July 23rd, 2014 |
all news, Hanover Inn, Hood, Hop, the, preservation | 2 Comments
Dartmouth is somewhat notable because its buildings are completely absent from the National Register of Historic Places. The Sphinx Tomb, privately owned, is on the Register, and the college’s Orozco Murals are listed as a National Historic Landmark, but no college building or historic district appears on either list.
Thus interesting things happen when a construction project with federal involvement triggers a review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The construction of the Ledyard Bridge prompted some research on the riverbank and West Wheelock Street, and the current Mobility Hub is going to change things right in the center of town, so it is undergoing a review as well.
Hartgen Archeological Associates is doing the Section 106 work for this project. The report of a meeting last November reveals an intriguing discussion about the Area of Potential Effect of the Mobility Hub:
The APE is generally described as including the plaza in front of Hopkins Center, the spaces internal to Hopkins Center and Hanover Inn overlooking the plaza, Dartmouth Green, the four streets around Dartmouth Green, and the “frontyards” of the buildings around Dartmouth Green.
L Black recommended looking at Dartmouth College as a potential Historic District with added emphasis on the APE. J Edelmann asked if the college had ever looked into such a thing and J Whitcomb stated that have not and that there isn’t real interest in doing so. J Whitcomb did state that the college has an inventory of buildings, but not to a National Register level of detail.
Concerns were raised that a large scale look at the campus as a whole for Historic District consideration would be well beyond the budget of the project. A suggestion was made for the use of a “hybrid” form. After continued discussion it was generally agreed that the important elements to document are those that define the character of the APE. These include, but not necessarily limited to, building façades, building architectural style, landscaping treatments, hardscape treatments, and other elements that contribute to the overall context of the APE.
It is worth noting that the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards discourage the imitation of historical forms and styles in new construction, so the final bus shelter is not likely to look like it was designed by Wallace Harrison.
July 21st, 2014 |
4 Currier, all news, Dartmouth Row, Green, the, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Hood, Hop, the, Larson, Jens, master planning, Memorial Field, other projects, preservation, societies
The Innovation Center in 4 Currier has opened (Dartmouth Now). The design appears to be by Truex Cullins, who did the original building.
A little film introduces Perdido, the new sculpture on East Wheelock.
The Alumni Magazine has put up its electronic archive of every issue since the October 1905 Dartmouth Bi-Monthly, edited by E.M. Hopkins.
The post here on the topic of the new bus stop at the Hop complained about the sidewalk in front of the Inn. It turns out that that area is going to be reworked as well (Dartmouth Now). The sidewalk is growing, according to DCREO associate director of real estate Tim McNamara:
The planned changes to the sidewalk and surrounding areas will effectively create two lanes as well as smoothing out the frost-heaved sections of sidewalk.
“At present, pedestrians walking down East Wheelock have to pass under the porte-cochère,” says McNamara. “We will relocate the sidewalk to the outside of the porte-cochère so that pedestrians will not conflict with cars and guests coming and going from the Inn.”
Moving the curb line out beyond the street’s current shoulder will also allow expansion of the Inn’s outdoor dining.
The Hopkins Center’s iconic Moore Theatre facade is also getting new double-pane windows (Dartmouth Now) ahead of the planned expansion and renovation. The D has a photo. (The Planner’s Blog has a post on the project)
Lebanon Junior High (J.F. Larson) is being renovated and reused, in part as the Spark Community Center. Studio Nexus is working on the building.
Project VetCare has purchased the 1907 house at 80 Lebanon Street and plans to rent rooms to three or more student veterans (Valley News). It’s the brown bungalow at the center of this Bing bird’s-eye view.
More great aerials: the Shower Towers and Kiewit, showing the committed but incongruous Bradley Plaza, and a 1919 photo of the Green showing the big tent set up for the 150th anniversary celebration. Most intriguing are this aerial and this aerial of Dartmouth Hall on fire in 1935. That was the fire that led Larson to gut the 1906 building and insert new floors and interiors, and to put up the current belfry and the three front gables showing the notable years.
