Hampden-Sydney Home PageHampden-Sydney Quality Enhancement Program
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Gateway Improvements
Gateway Improvements
Hampden-Sydney College has a distinctive gate structure at its northern approach on College Road. The campus plan recommends consideration for establishing a second gateway to mark passage into the campus from the southern approach on College Road. No specific site is established, as the acquisition of properties might be necessary to create a sufficiently sized, appropriate setting for landscape, pylons, walls, lighting, and signs.

The plan recommends some landscape adjustments at the northern gate to improve one of the first visual impressions visitors get of the campus. As one approaches from the north, there is a parking lot on the left-hand side that is very close to the street. This one stand of cars is the only visual interruption in a well-orchestrated landscape approach - farmland yields to play fields along the tree-lined road. The presence of parked cars is further emphasized by a continuous line of ginko trees at the street edge, one rare example of a monoculture planting on the campus. The lot cannot be eliminated, because of its use by student residents who live across College Road, in what are referred to as the Alphabet Residences. Nonetheless, some design interventions can be taken to lessen the impact of the parking lot.

First, a second flank of ginkos might be introduced on the right-hand side of the road. A clearly lit crosswalk should be introduced that might incorporate a change in paving to make its presence more apparent. The parking lot itself can be reduced in size or shifted to the southeast a sufficient distance to be able to introduce along the roadway a double planting of evergreen shrubs to screen the vehicles from view. Shrubbery should be set back from the curb a sufficient distance to retain a path along the roadside, possibly a future sidewalk. Any parking spaces displaced by landscape improvements can easily be replaced with new spaces added on the west side of the residence halls.