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MIT's Great Dome and Killian Court.

The campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker is located on a campus in , United Statesmarker. The campus spans approximately one mile (1.6 km) of the north side of the Charles River basin directly opposite the Back Baymarker neighborhood of .

The campus includes dozens of buildings representing diverse architectural styles and shifting campus priorities. MIT's architectural history can be broadly split into four eras: the Boston campus, the new Cambridge campus before World War II, the "Cold War" development, and post-Cold War buildings. Each era was marked by distinct builds representing neoclassical, modernist, brutalist, and deconstructivist styles which alternatively represent a commitment to utilitarian minimalism and embellished exuberance.

Campus organization

MIT students, faculty, and administrators generally refer to buildings by number rather than name. The organization of building numbers on campus may appear random, but there is some order to it and it is believed to roughly correspond to the order in which the buildings were built. Buildings 1-10 were the original main campus, with building 10, the location of the Great Dome, designed to be the main entrance. Buildings 1-8 are arranged symmetrically around building 10, with odd-numbered buildings to the west and even-numbered buildings to the east.

The east side of campus has "the 6s", several connecting buildings that end with the digit 6 (buildings 6, 16, 26, 36, 56 and 66, with building 46 across the street from 36). The 30s buildings run along Vassar street on the north side of main campus. Buildings that are East of Ames Street are prefixed with an E (e.g. E52, the Sloan Building); those West of Massachusetts Avenue generally start with a W (e.g., W20, the Stratton Student Center).

Boston Tech (1865-1910)

The Rogers Building, MIT's first building.
Boston's Back Baymarker was recovered from marshland along the Charles River over several decades. The City of Boston reserved several lots for churches, museums, and other community buildings. A lot bounded on the north and south by Newbury and Boylston streets to the east and west by Berkeley and Clarendon streets was awarded to the newly founded Boston Natural History Society and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

William G. Preston designed three buildings to occupy the site, although the MIT Museum was not ultimately built. The Natural History Society building, completed in 1862, occupied the eastern-most third facing Berkeley street. The MIT building, later called the Rogers Building, occupied the center facing Boylston street, but did not open until 1865 owing to delays because of the Civil War. The five-story Rogers building featured a "grand tetra-style Corinthian portico" modeled on the Duke of Wellington's remodeled Apsley Housemarker.

MIT quickly outgrew this space as new schools, departments, and laboratories were founded. In 1886, the five-story Walker Memorial building housing the Physics and Chemistry departments was built in the space to the west of the Rogers building. Walker Memorial, designed by Carl Fehmer, consisted of a more subdued, industrial arcade motif than the surrounding fashionable buildings. As Jarzombek suggests, "the choice of this style, even for such a prominent urban space, was clearly MIT's and a testament to its desire to promote the ideals of scientific professionalism." More annexes, utilitarianly named Engineering Buildings A, B, and C and designed in the same industrial manner, were built between 1889 and 1900 on the site south of the Trinity Churchmarker.

After MIT's move to Cambridge, the Rogers and Walker buildings were torn down in 1939 to make way for the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company building. The Natural History Society building, however, survived and now houses the upscale clothier Louis Boston. The block containing the engineering annexes is the site where the John Hancock Towermarker now stands.

The New Technology (1910-1940)


By the turn of the century, demands for new space for laboratories, offices, housing, and student unions were outstripping the land available in the urban Back Bay. Other institutes of technology in Chicagomarker and Pittsburghmarker, state universities founded under the Land Grant Act, and private universities like Harvardmarker, Princetonmarker, Columbia, and Stanfordmarker were closing the gap on MIT's early lead on laboratory-based education with large and modern laboratories placed amongst large, park-like campuses. MIT repeatedly resisted overtures from Harvard President Charles William Eliot to merge the schools and after President Richard C. Maclaurin was elected in 1909, he began to search for sites to relocate the Institute.