One is relieved to see the College Usher (Dean of Libraries Jeffrey Horrell) identified as such in a Commencement photo showing him carrying Lord Dartmouth’s Cup.
A tidbit from the biography of the late David McLaughlin, Dartmouth President from 1981 to 1987. On the elimination of fraternities and sororities:
In hindsight, I am convinced that the wrong approach was taken. Having been in a unique position to restructure the fraternity system, I should have been more decisive early in my presidency, during my “Honeymoon” period. Perhaps I could and should have eliminated the fraternities in their current form and redefined them — brought about some positive fundamental restructuring of the campus social system. Neither my predecessor nor my successors had such a golden opportunity, both being non-Dartmouth alumni and academics and, therefore, suspect from the outset, by alumni and students, as men having little, if any, use for the Greek system. But football-playing, fraternity-member David McLaughlin was a different story. Oh, the howling would have been long and loud, and many on the board would undoubtedly have opposed me, but I believe that I could have brought a majority of my fellow trustees along with me. What I should have said, quite emphatically, in that inaugural speech of mine was, “Dartmouth needs to dismantle fraternities as they exist today.”
The Hood now has put up a page on the expansion, with no new info since June 11.
Memorial Field construction is set to begin November 17 and finish by September 1 (Planning Board minutes pdf).
[Update 07.29.2014: Link to Planner’s Blog post added.]
[Update 07.22.2014: Link to photo of Hop windows added.]
July 14th, 2014 |
all news, DHMC, History, Life Sciences Ctr., master planning, Med. School, north campus, other projects, preservation, Rollins Chapel
Several posts here over the past few years have commented on the redevelopment of what’s called the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford, comparing it to Hanover’s own hospital district north of Maynard.
Rafael Viñoly Architects devised a 2008 master plan for the area that appears in an aerial view before the makeover:
Blavatnik site, with St. Paul’s at left
View of construction site through hoarding
View of site from west: Templeton Green College, with Observatory
The Oxford University Press building is visible at the right, outside the quarter.
That church opposite the Press (St. Paul’s) was a coffee shop/bar called FREVD that served as an example here in the Rollins Chapel reuse post.
Just beyond the church is the future site of the building of the Blavatnik School of Government (founded 2010, Wikipedia). Circle-in-a-square buildings do have a special history here, but even a person with some fondness for spaceship buildings could find something to quibble with in this project by Herzog & de Meuron.
The broad approach taken by the university as developer is interesting: there was archeology beforehand (Neolithic ring ditches!) and during construction there was an artist in residence and a set of public art presentations.
[Update 07.20.2014: View through hoarding added. Thanks to Hugin for panoramic image software.]
July 5th, 2014 |
all news, Green, the, Hanover Inn, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., Hood, Hop, the, master planning, other projects, preservation, Wilson Hall
The conceptual design by ORW, which won a design award from Vital Communities, shows a redesign and replacement of a group of features in front of the Hop: the pedestrian crossing, bus loading area, bus shelter, empty grass rectangle, etc. It will be a partly-federally funded Town project built on College land by an architect chosen by the College. Even though the original timeline aimed to finish the work in 2013 (Request for Qualifications pdf), it was not built then, but it looks like it was in design last fall (UVLSRPC minutes) and is out for bids now (Construction Data Company).
Everything in the proposal is sensitive and unobtrusive, but one should note that this project will affect the appearance of the Hopkins Center. (In fact this will be one piece in the great parade of architectural interventions in the south side of the Green of 2012 through 2020.) During the warmer months, a dense block of trees here would hide several parts of the Hop, setting up the Moore Theatre as an independent pavilion — not necessarily a bad thing, and perhaps a good stopgap until we receive a full and true Hop addition, one that brings the building right up to the street.
