It's a long walk across North Main Street these days.
Taking the few steps from the Daniel Webster Cottage on the west side of the street to the construction lot where Kemeny Hall and Haldeman Center are fast taking shape is like striding across the centuries. The Cottage was built in 1786, when Dartmouth had graduated only 15 classes since its founding. John Wheelock was President of the College and one hundred students were enrolled, all born at least ten years before the Declaration of Independence.
Two hundred and nineteen years later, Kemeny Hall and Haldeman Center reflect just one piece of Dartmouth's vibrant and exciting 21st-century landscape. There are cranes, backhoes, jackhammers and "This is a Hard Hat Job" signs virtually everywhere one walks. A local newspaper has dubbed it "Dartmouth's Big Dig." And underneath the apparent chaos is a fine-tuned and orderly process of planning, design and construction that preserves the historic campus, provides ample green space and reinforces the College's walkable scale.
"All of these significant building projects have begun in fiscal year 2005," said Provost Barry Scherr. "From the McLaughlin Cluster residence halls in the north and the MacLean Engineering Sciences Center and Tuck Mall residence halls on the west end, to Kemeny and Haldeman and the Alumni Gym renovation in the south, this activity reflects a major investment in maintaining Dartmouth's preeminent learning environment."
With significant support from donors and other friends of the College, these buildings and projects will enhance the Dartmouth experience for students, facilitate increased interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, provide space for lectures and other academic programming and bring more housing to the heart of the campus for undergraduates.
These links illustrate both the buildings in process and as they will look when finished:
By LAUREL STAVIS
Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.
Last Updated: 5/30/08