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Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech

Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech

Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech


Jarzombek, Mark M. Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech

MIT Press 2017

Book ID: 101033

At the end of the nineteenth century, MIT occupied an assortment of laboratories, classrooms, offices, and student facilities scattered across BostonÕs Back Bay. In 1912, backed by some of the countrys leading financiers and industrialists, MIT officials purchased an undeveloped tract of land in Cambridge. Largely on the basis of a recommendation from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., MIT hired the ƒcole des Beaux-ArtsÐtrained architect William Welles Bosworth to build and design a new campus. Designing MIT is the first book to detail Bosworths challenges in the planning and construction of MITs unique Cambridge campus. MIT professor of architecture Mark Jarzombek provides a fascinating sample of the architectural debates of the time. He examines the competing project proposalsÑincluding one from Ralph Adams Cram, noted for his gothic West Point campusÑand describes how Bosworth found his classically oriented vision challenged by the engineer John Freeman, a proponent of Frederick W. TaylorÕs new principle of scientific management. Jarzombek shows that their conflict ultimately resulted in a far more innovative design than either of their individual approaches would have produced, one that employed new European concepts of industrialism, efficiency, and aesthetics in academic structures.
Generously illustrated with images from the MIT archives, the story of Bosworths new ÒTechÓ offers more than just insight into the planning of a campus. Fraught with artistic clashes, bureaucratic tangles, and contemporary politics, the story of MITs design sheds light on the academic culture of the early twentieth century, the role of patronage in the world of architecture, and the history of the Beaux-Arts style in the United States.

176 pp. English Pap.