Relocation of Building 20's occupants began this summer, as plans progress for the demolition of the three-story wooden structure and the eventual construction of a new 254,000-square-foot complex on the 2.8-acre site bordered by Vassar Street.
The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy moved in August to the second and third floors of Building E39, where it will remain for the next few years until its space in the new building is complete. ROTC headquarters also moved to its new, permanent home on the first floor of Building W59. Other groups which have relocated include the Solar Electric Vehicle Team Club and the Tech Model Railroad Club. The phone numbers of the relocated groups have not changed.
The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science's Sedimentation Lab (also known as the Flume) will move to Building N9 in October, and the Laboratory for Nuclear Science machine shop is schedule to move to Building 38 on October 13.
Additional moves are planned for some groups during IAP in January. The last to relocate will be those going into the newly renovated Building 16 when it reopens in the spring.
Building 20 was built as temporary housing for the Radiation Lab during World War II, where much of the research and design took place for the radar. It has since provided a home for many MIT labs and offices, most notably the Research Laboratory for Electronics.
After all the relocations have taken place, the barracks-like building, which actually consists of five wings labeled 20A-20E, will be razed so construction can begin on the new complex. The demolition is planned for next fall and the groundbreaking for the new building will be in the spring of 1999.
Once completed, the new complex will house the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS), the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. The LCS and AI Lab currently occupy a nine-story rented building off campus in Technology Square. The complex will also provide classrooms and office space, and will be similar in size to the new biology building.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 17, 1997.