A site in Cambridge, recovered from the Charles River and set amongst dirty factories and tenement housing, was ultimately selected for the construction of a new campus. Thomas Coleman du Pont, a graduate of MIT's chemistry department donated $500,000 to be used towards the purchase of the land under a promise from President Maclaurin that the first building constructed would be for Chemistry. The site abutted Massachusetts Avenue (which crossed the river on the Harvard Bridgemarker) along which were many newly built neo-classical structures like Langdell Hallmarker, Christian Science Center Church, and Symphony Hallmarker with which MIT's new campus would have to compete. In Maclaurin's words, "We have a glorious site and glorious opportunities, but our task of design is not made more easy by the great expectations of Boston."

Initial proposals

Early proposals for the campus came from Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, Stephen Child, Constant-Désiré Despradelle, and John Ripley Freeman. Shepley's and Child's plans incorporated Georgian Revival styled, L-shaped, brick buildings set on symmetric grass avenues or quads much like the recently-completed Harvard Medical Schoolmarker but were inappropriately sized for the industrial research that would occur within. Despradelle's Beaux-Arts proposal would have partitioned the campus into separate zones for academic, research, and residential activities but its World's Fair-like layout provided insufficient space for laboratories. His later iterations solved the laboratory space problems, but provided uncomfortable proximity and insufficient space for the residences as well as being enormously expensive.

After Despradelle's sudden death in 1912, Freeman's "Study No. 7" was thrust to the fore. His proposal, based on Taylorism, was "one-fifth architecture and four-fifths a problem of industrial engineering." He proposed connecting the every department's building to prevent the emergence of academic fiefdoms as well as provide protection from the cold as well as enabling efficiencies of scale by building a massive, one million square-foot building incorporating the administrative, teaching, and research functions. The proposed five-story building resembled a large "E" with the base aligned to the river with "cloistered" courtyards and a pedimented Doric exterior. Freeman also rejected using masonry walls and proposed using reinforced concrete, a material that was then both expensive and unconventional. Maclaurin and MIT's Executive Committee nevertheless sought to have an established architect, rather than an ambitious engineer, design the campus and briefly retained Cass Gilbert before conflicts with a determined Freeman drove him off.

Bosworth's design

Under the advice of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Maclaurin chose Rockefeller's personal architect and MIT graduate William Welles Bosworth to lead the next round of designs, in no small part because of his willingness to work for clients with strong personal convictions. Bosworth was trained in the Beaux-Arts style and was influenced by the City Beautiful movement which was at its height at the time.

Bosworth's proposal retained many elements of the previous proposals: a large, multi-armed building with room for future expansion and a large central court but also successfully integrated the dormitories into the rest of the complex. The campus would be oriented around two major east-west cross axes connecting the western academic half of campus with the residential eastern half of campus. Each half of campus would in turn be oriented around separate north-south axes, the western oriented its open green space towards the river and Boston while the eastern oriented its track and tennis courts northward into Cambridge. Bosworth's design was drawn so as to admit large amounts of light through exceptionally large windows on the first and second floors, many internal windows—not only on office doors but above door-level, and skylights over huge stairwells. However, later revisions began to incorporate more elements originally found in Freeman's designs such as double-loaded corridors and "open-grid, concrete structure with crossbeams supported by pairs of columns in the middle."

Building 10

Killian Court, Building 10, and The Great Dome
The Great Dome under construction in 1916.
The Great Dome, which sits atop Building 10 and is featured in most publicity shots, is modeled on McKim, Mead, and White's Low Memorial Librarymarker at Columbia University, which is in turn an imitation of the Pantheonmarker in Rome. The Dome was originally planned to be a cavernous assembly hall but budget limitations threatened to prevent construction of the Dome altogether. A smaller library (now the Barker Engineering Library) and lecture hall (10-250) instead replaced the volume. Jarzombek describes the library as a "capacious oculus [admitting] light into its center, and its perimeter surrounded by a row of Corinthian columns. Four curved topped aedicules [add] a counter-punctual element. More baroque in flavor that what one normally might have expected from Bosworth, the building seems in fact to be an inside-out quotation from Christopher Wren's St. Paul's Cathedralmarker."

