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Building 20—The Magical Incubator

Members of the MIT community remember MIT's historic Building 20.

Members of the MIT community remember MIT's historic Building 20.

Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam called it "a building with soul." Indeed, MIT's legendary Building 20 boasts its history and ghosts. Back in 1943, the building was a "temporary" structure built in haste during World War II. It might have taken an afternoon to design this "Plywood Palace," but Building 20 remained standing until 1998. During that time, many of MIT's greatest projects including radar research which helped win the war and the Institute's first interdisciplinary labs started in Building 20. Given its world famous academic occupants and the hotbed of ingenuity, the building became known as "the Magical Incubator." This video (which was produced to mark its March 1998 commemoration before Building 20 was razed to make way for the Ray and Maria Stata Center) documents the building's rich history.

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