Prefab sprout space?

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

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

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

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

Armatures for development and a route for navigation

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


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

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

The New Armature

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

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

The Fingers

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

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

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

The Navigation Route

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

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

Major additions to Tri-Kap

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

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

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


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

The Six Houses

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


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

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

The Six Houses

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

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

Meacham map of six houses

Speculative map of the Houses and their bounds

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

Initial Construction

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

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

Dean Ameer said last month:

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


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

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

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

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

Future Houses: Shrinking by Building

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

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

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

  1. Inge-Lise Ameer, in “A Conversation with Dean Ameer,” interview with Ashwath M. Srikanth, The Dartmouth Review, at (posted 19 March 2015).

A Hood expansion design released

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

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

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

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


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

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

Building projects budgeted for; other news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Following the lead of the charrette, the Town is creating a West Wheelock Gateway zoning district (Planning Board WWGD details pdf). The area will have a higher density than before (Planning Board WWGD pdf). A lot of work and thought is going into this project:

The amendment proposes permitted uses of single-family, two-family, multi-family dwellings, and parking facility. Proposed uses allowed by Special Exception include neighborhood retail sales, restaurant, and property management office. These non- residential uses will be limited to 1,000 sf. Parking is only required for the proprietor. The proposed building heights can accommodate 4-story buildings.

Smith said UK Architects was hired to create a model of what could be. Chris Kennedy of UK Architects walked the Board through a digital terrain model of full build-out. Kennedy said in an effort to align houses on the street, there is a requirement that 30% of a building must be located within 6′ of the front setback.

(Planning Board minutes 2 December 2014 pdf). More discussion, including talk of where to draw the southern boundary, appears in the minutes (Planning Board minutes 9 December 2014 pdf).

Planning for “House Communities”

House professors will begin living in college-owned residences near their house communities in the summer of 2016. Staff members are working on details related to the makeup of the house communities and location of faculty housing.

(“Work Is Under Way on Moving Dartmouth Forward PlanDartmouth Now (26 February 2014).)

Frost House (“The White House”) in the East Wheelock Cluster is an obvious choice, but what about the other House Communities? South Fairbanks would work for Mass Row; Blunt for the Gold Coast; Hallgarten for Topliff; and the recent faculty residence for Cutter/Shabazz, but the others might be tough. The Hitchcock/Fayers Cluster will be especially tough, unless SAE or Bartlett is commandeered.

Names that change, or don’t change; various topics

  • The Food Co-Op is in the second phase of its renovation.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has two posts (one, two) on a big scrapbook created by Francis Gilman Blake of the Class of 1908.

  • The Mirror (of The D) is doing a series of photos and descriptions of campus buildings, with some info drawn from the book.

  • A neat database gives information on all the memorials in London.

  • Old news: DCHCDS is being folded into DIHPCP (Valley News). The number of logotypes in the row (post) is reduced by one.

  • The Valley News reported that the Town is considering the creation of an affordable housing development.

  • The Trumbull-Nelson Newsletter (pdf) has an interesting history of the company, basically the Builders to the College, by Frank Barrett.

  • Brian Schott wrote a neat essay in the DAM about a wall painting in one of the East South Street houses demolished for South Block (pdf).

  • Long-time Valley News sports editor Don Mahler wrote that the one sports-related letter to the editor that made him laugh was a 1983 letter

    from a Dartmouth alum taking “newcomers to the Dartmouth scene” to task over the use of the term “homecoming.”

    According to the writer, “some clod started using the word just a few years ago.”

    “(A) large percentage of the Dartmouth alumni body, certainly prior to 1970 or thereabouts, never heard the word and when they do they associate it with cow colleges.”

    “Cow colleges”? I guess he meant those colleges with alphabet monikers like A&T, A&M and A&I — you know, institutions of lower learning, never to be confused with the Ivy League.

    He declared Dartmouth Night to be a great tradition that was being undermined by the increasing use of the word “homecoming.” And he also lamented that “fall houseparties” were gradually slipping from usage.

    Our correspondent revealed his true blue-blood colors in the last paragraph: “I may go down swinging on this, but I’m going to keep standing at the plate. … I’d rather work hard at teaching a clod a touch of class than let a drift to a common denominator prevail.”

    Thirty-one years later, we know that the old boy did go down, not just swinging but presumably with a stiff upper lip. These days, the Dartmouth alumni relations office puts out an annual calendar of events that includes a celebration of homecoming. I can’t recall anybody objecting to the bovine vulgarity of the event in recent years.

