Saturday, June 15, 2013

MIT in the Back Bay

MIT moved to its current Cambridge location in 1916, after marathon legislative wrangling sessions, many discussions and false starts, and much bloviation from faculty, students, and alumni over various possible sites for the institute. Before that, its campus was in the Back Bay, and this map shows the various sites of the institute in 1905--a year that saw MIT almost striking a merger deal with Harvard which would have moved "Boston Tech" to Cambridge to the current site of the Harvard Business School.

Click on the map to see a larger (readable!) version.

1905 map of MIT in Back Bay, Boston

The oval in the upper right shows the main campus buildings. Walker and Rogers were torn down and in their place was constructed the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company Building. The Natural History Museum in the same block still stands, and has served as the location for a number of retail stores over the years; a Restoration Hardware opened there in April, 2013, with a renovation that revealed aspects of the original building that had been covered for years.

The oval in the center of the illustration is now the site of the John Hancock Building.

See my post on Henry Pritchett, president of MIT in 1905, for more information.

Illustration Credits

The map is preserved in MIT's Institute Archives and Special Collections; the author added the ovals.