Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

The College Pump

Sun and Shade

3.1.00

When daylight-saving time returns on April 2, not a moment too soon, Harvardians emerging into the sunlight may wish to visit the restored Dudley Garden at the back of Lamont Library, hidden from Massachusetts Avenue by a high brick wall. One enters through a gate in the wrought-iron fence extending from the east end of Wigglesworth toward Lamont. The garden is open during daylight hours from April through October. At its center is a sundial on a pedestal. The bluestone dial was cut last year by John Hegnauer, the gnomon is by Richard Ketchen, and the design is by William J.H. Andrewes, former curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. The dial tells daylight- saving time and, says Andrewes, is "one of the very few dials in the world" to do so.

The College Library and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences restored the garden to help celebrate Lamont's fiftieth anniversary. Michael Van Valkenburgh, Eliot professor in practice of landscape architecture, contributed a design that emphasizes native plants. At an opening-day "garden party" last autumn, held in the Lamont reading room because of drenching rain outside, Andrewes spoke and invited listeners to return in better weather to experience "the peace and tranquility of the garden, where time is measured in shadows."

The garden was made originally in 1949 to honor Thomas Dudley, governor of the Bay Colony, a founder of Harvard, and father of poet Anne Bradstreet. But during the revolutionary days of 1969, it was closed to the public on account of various naughtinesses occurring within.

Dudley's first memorial was on Quincy Street and featured imposing gates. They were removed to facilitate Lamont's construction, and therein lies a story "full of mystery and intrigue," says Susan Murray, University Development Office librarian. "Where are those gates?"

 

At a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences recently, Professor Hilary Putnam read a memorial minute on the life and services of the late Nelson Goodman, philosopher and animal lover. He and his wife, Kay, always had dogs. Goodman dedicated his book Mind and Other Ma tters to "Kinky, Snubby, Tweedledee, Randy, Angie, Debbie, Susan, and Trushka, for help and hindrance."

 

Michael Hilton '68, of Decatur, Texas, was a writer whose work appeared on occasion in this magazine. He was also a roofer and part of the subject matter of an article on "Blue Collar A.B.'s" in the July-August 1990 issue. Hilton died last June, of cancer; an obituary appears on page 92S.

His classmate Peter Crane has forwarded a letter he had from Hilton after their twenty-fifth reunion. One of the reunion events was a reception for published authors in the class in the Memorial Room at Widener Library. Hilton was thrilled to see the Gutenberg Bible on display there.

"I couldn't help going upstairs," he wrote his friend, "and winding up stairs and corridors, ever upward, till I got to an inside window on the very tip top of the back wing, where I could lean out and look down directly on top of the section of the building where the Bible was. You know what kind of roof they've got over the Gutenberg Bible? Do you want to know? I wanted to know, I had to know, and that's why I climbed all the way up there in my polished successful writer's Italian loafers. I had hoped for what I would see, all the way up there, but I wouldn't let myself hope it too much, because I wanted it to be true so much. But it was true. I bet they could have heard me say 'Oh, man!' all the way downstairs at the reception, at the moment I saw it. It wasn't the finest copper sheathing, crimped and seamed. It wasn't even a miracle technology that would dismay me and make me feel dumb. It wasn't nine feet of concrete, like I thought it might have been. No sir. It was a six- ply hot top, with number 12 gravel. The strongest and best hot top in the world. Boy, was I proud. The pride of a roofer is so elusive, Peter, but so real. I was humbled to feel it."

Jeffrey Cushman, project manager overseeing the renovations to the library that are going full blast these days, reports that "Widener was reroofed in the summer of '98, and is now covered with a fully adhered elastomeric single-ply EPDM roofing system, a so-called 'rubber roof.' Alas, it is a dismaying miracle technology."

~Primus V