    Of course that alum was hyper-obnoxious, especially since he was directing his complaint at the VN, which can describe Dartmouth events using any terms it wants. But buried in the pointless snobbishness is an historical observation: the event known as “Homecoming” was not always called that. The college called it Dartmouth Night Weekend until recently. (It must be acknowledged that both Alumni Relations and the Registrar now call it Homecoming.)

  • The Rauner Blog has a post on some Wheelock documents.

  • The Valley News did a story and graphic on the history of the Dartmouth football uniform.

  • Beyer Blinder Belle has posted a new, larger depiction of the firm’s master plan for the college campus. Wow.

  • The Geisel magazine has an article on the Williamson.

  • Sometimes King’s College London is pointed to as evidence in the argument that Dartmouth need not drop the word “college” from its name. Recently, however, KCL took up a rebranding plan (Inside Higher Ed, Roar News story on proposed logo). The reason to change the name to King’s London, as quoted in the Times Higher Education, echoed concerns heard at Dartmouth:

    “However, our research conducted over the last 18 months with potential students, parents, staff, students and alumni, revealed that our current name was causing considerable confusion: is King’s a residential college, is it an academic college akin to the colleges of Oxbridge, or is it an educational institution of some other type such as a further education college?

    “Internationally, there was further misunderstanding because ‘college’ is not a widely understood term in many countries,” he added.

    The article in THE doesn’t actually say which of those three types of institutions KCL is, and the institution seems not to be any of them. Although it is one of two original colleges in the University of London, making it like an Oxbridge college, it is now a research university divided among nine schools of its own.

    In any case, the plan was controversial and was scrapped not very long after it was proposed (THE).

Memorial Field’s West Stand as Roman ruin

The Big Green Alert Daily keeps us up to date on Memorial Field with frequent photos of the demolition:

  • The posts of November 20, November 21, and November 26 show demo preparation.
  • The December 5 post shows the slot cut in the concrete cheek wall at the north end. I’d swear those concrete ends were faced in brick at some point.
  • The December 13 post has photos of the bracing. With the removal of the press box, the entry arch has been temporarily returned to its 1920s proportions.
  • The December 14 post has a photo showing the building’s original vaulted “chapel” space remaining under the central seats (see also below). It has since been demolished. Oh well.
  • The January 8 post shows demolition just about finished.
  • The January 30 post has information from the builder and photos.

Dartmouth Now has an article on the project, and the athletic department has a time-lapse video of the demolition.

Building Dartmouth Forward

President Hanlon’s plan, according to the college, includes these elements:

By the fall of 2016, every student who enters Dartmouth will be placed in one of six house communities. Each community will have a cluster of residence halls as a home base, be responsible for organizing and hosting social and academic programs, and eventually, have a dedicated space for study and social interaction. Beginning sophomore year, students will reside within their residence hall cluster when living in the dorms, but even those students living in a first-year dorm, Greek house, affinity house or off-campus will be included in all community activities and events.

Each Residence Community will have a house professor and graduate students in residence.

The article in The D has extensive observation from Robert O’Hara of The Collegiate Way.

The six “houses” presumably will be these, found at the current “residential communities” page:

  • East Wheelock
  • The Fayerweathers, Ripley/Woodward/Smith, Wheeler & Richardson
  • Massachusetts Row, the Gold Coast and Hitchcock
  • McLaughlin Cluster
  • The Russell Sage Cluster
  • Topliff/New Hampshire and The Lodge

The preferred nomenclature seems to have shifted in recent months from “neighborhoods” to “houses” or “house communities.” The 1980s-1990s word “cluster” now refers to groups of faculty hires.

Neighborhood planning, other topics

  • In 4 Currier, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Innovation Center and New Venture Incubator is operating (NHBR, via Dartmouth Now).

  • The extensive renovation has ended and Triangle House is now open (Dartmouth Now).

  • Amidon Jewelers is closing its store on Main Street, The Dartmouth notes. Amidon has been in town since 1935.

  • The College is looking at using natural gas or another fuel in the Heat Plant in place of No. 6 heating oil (The Dartmouth). It’s not clear that this move will lead to a new heating plant on Dewey Field, but there is always the possibility.

  • From Dartmouth Now, “neighborhoods” get a timeline:

    The Board also discussed the ongoing planning and development of possible residential housing models that could be implemented beginning with the Class of 2019.

  • Dunc’s Mill, a Vermont rum distillery, displays on its building a rare matched set of Vermont windows (see the post here).