Bosworth noted that the columns of the Pantheon's porch are not placed along a straight line but bow out a bit toward the central axis. He replicated this at MIT, but to observe it, one has to lie down and look along the front of the steps.

Killian Court

Bosworth's plan was notable for rejecting the prevailing convention of separated buildings and retreat from the urban area as was found in other new American campuses. The Great Court, which was renamed Killian Court in 1974 after President James Rhyne Killian, faces the river and the Boston skyline and "emphasizes the institution's openness to the urban environment and fulfills Maclaurin's ambition." Killian Court was originally paved, but was converted into a park-like area of grass and trees in the late 1920s. Bosworth had planned to incorporate a three-story high statue of Minerva at the center of the court, but funds for this were never appropriated. Killian Court is used for the annual Commencement ceremony.

The friezes of the marble-clad buildings surrounding Killian Court are carved in large Roman letters with the names of Aristotle, Newton, Franklin, Pasteur, Lavoisier, Faraday, Archimedes, da Vinci, Darwin, and Copernicus; each of these names is surmounted by a cluster of appropriately related names in smaller letters. Lavoisier, for example, is placed in the company of Boyle, Cavendish, Priestley, Dalton, Gay Lussac, Berzelius, Woehler, Liebig, Bunsen, Mendelejeff [sic], Perkin, and van't Hoff.

Walker Memorial

Walker Memorial was dedicated to former President (and General) Francis Amasa Walker, a staunch advocate for student life. The Memorial was to have been designed in a "relaxed classical style with a generous convex portico overlooking the Charles River." However, cost overruns forced the scale of many planned buildings to be altered and the gymnasium, which had previously been separate from the Memorial, were integrated together.

Senior House

Senior House is an L-shaped building, deigned by William Welles Bosworth. The Doric portico over the entrance was added in the 1990s.

President's House (1917)

The President's House lies on the opposite side of Ames Street, adjacent to Senior House. The House was the last part of the Bosworth campus to be constructed and consists of a three-story structure with a simple, rectangular floor plan that incorporates a ballroom on the top floor.

Building 7 (1939)

Building 7, at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, is the official address of the entire Institute and, as the entrance to the Infinite Corridor, the main artery connecting east campus with west campus. Building 7 was not a part of the original campus, but built as a part of MIT's expansion along Massachusetts Avenue. The lobby (named Lobby 7 after its building number) is an impressive vestibule topped by a small dome that rejects the neoclassical tradition of reducing scale between the interior and exterior with the result that the "inner space remains at the less intimate urban scale." The glass oculus at the top was blacked out during World War II but was restored during a renovation in 2000.

War and post-war buildings (1940-1960)

Alumni Pool

The Alumni Pool (Building 57) was designed by Lawrence B. Anderson (M.Arch. '30) and Herbert L. Beckwith (’26). The building was one of the first significant examples of modernist, International Style design in the United States by a US trained architect. In 2000, during the building of the Stata Centermarker, the building was restored and most of elegant modernist detailing was replaced by clumsy updates. The sophisticated color palette of the interior floor and walls disappeared. Its walled-in garden to the south was removed altogether. Nonetheless, the building still retains much of its early modernist sensibility, unornamented surfaces and simple functional design.

Building 20

Building 20 was erected hastily during World War II as a temporary building that housed the historic Radiation Laboratory. Over the course of fifty-five years, its "temporary" nature allowed research groups to have more space, and to make more creative use of that space, than was possible in more respectable buildings. Professor Jerome Y. Lettvin once quipped, "You might regard it as the womb of the Institute. It is kind of messy, but by God it is procreative!" The structure was removed to make way for the Stata Centermarker.

Westgate (1945 & 1963)

Westgate was established to provide student housing for the large numbers of veterans returning to study after World War II. The demand for housing was unprecedented both in quantity as well as in the qualities that students often were married or had children to care for. The community persisted for over a decade before the decision was made to create more permanent housing for married students.

The current Westgate married students housing was completed in 1963.