The Site Plan Concept by ORW (pdf page 4) is impressive. The most noticeable change might be the grove of trees. With a pea-gravel floor, this outdoor room screened by two ranks of trees arranged formally on axis with Wilson’s entrance (and a realigned set of Hop plaza steps) will be novel and interesting and civilized. This allee could be exquisitely beautiful in the winter with snow on the bare limbs and the tables.
The street improvements (bulbs, insular pedestrian refuge near the site of the former grassy median) are all important. The crosswalk has a note indicating that it is aligned with an axial view of Baker Library. One proposal is pretty subtle: the use of plaza paving materials (concrete pavers, say) in place of asphalt in the bus/dropoff zone. This is crucially important in reducing the perceived width of the street: Hanover is not that big, and it doesn’t need a five-lane street below the Green. Here’s hoping the paving proposal is realized. (Even if not, the plan will still remove the diagonal parking in front of the hop — good riddance.)
Maybe after this is built and enjoyed for a few years the Town will go further by raising the street level and bollarding off the plaza and the Green. The same thing should be done with the Inn’s porte-cochere and its garage ramp.
One neat detail is a bit hidden: a little visitor’s information pavilion. In the site plan on page 4 it’s obscured by trees but is described as measuring 12 x 15 feet. On page 5 its side is shown as if seen from Wilson Hall.
I imagine this pavilion helpfully blocking the wind in the winter but spending most of its time enclosing a few desultory racks of brochures for Quechee Gorge and Simon Pearce. It could replace the staffed, temporary kiosk that the Chamber of Commerce puts on the Green each summer [check]. But it could be much more: you can see its potential in the photo in the lower right part of page 3, the one showing the café tables and the menu board.
This pavilion could be a little coffee kiosk, a snack bar, or even a real bar, serving drinks out of a window. Not quite the Tavern on the Green or even the Out of Town News in Cambridge, but certainly at least as good as a sandwich kiosk in Bryant Park.
June 28th, 2014 |
all news, Country Club, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History, Indoor Practice Facility, neighborhoods
The minutes of the Alumni Council 208th session note that “A top priority ahead is an indoor practice facility, which is under consideration for pre-campaign fundraising.”
The school’s new “Living[-]Learning Communities” site is up and has pages for Triangle House, etc. A link to Sasaki’s MyCampus survey is placed in a box labeled “Help Make Res Life Cool Again at Dartmouth” [ugh].
More on the new Thayer School buildings: Dean Joseph J. Helble, interviewed by Karen Endicott in “Growth Factors,” Dartmouth Engineer Magazine:
Clearly if we grow the faculty substantially — certainly if we double the faculty — we’re going to need a new facility…. We’re in the early stages of conceptualizing what a facility might be, and where near Cummings and MacLean it could be located. We had a first conversation at a faculty retreat in December. The next step is to engage an architectural and engineering firm to begin working with us to explore options and ultimately provide some conceptual design options for us to consider.
Yestermorrow Design-Build School in Warren, Vermont offers a Semester in Sustainable Building and Design, a proper exchange program, and Dartmouth students have taken part (photo).
A tidbit from the biography of the late David McLaughlin, Dartmouth President from 1981 to 1987. On the D-Plan:
Now, all these years later, I continue to think even more strongly that the adoption of the Dartmouth Plan was one of the most unfortunate decisions the college ever made — necessary at the time, but unfortunate.
While the Dartmouth Plan was a matter of expediency, the fact that twenty-some years later it is still in effect represents, I believe, a failure in governance and leadership.
The Archives’ amazing on-line collection continues to yield fascinating photos, such as these aerials of the Tuck School under construction; Lebanon Street, showing the then-new McNutt addition to the Inn and the complete Rogers’ Garage (part of which later became Clement Hall, the painting and sculpture studios); the rear of Mass Row and South Fairbanks, giving a rare look at the original exterior of the Beta Goat Room; and the MHMH in an early form, showing Dewey Farm buildings.
The decrepit old College Cleaners building on Allen Street (July 2013 Street View, July 2009 Street View showing equal decrepitude) was put up for sale last fall in a foreclosure auction.
