The Tech - Snowy Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 6.0°F | Light Snow and Breezy

Cracks in Building 10 Great Dome Being Repaired

By Jenny Zhang


Construction workers are repairing the Great Dome of Building 10 in an effort to stop rain leakages into the Barker Engineering Library below and to prevent additional water damage to the dome itself, said Randall D. Preston, manager of Repair and Maintenance.

The repairs, which began two weeks ago and will probably continue for another two to three weeks depending on weather, will include extending the copper sheets covering the terrace steps leading up to the dome and sealing cracks with polyurethane caulk, Preston said.

Water leaking from the steps of the dome has gone through the ceiling of the eight floor of Building 10, which houses the top level of the Barker Engineering Library. Luckily, the leaks happened in the aisles between the shelves of books, but they created holes in the ceiling and caused mold to grow on the wet carpet, said Linda C. Bowman, Administrative Assistant for Barker.

Both Preston and Associate Head of Barker Deborah L. Helman said the leaks have been “annoying.”


Preston said the problems with leaks in the dome have been going on for some years, and there were previous attempts to repair it in 1998 and 2000, but it is “not an easy thing to do.”

Several years ago “they did really extensive repairs, but it didn’t” fix the problem, Bowman said. She said she was concerned because the water tended to leak in around lights in the ceiling and could cause electric circuits to short.

In addition to the leaks, some chunks of limestone from the outer layer of the dome steps have loosened, and water has penetrated cracks between the blocks of limestone. The “structure is not at risk,” however, Preston said. The cracks between the blocks were created by their contraction and expansion due to changes in weather.

Building 10 opened for us in 1916 according to the MIT Facilities Web Site.