  • The Tucker Foundation is seeking comments on its split into religious and service groups (Dartmouth Now).

  • The Planner’s Blog has a post on induced demand for roads.

  • The Dartmouth has a general article on campus construction that says:

    Gilman Hall, the now-closed former home of the biology department and proposed location for the academic center, will remain vacant for the foreseeable future, Hogarty said. Though the College investigated potential uses for the building over the summer, it did not decide on an immediate course of action. While housing was considered as one option, this would have been too expensive.

    With Gilman on the road to weedy dereliction, somebody with FO&M needs to rescue those original lettered transom panels.

  • The Pine Park Association has a video of the construction of the new pedestrian bridge over Girl Brook.

  • Bruce at the Big Green Alert blog justifies his proposed name for the soon-to-be annual season-ending football game against Brown: The Tussle in the Woods.

  • There is some discussion of the Ravine Lodge demolition proposal at Views from the Top.

  • Waterfront New York: Images of the 1920s and ’30s is a new book of watercolor paintings by Aldren A. Watson, the Etna illustrator and writer who died in 2013 (Valley News, Watson might be familiar to readers from the trio of aerial sketches he did for The College on the Hill: A Dartmouth Chronicle (1965), precisely-delineated snapshots of Dartmouth in the 1770s, 1860s, and 1960s. The last of these is etched at a large scale on a glass partition in Six South.

  • There is a new football website (via Big Green Alert blog). In the Athletics > Ivy League section, the green “D” logo has mercifully shed its TM mark.

The inevitable demolition news

First, the Brown game takes place today. It will be the last game played before Jens Larson’s 1923 West Stands at Memorial Field. The steel-framed concrete seating terraces will be demolished and removed from behind the brick facade, which will remain, beginning this week.

Second, The Dartmouth reports that:

The College also plans to rebuild the Ledyard Clubhouse. The clubhouse, which used to house a few students, was vacated last fall following water intrusion and mold buildup. Hogarty said the College will eliminate the residential component when Ledyard is rebuilt.

“Rebuilt” means “replaced,” of course. This news has also been a long time coming. Students have been designing replacements for years — the original 1930 building was designed by a student, in fact — and the Milone & Macbroom Riverfront Master Plan showed a replacement building in the long term. It is worth mentioning that the Ledyard Monument is not in its original location and so probably needn’t be kept where it is.

Ledyard Canoe Club interior photo by Meacham

Interior of Ledyard looking north in 2005

Third, the focus of the article in The Dartmouth is the news that the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge feasibility study recommends demolishing and replacing the Lodge. Maclay Architects, which conducted the study, includes a drawing of the main (west) facade of a possible Ravine Lodge replacement:

detail of Maclay drawing of MRL facade

Detail of Maclay drawing of west facade of new Ravine Lodge

The drawing shows a building that seems both grander and more rustic, or more self-consciously rustic, than the 1938 Lodge. It lacks the extremely broad gable of the old lodge, but it has a signature form of its own. Maclay has extensive timber-framing experience, and with big logs scarce these days, this lodge appears to be a timber-framed building clad in shingles.

The Board of Trustees could decide whether to demolish the old building in the spring.

Graphic design, history, Friendly’s

  • Take a look at this fascinating 19th-century photograph of the rear of Dartmouth Row. It is dated to the pre-1904 period, but judging from the tents, one might guess that it was taken in 1869, at the time of the centennial celebration. Younger alumni, many of them Civil War vets, were housed here in tents borrowed from the Army. And take a look at the small building on the left — is that a Temple of Cloacina, an ephemeral outhouse? Middle Fayerweather Hall stands in that area now.

  • The push to apply the nickname “The Woods” to Memorial Field continues (see the Big Green Alert Blog). What about fashioning some of the walls of the replacement stands from board-formed concrete ( What about incorporating a couple of precast concrete columns in the shape of trees?

  • The Rauner Blog has an interesting post on John Smith, a 1773 graduate, Preceptor of Moor’s Charity School, early Tutor at Dartmouth, and Trustee.

  • Campus Planning & Facilities has a collection of articles on the Grant.

  • It turns out the football team last spring ran a uniform design contest through the same website that Graduate Studies used to design their coat of arms, 99designs. The winning football uniform design includes lots of Lone Pines, including on the shoulders and the back of the helmet; most interesting is the Pine on the palm of each glove. The design brief says “We would also like to see some designs that incorporate the ‘Lone Pine’ (pictured below) on the shoulders or in any creative way, similarly to Oregon’s ‘feathers’ on the shoulders of their jerseys.” The brief mentions the state motto but not the school motto, strangely.

