. Capitol (Wikipedia).

The church is now a student center for the Medical College of Virginia. The rear facade, which faces the school, has a nice addition with a new main entrance that allows the front to remain untouched:

Images from Google Street View.

Medical students looking for a place to worship share the hospital’s chapel, built in 1981 as a nondenominational space: “Rounded walls, adaptable seating and a lack of religious icons offer a place for the whole community,” according to a 2010 news brief.


[Update 05.03.2014: Broken link to Hunton page replaced.]

Wintry aerials, etc.

November 28th, 2013  |  Published in all news, DHMC, Heat Plant, Hop, the, Lamb & Rich, other projects, preservation, publications

  • The design of the Black VAC landscape, including the Arts Plaza, was by Richard Burck Associates, the Boston-area firm that designed Berry Row. The project manager was Lisa Giersbach.

  • An article on the Williamson Translational Research Building in Dartmouth Medicine (Spring 2013) includes this exchange with Geisel School Senior Associate Dean for Research Duane Compton:

    DM: Plans for a translational research building began several years ago. What makes this the right time to move forward with this project?

    COMPTON: In 2007, Dr. Peter Williamson and his wife, Susan, made a landmark gift commitment to support the construction of a translational research building for the medical school. A year later, the economy collapsed and nearly all Dartmouth College building plans were put on hold, including the Williamson Building. Now, with the stronger economy, fundraising momentum growing, and the need for additional research space intensifying, it’s imperative that we move forward with the building.

  • Is Fairchild getting a deck? The floorplan provided as part of the Fairchild renovation project page shows what appears to be a plank-floored deck with tables on the College Street side of the building.

    Google Street View of Fairchild.

  • Dartmouth Engineer Magazine (March 2013) has an article on the Advanced Surgery Center at DHMC, an extension of an existing wing of the complex.

  • This site keeps harping on the need to preserve and reuse the Heating Plant. For an elegant reuse of a powerplant as a college library, see Moore Ruble Yudell’s U.W. Tacoma project. An 1875 waterworks building in Bonn, Germany was renovated in 1986 to serve as the Plenary Chamber of the Bundestag (photo gallery). And on a different scale, G.G. Scott’s 1947 and 1963 Bankside Power Station was rehabbed in 2000 by Herzog & de Meuron as the Tate Modern (Wikipedia; Louise Bourgeois, sculptor of Crouching Spider, was the first artist to have work commissioned for the Turbine Hall). Dartmouth’s smokestack, although only about a half-century old, must be retained as part of the complex, especially in an environment of few spires. Yale’s master plan devotes one map to locating “major vertical objects” on the campus (pdf, page 94).

  • I didn’t know that Tuck is offering a dual-degree program (Master of Environmental Law and Policy/Master of Business Administration) with Vermont Law School (VLS pdf).

  • Congratulations to the football team on an excellent conclusion to the season in the Princeton game (see this photo of the snowy evening in The Woods). The coverage on WDCR on line was enjoyable. For some reason, however, still depends on Flash for much of its free live content. A hint: Adobe announced that it would stop developing mobile Flash more than two years ago, and Flash has never worked on iOS devices.

  • Boora’s design for the Hop renovation, according to the website, will include “a series of transparent boxes that penetrate the opaque modern exterior at entry points.” The article in The Dartmouth also mentions eliminating confusion in navigation “by changing the entryway structures.” Could these additions include a new street-level front entry pavilion located between the Inn and the Moore Theater (the iconic Hop facade)? This remarkable photo from Aerial Design shows the site, with the recent Grand Ballroom box and its depressed entrance to the Hop visible behind the reduced Zahm Garden.

  • Aerial Design has a number of excellent photos taken after a snowfall during December of 2012. The streets are uniformly free of snow and look almost like chilly canals in some of the images: the VAC, the Hop, and downtown; the south end of the Green and town; east along Lebanon Street to Memorial Field; and eastward across the campus from Tuck Mall.

  • Did you know that the New Hampshire legislature gave degree-granting authority to a for-profit university with its main administrative office in Concord and its campus in a 16th-century castle near Turin? St. John International University is having problems according to Inside Higher Ed.

Is it time to rebuild the Ski Jump?

November 26th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Country Club, History, preservation

High school jumping is big in New Hampshire, and it sounds like it’s even bigger among the kids in Park City, Utah, where the Salt Lake Olympic facilities are located.

Although jumping was the centerpiece of Winter Carnival (see the special jumping poster for 1977 Carnival at Dartmouth Images), and Dartmouth fought hard against the end of collegiate jumping in 1980,[1] the jump on the Golf Course was dismantled in 1993.

