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Infinite Lounge Construction Begins

Construction to convert the space formerly occupied by the Cashier’s Office into a student lounge along the Infinite Corridor began this week. Although some students oppose the removal of the dollar bill mural that is the facade of the office, construction plans involve its extraction and conversion into a window wall.

Director of Campus Activities Complex Phillip J. Walsh said that a band of etchings will be created in the glass at eye level to address the concerns of some students who did not want another “fish bowl” area visible to anyone walking by, while still allowing light from Killian court to stream into the Infinite Corridor. Etching will include a memorial for the dollar bill, accompanied with a narrative from its creator about the history of its creation, as well as a description of the Class of 2005 gift, which will be used to buy furniture for the lounge. Walsh said the author of the mural is happy with the plans.

Walsh said he anticipates the project will be completed before Commencement this spring, though other installments such as lighting will come later, by mid-July. Additionally, he said, images of the mural overlayed on a surface, making for very detailed reproductions, may be placed in the MIT museum as well as the Student Center.

Undergraduate Association president-elect Andrew T. Lukmann ’07, one of two Undergraduate Association representatives on the committee designing the lounge, said that although some people expressed a desire to keep the mural, more did not feel as strongly.

Walsh said considering the lounge construction process and the age of the wall of the dollar bill, the mural cannot be preserved and removed in one piece. According to a letter from Executive President Sherwin Greenblatt about the future lounge area, the mural was painted in 1971.