Planning for the “neighborhood”

May 21st, 2014  |  Published in all news, History, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, master planning, neighborhoods, other projects

Neighborhoods

We learn from The Dartmouth of March 21 that the Board of Trustees wants to change the housing system to focus on “neighborhoods” in order to increase continuity and so on. But there will be more to it than administrative changes, according to The Dartmouth of April 1:

[Mike Wooten] said a full transition to the “neighborhoods” system could take up to 10 years.

Wooten said he hopes outside architectural firms will submit design recommendations by fall 2014. Any construction projects, including renovations, will be decided after a firm is selected.

The college has selected Sasaki Associates as the design firm. Sasaki is currently designing an indoor practice facility to stand next to the Boss Tennis Center and has designed a master plan for Vermont Law School in South Royalton. The Dartmouth writes:

Based on their research, the Sasaki team and ORL will determine by the end of the summer whether to construct new residence halls in addition to renovating existing living spaces, Wooten said.

The MyCampus survey software that Sasaki uses in its research was created for the master planning process at Babson College in Massachusetts. The firm’s idea-gathering at Dartmouth started yesterday (Planner’s Blog).

In this early stage, the neighborhoods idea sounds a lot like the “cluster” program of the mid- and late-1980s.

Clusters and Faculty Residences

The cluster program now seems to have been mostly an organizational effort, but it did include a substantial architectural component. A series of projects, and presumably the prior study and planning, were carried out by the Boston firm of Charles G. Hilgenhurst Associates. The college made kitchen/lounge renovations in several dorms and built significant additions on others:

  • Lounge addition at rear of New Hampshire Hall
  • Lounge addition in crook of Topliff Hall
  • Expansion of original social room in crook of Hitchcock Hall
  • Hyphen connecting Butterfield and Sage Halls
  • Two hyphens connecting North, Middle, and South Fayerweather Halls

Lounges or social rooms, of course, are not new; they go back in a formal sense to North and South Massachusetts (1911-1912, Charles A. Rich).

The difference between an old cluster and a new neighborhood might be the inclusion of faculty residences. The institutional effort to establish a spatial association between faculty and student housing at Dartmouth goes back to the optimistic Fifties and seems to have been influenced by preparatory school practice. The Clark Preparatory School left Hanover for Cardigan Mountain in 1953 and sold its campus to Dartmouth. The college turned Clark’s Alumni Hall (1938, Jens F. Larson) into a dormitory and renamed it Cutter Hall. The building’s existing prep-school room layout included a faculty residence; Dartmouth seems not only to have left the floor plan unchanged but to have created a living-learning residential program to fit it.

The college also began to make plans for a whole group of dormitories on the prep school’s athletic field, behind Alumni Hall. This group of Choate Road Dormitories (1956, Campbell & Aldrich) would comprise two pairs of dormitories, each with a faculty residence attached. The bold, idealistic, cinderblocky experiment of the Choates did not last long. Faculty residences were left out of the River Cluster, built by the same firm just a few years after the Choates. The Cutter Hall program also dropped the faculty element within a few years.

The only new dorms the college would erect as part of the 1980s cluster movement, the East Wheelock Cluster (1985-1987, Herbert S. Newman Associates), did not involve a faculty residence at first. They were planned, by a New Haven architect used to designing Yale colleges, to include four buildings. The program was pared to three buildings and Frost House (the White House) was spared. The house became the faculty residence for the “supercluster” iteration of East Wheelock when it was constituted in 1996 (see Dartmouth Now on the current changeover to a new faculty director).

Residential Colleges

Since the Harkness gifts of the late 1920s allowed Harvard and Yale to follow the form if not the underlying federative structure of Oxford or Cambridge,[1] a lot of study has gone into the idea that a large institution should be split into smaller living-learning units (see the Collegiate Way website).

Although traditional anti-universitization sentiment requires that the Harvard/Yale idea be distinguished at Dartmouth (see the pains taken by Dartmouth Now to mention unique local circumstances), Dartmouth’s administration finally seems ready to commit fully to a residential college program. During the 1920s, Dartmouth’s President Hopkins

considered the possibility of breaking up the entire College into similar units. He finally decided that Dartmouth was uniquely suited to be one big unit, and that all that was lacking was a central student union which would have social and educational advantages.[2]

The eventual Hopkins Center for the Arts included a snack bar and a student maibox area, but it obviously is not a glue that can hold the big unit together. Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see what architectural solutions are invented to tackle this social problem now that the administration has determined that the monolith cannot be maintained.

