From the start, the construction Peabody House was steeped in symbolism. It began with a process of inclusion as student activists (Proctor Environmental Action) and faculty volunteers brainstormed optimal living spaces and the balance between single and double rooms. Early discussion reflected Mike's insistence that we elevate the role of dorm parenting in our residential life initiative by offering spacious faculty apartments designed specifically for families.
From the start, the value of environmental responsibility was elevated. More than 95% of the material from the Morton House demolition was recycled. Peabody House is designed to follow LEED criteria, using locally manufactured materials, recycled materials (car window glass, shredded paper money, etc.,) and Marmoleum floors comprised of natural products with no harmful chemicals. The flooring in common spaces is the former gym floor from Plymouth State University. Six closed-circuit wells, drilled 500 feet below the dorm, pre-heat and pre-cool air that circulates through the HVAC system.
Trustees and alumni contributed to finish work, such as the interior color scheme (Annie Ballin P'06), artwork (Bill Peabody P'82, P'86), and landscaping (Sarah Cave P'00, P'03 and Curt Cowles '85). Annie listens as Board Chair Mark Loehr P'07, P'08, P'09 speaks at the dedication:
This residence carries a distinct sense of place, reflecting Bill and Betsy Peabody's deeply spiritual involvement with Proctor Academy over more than thirty years. They read a blessing--adapted from a prayer by John O'Donohue--that includes the following: "May this house shelter your life.
May your heart be tranquil here, blessed by peace that the world cannot give...
May this house be a place where you discover a sense of belonging...
May this be a safe place, full of understanding and acceptance...
May it be a house where patience of spirit is prized and the sight of the destination is never lost...
May this be a house where the Proctor values: honesty, compassion, respect and responsibility and responsibility are lived."
This is a perspective from the upper common lobby down to the main lobby and entrance:
This perspective of the west faculty apartment starts in a spacious, open kitchen.
The south-facing terrace, with views across the Blackwater River Valley.
Bill and Betsy pose with Toto, trustee Doug Windsor '71, (left) Mike Henriques, and representatives of the architectural and construction teams.
Much of the symbolism and ethical sense tied to this dedication is lost on student residents of Peabody House. There's homework to do!
One last detail demonstrates the human connection that makes Peabody house so special. Morton House featured decorative rosettes--wood turnings--over upper windows and air vents. Our friend (and former teacher) Jon Siegel made schematic drawings of these 112-year old artistic details, and fashioned new, identical rosettes for Peabody House at his shop, Big Tree Turnings (see at right).
Morton House demolition: August, 2007. More than 95% of the material was recycled.
One of Bill Peabody's striking paintings that grace Peabody House. A sense of place is pervasive.
Spencer enjoys one of the dorm's single rooms.
Mirwan, who saw MLS on his admission tour, is psyched.
Will is Dorm Leader. He sees the need for a southside walk-up to the entrance students prefer.
One of the decorative rosettes added to Morton House by James Francis Morton in the 1890s.
Jon Siegel's schematic plan to create identical rosettes on his wood lathe.
The raw product.
A decorative link to Morton House.
Peabody House: A monument to the human connection that is Proctor.