Building 20

Building 20

Building 20 was the name used to refer to the building on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, originally as a temporary structure, during World War II. It housed the Radiation Laboratory (or "Rad Lab"), where fundamental advances in physical electronics, electromagnetic properties of matter, microwave physics, and microwave communication principles were made.

The building was constructed in 1943 as part of the war effort, however it went on to be used until its demolition in 1998, making it the longest-surviving World War II temporary structure. cite web|url=http://www.eecs.mit.edu/building/20/ |title=MIT's Building 20: The Magical Incubator |accessdate=2008-04-30 |last=Paul |first=Paul |date=2001-09-09 |publisher=MIT Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070208215357/www.eecs.mit.edu/building/20/ |archivedate=2007-02-08 ]

Due to its origins as a temporary structure, researchers felt free to modify the building at will:

:Its "temporary nature" permitted its occupants to abuse it in ways that would not be tolerated in a permanent building. If you wanted to run a wire from one lab to another, you didn't ask anybody's permission -- you just got out a screwdriver and poked a hole through the wall.

Professor Jerome Y. Lettvin once quipped, "You might regard it as the womb of the Institute. It is kind of messy, but by God it is procreative!" [cite journal
last=Garfinkel
first=Simpson
title=Building 20: The Procreative Eyesore
journal=Technology Review
volume=94
issue=November/December 1991
pages=MIT11
] [cite web|author=|title=Quotes and Stories about Building 20|url=http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/mithistory/building20/quotes.html#lettvin|publisher=MIT Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|date=1998-03-02|accessdate=2007-09-23]

The building was replaced by the Ray and Maria Stata Center.

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