Take a look at Max Van Pelt’s 2010 architecture class project: a design for a new clubhouse for the Hanover Country Club.
Some surplus bathroom sinks from the Hanover Inn renovation are available at Vermont Salvage in WRJ.
In 2005, John Thelin, author of A History of American Higher Education, “concluded that Dartmouth’s ‘history is not dispensable nostalgia or an antiquarian slide show. It’s the key to understanding the institution’s enduring vitality'” (Valley News; Thelin nominated Dartmouth to Booz Allen Hamilton’s list of enduring institutions (pdf)).
A tidbit from the McLaughlin biography. On the self-perpetuating board:
I long ago formed a conviction that the number of trustees nominated by a board itself should be no less than seventy-five percent of the board, and that the board and the alumni should work collaboratively on selecting the balance of the nominees, being sure that the qualifications of the nominees would relate positively to the current needs of the board, with respect to specific skills and to spheres of competence. A provision that all nominees be selected through a popular vote discourages highly successful individuals who would serve the institution if invited to do so, but who would not be willing to “run for office.” Having too great a portion of the board chosen by a process that is quite likely to exclude some of the best candidates does not, in my opinion, augur well for achieving optimum effectiveness in governance.
The Valley News has stories on Lebanon’s epochal fire of 1964. One of the stories focuses on the pedestrian mall that replaced the devastated stretch of Hanover Street. Lebanon would be the first place to look for anyone proposing to pedestrianize Hanover’s Main Street below Wheelock.
A report of last year’s West Wheelock Street design charrette by Plan NH is available (pdf). Excellent ideas: dense housing on the street, a new cemetery entrance, signage indicating the Appalachian Trail route, and a statue of John Ledyard.
Just noticed that the Association of Alumni blog was pulled at some point during the last few months.
June 24th, 2014 |
all news, Hood, Hop, the, preservation, Wilson Hall
1. Along with the new Minary entrance and perhaps a future Boora expansion of the Hop’s Faculty Lounge, the new entrance pavilion for the Hood will transform the south side of the Green into a row of Modernist glass facades (this Street View shows the current state of the street, with the insular Hop). Tod Williams said:
Charles Moore, who was Billie’s thesis advisor, did very fine work that was just right in the 1980s, but we really need to bring a fresh face to this. It is crucial that we create a visible destination that is woven into the heart of the campus[.]
The one image released so far (post) shows a lot of concrete walling in front of Wilson. Is it blocking off Wilson’s entrance, as the walls do at Steele and Wilder, or is it sheltering a ramp? (The firm does not seem ready to abandon Wilson: “We aim to restore its identity not only as a building with a remarkable exterior, but one where the interior is profoundly connected to its exterior.”)
The Valley News mentions that President Kim put the project on hold and that President Hanlon started it up again. The current design takes advantage of the absence of the Wilson Elm, which fell during September of 2013 (post).
2. The addition sure goes back a ways — it cannot help but swallow or more likely demolish Charles Moore’s layered, recessed gateway. This is unexpected. And it makes one wonder whether this addition occupies part of the Bedford Couryard, as The Dartmouth suggests.
The Hood’s original entrance ramp certainly will no longer be needed. That area might make a good building site. (In the small rendering, is that sculpture in the window Joel Schapiro’s Untitled, currently in the Bedford Courtyard?)
But the sequence of outdoor spaces experienced by anyone walking through the Bedford Courtyard is crucial to the character of the Hood, and unique at Dartmouth. One wonders whether so much demolition and infill are necessary. Have the imperatives that caused Moore to recess the museum rather than make it project it toward the street really changed?
Did Dartmouth choose this image for the press release because it doesn’t show very much?
3. Here is a theory: the deservedly-praised opening of the Maffei Courtyard south of the Hood (Burak image on Flickr) has created a new signature view for the museum that renders the preservation of the Hood’s current iconic gateway and courtyard unnecessary.
