History of Dartmouth Master Planning
Much of the crispness and bracing austerity of Dartmouth's grounds derives from its avoidance of some of the popular tropes of campus architecture, such things as Gothic spires, enclosed quadrangles, domed buildings, or extensive colonnades. The campus lacks "college gates" or much in the way of walls or substantial decorative plantings. These absences might be a result of the winter climate, an early religiously-based disdain for frippery , or just a traditional new Hampshire frugality... This is not a campus for hedges or flowerbeds, it is a landscape of horizontal grass and vertical elms, of simple gravel paths and dark pine woods.1
Dartmouth College's founding is a story that dates back to the roots of higher education in the United States. With its founding in 1769, during the same era as many of the country's other seminal institutions, Dartmouth joined a uniquely American movement to create distinct educational institutions of higher learning housed in purpose-built facilities connected to an open space. However what sets Dartmouth apart is the conception of the campus as both a part of nature and connected to the town.
1Meacham, Scott, and Joseph Mehling. Dartmouth College: An Architectural Tour. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008. Print.