  • Back in August The Dartmouth had an article on Bruce Wood, maestro of the Big Green Alert site and its blog companion Big Green Alert Daily.

  • The Rauner Blog also has posts on General Thayer’s gift of his library; the catalogs of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University; and an 1829 letter from Joseph Dow describing the college.

  • The Valley News announces that Friendly’s in West Leb is closing. I’ll never forget the disappointment on the face of a logician friend when he learned that the “ham and turkey pot pies” that our server mentioned among the dinner specials were actually nothing more than ham pot pies and turkey pot pies.

  • Cognitive Marketing designed the Thayer School shield.

  • Check out the May 1957 issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. The issue features Harrison’s initial design for the Hopkins Center. The plan is all there, but the details are changed. The view on pages 22 and 23 shows the long north-south corridor in a different form. The Barrows Rotunda, the cylindrical exhibition space in the front facade? It looks like it was descended from an unroofed two-level glass-walled shaft that features in this 1957 design — it was meant to go right through the middle of the Top of the Hop.

  • For Larson’s prior design for the Hop, see the December 1946 Alumni Magazine, beginning on page 11.

  • Tuck’s 2008 visual identity guide is available as a pdf. It’s cute that it calls the green color “Tuck green.” The book specifies the Sabon and Frutiger typefaces.

  • The athletics Graphic Standards Manual of 2005 is also available as a pdf. Now we know whom to blame for the gigantic TM connected with the green D logo (page 3). It is interesting that in addition to Dartmouth Green (PMS 349 C), this book also defines Dartmouth Black (Pro Black C) (page 11). The primary, “athletic” typeface is not named, but the secondary typeface is specified as Gill Sans Bold.

    The authors of the manual are SME Inc., the firm that created a shield for Manhattan College and the MLS logo with the boot striking the ball. (As an aside, that MLS logo recently was replaced by a shield designed by Athletics and Berliner Benson. A post at Brand New shows the shield partitioned by an almost typographical line that hangs over the border like the tail of a letter Q.)

  • Photography at the 1904 visit of the Earl of Dartmouth

    Icon1647-0645-0000020A Icon1647-0645-0000023A

    These two photos from the Archives show the arrival of the Earl of Dartmouth in 1904:

    Combination of two photos of Earl of Dartmouth 1904

    The photos were taken from the steps of Casque & Gauntlet looking east toward the Inn. The righthand photo is the earlier of the two, and the Earl’s carriage appears in both photos. The student with the white collar striding down the walkway in the righthand photo is also visible at the edge of the left photo.

    In the left photo a professional photographer is visible, standing on a stepladder behind a large camera. He might have a cigar in his mouth.

    What kind of image did he capture? Here is a photo he took a few seconds after the two photos above; the Earl’s carriage has already rounded the corner:

    panorama of Earl of Dartmouth at Inn Corner, American Memory

    This photo is from the Library of Congress, which lists the copyright holder as E. Chickering & Co. A slightly cropped version of this photo is available in the Dartmouth Archives.

    The Old Stage Coach

    In the fabulous Alumni Magazine archives one sometimes comes across photos and descriptions of “the Old Stage Coach.”1

    The 1852 Concord Coach was used to haul people to and from train stations at Norwich (Lewiston) and White River Junction and to take fraternity groups to their banquets at inns in neighboring towns and so on.2

    coach in old viewbook

    As the coach became more old-fashioned, its use became more ceremonial, and it was used to give athletic teams a notable sendoff or arrival. The Archives has an excellent photo of the coach in front of the Wheelock Hotel (pre-Inn) in 1897, carrying the baseball team, and a faded photo of the coach carrying Casque & Gauntlet members (and dates?) in 1898, possibly at a baseball game.

    coach in postcard

    The coach appears behind a wagon in this ca. 1901-1912 view.

    The coach’s last use was about 1912, and in 1929, not long after being spared destruction in a student bonfire, it was placed in the college museum in Wilson Hall.3 I do not remember the coach from the early 1990s, and it does not seem like the sort of thing the museum would keep around, especially after Wilson became overcrowded or the Hood Museum was built.

    And yet the Hood did not get rid of the coach until the fall of 2012! The deaccession pdf explains that it went to a good home:

    Transferred to Abbot-Downing Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Abbot and Downing companies and the Concord Coach, which they manufactured.

