Art: Flagpole in the Square

When plans were first drawn for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1912, the architect envisioned a grey, classic complex along the Charles River, with no building higher than five stories and a softly rounded dome providing the grace note. But in recent years, expanding M.I.T. has felt cramped on its 115-acre Cambridge campus. Something had to give, and what gave was M.I.T.'s low-lying skyline. The next addition to the campus, to be ready by 1962, will be the 20-story, $5,000,000 Earth Sciences* Center, designed by Alumnus Ieoh Ming Pei.

The original idea was only for a nine-story building. But Pei...

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