Rockwell Cage

The Rockwell Cage (Building W33) was designed by Herbert Beckwith and opened in 1947. The large space was originally used by the military for indoor drills, but was obtained by then-Athletic Director Ivan J. Geiger before the opening of the DuPont Athletic Center. Geiger was also key in transforming the Cage into MIT's basketball venue.

Rockwell Cage was named for Dr. John Rockwell, MIT class of 1896. He was a top athlete while a student, and returned in 1927 as the President of the Advisory Council for Athletics. Rockwell is currently the official venue for MIT basketball and volleyball, although the space, which spans three and a half basketball courts, is also used for collegiate and non-collegiate tournaments in other sports (such as gymnastics), as well as recreational badminton. In the fall of 2006 and 2007, the Rockwell Cage was the venue for the Northeast regional matches in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championships.

The Rockwell Cage is part of the larger, interconnected Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) Complex, which is often referred to collectively as the "Z-Center". Rockwell is in the center of the complex, and is connected to the DuPont Athletic Center, Zeisger Center, and the Johnson Athletic Center.

Baker House

Alvar Aalto, a Finnish architect, designed Baker House. It has an undulating shape which allows most rooms a view of the Charles River, and gives many of the rooms a wedge layout. Baker House has six floors, with rooms for 1-4 people, and features and largely brick interior with wooden furniture and trimmings. The basement level contains Baker Dining, one of the four residential dining halls on campus, and the only one which is open seven nights a week.

Aalto also designed the furniture, much of which was intended to fit in specific rooms in order to maximize the limited space. Several of these furniture pieces are given various animal names. Each resident has a large, wheeled wardrobe (no closets in the brick rooms) called an "elephant" and thigh-high rolling case of drawers called an "armadillo," which fits neatly under the desks. Occupants of the largest singles, called "couches" because they are large enough to accommodate such furniture, also have free-standing sets of shelving called "giraffes." The giraffe is so-named because piece consists of pole, which is pressed into the floor and ceiling and thus is position-adjustable, adorned with several shelves that protrude in one direction and only rise to waist height, creating a giraffe-like shape. Many residents choose to flip their giraffes upside-down in order to have more space near the ground.

Building 14 (1950)

Building 14, which includes the Charles Hayden Memorial Library, is located adjacent to Building 2 along Memorial Drive. Built in response to the Lewis Committee findings, it originally housed all of the humanities faculty, although growth of these departments has since required more space. The building features large bay-windows overlooking both the Charles River to the south and Eastman Courtyard to the north as well as high ceilings.

MIT Chapel

Eero Saarinen designed the non-denominational MIT Chapel. The chapel consists on the outside of a plain brick cylinder tall, topped with an aluminum bell tower. The building is encircled by a shallow moat, that defines it as an island of serenity. Reflections from the water bounce up into the interior of the chapel through hidden windows. On the interior, Saarinen created undulating walls that focus on the chapel's altar. The dramatic modern style initially shocked the

Kresge Auditorium

The Auditorium was intended as a type of university meeting hall, those words being, in fact, inscribed over the entrance. Its roof is exactly one-eighth of a sphere.

DuPont Athletic Center and Gymnasium

The DuPont Athletic Center and DuPont Gymnasium, Buildings W32 and W31, respectively, are located at the east end of the interconnected Main DAPER Complex. The buildings are named for David Flett DuPont, who contributed a million dollars toward the improvement of athletic facilities, whose bequest also facilitated the building of twelve outdoor tennis courts. DuPont, as the two buildings are collectively known, was the third athletic building constructed on campus, and the second component of what is now the DAPER Complex (often collectively known as the Z-Center). The Athletic Center (W32) is connected to and immediately west of the Gymnasium (W31), and adjacent on the other side to the Rockwell Cage and the Zesiger Center. W32 houses MIT's fencing, pistol, and rifle teams, while W31 is home to gymnastics, volleyball, and wrestling (although they may compete in the Rockwell Cage). The T-club Lounge is located at the DuPont Athletic Center and is the main venue for DAPER exercise classes.

