The undergraduate residents of Baker House celebrated MIT's 150th anniversary by following their own 40-year tradition: dropping a piano from their dorm's roof in an annual, smashing rite of spring.
The Baker House Piano Drop, held sporadically since 1972 and every year since 2006, usually commemorates the last day to drop classes at MIT. This year, the dorm's residents moved the event to Saturday, April 30, to share the spectacle of a piano plunging six stories to the ground with thousands of visitors at the "Under the Dome" Open House.
Each year, the dropped piano is in such bad repair that it is already slated for demolition. In addition, as a general practice, MIT's Office of Residential Life maintains a fleet of functional pianos throughout the undergraduate housing system, keeping them tuned and well cared for.
The Piano Drop is a storied event for MIT. Last year, in a public vote, the Piano Drop was the most popular nomination for the MIT Museum's MIT150 Exhibition. The Piano Drop led the list of about 400 nominations to help the MIT Museum staff select objects for the Institute's sesquicentennial exhibition, which opened in January.
View the accompanying slideshow to get a glimpse of this unique MIT tradition.