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Louis, Boston (Museum of Natural History)

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Museum of Natural History
1861–1864; 1863–1867, William Gibbons Preston; 1988–1989, CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares and Casendino. 234 Berkeley St.
  • Louis, Boston (Museum of Natural History) (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)
  • (Damie Stillman)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was established in 1861 and its first building in the Back Bay was constructed between 1863 and 1866 on a lot adjacent to the Boston Society for Natural History. William Gibbons Preston, a young architect recently engaged in studies in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, designed both buildings. The MIT Building no longer stands, but the old museum on Berkeley Street has survived a conversion for commercial purposes. In keeping with the training at the Ecole, Preston gave his building a monumental presence with its high granite foundation and first story of ashlar sandstone. Two-story brick pilasters with Corinthian capitals frame the second-and third-story windows on each elevation and support an entablature that steps out in a pedimented pavilion on the Berkeley Street facade.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan

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