Demolition of condemned undergraduate dorm Bexley began on June 29; a temporary park is set to be built in its place by October.
According to an email from an MIT Department of Facilities representative, the site team will dismantle Bexley over a period of two months, after which construction of the park will begin.
Bexley Hall, which once housed 116 undergraduates, was closed in June 2013 after severe water infiltration and structural damage were found. The administrative decision to demolish the structure was hardly unanimous: it involved students who said they were misled regarding the likelihood of Bexley being razed instead of fixed.
Approval for demolition was needed from the Building and Executive committees of the MIT Corporation, as well as the Cambridge Historical Commission.
The Institute had determined that repairing Bexley would cost as much as building a replacement and The Cambridge Historical Commission decided that Bexley would “not [be] preferably preserved,” according to the Cambridge Day. The Commission gave MIT permission to demolish the building in January 2015.
Several unique elements of Bexley have been preserved after residents insisted. The park will also reuse salvaged materials from Bexley Hall. Despite discussion last year to preserve the stone archway in front of Bexley, it will be transformed into a bench.
A rain garden and a student and faculty exhibit space will also open on the site as additions to the park.