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Forum, July 22: Dartmouth is diminishing things that make it special

Published: 7/21/2021 9:59:59 PM
Modified: 7/21/2021 10:00:06 PM
Dartmouth is diminishing things that make it special

The last two decades have seen several significant missteps in the management of Dartmouth College’s architectural heritage and public image. The announcement that discordant modifications are planned for its most iconic cluster of historic buildings makes one question who, if anyone, is charged with the preservation the college’s most cherished symbols.

While deans proliferate faster than fly-by-night contractors in the wake of a major hurricane, the ninth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States lacks a resident architect.

Students, alumni and the broader community have witnessed the botched renovation of the Hanover Inn, and the construction of a visual arts center often described as a paragon of architectural mediocrity.

The adjacent arts plaza is bereft of plantings and seating needed to make it a welcoming venue to pause and reflect. One must ask, “Why?”

Now the proposal of unnecessary, costly and inappropriate platforms and porches to two magnificent early landmarks of the college makes one ill with the disregard exhibited by those lacking institutional memory and simple good taste. Left unchecked, these “planners” might recommend the addition of a lanai to Jefferson’s Monticello, or worse.

Like the redesign of Dartmouth’s logo in the form of a toilet brush superimposed on a bland capital D, this idea seems intent on diminishing the special things that mark its history, pure and simple.



I like Mike Morris for Hartford Selectboard

On Aug. 10, the town of Hartford will have a special election to fill two vacant Selectboard seats. Longtime Hartford resident, Hartford High School alumnus, and successful local businessman Mike Morris is seeking one of those positions.

Morris has been quite active in our community over the years, having previously served on the Selectboard, on a town manager search committee and as a youth athletic coach. He now serves on the Board of Civil Authority and Board of Abatement.

Both before and after his stint on the Selectboard he was, and remains, very engaged with that governing body. He has attended, either in person or virtually, most of the board’s scheduled meetings over the last 10 years and has not only kept abreast of the many important issues facing our town, but has also offered, when appropriate, reasonable, well-conceived ideas on how to tackle and resolve those issues. He can work collaboratively with anyone and will bring to the board a significant “institutional knowledge” of Hartford’s history and governance.

I plan on voting for Mike Morris and encourage Hartford voters to consider him, as well.



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