Dartmouth Medicine HomeCurrent IssueAbout UsContact UsSearchPodcasts

PDF Version   Printer-Friendly Version

Vital Signs

Doggone it: Downside to building's demise

By Jennifer Durgin

I ts hallways are less than 36 inches wide, its lighting is dreary, and its carpets are dingy. Strasenburgh Hall—built as a medical-student dormitory in 1962 and for many decades now an office building—is one of three structures on the DMS campus scheduled for demolition or removal in a few months. (Butler, just west of Strasenburgh, and the modular building often called the "Pizza Hut," on the DMS lawn, are the other two.) In their place will eventually be a new Dartmouth College life sciences building.

One might expect the faculty and staff who have had offices in Strasenburgh to be thrilled at the prospect of moving to newer, more spacious, modern offices. But for some, leaving the quirky space will be bittersweet.

"I, for one, will be sad to leave Strasenburgh," says Denise Smith, a budget assistant who's been working in the building for five years. The narrow hallways, she explains, "make people talk to each other face to face, even if it's [just] 'Hi.'" Most of all, she'll miss bringing her 130-pound Saint Bernard to work. And Hemi, as he's named (after the Daimler-Chrysler engine), will no doubt miss playing with the half-dozen or so other

In this mid-1970s aerial view of the DMS campus, Strasenburgh Hall—originally built as a dormitory—is the low building on the far right.

dogs who regularly join their owners at work in dog-friendly Strasenburgh. Among them are a yellow lab, a black lab, a Brittany spaniel, a cockapoo, and a Bernese mountain dog.

"The new office space is much nicer,"

says Marion "Mimi" Simpson, a DMS instructor who also works in Strasenburgh, "but there are always tradeoffs." And the biggest tradeoff for many, as Strasenburgh bites the dust, may be the fact that they'll need to leave their furry companions at home.

If you'd like to offer feedback about this article, we'd welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

This article may not be reproduced or reposted without permission. To inquire about permission, contact DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

Back to Table of Contents

Dartmouth Medical SchoolDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College