Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rite of Spring

Winter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, could be especially cruel to plants as well as students. One afternoon in 1977, several crates of turf arrived on the MIT campus, destined for the Kresge Oval, which was a greenspace in between the MIT chapel and Kresge Auditorium, a domed performance space designed by Eero Saarinen.

Spring at MIT was always unpredictable. In March 1976, after a horrendous winter in which the temperature dipped to 4 below zero, we awoke one Saturday afternoon to a temperature of 94 above zero. In May of 1975, there was a late season snowstorm that brought down trees in Burlington, Mass. And there were occasionally thunderstorms in April. But if you stuck around until June, you would occasionally be rewarded with a nice sunny day that was just right for picnicking - or for melting vinyl records in the exposed sunlight, as one unlucky member of the Student Center Committee found out.

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