    The society features the spruced-up coach on its home page.


    1. “The Old Stage Coach,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1929), 96.
    2. Frederick H. Burleigh, “Reminiscences of an Old Dartmouth Stage Coach,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1929), 110-111.
    3. Burleigh.

    The ol’ Homecoming bonfire myth

    Yes, students built a bonfire in 1888. They were celebrating a baseball victory over Manchester that April.1 The Dartmouth wrote that “[t]he convulsive joy of the underclassmen burst forth on the night of the first Manchester game in the form of a huge Campus fire. It disturbed the slumbers of a peaceful town, destroyed some property, made the boys feel like they were men and in fact did no one any good.”2

    For some reason, people keep saying that that was the bonfire that started it all.3 Bonfires were spontaneous things in the nineteenth century, and it is not clear why there has to be a “first” one. At any rate, that 1888 bonfire — lit after a springtime baseball victory — wasn’t the first bonfire built by students in Hanover by any means.

    For example, as one alumnus recalled, the baseball victory over Williams of June4 of 1887, nearly a year before the Manchester game, involved a bonfire:

    After supper the celebration is begun by songs on the campus fence, and as soon as it is really dark a bonfire is built in the campus, and every man’s unprotected woodpile is levied on for the purpose. Then a line is formed again and marches through the principal streets. A stop is made at the house of every member of the faculty, and he must make a speech and be cheered also. At length the bonfire burns low, and the cheering ceases, and it is the dead of night.5

    And before that:

    • May of 1874: “Serenade your instructors occasionally, burn somebody’s chicken coop.”6
    • During March of 1874, a student wrote of a grand bonfire on the campus fed with fence rails and dry-goods boxes and kindled with kerosene.7
    • Also ca. 1874: “‘Extra curriculum activities’ included occasional pranks like hanging somebody’s wagon in a tree, or getting a horse into chapel, or having a sort of spontaneous bonfire on the campus, for which loose material was swiped from back yards, — such as barrels, boxes, a stray ladder of, in extreme cases a part of a fence.”8
    • Ca. 1868-1872, students participated in “[t]he lawless collection of materials for a celebrating bonfire and heaping of all the gates in the middle of the Green.”9
    • (Not to mention the bonfires built by townsfolk during February of 1819 when news of the College victory in the Supreme Court reached town.10)

    After the non-milestone of the 1888 Manchester baseball bonfire, students would keep on building bonfires independently of Dartmouth Night for a good half-century. Sometimes they did not even need an intercollegiate athletic victory.

    During September of 1888, a ten-boat regatta of the Dartmouth Boating Association traveled three miles upriver and built bonfires on the “second island.”11 In November of 1893, students built “an honest bonfire”12 on the Green after the football team defeated Amherst. During the fall of 1896, the Dartmouth-only freshman-sophomore football game was followed by a bonfire.13 In September of 1901, the Webster Centennial celebration saw a parade end on the Green, where a bonfire was lit.14

    During November of 1903, the “stay-at-homes” listened to a reading of the telegraph reports of the football victory over Harvard at the first game in its new Stadium: “When the last message arrived, the students withdrew to collect material for a huge bonfire — and the work was not confined to the Freshman class!”15 After a meeting in Dartmouth Hall’s Old Chapel and a parade, “[t]he fire was lighted at 8:30 o’clock, and it was one of the biggest blazes in recent years. Around the fire the men sang songs and cheered wildly, and then indulged in a nightshirt parade, which ended one of the most memorable athletic celebrations in Dartmouth’s history.”16 During October of 1904, students built a bonfire on the Green and had a “nightshirt parade” around the fire.17

    Skipping ahead to 1919, the springtime handover of student government from one Palaeopitus class to the next involved a bonfire in which Freshmen were allowed finally to dispose of their Freshman Beanies.18

    Wait a minute, what about Dartmouth Night? Yes, President Tucker established Dartmouth Night during the fall of 1895, but it was an indoor event, in the Old Chapel in Dartmouth Hall. A bonfire simply was not a part of the original event.19 Between 1901 and 1906, the location of Dartmouth Night shifted between outdoor sites (the College Yard below Dartmouth Hall as well as Alumni Oval, the proto-Memorial Field) and indoor sites (Commons, a.k.a. Collis Commonground). Dartmouth Night would move to its long-term indoor site of Webster Hall in 1907.