Building W31 is also home to MIT's Center for Real Estate, located on the 3rd floor. The center was founded in 1983.

Second Century Fund (1960-1990)

Over the years, MIT has made an effort to bring noted architects to campus for particular commissions. The period between 1960 and 1990 was marked by a drastic increase in the size of the campus (

McCormick Hall (1963)

Although women had been enrolling at MIT since the 1880s, they constituted a tiny minority of the total undergraduate population and lived in a town house across the river. In 1959, MIT released a report, The Woman at MIT, which outlined the need to expand residential and social opportunities for female students. In 1960, Katharine Dexter McCormick '04 pledged $1.5 million towards the construction of an on-campus female dormitory.

Professor Herbert L. Beckwith was named architect of the project and he proposed a pair of towers along between Memorial Drive and the Kresge Court. Construction required the relocation of a Catholic nursing order, busy parking lot, and existing student housing and was broken into two phases: the West Wing was completed in 1963 and the East Wing was completed in 1968. The towers are connected by public spaces like a dining hall, dance studio, and music room at the ground floor. The building has attracted some criticism for its inefficient use of space but was renovated in the late 1990s.

Hermann Building (1965)

The Grover M. Hermann Building (E53) houses Dewey Library and the Department of Political Science. As the Sloan School of Management expanded like other departments after the war, it quickly faced a shortage of space in its original building at 50 Memorial Drive (E52) which was only acquired in 1952. Professor Eduardo F. Catalano prepared a Sloan Campus Plan incorporating a plaza connecting a new academic building, Building E52, and parking. Grover Hermann of the Martin Marietta Company contributed funds for the four-story building set on a plinth. The building has been criticized by its inhabitants for its lack of natural light and "fortress architecture."

Eastgate (1967)

Eastgate (E55) completed and first occupied in August 1967. The building hosts family housing (students with spouses/partners and/or children) as well as a day care center.

Stratton Student Center (1968)

Walker Memorial had originally served as the home for many student activity groups for several decades, but the growing post-war student population required the construction of a new and larger building. The first proposals originated in 1955 after the opening of Kresge Auditorium and Chapel had firmly planted MIT's presence on the other side of Massachusetts Avenue. Saarinen was again retained again to design the new structure, but was dropped after his proposal met with resistance from faculty and donors.

Professor Eduardo F. Catalano replaced Saarinen in 1961 and proposed a structure that would house meeting and practice rooms as well as commercial areas like a post office, tailor, barbershop, and bowling alley. The proposed building was a monumentally imposing structure representing a high form of brutalism and included large glass windows, balconies, and terraced staircases. The building was approved in 1963 and dedicated to outgoing President Julius A. Stratton in 1965. Although initially well received, the complex design of the interior, a lack of storage space, heavy use by students, and austere exterior lead to a major renovation in the late 1980s.Dackiw and Mein cited three major problems with the StudentCenter's present design: unclear traffic flow and arrangement; "dark and unwelcoming"parts ofthe interior; and overused and underused spaces. Mein said he would like to change the entrance "dramatically. The central area needs more light and more obvious activity"

I.M. Pei

I. M. Pei & Partners designed a number for MIT buildings. Pei was a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture (class of '40). Pei also designed the master plan for the southeast corner of the central campus.

Green Building (1964)

By the late 1950s as many smaller, but rapidly growing, departments were outgrowing their spaces, Professor Robert R. Shrock solicited Cecil H. Green '23, the founder of Texas Instrumentsmarker, for a new building to house the geology and meteorology departments in a new Center for Earth Sciences. As Bosworth's plans for residential life on East Campus had not been realized, many departments had aspirations for utilizing the open space in Eastman Court. Pei and Hideo Sasaki proposed siting the building in East Campus and breaking MIT's architectural tradition of "horizontality"

The tower would rise 21 stories to , breaking Cambridge's previous restriction on building height. However, every floor measures only 60 by 120 feet (18 by 36m) which research groups quickly outgrew and had to be accommodated elsewhere in the Institute. The height of the building and its relative proximity to the river also increased wind loads at its base, which prevented people from entering or leaving the building through the main doors on windy days. It is incorrectly rumored that Alexander Calder's Big Sail, situated in front of the building, is meant to deflect these winds. The Green Building remains the only academic tower on campus and faculty insistence as well as logistical realities have continued MIT's "horizontal continuity."