Warren Chivers at the 1938 Winter Carnival

Warren Chivers at the 1938 Winter Carnival

Dartmouth is already years too late to have any effect on women’s jumping, a sport that will debut at this winter’s Olympics. A recent New York Times Magazine story suggests that the U.S. women’s team might be the best in the world. And collegiate jumpers started holding competitions again in 2011 (Boston Globe story, Times story).

For the last 20 years, Dartmouth has ignored a winter sport — a Nordic skiing discipline — that it once pioneered. Now the sport is coming back in this country. Other colleges seem to be able to handle the cost of insurance. Isn’t it time Dartmouth got back into the competition?


  1. Dennis Gildea, “Dartmouth and the Debate over Ski Jumping in NCAA Competition,” Journal of Intercollegiate Sport 2 (2009), 286-298 (pdf).

Vermont windows

November 19th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Charter, Country Club, graphic design, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Hop, the, master planning, other projects, preservation, site updates  |  1 Comment

  • An update of the “North Block” golf course development idea: Take a look at the Perkins + Will plan for the Poplar Point Development In Washington, D.C. Naturally Dartmouth wouldn’t need this density or scale, but it could learn from the extension of the existing street grid to form irregular quadrangular blocks; the treatment of the edge condition (the Anacostia River); and the accommodation of streams flowing through the site.

  • An update of the Hop expansion post: Of course! The new theater and entrance facade represent the final realization of Larson’s old 1940s Hop designs. In this post, a still image from a college video shows how Larson wanted to put a theater and a major entrance to the Hopkins Center on what was then College Street. And the Dartmouth has an article on the Boora project.

  • I did not learn until recently that this memorable window, visible on the way to Hanover from West Leb, is called a “Vermont window” or a “witch window” (Wikipedia):

  • Dartmouth has been phasing out the “” accounts and assigning everyone, past and present, an “” address (only the address, not an account). This is neater than the old dual system where students had one address/account and alumni another. When the “” accounts came in (during 1995 or 1996?) they seemed like an awkward solution. The rationale for creating the new domain was that Dartmouth was barred (by its interpretation of the government’s pre-ICANN rules, one supposes) from using the “.edu” domain for accounts assigned to anyone but employees and students. Yet Harvard came out with its “” domain around that time, so it is hard to see that as the reason.

    Although it was fun to use Blitzmail after college, the need for a personal, ISP-independent email account was soon satisfied more effectively on the Web by Hotmail (1996) and Yahoo Mail (1997). Students responded with WebBlitz (1998 or 1999?) but I don’t recall that it prevented the alumni accounts from slipping into some obscurity. The susceptibility of the alumni accounts to great volumes of spam did not help.

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on Sgt. Allen Scott Norton of WWI with photos of the trenches dug on the future site of Leverone Field House or Red Rolfe Field.

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on a new war memorials map.

  • Finally a photo of new Hop entrance below the grand ballroom — and the ever-shrinking Zahm Courtyard. It is included in the war memorial map.

  • The College Steward was a charter office first held by Ebenezer Brewster, who established the tavern that preceded the Inn. I’ve wondered if the office could be revived, and whom it should be given to. Contemporary college statutes from England (Downing College Cambridge, published in 1800, in Google Books) suggest that a steward was the head of dining services:



    THERE shall also be one Steward appointed annually by the Master, from among the Professors and Fellows, to direct every thing which relates to the Commons and Sizings to be served in the hall at dinner and supper, and the wine and other articles provided in the combination room. He shall make all payments in respect of such Commons and Sizings to the Cook and Butler of the College, at such times as shall be appointed by the Master, and shall receive the same from the Tutor, within one week of the end of every Term, for all his Pupils who have been in Commons during the Term; and for all other persons in Commons, he shall be paid by themselves in the same time.

  • The Grad Studies Office has a photo of the professionally-made sign in its renovated 37 Dewey Field Road. (In the recent interior renovation, references to 37 Dewey Field Road seem to encompass both 37 and 50 Dewey Field Road, the old Homes 37 and 50.)

  • Insignia: From a College Grant photo album (pdf), page 20, we learn that

    The “Diamond D” log brand was stamped with a hammer into all logs leaving the College Grant so they could be identified upon reaching the sawmill.

    Unrelated: The clever Europhilia of Football as Football. And it is funny how the Maryland governor’s “Goals” website logo recalls the RAF roundel:

  • Dartmouth Now has an article on the up-close inspection of the exterior of Baker Tower.

  • Congratulations to The Dartmouth on its new website. Here’s hoping the upgrade doesn’t involve a new URL for every past article. This site has more than 220 broken links to the D at the moment.

[Update 05.03.2014: Broken link to Maryland veterans page replaced.]

The Class of 1974 Bunkhouse

November 17th, 2013  |  Published in all news, cabins, master planning, Mt. Moosilauke, Organic Farm, other projects, Ravine Lodge

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.