—–

  1. See Alex Duke, Importing Oxbridge: English Residential Colleges and American Universities (New Haven: Yale, 1997).
  2. Charles E. Widmayer, Hopkins of Dartmouth (Hanover: UPNE, 1977), 123.

Google Maps; other topics

May 4th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Collis Center, History, Hop, the, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, preservation, publications, Quartomillennium '19




Google’s latest (July 2013) Street View of the SoWhee complex: interesting sky.

  • The British Pathe Archive has a 1935 newsreel called “Tricks on Skis” that shows some early extreme skiing (or “scheeing,” as the announcer says it) at Dartmouth. A film about the 1939 Carnival shows Dick Durrance winning the slalom.

    The archive also has a fascinating pre-1920 silent film of an unidentified Maori rugby team performing a haka. All of Wikipedia’s examples of U.S. teams with a haka tradition involve gridiron football rather than rugby.

  • Post-VAC, the art studios in the Hop have been renamed the Hop Garage and Loew’s has been renamed the Hood Auditorium.

  • Oudens Ello has photos of the Collis renovation.

  • As part of Brown’s 250th anniversary celebration, Brown’s museum (in the amazing Doric Manning Hall) is presenting an exhibit titled “In Deo Speramus: The Symbols and Ceremonies of Brown University” through October 2015. The exhibit sounds worthy of being made a permanent one. Dartmouth should have a permanent one too — a permanent presentation of a history of the college and place where significant objects are kept. Part of the space can be devoted to the changing exhibits that now appear in the College History Room, which is really more of an Alcove.

  • Back in March the cover story in the DAM was a history of Dartmouth in fifty objects. The text notes that the College Usher, “usually the dean of libraries,” has carried Lord Dartmouth’s Cup at Commencement since 1983. That is an interesting (E.C. Lathem?) innovation, since the cup has been at the college since 1969; its use in the procession definitely removes any need for a mace. And let this post serve as a further encouragement of the revival of any other unfilled charter offices in time for 2019. The charter authorizes the trustees to “from time to time as occasion shall require elect constitute & appoint a TREASURER a CLERK an USHER & a Steward.”

  • By the way, the Alumni Magazine has announced that it’s going to have every issue on line soon, back to No. 1 in 1908.

  • Google Maps now let you see Street Views back in time (C|Net, Google Lat Long). In Hanover, the McLean ESC appears with and without the penthouse addition as you toggle between October 2010 and July 2013. Some places have three or four generations of imagery: at 8 Occom Ridge you can see a real turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts house get replaced. On Webster Avenue you can see the original Sig Ep house, then the current house under construction, then the finished product. And let’s not forget Alpha Phi, replacing Larson’s faculty apartments.

  • Google Maps also lets you rotate aerial views now. The new perspective makes a place seem foreign: what’s this zig-zaggy campus tucked into a neighborhood of nice houses?

  • Much will change in the Sargent Block (Bing aerial), possibly starting during 2015. Naturally the Beyer Blinder Belle master plan (post) shows the block transformed.

  • Naming: NATO’s practice of assigning a reporting name to each type of Soviet aircraft (Bear, Foxbat) is familiar, but NATO also has named a U.S.-built aircraft, the P-63 Kingcobra. It was called Fred.

  • Archeology for fun: the unsold Atari cartridges for the E.T. video game have been found in a New Mexico landfill where they were dumped in 1983 (Kotaku.com, Wikipedia).

  • The Valley News story on the success of the equestrian team states that although the team once was the province

    of the Dean of the College and the Dartmouth Outing Club, equestrian moved over to the college’s athletic department three years ago.


Dig the buttressing on the brick screening wall behind the Life Sciences Center.

—–

[Update 05.18.2014: I must have read this but forgotten the details. From Edward Connery Lathem's 2009 memorial:

Mr. Lathem's having in 1983 pointed out that Dartmouth's royal charter of 1769 provides for inclusion among the institution's officers of an usher, as well as a steward, caused the college's board of trustees to reinstitute both of those long-dormant posts, and he from that point onward served as college usher, functioning as such within the ceremonial pagentry of annual convocation and commencement exercises.

I hope the steward's present obscurity does not mean that the office goes unfilled.]

