Letter in Support of the Retention and Preservation of the Charles Moore Additions to the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College

by SAH Heritage Conservation Committee | Jun 13, 2016
Mr. John Stomberg, Ph.D., Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961 Director Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (13 June 2016) - Read Letter

Charles Moore’s addition to the Hood Museum, completed in 1985, connected the late 19th century, Romanesque Wilson Hall with Wallace K. Harrison’s Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts, completed in 1962. Moore also created a ceremonial entrance gateway, which functions as the connection between the two older buildings and Moore’s addition. The proposed $50 million renovation, scheduled for completion in January 2019, proposes to expand the exhibition capacity of the museum, in part by inserting a new structure into a covered concourse with a new entrance facing the campus green.

SAH Position:
Our concern arises from the fact that the plan will obliterate Moore’s concourse and remove Moore’s entrance gateway, a distinctive composition reflective of the restrained Postmodernism Moore exhibited at the Hood Museum. Moore’s design created a carefully considered sequence of spaces, beginning on Dartmouth Green and continuing through the museum, which will be eliminated by this renovation. We believe that Charles Moore’s additions to the Hood Museum are of national significance, and their removal or inappropriate alteration would be a tragic loss.

The proposed design is under construction.

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610