Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT") is one of the U.S.'s top schools for sciences and engineering. However, in recent years it has almost become more known for the stunning architecture featured on its campus, which makes it an interesting attraction on any trip to Boston.

MIT was founded in the mid-nineteenth century and quickly became one of the top schools in the United States, rivaling Harvard and Yale in terms of sheer prestige. It moved to its current site on the Charles River in Cambridge at the beginning of the twentieth century, with its river site providing a stunning backdrop to the many fascinating works of architecture on campus.

One of MIT's prime architectural attractions is Building 10 (pictured above), who’s Great Dome successfully reminds one of the Pantheon in Rome, believe it or not. The Dome overlooks Killian Court, where MIT graduation ceremonies are held, and contrasts strikingly with the modern architecture that is perhaps the subject of greatest interest to MIT campus tourists.

Since MIT features the country's first architecture school, it is only natural that throughout its history it has invited world-famous architects to construct innovative buildings for its campus. Perhaps MIT's best known structure today is Stata Hall, completed by noted architect Frank Gehry in 2004. Gehry's famous waveforms are found in abundance in Stata Hall, which looks something like a metal fairy-tale castle on the verge of collapse and really has to be seen to be believed. Gehry's supposed inspiration for the mix of colors, lines, waves, and curves in this building was supposedly the vagaries of the creative process employed by so many MIT students during their research and education there. Simmons Hall, a dormitory completed in 2002, is another important architectural feature of the MIT campus. An enormous concrete monolith that looks like a giant grey dog bone turned on its side, each MIT student living there is lucky to count on as many as nine windows in his or her room. I.M. Pei, who designed the pyramid at Paris's Louvre museum, has also designed several buildings on the MIT campus. MIT also features its own nuclear reactor!

MIT is accessible from points in Boston via the "T" subway, whose Kendall Square stop is just off the MIT campus. With so many fascinating classical and modern pieces of architecture on the MIT campus, a trip there will be rewarding for any Boston visitor.