• Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, construction on the W1 residence hall, formerly known as Ashdown House, will proceed this spring.

    Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, construction on the W1 residence hall, formerly known as Ashdown House, will proceed this spring.

    Photo / Melody Craven

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Select W1 improvements to proceed this spring

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, construction on the W1 residence hall, formerly known as Ashdown House, will proceed this spring.

Work made possible by donor's generosity


Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of an anonymous donor, MIT will proceed with limited improvements to the W1 residence hall this spring. 

"The valuable work that we can now do to W1 underscores our commitment to advancing this important project. It would not be possible without the generous support of a true friend of MIT," said Chancellor Phillip L. Clay.

The work to be done this spring consists of renewing the building envelope, including rebuilding and bracing parapets; cleaning and repointing masonry; replacing windows; and repairing limestone lintels and sills. In addition, copper roofs on the building's two cupolas will be reclad.

"This work is critical to the overall project and makes economic sense, as it protects the building from further decay," Clay said. "While we are delighted with the chance to do this important work now, the fundamental economics have not changed. We have our work cut out to raise the additional funds to complete the project."

Dean for Student Life Costantino "Chris" Colombo met Monday with the Phoenix Group -- about 50 undergraduates who currently live in NW35 and who were slated to occupy W1 once it was renovated -- and informed them of the updated plan.

"It's a real demonstration of the commitment to moving this project forward, and we're so fortunate to have this generous donor," Colombo said.

Construction on the W1 residence hall paused last year as a precautionary measure amid general economic uncertainty. The building, which for many years served as a graduate residence hall, had been scheduled to become an undergraduate residence beginning in 2010.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 4, 2009 (download PDF).


Topics: Administration, Campus buildings and architecture, Students

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