• A view of the oculus from inside the Barker Library Reading Room.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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Cambridge Historical Commission lauds Great Dome renovation

Restoration of oculus and Barker Library Reading Room celebrated.


At its 17th annual Cambridge Preservation Awards Program, the Cambridge Historical Commission presented MIT with a Preservation Award for the careful and thorough renovation of the Great Dome and the underlying Barker Library Reading Room. The complex project, which restored the dome’s oculus and the rotunda to their original states, took nearly six years to complete.

The Preservation Award program celebrates outstanding projects that conserve and protect the city’s architecture and history. This year’s event was hosted by MIT and held at Maseeh Hall, which was itself the recipient of a 2010 Preservation Award for its exterior renovation work.

Gary Tondorf-Dick, a program manager in MIT’s Department of Facilities, accepted the award for the Great Dome restoration on behalf of the Institute and thanked the entire project team for its significant contributions.

Charles Sullivan, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Commission, opened the program by providing a retrospective of MIT’s preservation work in recent years. His slideshow highlighted dozens of MIT projects ranging from the restoration of the Lobby 7 Dome to the renovations at 640 Memorial Drive (the old Ford assembly plant), a two-time Preservation Award winner.

“Preservation is not a stranger to the Institute,” Sullivan observed, noting that the Historical Commission enjoys a constructive and productive relationship with MIT.  He thanked Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasurer, who was present at the event, for the Institute’s commitment to preservation.


Topics: Architecture, Cambridge, Boston and region, Campus buildings and architecture, Government, History, History of MIT

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