    It was apparently not until the 1920s, perhaps the late 1920s, that Dartmouth Night began to include a pre-game rally and bonfire. In 1930, for example, the ceremony seems to have evolved into a Friday evening torchlight parade to the President’s House for a short talk on spirit, followed by a bonfire on the Green.20 At that 1930 bonfire, students sang (football) songs and gave (football) yells in honor of the last home game,21 which would occur the following day. In 1931, Dartmouth Night was celebrated with what were described as “all of the traditional accompaniments, including the bonfire on the campus.”22

    Even attaching a pre-game bonfire to an outdoor Dartmouth Night did not reduce the annual number of fires to one. Students were still building multiple bonfires each year, including big ones for Dartmouth Night and Houseparties Weekend,23 into the mid- or late-1960s. Eventually, possibly after the campus turmoil of the Vietnam era had subsided, students would build only one bonfire each year, in the fall, on Dartmouth Night. Even later, that weekend — today still known officially as “Dartmouth Night Weekend” — would become popularly known as “Homecoming.”


    1. Dartmouth Baseball, “All-Time Game-by-Game Results,” available at (viewed 26 October 2014).
    2. Editor, The Dartmouth (4 May 1888), quoted in “Who designs and builds the homecoming bonfire? What’s the history behind it?,” Ask Dartmouth (updated 20 October 2011), at (viewed 26 October 2014).
    3. See Rauner Library Blog (16 October 2011), at (viewed 26 October 2014); “Who designs and builds the homecoming bonfire? What’s the history behind it?,” Ask Dartmouth (updated 20 October 2011), at (viewed 26 October 2014).
    4. Dartmouth Baseball, “All-Time Game-by-Game Results.”
    5. William Byron Forbush, quoted in Harold Seymour, Baseball: The People’s Game (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), 145-146.
    6. “Editorial Department,” The Dartmouth 8:5 (May 1874), 187.
    7. “The Spirit of ’76,” The Dartmouth 8:3 (March 1874), 98.
    8. Robert Fletcher, “Hanover Scenes in Word Pictures Sixty Years Ago” part 3, “Town Meetings and Travel,” The Hanover Gazette (March 22, 1934), 1.
    9. Edwin J. Bartlett, A Dartmouth Book of Remembrance: Pen and Camera Sketches of Hanover and the College before the Centennial and after (Hanover, N.H.: The Webster Press, 1922), 66-68. Bartlett also wrote of student-built fires blazing in “Mere Football,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine 19, no. 1 (November 1926), 20.
    10. Samuel Brown, “Historical Address,” Dartmouth Centennial Celebration (1870), 33. Rufus Choate also heard of the lighting of bonfires and “other unseemly demonstrations of joy” at the time. Rufus Choate to brother (25 March 1819), quoted in Clyde Edward Dankert, “Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University” typewritten MS (1979), 145, citing Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (February 1969), 24.
    11. Robert Fletcher, “Hanover Scenes in Word Pictures Sixty Years Ago” part 5, The Hanover Gazette (April 5, 1934), 1.
    12. The Dartmouth (ca. November 1893) (“It was an honest victory and appropriately celebrated with an honest bonfire.”), quoted in Will Meland, “Bonfire burns bright for more than century of change,” The Dartmouth (27 October 2000), available at (viewed 1 November 2014).
    13. Leonard Wason Tuttle, “Chronicles,” Book of the Class of 1900 (ca. 1900), 40. The Aegis wrote of this event: “The Freshmen have a small fire on the Campus, and cut up $200 worth of hose with the jack-knives their papas gave them when they left home.” Dartmouth Class of 1899, Aegis 1899 (1897), 173.
    14. “After a Century,” Boston Herald (25 September 1901), 3. There were fireworks afterward.
    15. The Dartmouth (25 November 1903), in Edward Connery Lathem and David M. Shribman, eds., Miraculously Builded in Our Hearts: A Dartmouth Reader (Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth College, distributed by University Press of New England, 1999), 28.
    16. The Dartmouth (25 November 1903), in Lathem and Shribman, 29.
    17. Royal Parkinson to father (30 October 1904), in Lathem and Shribman, 43.
    18. Clifford B. Orr to family (9 June 1919), in Lathem and Shribman, 99.
    19. Cf. Rauner Library Blog (16 October 2011), at (viewed 26 October 2014).
    20. Richard N. Campen letter (11 November 1930), in Lathem and Shribman, 136.
    21. Campen in Lathem and Shribman, 136.
    22. “News of the College,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1931), 175.
    23. See, for example, Forrester Maphis and John S. Hatfield, eds., Aegis 1950 (1950), 56.