Dreyfus Building

The Camille Edouard Dreyfus Building (Building 18) houses the Chemistry Department. The building parallels Eastman Laboratory (Building 6) to the east and architecturally evokes a horizontal version of the Green Building which lies to its east. Although it deviates from MIT's traditional central corridor scheme by placing the laboratory and office space away from the windows by means of exterior corridors. The interior space consisted of a research community of graduate students working in laboratory modules at the center and faculty offices, lobbies, and teaching areas at each end of the building. A major renovation to the building was completed in 2003.

Landau Building

The Landau Building (Building 66) houses the Chemical Engineering Department. It is shaped as a 30-60-90 triangle, with the sharpest point directed toward Ames Street. The unusual shape has earned the building a nickname, "The Triangle Building," deviating from the usual practice of referring to campus buildings by number or name. .

Wiesner Building (1985)

The Wiesner building (Building E15) houses the MIT Media Labmarker and the List Visual Arts Center and is named in honor of former MIT president Jerome Wiesner and his wife Laya. The building is very box-like, a motif that is consistently repeated in both the interior and exterior design evoking a sense of boxes packed within each other. It also has the nickname of the "Inverted Bathroom" due to its tiled exterior.

The building is notable for the level of collaboration between the architect and artists. It stands apart from the surrounding neighborhood with is flat, gridded skin make of white, modular metal panels. The building's exterior was designed by Kenneth Noland is meant as a metaphor of technology through the grids of graph paper and number matrices while also quoting the corridor-like morphology of the rest of the MIT campus. Scott Burton, Alan Shields, and Richard Fleischner also collaborated extensively in the final design of the internal atria and external landscaping.


From MIT Housing Chronology
  • 1960: Burton-Conner Dining Room
  • 1968: Random Hall (NW61) opened. Undergraduate and graduate housing.
  • 1970: MacGregor House (W61) first occupied in September 1970. Undergraduate housing.
  • 1973: Tang Hall (W84) first occupied in 1973. Single graduate housing.
  • 1975: New West Campus Houses (W70 - 471-476 Memorial Drive) completed and first occupied in 1975. Undergraduate housing includes Spanish, Russian, German and French Houses.
  • 1981: 500 Memorial Drive (W71) Next House completed and first occupied in August 1981. Undergraduate housing.


Buildings 34-36-38 - pg.101Brown Building (Building 39) - pg.66Center for Advanced Engineering Study (Building 9) - pg. 59McNair Building (building 37) - pg. 57

Whitaker College

Whitaker College (Building E25) houses the College of Health Sciences and Technology as well as MIT Medical.

Johnson Athletics Center

The Howard W. Johnson Athletics Center, named for MIT's 12th president, is located at the west end of the interconnected DAPER Complex, immediately adjacent to the Zesiger Center. The entire complex is often referred to as the Z-Center, with Johnson simply referring to one section of the complex. The Johnson Center houses MIT's varsity fencing, ice hockey, tennis, and track & field teams.

The first floor includes a seasonal ice rink, team locker-room and equipment facilities, athletic trainers' offices and workspace, and an Au Bon Pain. The ice rink doubles, in the off-season, as an arena which hosts, among other events, the Career Fair and the annual Spring Weekend Concert. The second floor connects to the Zesiger Center's DAPER offices and pool gallery. The third floor consists of an indoor track and field space, including a small weights area, which often must be shared by MIT's spring athletic teams early in the season, as the Cambridgemarker weather tends to be too cold and/or snowy to practice outside. During finals week, the (ice-free) ice rink and indoor track are utilized to administer final exams for large classes requiring the ample space.