Mink Brook’s “Shantytown”

May 1st, 2014  |  Published in all news, cabins, Connecticut River, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History

The Dartmouth has a very sympathetic story about “Shantytown,”[1] a group of three ramshackle houses built by David Vincelette ’84 in the woods along Mink Brook, east of town. This is a hidden part of Hanover’s history, and the fact that dozens of college people have lived there over the years adds to the interest.

The existence of this place is puzzling. What a fantastic piece of land (Google aerial, Bing low-angle aerial). It must be the inholding or landlocked parcel shown between the Town’s Tanzi Natural Area and the Mink Brook Nature Preserve on the Hanover Conservancy’s trail map (pdf). But are the buildings and materials really allowed under Hanover zoning, especially so close to a stream? One sort of assumes that eventually the land will be restored and this property made a part of the preserve, but maybe that is not to be.

—–
[Update 05.03.2014: "Late-1980s" changed to "mid-1980s."]

  1. The article’s “Shantytown” headline suggests that it involves the mid-1980s anti-apartheid shanties on the Green. It turns out to be an unrelated shantytown — except that Vincelette did, according to the article, help students build those shanties on the Green.

Fourth DADA reunion exhibit June 7-15

April 29th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Hop, the, publications

DADA will be holding its 4th alumni reunion exhibit, “GREEN,” June 7th to 15th in Room 130 of the Hopkins Center, right across from the cafe.

We will be celebrating the accomplishments of Dartmouth alumni, Green building by any definition, and the Dartmouth Green.

For the historians among you, we are collecting and showing your favorite images of the Green through the years. As President Hanlon remarked in a talk to the ’14s, they have been literally following in the footsteps of 245 years of Dartmouth students. The Green is a space created by all of our efforts, and the site of all kinds of events and structures.

We’re looking for environmentally responsible projects to show off. There are alums out there working in mass transit, on green factories, on rooftop gardens, on waterway reclamation, on renovating historic buildings to use less energy, on walkable housing, on daylighting and zero net energy buildings. We also will be showing books by alumni on these talks, from Marsh to McDonough.

For details on participating, please email Sue Reed ’81 at flower.reed@gmail.com.

New surgical wing; other topics

April 23rd, 2014  |  Published in all news, Baker Library, coat of arms, Connecticut River, graphic design, History, Hood, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, Med. School, other projects, preservation, publications, Quartomillennium '19, Rugby Club

  • The college recently unveiled a plaque announcing the Orozco Frescoes’ status as a National Historic Landmark (Dartmouth Now). No images yet.

  • Dartmouth Engineer has a story on the new Center for Surgical Innovation. This addition to DHMC is one of the few parts of the complex not designed by SBRA (post).

  • A Kendal news release on master planning refers to the acquisition of the Chieftain. A future expansion of the retirement center could make a neat feature out of the Chieftain’s rowing dock.

  • The New York Times has a story on the planned demolition of the Folk Art Museum to make way for an expansion of MOMA next door. (The architects of the Folk Art Museum, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, are designing an expansion of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum that preserves and reuses Wilson Hall next door.)

  • Enjoy the retro poster (via Big Green Alert Daily) for round one of the Varsity Cup rugby tournament, held at the Rugby Clubhouse. Dartmouth won the match.

  • CurbedNY has a bit on the Guastavino family. The one grandly-scaled Guastavino-tiled space at Dartmouth, the surgical theatre at the old hospital, no longer exists, but the firm’s vault in the hospital’s one surviving wing remains on Rope Ferry Road. Also check out the entry vestibule of McNutt Hall, likely a Guastavino structure (post).

  • UPNE is listing a publication of a partner called Voice of the Åland Churches by Åsa Ringbom. How about that. Åland (Wikipedia) is an autonomous island province of Finland located in the Baltic partway to Sweden. It has its own stamps and a striking flag that reflect its largely Swedish ethnicity.

  • Dartmouth needs to name at least one building for the building’s architect. This is not an uncommon practice, although only one example comes to mind, the Norman Shaw Buildings at Parliament in London (Wikipedia; W&M’s main building was not designed by Christopher Wren). The designers who need recognition at Dartmouth are Charles A. Rich and Jens F. Larson. The bulk of the campus was created by these two College Architects in succession between about 1895 and 1939. The one building on which both architects did extensive work is the Heating Plant, which Rich built as a one-story building and Larson raised by one story. Maybe when the Heating Plant is taken over by the college museum, these artists can be credited and the building can be known as the Rich-Larson Wing of the Hood Museum of Art.

