Metro storage set to make way for dorm

Remodel part of MIT 2030 vision, preserves the historic architecture

CLARIFICATION TO THIS ARTICLE: An earlier version of this article stated that customers of the Metropolitan company were expected to move their belongings from the building by Oct. 30. In fact, the majority of customers were not affected by the closing and do not need to move their belongings by that date.

The Metropolitan Moving & Storage Warehouse, located on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street, will be closing after around 120 years of business. The Institute did not renew the moving company’s lease because it plans to renovate the building as part of the MIT 2030 capital projects.

The MIT administration first announced tentative plans for the warehouse in an April email to faculty and students. The email also announced that a Metropolitan Warehouse Advisory Group would be formed, and would comprise students and other members of the MIT community. The committee was to be led by the Offices of the Associate Provost for Space Planning and Campus Planning.

MIT’s Capital Projects webpage says that the Institute will be renovating the building while preserving “the integrity of the historic architecture.”

Plans for the building’s redevelopment include student housing for up to 450 undergraduates, a maker space, and a street-level retail space along Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street. Proposals for a rooftop addition to provide a gathering area are also being considered.

The Metropolitan company informed several of its customers that all of their items in storage at the warehouse must be moved no later than Oct. 30. According to a Cambridge Day article, the letter informing those customers of the warehouse’s closure recommended that they move their belongings to Extra Space Storage in Dorchester.

Ira Winder almost 6 years ago

Exciting! Will they be using the design that MIT architecture professor Jan Wampler proposed all those years ago? He had a rather clever idea for introducing multiple layers of common space and mixed-use amenities within the building.

WH almost 6 years ago

Although having lots of storage space near the campus had benefits (I know some labs stored equipment there, and of course it was very convenient for students during the summer), and it's always sad for something with such a long history to come to an end, I imagine that most of the business going on there was unrelated to MIT and so hopefully the space can now be put to better use for the Institute. With such a great location and beautiful building, I hope it turns out very well. The dormitory idea sounds good, but sadly for them the "Warehouse" name has already been taken by the nearby graduate residence!

RAM almost 6 years ago

In view of the internal physical damage that doomed Bexley Hall, this brick building needs a really thorough inspection.

Freedom almost 6 years ago

Best way to understand MIT is to think of the DMV. Just checked out the MIT 2030 site:

" At MIT, we answer to a vital and demanding mission: to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world. Since our founding in 1861, we have continuously improved our campus to meet this challenge. To keep pace with the Institute's evolving needs, we have developed MIT 2030: a flexible framework that helps the Institute make thoughtful, well-informed choices about its physical development and renewal in support of its mission. MIT 2030 is a responsive tool that provides guidelines for envisioningand inventingkey physical changes on campus and in the innovation district close by. We embrace the opportunity to engage our community in this process and enrich it through collective expertise, ingenuity, and creativity. "

LOL! "thoughtful, well-informed choices" This is clearly written by someone with no business sense. A good business decision is not 'thoughtful" and "well-informed." It's just a good decision. For high dimensional problems, more information isn't going to make a difference (cf. Taleb's Fooled by Randomness) and often just makes stuff worse. Only reason for MIT 2030 decisions to be well-informed is so that more administrators can have jobs writing up information.

Main difference between a college administrator and someone on government welfare is the former is ignorant of her situation. This makes the former much more dangerous: rather than just being a lone vote for more taxes, more socialism, more poverty, the administrator is empowered to shape the world in a Machievellian way to increase her numbers (kind of like a person on welfare writing essays on how to increase the people on welfare).

This is why Europe has very high unemployment among educated youths. There is just aren't enough jobs for the masses of useless bureaucrats being churned out.

John Shriver '80 almost 6 years ago

The brickwork on the Metropolitan Storage building was just completely re-pointed, which you have to do every 100 years on a brick building. I presume MIT paid for that. MIT just did a lot of work on the DuPont Armory brickwork and flashing. They are also repairing the bearing corners of Kresge again. They just did a very sensitive renovation of the Chapel.

I suspect the Bexley experience taught MIT a very serious lesson. Have competent professionals keep an eye on your buildings, and do your maintenance right. Bexley was destroyed by misguided changes to the flashing on the parapets, which drove water into the brickwork. (But it was so flimsily built that it was a time bomb.)