Friday, June 21, 2013

Bookending Dartmouth Row

On July 25, 1884, the cornerstones for two buildings were laid during a long afternoon ceremony. The first was for Rollins Chapel, just to the North of Wentworth Hall, the other was for the new library, Wilson Hall, just across Wheelock Street from Reed Hall. Together they bookend the Classical Dartmouth Row with their Romanesque arches.

The two buildings symbolically and physically defined a space for learning. They framed the main classroom spaces with a site for the mind on one side and a haven for the soul on the other: somewhere between was where "learning" happened. One year after the cornerstones were laid, alumni, students and "friends of the College" assembled for the dedication of the two buildings. The glory of the new chapel was celebrated with prayer and song, and the new library was extolled for its modern, fireproof stacks. But nothing was said about the space between.

A great way to start exploring the history of these building is by asking for their archival vertical files, but also be sure to see the Dedication of Rollins Chapel and Wilson Hall (Hanover: Printed for the College, 1886) by asking for DC History LD1440.R6 D3.

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