November 9, 2009

One Wheelock and McLaughlinization

One Wheelock, née Lone Pine Tavern, is opening for business on the 12th and I'm rather excited to see how it will turn out. Particularly, I'm curious what kind of food offerings it will have that Lone Pine was not able to produce with reasonable cost efficiency. Just muffins and coffee? Reducing costs was the whole reason behind closing Lone Pine, after all. I also heard a rumour that the person who donated the funds for One Wheelock's operations did so on the condition that the new establishment not retain the Lone Pine name.

Taking a peek in the window, I was extremely disappointed to see everything that gave Lone Pine charm (the wood panels, banners, yearbooks) had all been McLauighlinized into the Dartmouth-dorm-standard white walls. Hopefully this is just the result of temporary refurbishing and some character will quickly return to this place billed as a comfortable hangout for the Collis crowd.

As a more general aside, the McLaughlinization of campus spaces -- e.g. the uniform design seen in Faye/McLane, New Hamp, Hitchcock, and the entire McLaughlin Cluster -- while producing nicer living arrangements than the East Wheelock era, is standardizing dorms to the point that there is little left, save location, which stand them apart. Intricate handrails, fireplaces, and dark-woods give dorms their own unique charm that make them fell more cozy. More like home. Even if the Mclaughlin design offers the best design, it might be good to alter it a bit in future refurbishments to prevent a laboratory feel to them all. I think I should, at the very least, be able to tell which dorm I'm in by looking at its interior.


  1. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Take it easy on McLaughlin. It's not his fault that a drab bunch of buildings bear his name. He tried to cut costs in the '80s and got run out of town by the faculty. Maybe you should use the term "Wright-sized" instead.

  2. Anonymous1:34 AM

    ugh, one, Nate was referring to McLaughlin the cluster, not the president for which it was named. Two, McLaughlin was the worst modern president after Friedman.

  3. Wright was pretty bad. He was good at raising money but even better at finding ways to spend endowment principal. If the college hadn't ramped up spending so drastically these cuts never would have had to happen.