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Kendall/MIT is a station on the rapid transit Red Line in Kendall Squaremarker at the intersection of Broadway and Main Street, in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker. Trains emerge from the Red Line tunnel just south/east of the station to cross the Charles River via the Longfellow Bridgemarker. The station includes the Kendall Band, a public art installation of hand-operated musical sculptures that hang between the tracks at the station platform level and are operated by levers located on the side walls of the two platforms. The Kendall stop also features a prominent timeline detailing the history of the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker. There is no crossover within fare control; to reverse direction one must exit and re-enter the station, passing through fare gates again.

Nearby destinations

Bus connections


Kendall/MIT is wheelchair accessible. See MBTA accessibility.

Future plans

Kendall/MIT Station is a proposed stop on the MBTA's planned Urban Ring Project. The Urban Ring will be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current MBTA Lines to reduce strain on the downtown stations.

Kendall Band

The Kendall BandChristopher Reed, "Pure Fabrications", Harvard Magazine, May-June 2002. From 1986 through 1988, he designed, fabricated, and installed in the Kendall Square subway station in Cambridge The Kendall Band, a three-part musical sculpture, consisting of "Kepler," a 55-inch ring; "Galileo," a sheet of stainless steel that imitates a train roaring in when a train roars in; and "Pythagoras," twin sets of eight bells of the type of the new memorial bell in Washington, but hung vertically. These are squeezed into the narrow space between incoming and outgoing tracks. Handles on each platform allow people waiting for trains to activate hammers that strike the bells.
"Pythagoras" broke several times in the beginning when overzealous subwayites jerked the handles too forcefully. Matisse posted signs to let people know the progress of repairs. The signs were quickly covered with grafitti—most, but not all, expressions of appreciation ("Radical move, dude") or erudite constructive criticism from MIT students. Matisse was delighted to have stimulated dialogue. One commentator wrote: "If you spent any tax dollars on this, may you die slowly." Just underneath that sentiment, in much finer handwriting, another traveler countered: "… may you live long and happily." is an interactive musical sculpture by Paul Matisse, grandson of French impressionist Henri Matisse. It was installed in 1987 at the station. Matisse and other artists were commissioned by the MBTA as part of a public art project called Arts on the Line.

The three Kendall Band instruments are named Kepler, Pythagoras and Galileo, after the scientists Johannes Kepler, Pythagoras, and Galileo Galilei. Their aluminium, teak and steel forms hang between the inbound and outbound train platforms. Bystanders on either side have access to controls to play the instruments and are the members of the band. When played, the instruments' sounds echo throughout the station, and upstairs to the street.

Kepler is a 125-pound metal ring whose ratcheted hammer strikes an F sharp.

Pythagoras is a series of long metal tubes tuned to a B minor, with slight vibrato. A lever can be used to slowly build momentum of large swinging mallets.

Galileo is a sheet of metal which, when shaken, sounds like thunder.

As of May 2007, the operating handles on the inbound platform are broken and have yet to be repaired.

As of December 2008, three of the operating handles are broken and have yet to be repaired.


  1. Ring Phase 2 FACT SHEET
  2. Kendall Sculptures Bring Music, Talk to Strangers
  3. T-Riders Ring the Sound of Science
  4. Pythagoras, Kepler and Galileo
  5. Arts On The Line - Kendall Square
  6. This Matisse seeks a patron, The Boston Globe, June 18, 2007
  7. Can the Kendall Band Play On?
  8. Pulling an Arborway at Kendall station

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