News: Snapshot of new master plan released

November 13th, 2013  |  Published in all news, master planning

The firm of Beyer Blinder Belle, the first new master planner for Dartmouth in a couple of decades, has added a page to its website announcing its Dartmouth plan. Of the four images on the page, only one shows a design. It is an aerial perspective view of a computer model of the campus, and it is meant to show the landscape plan rather than any proposed buildings per se. The official master plan website has not been updated yet.

Detail of BBB master plan

Detail of Tuck/Thayer area from Beyer Blinder Belle master plan image.

The image, although not a complete plan by any means, shows several notable proposals for new construction:

  • There is a big new set of dorms behind Mass Row. This seems inevitable given the site, but one hopes that South Fairbanks, at least, could be preserved somewhere.
  • Three or more new dorms are shown continuing the line of Fahey-McLane along the slopes of Tuck Drive. It is not clear whether the President’s House is replaced or incorporated into this group. One supposes that any dorm proposed for the end of Webster Avenue will be reached by a footpath leading from Tuck Mall, so it makes sense to shift it away from the Avenue and closer to the Mall.
  • This is intriguing: The top end of Tuck Drive is shown dead-ending before Fahey/McLane. That would improve Tuck Mall and reduce traffic on the Drive, but it would also eliminate the Drive’s original and historic function as an auto road.
  • There are big changes at the pro schools: the remaining River Cluster dorms are replaced, of course, and the Maxwell-Channing Cox Apartments are also demolished to make way for something completely different. The Thayer School parking lot is finally given over to its logical purpose of supporting academic buildings. Aha: Thayer Drive, which brings traffic up the hill from Wheelock Street, is routed all the way to the west end of the plateau before it skirts the River Cluster area and reaches Whittemore Circle. Bleh: suburban. One hopes that this scheme is meant to be a shorthand for “more development” rather than a concrete proposal. Again, this landscape snapshot cannot be taken as an explanation of the final version of the overall master plan.
  • An extension is added to South Fayer or Bartlett, or maybe both. This is an excellent idea that prior plans have floated.
  • A big new athletic building, probably, is shown on the tennis courts across from the Sphinx. It connects to or replaces (one hopes not) Davis Varsity House.
  • A boxy front extension of Wheeler Hall is shown protruding into the quadrangle there. Hmmm. It is hard to tell whether the quad on the other side of Wheeler is filled with new construction or is omitted from this landscape plan.
  • On Berry Row, a new building replaces Raven House, and a new building is shown between Kemeny and Moore. Good. But that latter building extends westward to Main Street, eliminating the NAD House, Phi Tau, and Alpha Theta. Not so good.
  • The area north of Maynard is inscribed with the curving Romantic paths of Berry Row instead of the efficient rectilinear paths of the Green or Tuck Mall. But it is nice to see a green armature woven through the blocks from Berry all the way up to the LSC. New buildings are shown opposite Moore Hall and at the NCAC site along College Street, as expected. There’s another one shown near the center of the block, expanding upon or replacing Kellogg Auditorium. This makes sense, and people will be relieved to see the Med School keeping its campus from spilling behind Vail or beyond the LSC.
  • The Choates are replaced with a linear double-ranked row of buildings. The landscape here will tie Berry Row to the Roth Center, making this spoke/tendril appear to be a small-scale counterpart to Tuck Mall.
  • Sargent Block: The plan suggests that the Sargent Block master plan be carried out in some fashion. Notably, no building is shown on the FO&M/Shops corner.
  • Rich created a precedent when he put mirror-image row of buildings behind Dartmouth Row, probably based on a plan by Charles Eliot. VSBA identified the double row of buildings as a distinctive type and a useful form. MRY used it in the McLaughlin dorms. Here, BBB plans several double rows: Behind Mass Row, where the form has been anticipated, as noted above; in the Choates, where both rows would be created at the same time; and behind Dick’s House, where such a row would provide valuable organization in a long-unplanned space.
  • Some other buildings not mentioned above: A dining hall/student center stands on the street to form a southern end to Mass Row, connecting Thayer, Robinson, and Collis. This is an old Larson idea, a good idea if the building is porous enough to allow pedestrians to reach Psi Upsilon and Wheelock Street; a rear extension for the Murdough Center; and a replacement for North Hall and the Choate House. Choate House is an 18c house that has already been moved twice and really must be saved somewhere.
  • It is interesting what this landscape plan leaves out — the areas around the buildings on East Wheelock and Park Street, the athletic facilities of Chase Fields, College Park and most of the science buildings, La Casa and its neighbors, and the McLaughlin Cluster. It is not clear whether this means “no change” or “not important” or just “not part of the main circulation system.”

Overall, the image suggests that the plan will be notable for its restraint. It does not set out to expand the borders of the campus.

