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Articles by Ken Haggerty

November 13, 2009
As one who is particularly fascinated by the synergistic relation between people and architecture (how architecture affects people and how people interpret and affect architecture), I find the plinths in Lobby Seven to be one of the most endearing and defining aspects of MIT. What many may not know is that William Welles Bosworth, the architect of MIT’s main academic buildings, also intended to erect a three-story statue of Minerva in front of Building 10. However, such an enormous idol was vetoed by Richard Maclaurin, President of MIT, during its transition from Boston to Cambridge, and it soon became a running joke between the two (Bosworth was adamant about the Minerva, but President Maclaurin would have none of it). As such, when one enters Killian Court nowadays, he or she is greeted by the overwhelming mass of the buildings themselves, topped by the imposing dome of Barker Library —much more representative symbols of the Institute than a literal and figural (not to mention gargantuan) representation of wisdom.
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