From the beginning, Techbuilt had a connection to various college and university campuses. Early marketing for the company, and Conantum before it, was aimed at young professionals at MIT and Harvard who sought to move to the suburbs. Over the next 15 years, Techbuilts started showing up on campuses in various capacities from faculty housing to a fraternity house. This post represents the first in what will be an occasional series looking at the Techbuilt on campus. First up: Dartmouth College.
Ok, the Dartmouth Techbuilts might technically not be on campus, but they certainly represent one of the most interesting applications of the Techbuilt on or off of a campus. Dartmouth College partnered with the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital to develop Rivercrest in 1957. Rivercrest featured 30 duplexes designed by Techbuilt and was to provide housing for faculty and staff of the two institutions.
An article in The Dartmouth from November 1958 shares a couple of humorous anecdotes about the houses. Given the generally north-south orientation of the duplexes, the first winter surprised the residents on the north side with snow drifts on their car and carport. The article states that “every house has a wire fence, a car, a dog, and most have a baby carriage.” Though it says most mothers don’t let there kids out since they are outnumbered by the dogs.
The Rivercrest duplexes stood for a long time until finally being demolished in the past few years. Below is a Google Earth image from 2006 of the site.
The two photographs of the houses were taken by Richard Lodmill for the article “Inside Suburbia: A Glance into the homes of Rivercrest and Sachem Village” by Thomas Green featured in the November 21, 1958 edition of The Dartmouth.