  • Brown started up its 250th anniversary celebration last month. Dartmouth’s ex-president Jim Yong Kim, a 1982 Brown graduate, gave a lecture at the Opening Celebration. The “Traditions” section of the 250th website explains that Brown chose the brown bear as its mascot in 1904 and in 1905 brought a live bear to a football game — the Dartmouth game — for the first time. Dartmouth won. (Brown doesn’t call the anniversary a “quartomillenium” or “sestercentenary” but a “semiquincentenary.”)

  • DUSA (Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni) has an informative page devoted to its symbols. As is traditional, the shield has the wavy lines representing the Connecticut River in the base. One wonders whether every organization, including the college, would benefit from depicting the River as a set of wavy bars thick enough to have their own colors, perhaps blue or even white (alternating with the green color of the field).

  • Interface: News and Information from Dartmouth Computing Services is back. One might recall the nice paper magazine iteration of Interface from the late 1990s.

  • The football team will wear an alternate helmet design at some point this fall, notes Tris Wykes in the Valley News. Perhaps influenced by trends in cars (Financial Times, Autoweek) or the Pro-Tec helmets worn by skateboarders or special operators, matte black seems to be gaining popularity in football. Examples are found at Cincinnati and Oregon; Missouri seems to have been an early proponent in 2009 with its Nike Pro Combat uniform (see Uniform Critics).

—–

Update 05.22.2014: Banwell architect Ingrid Nichols’s resume (pdf) states:

Banwell has joined forces with a national Kendal design architect, RLPS and together are completing a master plan for a new 20 acre abutting parcel they have recently purchased. We are also completing a master plan for their existing campus including: Additions for independent living, nursing, health center, fitness center (pool, locker rooms, exercise rooms and activity room).

Museum-like displays; a Hanover designer

April 19th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Alumni Gym, coat of arms, graphic design, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Hop, the, Kemeny/Haldeman, other projects, publications, Thompson Arena, Varsity House

The old idea of the trophy room for intercollegiate athletics seems to be shifting toward something closer to a museum, with text and graphics (reproductions of historic images, not originals) arranged to tell a story. Objects are displayed in support of the story rather than as the spoils of victory.

The Friends of Dartmouth Football Timeline, Video Archive Kiosk and Memorabilia Exhibit at Floren Varsity House is an example. Designed by the Hanover firm of Charles Gibson Design, the comprehensive display is the closest thing Dartmouth has to a permanent museum of any aspect of its own history. (I do not know what proportion of the old trophies are kept in Floren, in Davis Varsity House, or in the Oberlander Lounge in Alumni Gym.) Gibson also designed a timeline for hockey in two locations in Thompson Arena and a display recognizing donors John and Carla Manley.

During the Seventies and Eighties, Charles Gibson worked in the Hop’s Graphic Design Studio, and since then his firm has done a lot of work for the college and other area institutions. The firm revised the campus map (the next-to-latest iteration); created signage (including the mainframe-like kiosk that occupied the entrance of the old Kiewit); and paper plates and cups for the Courtyard Cafe in the Hop. The Nugget Theater’s freestanding marquee, influenced by the Classical porticos of Main Street, is another product. (By the way, doesn’t the little photo of the modest portico of the Hanover Post Office make that building look like a Great Work of Architecture?)

Most notably for our purposes, Charles Gibson Design did a Comprehensive Identity Program for Cardigan Mountain School, including a revision of the school’s seal that features a green shield containing a lone pine and open book. And if you are thinking about the “Dartmouth base,” the wavy lines of water in the base of the shield of each of Dartmouth’s schools, Gibson did a logo for the local school district in conjunction with the Banwell addition to Hanover High. For the country’s first interstate school district, drawing from both Hanover and Norwich, the circular logo presents the Ledyard Bridge above wavy water lines on a green field.

The Food Co-op builds again

April 17th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Bradley/Gerry, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, other projects, preservation, publications

The Co-op Food Store is expanding and renovating its building on South Park Street with designs by Studio Nexus Architects, authors of the recent Co-op at the roundabout on Lyme Road. A floor plan in the new booklet explaining the renovation (pdf) shows that the addition will bump out the South Park Street facade along most of its length.

