A Collaborative Approach to Restoring MIT Main Group and Building 10 Dome

November 23, 2016
Publication: ABX 2016
Author(s): Emily Hopps Carl Jay, Shawmut Design and Construction Benjamin Markham, Acentech Inc. Gary Tondorf-Dick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Since 1916, the Great Dome has been the symbol of the MIT campus. In 1942, MIT covered the oculus skylight in the Dome, resulting in the Barker Library Reading Room being solely lit by electric lights and an overall dim lighting level. MIT decided to reopen the skylight oculus and restore the Barker Reading Room to its original grandeur. This panel, featuring Program Managers and Project Managers from MIT and the project's central design consultants, will present the challenges of understanding and replicating early 1900s construction, adjustments to adapt to current construction techniques, interior improvements to the Barker Library Reading Room, exterior Dome skylight replication and limestone masonry waterproofing measures, and working over and in a fully functioning library. The resulting restoration has recreated a truly inspirational space, which can be seen in the overwhelming demand from students to study within the Barker Engineering Library Rotunda Reading Room.