Evolving Campus (1990-present)

A major building effort has been underway for several years in the wake of a $2 billion development campaign. For these commissions, MIT brought in leading architects to propose dramatic new buildings to contrast the earlier, more mundane buildings. The new buildings have created a good deal of debate, particularly in a city like Boston, which is not known for its contemporary architecture. Critics have both hailed and assailed the prominence of "starchitecture" on campus.

Koch Biology Building


Tang Center for Management Education


Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center

The Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center (Z-Center) was designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo & Associates, (2002). It features an Olympic-class, 50-meter by 25-yard, swimming pool, plus a separate 8-lane, 25-yard teaching pool, two levels of weight and aerobic equipment, the multi-purpose Muckley MAC Court, the Folger, Steinman and Jules squash courts, and offices for DAPER staff. It is the home of MIT's water polo, swimming & diving, and squash teams.

The Zesiger Center is connected to the Johnson Athletic Center, the Rockwell Cage, and the DuPont Athletic Center as part of the Main DAPER Complex. However, the entire complex is often referred to as the Z-Center among the MIT community while Johnson, Rockwell, and DuPont refer to areas within the complex.

Simmons Hall

After the alcohol-related death of an MIT freshman living in an off-campus fraternity in 1998, the MIT administration settles the resulting lawsuit under the stipulation that all freshmen will be required to live on campus. The decision means that MIT needs beds for 300 freshmen who previously would have lived in off-campus fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. Steven Holl and Associates were chosen to lead the design for a new "porous" dormitory in 1999. Simmons Hall opened in August 2002 for student occupancy.

The building has 350 student rooms, 5,538 2-foot square windows, and is constructed of 291 precast, steel-reinforced Perfcon panels.

Stata Center

The Stata Centermarker

Brain and Cognitive Sciences complex

Building 46, which houses the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.


As MIT's riverfront site was a marshland filled-in by dredging from the bottom of the Charles, it was largely free from either natural flora or previous occupants. In 1892, the Cambridge Park Commission had commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to lay out a picturesque driveway and park along the Charles River that would feature tree-lined promenades and a central mall. Bosworth's plan would integrate this Memorial Drive into the campus by using courtyards enclosed and overlooked by the academic buildings. Killian (née Great) Court, the main entrance, was originally planned by Mabel Babcock '08 to be a French-style gravel-covered court centered around a large statue of Minerva. However, as automobile and trolley traffic along Massachusetts Avenue made the western buildings the de facto entrance to MIT, the Great Court was replaced by "street-edge plantings of low privet hedges, a line of oak trees, lawns and base plantings to create a visual transition from the ground level over the English basement to the first floor of the new buildings." The New England Hurricane of 1938 and Dutch Elm Disease required that many of the original trees in Killian be replaced by pin oaks.

Temporary buildings constructed during and immediately after World War II occupied many vacant lots around MIT, but the 1960 Campus Master Plan included Hideo Sasaki as a landscape architect. The Landscape Master Plan called for "tree-lined and landscaped streets and pathways; well-defined open spaces, each reflecting the designs and functions of the buildings in each campus sector; and a variety of tree species to safeguard the campus against the blights that strike monocultures."


Like many colleges and universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has sculptures and other art-related installations scattered across its campus.

Image:Henry Moore, Three Piece Reclining Figure Draped (1976), MIT Campus - detail.JPG|Henry Moore, Three Piece Reclining Figure Draped (1976)Image:Jacques Lipchitz, Birth of the Muses (1944-1950), MIT Campus.JPG|Jacques Lipchitz, Birth of the Muses)


  1. "Bosworth likely wrote that if any style "has the right to our allegiance, it is the Graeco-Roman, the origin of our early American tradition."
  2. Lawrence B. Anderson - The Tech
  3. Quotes and Stories about Building 20
  4. McCormick History. [1]. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2008.
  5. General Information: DuPont Athletic Center. [2]. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
  6. The building sits on but its only houses 250 students.
  7. by Benjamin P. Gleitzman. The Tech, Sept. 8th, 2006. Interview with curators Bill Arning and Patricia Fuller.

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