The Park Street building, which sort of serves as a gatepost at the southeastern entrance to Hanover, was built in 1962 to the designs of E.H. & M.K. Hunter, a firm also known for Bradley/Gerry. (Lisa Mausolf’s history of midcentury Modernist architecture in New Hampshire (pdf) mentions a few area buildings and includes several designs by the Hunters around the state.)

The Co-op’s awkward Sixties charm seems to have been renovated out of it during the Eighties and Nineties. A neat and unexpected series of massing models on page 8 of the booklet shows the building’s evolution: by putting a shed-roofed apparent second story over the new entrance, the proposed addition will hint at the original building’s high forehead, now encased in accretions.

BASIC at 50 and other items

April 13th, 2014  |  Published in all news, Bradley/Gerry, coat of arms, Collis Center, DHMC, graphic design, History, master planning, Med. School, Memorial Field, north campus, other projects, preservation, publications, Thayer School

  • Work continues on the Williamson Translational Research Building at the hospital in Lebanon. Here is a notable tidbit about the building’s namesake donor, the late Dr. Peter Williamson ’58: he once owned the ultimate collector car, Lord Rothschild’s Bugatti Atlantic. Williamson’s car won the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003 and is now in the Mullin Automotive Museum.
  • The Rauner Blog post on E.E. Just has a great old photo of Hallgarten. The building was built for the state ag school, known then as N.H.C.A.M.A., and its rear ell is the only part of any building from the campus to survive. The school later moved to Durham and became U.N.H., as its football website points out (via Big Green Alert). Of course, the most meaningful fact that relates to the football rivalry is that Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, indeed the entirety of its athletic complex west of Park Street, was built on one of the state farm fields. The students of the N.H.C.A.M.A. learned how to raise crops in the place where Dartmouth students now play football.
  • A group called Project VetCare is buying a house in Hanover, apparently around 65-75 Lebanon Street, to provide housing for veterans, including students (The Dartmouth).
  • Dartmouth Medicine has had a redesign by Bates Creative.
  • Wouldn’t it be interesting if the U.S. had national food appellations (Wikipedia) beyond the grape-growing regions designated by the AVA? There simply is no equivalent to the geographical indications and traditional specialities of the EU (PDO, PGI, TSG), the AOC of France, or the DOC of Italy. Not all traditional foods are old — Birmingham Balti has been proposed for the list of U.K. foods given protected status, and farmed Scottish salmon is already listed.
  • Kendal has demolished the Chieftain (Valley News).
  • Crouching Spider is going away (Flickr).
  • Dartmouth has talked about changing the name of the overall institution — the umbrella under which the undergraduate college and the graduate and professional schools operate — from Dartmouth College to Dartmouth University. The purpose would be to raise the school’s standing among observers, mostly outside the West, for whom “college” can mean a secondary school or lower school. A fascinating example of this renaming motive is found in Trinity College Dublin, another school that has landed outside the top 125 in the Times World University Rankings. Trinity was founded in 1592 (Wikipedia) as a constituent college of the University of Dublin. What makes Trinity odd is that the University never added any other colleges — Trinity is all there is, and yet the university administration survives, under its own name. Trinity’s rebranding now proposes to replace “Trinity College Dublin” with “Trinity College, University of Dublin.” Oh well; at least the “improved” name seems historically-grounded and technically accurate. Brian M. Lucey argues against it in a blog post, and another post. The real controversy in the rebranding involves the coat of arms:
  • Although the Irish Times claims that the Bible is being removed from Trinity’s arms, that does not necessarily appear to be the case. According to an informative paper by Professor John Scattergood (pdf, via Brian M. Lucey), the arms, as formally granted in 1901, require “a Bible closed, clasps to the dexter.” The rebranding includes a new, stylized version of the coat of arms that substitutes an open book, something that easily could be called “a Bible open.” Visually, neither one of the shields identifies the book to the ordinary observer. The changes in colors are all part of the stylization and do no violence to the underlying historic coat of arms. (The University of Dublin obtained its own arms in 1862, and they contain an open book, incidentally.)
  • UNH has picked a new logo, a shield designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv. This shield is not one of the three shields that the firm initially proposed last year (post). Although a couple of those first ideas were intriguing, students and alumni were not pleased. The new identity guide (pdf) notes that “The specific blue color has been made a bit brighter than the past version.”
  • Just for your information, the maximum number of effective footnotes in a Word document (Word:Mac 2008) is 32,768. Notes above that number fail gracefully: they still work but are numbered incorrectly, all sharing either the number 32768 or one of a few numbers after that.
  • The school’s Flickr feed has a nice set of historic photos titled “BASIC at 50: The Democratization of Computing.” It is especially gratifying to see the buildings identified: the College Hall basement, Kiewit, and so on. (In the lower right corner of another view of Kiewit is a glimpse of someone who could have been a predecessor of Usenet celebrity and campus character Ludwig Plutonium.)
  • This fantastic photo of President Kemeny with his BASIC license plate was taken in the parking lot east of Bradley/Gerry, it appears, and has the rear addition of the Church of Christ for a backdrop (somewhat near this present-day Google Street View).
  • From an article in The Dartmouth on planning VP Lisa Hogarty: “The biggest change in the College’s capital budget, she said, will come from the proposed expansion to the Thayer School of Engineering.” See the sample master plans of Koetter Kim (post) and Beyer Blinder Belle (post) and the Thayer press release on President Hanlon’s 2013 expansion announcement.
  • The news that a family had donated $100m to support Hanlon initiatives makes one think of the Harkness gifts to create “residential colleges” at Harvard and later Yale, but reading The Dartmouth, one learns:

    Mastanduno said this gift represents a significant departure from past donations, which have tended to focus on capital infrastructure.

    “This isn’t about bricks and mortar,” he said. “It’s about the core academic mission of Dartmouth.”

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[Update 04.17.2014: Broken link to Mullin removed, Kendal spelling corrected.]

Incubator progress; other items

March 28th, 2014  |  Published in 4 Currier, Academic Center, all news, Chase Field, Leverone Field House, Memorial Field, other projects, preservation, Thompson Arena

  • A nice Burakian aerial from above the Chase Field athletic complex in the foreground shows the potential of Piazza Nervi.
  • A little more on the NCAC: it was not noted before in reference to the Alex Atwood rendering that the building’s extensive underground space was to have had at least two skylights in aboveground lanterns, almost like Pei’s Pyramid at the Louvre.
  • More on Hillflint, the clothing company mentioned here in October, from Dartmouth Now. Turns out it was started by John Shi ’12.
  • The school’s Flickr photostream has a photo of the interior of Rauner showing some of the presidential portraits. I don’t recognize the background of President Kim’s portrait — a room in Baker, perhaps?
  • Outgoing Board Chair Steve Mandel did not mention any potential construction when he wrote:

    [T]he new living arrangements will embrace the concept of the “house system.” Students will live together not only in their freshman year but also in upper-class residence clusters for their three remaining years. Investments in academic programming and affiliated faculty are planned to foster community in these residential clusters… These changes should reintroduce a dorm-based sense of identity for undergraduates.[1]

  • The Big Green Alert Blog dissects the seating figures for the new West Stands with reference to an article on the project in The D. It looks like the replacement stands will cost 2,312 seats. For reference, the current capacity of all of the stands at Memorial Field in total is about 13,000.
  • The D also writes on a planned expansion of the enrollment, faculty, and curriculum of Thayer School. No word yet on new buildings, but they seem inevitable, especially on the parking lot south of the McLean ESC.
  • An Incubator progress photo has been posted by Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network. Four Currier does seem a great place for it — downtown, in a commercial building, and yet on college property right next to campus. NHBR article notes the hiring of director Jamie Coughlin from the abi Innovation Hub in Manchester. An article in BusinessNH Magazine paraphrases Coughlin:

    He says the new 3,000-square-foot space is designed like the abi with open collaboration in mind, to host residencies for entrepreneurs, and help connect students with executives, faculty, and investors.

  • Did you know that the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network has a residential program?
  • DHMC News announces the receipt of a gift to fund the construction of a substantial hospice care center. The hospital is still looking for a site.
  • And DHMC has received the Legacy Project Award from the American College of Healthcare Architects. The press release states:

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock represents a paradigm shift in hospital design, incorporating and foretelling some of the most significant healthcare delivery and design issues of the past 25 years. This includes: […] A mall as the organizing concept and circulation backbone.

    Architects SBRA have a nice bibliography (pdf) of articles about the hospital.

—————————————-

  1. Letter from Chairmain of the Board of Trustees Steve Mandel (21 March 2014).

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.

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[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:

FIRST REFERENCE:

+ The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

OR

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:

SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT REFERENCES:

+ 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.]

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