4. More on Moore from Tsien, in ArchDaily:
“I can’t remember him ever saying a single word about my work,” Tsien says. “But what I do remember are the crazy field trips he would lead. A single day might include the Neutra House on Catalina, a ride on the 360-degree roller coaster at Magic Mountain, the world’s largest miniature golf course, and a glass of wine at the Del Coronado. He was funny and shy and generous and he taught me that inspiration comes from many places. Making a wonderful place for people drove his work.”
June 22nd, 2014 |
all news, master planning, neighborhoods
The Valley News:
Hanlon reiterated his support for the creation at Dartmouth of a “house system” similar to those in existence at a majority of Ivy League colleges. That system, in which undergraduates have a stable affiliation with a residence hall where faculty are present, is aimed at “creating a greater variety of social options on campus,” he said. Dartmouth could create houses in existing residence buildings or clusters of such buildings, but without their own dining facilities, he said. The cost of the undertaking is currently being assessed by architects who recently visited the campus.
What’s left to distinguish the new neighborhood from the Eighties cluster? Perhaps only a faculty residence, if that.
June 13th, 2014 |
all news, Hood, Hop, the, Wilson Hall
Dartmouth Now has a press release announcing the gift of $10 million to fund part of the Hood’s Museum Learning Center. There is nothing yet on the TWBTA site or the school’s project page. Construction will begin in 2016 and end in 2018, according to the release.
An image accompanying the press release provides a distant view of a Modernist glass exhibition building next to the Hopkins Center, its front facade aligned with that of the Hop. The fairly prominent addition will fill the gap between the Hop and Wilson Hall. The second story of the addition projects toward the Hop in the form of a cantilevered box. This addition is an unexpectedly big move on the heels of Centerbrook’s retiring master plan for the addition.
This new facade will finally give the Hood the prominence it has always deserved, a prominence that architects Charles Moore and Chad Floyd considered giving it when they designed the building during early 1980s. The rendering also raises questions. Is the new overall entrance to the Hood going to be placed in Wilson? The rendering at least suggests that it will be, although the press release does not mention Wilson at all. The addition will block the view of the Hood’s grim old concrete portal, but will it also require the demolition of that portal? That would be very surprising. Will it also block the old route of College Street? One cannot imagine that the architects would propose to block this major travel route.
May 25th, 2014 |
all news, Alumni Gym, cabins, Hanover Inn, History, Hop, the, master planning, Mt. Moosilauke, other projects, Outing Club, preservation, societies
It does seem a little strange that Dartmouth is replacing the roof over the Karl Michael Pool in Alumni Gym (see The Dartmouth) so soon after the 2006 renovation. It turns out that the roof insulation failed some time ago, and the college sued the renovation architects and builders back in 2012 (see the order on preliminary motions pdf; the Union Leader article). The suit is ongoing.
Charles Collis has died at age 99 (The Dartmouth).
Dartbeat has a Q&A with dlandstudio architect Susannah Drake ’87.
Two items from the Planner’s Blog: New chairs with built-in writing tablets to replace the old ones in Dartmouth Hall, and a new paint scheme for the pedestrian refuge in the middle of Wheelock Street by the Hop. On the Planning Board agenda for June are a request to modify site plans for a renovation of the porte-cochere area of the Inn and a review of the site plan “for vehicular, pedestrian & bus stop improvements” in front of the Hop.
The new (replacement) Class of ’65 Bunkhouse at Moosilauke is being designed by Maclay Architects (prospectus pdf). Timber will come from the college wood at Corinth Vt. (Grant newsletter pdf). The same firm is evaluating the state of the Ravine Lodge itself in anticipation of extensive future work (The Dartmouth).
The Hill Winds Know Their Name (pdf) is a beautifully-produced booklet by the late Professor Wood about the college’s war memorials. One suggestion for the next edition of this valuable work involves the transcription of the Stanley Hill inscription on page 13:
IT IS DEDICATED IN HIS NAME TO THE BRAVE AND CLEAN OF HIS BELOVED DARTMOUTH
It should read:
IT IS DEDICATED IN HIS NAME TO THE BRAVE AND CLEAN YOUNG MANHOOD OF HIS BELOVED DARTMOUTH
(See the shower room plaque; see also Kenneth C. Cramer, “Dick Hall and His Friends,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (April 1992).)
