Kenseth to petition for Berry construction halt

by Jake Elberg | 11/10/97 6:00am

Art History Professor Joy Kenseth, who is leading the movement to have the current plans for Berry Library modified, said she will initiate a petition today to halt action towards the construction of the library until the design can be discussed further.

Kenseth -- a member of the executive committee of the friends of Dartmouth Library -- said the petition will ask "that no further action be taken on the library until we can properly assess the impact this exterior design will have on campus as a whole and possible concrete solutions that could minimize what are now seen as troublesome aspects of the building."

She said she will start the petition today by sending a BlitzMail message to the entire faculty.

Dissension has arisen recently regarding architect Robert Venturi's proposed design for the 125,000-square-foot Berry addition to the Baker Library, with many faculty members saying the plan is not consistent with the character of the campus.

In the meantime, Kenseth -- in what she called a setback for both her and the members of the Design Review Committee who oppose the current Berry plans -- was told Friday by College Provost James Wright she will be granted a meeting with just one of the members of the College's Board of Trustees later this week.

Kenseth had been hoping to address the entire Board in an attempt to convince them to modify the Berry plans.

The Trustees meet in Hanover this weekend, and Wright said the Board's weekend agenda has been set for several weeks -- and that the library is "not a part of any Board action at this time."

He said he never suggested to Kenseth that she would be given a forum with the full Board of Trustees.

College Trustee Kate Stith-Cabranes -- the chair of the Trustee Committee on Educational Affairs and Facilities -- will meet with Kenseth later this week, and Wright said he encouraged Stith-Cabranes to invite other members of the Board to the meeting.