E52 renovations to finish in 2016

The construction on old Sloan will affect surrounding traffic

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Building E52 is set to undergo a renovation scheduled to be completed in 2016. Traffic patterns on the surrounding streets will be affected starting with the closure of Wadsworth Street later this month and the conversion of Ames St. into a two-way street all the way through to Memorial Drive.
Jessica L. Wass—The Tech

Renovations begin this week for E52, the original Sloan Building. The structure, built in 1938, is undergoing interior and exterior upgrades expected to be completed in early 2016.

According to the MIT Capital Projects website, “Building E52 has not been significantly upgraded over time.” The site indicates the lower floors will be used for student-related Sloan School administration, the fourth and fifth floors will be for the Economics Department, and there will be a glass-enclosed addition to the building to create sixth and seventh floors for meetings and conferences. The trees along Memorial Drive will be replaced, and other landscaping changes will occur. The people displaced by the renovation have moved to Building E17.

The renovations will have an impact on automobile and pedestrian traffic surrounding E52 beginning this week. In an email to the MIT community, Chief of Police John DiFava wrote, “On Tuesday, September 3, Ames Street will become two way from Memorial Drive all the way to Main Street. Re-stripping of the lanes is scheduled to take place on Tuesday and the pattern change will remain in effect through the end of construction. Beginning on Monday, September 23, the section of Wadsworth Street from Memorial Drive to Amherst Street will be closed to traffic.”

According to the MIT facilities website, Wadsworth Street will reopen as a one-way street in February 2014, and return to a two-way configuration after the renovation ends. A section of Ames Street will return to one-way access after the end of the project.

Pedestrians will be rerouted onto a new sidewalk on the grass next to Memorial drive. No pedestrians will be allowed to pass through the E52 construction area during renovations.

All parking lots in the surrounding area will remain open except the Hermann garage, and the only street parking closed will be the drop-off lane in front of E52.

According to DiFava’s email, drivers in the area should also be aware of the impact of the changes to traffic in the area caused by construction on the Longfellow Bridge. The construction began in July and will continue until September 2014. Traffic going into Boston via the bridge is limited to one lane, while all traffic into Cambridge is diverted. Emergency vehicles, bicycles, and the MBTA Red Line will all retain access to the bridge throughout the construction.

Updates on E52 construction can be found at