Walking Boston – MIT

After WardMaps, an adventure in desperately seeking restrooms, and an hour at a Starbucks in Central Square, I started to make my way to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  I was determined to walk the campuses of Harvard and MIT in one day.  They are two of the top universities in the entire world.

On my way to MIT, I actually bumped into one of my Airbnb hosts.  She had just done some grocery shopping and was heading back to her place.  I showed her some of the stuff I got at WardMaps.  She was amazed that I knew about WardMaps.  We parted ways after our little serendipitous meeting.

Actually, as I was writing this post, I realized that some of the buildings that I thought were just regular buildings were a part of the campus.  This Novartis building, which I thought was just a private pharmaceutical company off-campus is actually on-campus.  I also passed by the MIT Museum, but it had already closed for the day when I got there after 5pm.

After walking down a few blocks, I was onto the parts of the campus that feel like a university campus.  I was greeted by a large sculpture called The Alchemist.  It’s the form of a human but it is composed of numbers and letters.  You can actually step inside of the giant sculpture and get a different view.  It’s definitely a good and fun piece of public art.

Behind The Alchemist is the Kresge Auditorium and Kresge Oval.  The auditorium caught my attention with it’s striking curvilinear lines.  It is definitely a unique building. Also from the Kresge Oval, I could make out the Prudential Tower in between the buildings.  I can see that tower from almost any point in Greater Boston.  You’ll see the tower pop up in quite a few of my photos of Boston.

As I walked further south, I hit the Charles River.  I didn’t realize I was so close to the river until I got there.  There it was.  My hotel from the conference was staring right back at me from the south side of the river along with the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Tower…again.

Memorial Drive runs along the north side of the Charles River and there were plenty of MIT buildings here.  My Airbnb host later joked that MIT buildings are all numbers; whereas, Harvard buildings are all names.  That’s not actually true, but MIT does have a lot of buildings named with a letter and numbers.  Like the lovely building on the corner of Mass Ave and Memorial Drive with it’s cute castle-like towers bears the name W1.  A fitting name, isn’t it?  There were more buildings along Memorial Drive that were part of MIT.  It makes me think of the neo-classical look of D.C. when I see some of the buildings.

Along the Charles River, there was also a boat rental place.  The boats added a colourful splash on an otherwise grey and drab evening. The wind was picking up and the smell of rain was starting to permeate the air.  There were definitely no boats out on the river this evening.

After a long, long walk, I finally made way back inland from the river to the Stata Center.  This was my primary destination for my walk around MIT.  It was also my last stop, but not by choice.  Just after I snapped a photo of the back side of the Stata Center, the rain really picked up and I had to run for cover.

I ran up the stairs to the Stata Center.  There was no obvious entry into the building.  Every door seemed to require a card to fob in.  So I snapped one last picture of these classic Frank Gehry curves and reflections.

That was a wrap for me.  The rain shooed me indoors.  I made my way to the nearby Legal Sea Foods and sat down for a dinner for one.  I treated myself to a small drink and some sea food.  My feet were sore, my camera was full, and the rain was starting to come down really hard outside.  It was good to just be sitting and eating something warm like New England Clam Chowder.  Ah…rest.

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