The Great Stride: MIT Moves to Cambridge

Marking the campus centennial with the Institute Archives and Special Collections

Pantechnicon, 1916

MIT was one of the initial occupants of Boston’s Back Bay in the 1860s, but within 40 years there was little vacant acreage for the maturing Institute to acquire in the rapidly developing neighborhood. By the early 20th century, MIT began to explore in earnest for a new site.

The Great Stride: MIT Moves to Cambridge celebrates the Institute’s move in 1916 across the Charles River to its current location. It illuminates the people who envisioned, built, and funded the “New Technology”— from visionary MIT President Richard Cockburn Maclaurin to architect W. Welles Bosworth, 1889, who designed the buildings at the heart of the campus.

Relive the festivities of June of 1916, from a Venetianstyle river crossing, to a massive performance featuring 2,000 students and volunteers, to a Telephone Banquet connecting alumni across the country. Discover the carloads of stone, bags of cement, and tons of reinforcing steel it took to build the iconic campus, and reflect alongside the “Sixteeners” who witnessed the transformative move.

The Great Stride, on view through November 30, is part of MIT 2016, a campus-wide celebration commemorating a century at the Institute’s “new” campus. For more information, visit

Visit the Maihaugen Gallery
Building 14N-130
Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm