If you don't know, now you know

by Charles Rafkin | 1/22/15 11:49pm

What are the ugliest buildings on campus?

A challenging question. Are they the Choates? Berry Library? Unlike many of you, I actually like the Blunt Alumni Center. At least the architects tried to do something different from the fakey blah style that marks much of this campus. If I had to choose, I’d go with Fahey-McLane, the pseudo-Georgian affront that really could have been something unique or modern. These dorms were built in 2006, so why do they pretend to the same style as Lord?

Why haven’t the Choates been torn down yet?

I never lived in the Choates, but this question still plagues me. It is seemingly a rite of passage that roughly one-third of the incoming class must be subject to a hellish existence in these dorms. I don’t really buy the line that the Choates build community. If you can’t build community without sleeping in a whitewashed prison chamber, you should try harder.

Why are these questions so negative?

The secret’s out: I wish our campus had a more innovative approach to architecture. There are some nice buildings that border the Green — a space that is undeniably our campus’s treasure — but that’s about it. So am I pushing an anti-Dartmouth-architecture agenda with this issue? Despite my best attempts to publish a rag that erodes all faith in Dartmouth’s architecture, the writers here managed the produce a group of insightful and well-reasoned takes.