[Update 11.15.2013: President's House item altered, items after Sargent Block added.]

Google updates its aerial, and other news

November 11th, 2013  |  Published in 4 Currier, Academic Center, all news, CHCDS, DHMC, History, master planning, Med. School, north campus, other projects, publications

A new Associated School?

November 9th, 2013  |  Published in all news, graphic design, History, other projects

Dartmouth College, the undergraduate college, has almost always maintained one or more “Associated Institutions”[1] or “Associated Schools”[2] alongside it:

  1. Geisel School of Medicine, 1797-
  2. Chandler School of Science and the, Arts 1851-1892
  3. New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, 1866-1892
  4. Thayer School of Engineering, 1867-
  5. Tuck School of Business Administration, 1900-

Thus the college has not added a new school in more than a century. Although a college department granted its first graduate degree in 1885, and the college began turning out significant numbers of doctoral degrees during the 1960s, the college has not created a separate graduate school of arts and sciences. The institution known as Graduate Studies has only recently begun to assert its own identity.

Now President Hanlon has proposed to elevate Graduate Studies to the stature of an Associated School. The Dartmouth reports on his speech at Monday’s faculty meeting:

As part of his goal to increase Dartmouth’s global impact, Hanlon proposed the creation of a freestanding graduate school, whose dean would report directly to the College Provost instead of to the Dean of the Faculty, as is current practice. This endeavor would mainly involve changes to the existing graduate school structure. Dartmouth’s graduate studies programs are tied to the undergraduate departments, but the College might see changes to this model in the near future.

The Valley News describes the idea similarly.

While the new school would not necessarily require any more space, it would find itself in a better position to lobby for a building of its own in the future. It claims more than 1,200 students (Graduate Studies Facts), which makes it larger than Tuck and Thayer combined.

Where could a new building be located? Several of the most likely sites lie at the north end of the Berry Row axis, close to the flexible buildings of Rope Ferry Road and not too far from the graduate student housing of North Park Street. Another, more limited site is located at the end of Webster Avenue: the President’s House could be extended westward and the school installed there, with a pedestrian bridge over Tuck Drive to join it to Tuck School.


  1. See the 1890 General Catalog (Google Books).
  2. See the 1900 General Catalog (Google Books).

The Courtyard Cafe will be going away

November 7th, 2013  |  Published in all news, Hood, Hop, the, master planning, preservation

Boora Architects has released some of its designs for the expansion of the Hopkins Center.

The first image is a view of the area now occupied by the café and lawn seen in this Google Street View image:

The hill appears to have been carved away and a new glass-walled entrance inserted at the basement level. The blank-walled righthand portion of this three-level infill addition presumably contains the new theater. A balcony projects from each of the upper levels. This might be a sort of Bass Concert Hall facade.

The second image shows the main corridor, presumably at ground level. This seems to be a view to north: the box office and Moore Theatre scene shop have been blasted through, and we can see straight into the existing Darling Courtyard, the unroofed sculpture atrium behind the Warner Bentley bust. The coffering in the ceiling (or in the underside of the floor of the level above) refers to the oval coffering of the original building; in the center a cutout reveals yet another level above. Something interesting must be happening around the current Spaulding lobby if the new stair is to fit. The existing studio range is not necessarily removed, although it is hard to tell.

This part of the Hop currently stands only one level above ground, of course. In this Bing aerial, the corridor is the flat-roofed, black-surfaced element, while the café is the curving Hood-era addition below it.

The fourth image shows the interior of the new theater, presumably looking to the northwest. Off to the left is visible the main corridor with its green seat.

The fifth image appears to show the expanded Darling Courtyard. It looks like the floor has been dropped into Paddock in the basement and a glass roof placed overhead.

The third image depicts Alumni Hall as transformed into a concert chamber. Presumably the vaults will need to be closed up for acoustic purposes (see Jonathan Owens’s study). The existing wooden plaques seem likely to be moved, since they would be obscured by the proposed wall paneling and raked seating.



[Update 11.21.2013: Last sentence, about Alumni Hall windows, removed. The rendering looks west, not east.]

NCAC now unlikely to come to pass

November 5th, 2013  |  Published in Academic Center, all news, DHMC, Gilman, Life Sciences Ctr., master planning, preservation

The Dartmouth reports again, this time with conviction, that the NCAC project as we know it is stalled. It seems as if it might have been effectively cancelled.

Bertaux + Iwerks Architects present an interesting might-have-been, a pre-NCAC design for a new central DMS building. The design would have given DMS a new signature structure and knitted together the existing campus by connecting Vail to Dana and the Life Sciences Center.

It is hard to tell whether this design would have been any more successful as a work of urbanism than the NCAC design, for all its faults. Then again, the NCAC had more space to play with, enjoying the removal of both Dana and Gilman.

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