Interesting examples of public or urban typography from Tobias Frere-Jones.
A Google aerial shows the preparation for the sorority construction on Occom Ridge, and an earlier Street View captures the OnTarget guy marking utilities on the sidewalk.
Who knew there were so many new senior societies? The official ORL page lists a couple “new” ones that have survived (Abaris, Griffin/Gryphon) along with several even newer ones (Andromeda, Chimera, Olympus, Order of the Sirens).
The new Hop entrance under the Inn’s Grand Ballroom (Street View) was labeled “Minary Conference Center” when it was finished last year (see the image at the DUSA page). Perhaps it makes sense, since that is the most direct route to the conference center. One of these days someone will build a real, direct, and prominent entrance to the Hopkins Center proper.
Remember John Flude, the London pawnbroker who had a large medal engraved and sent to the president of Dartmouth in 1786? (See Dick Hoefnagel, “John Flude’s Medal,” Dartmouth College Library Bulletin (November 1991).) Here’s his testimony in the Old Bailey regarding one James Smith, indicted for stealing on July 10, 1764 a gold ring from Flude’s shop:
When he was gone, I opened the paper to look at my ring, and found I was deceived; I ran out, and happened to take the right way: I ran up Hart-street, and at the upper end I saw him; when I had been twenty or thirty yards in Monkwell-street, he run as hard as he could, and turned into Silver-street; I pursued him into the Castle and Faulcon yard: he stopped running, and was opening the paper to look at the ring: I got up to him, and laid hold of him, and said, my friend, you shall not drop the ring: I took hold of his hand, and led him to the first public house I came to, and desired Mr. Hayns, who was there, to open the prisoner’s hand; he did, and there I took out my ring: bringing him back in Monkwell-street, he desired I would not take hold of his coat to expose him, saying, he had a great family; I let go his coat: when we came to the corner of Hart-street, he endeavoured to escape, and ran as hard as he could; and we took him again in Wood-street.
Smith was found guilty of stealing.
May 23rd, 2014 |
all news, Connecticut River, Dresden Vil./Rivercr., Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., master planning, other projects, preservation | 1 Comment
This is impressive and fairly unexpected: an Oregon firm called The Urban Collaborative has helped design a master plan and building code for CRREL.
Here’s a recent aerial of the site from Google Maps:
Master planning started back in 2010 (see Public Works Digest pdf). The Army bought from Dartmouth the bulk of the land beneath its labs during 2012 (post).
The development next door to the north of CRREL is Rivercrest, which is owned by the college and has a thoughtful New Urbanist master plan of its own (post). Progress on that redevelopment has been halted for several years, and the plan lives only on paper.
Perhaps the two institutions can jointly reduce the suburbanity of the area by connecting each of their grids to the other. The CRREL plan even depicts, perhaps optimistically, a grand boulevard running west from Lyme Road toward the river, lined on one side with a new CRREL signature building and on the other with commercial blocks not previously shown in the Rivercrest plan. (Connections to Kendal to the north are probably too much to ask, however.)
May 21st, 2014 |
all news, History, Lamb & Rich, Larson, Jens, master planning, neighborhoods, other projects
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).
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, 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.
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.
May 4th, 2014 |
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.]
May 1st, 2014 |
all news, cabins, Connecticut River, Hanover/Leb./Nor'ch., History
The Dartmouth has a very sympathetic story about “Shantytown,” 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.”]
April 29th, 2014 |
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 23rd, 2014 |
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).
April 19th, 2014 |
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.
April 17th, 2014 |
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.
April 13th, 2014 |
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.”
[Update 04.17.2014: Broken link to Mullin removed, Kendal spelling corrected.]