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Doggone it: Downside to building's demise
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
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.
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