The Hard Soft analysis indicates the College owned lands east of Campion's as a longer-term redevelopment site. On the north side of Lebanon Street, the Hopkins Center (Hop) is a large multi-use College building incorporating a variety of student services and arts-related programs and facilities. The interior of the building is almost always active with intense levels of pedestrian traffic. This activity is partially explained by the Hop's function as the center for student mail pick-up and as a key food service patronized by both students and downtown employees. The Hop is also an important cultural center for the entire Hanover area, providing regular film screenings, live theater and concerts. In combination with the Hood Museum, these facilities provide an extraordinarily rich cultural focus for a community of Hanover's size, one that is intensively used by both the College and the community.
Yet from the perspective of one's experience of the Downtown, the energy of the Hop is curiously invisible. This is partially due to the mid-block location of the building, the large setbacks from the street and its rather internalized architectural treatment. As a result, the Hop has a remote interface with its surrounding urban fabric. From an urban design and planning perspective the activities of the Hop have the potential to have a 'ripple effect' on surrounding land uses and to act as a catalyst for a more dynamic, public street life.
The College's future planning for the lands on the north side of Lebanon Street through new building projects and additions to existing structures should therefore consider the objective of 'opening up' the activity of the Hop to the Downtown and creating a vibrant day and evening environment that will become a new focus for students, residents and visitors. The following recommendations address this objective.