Tuesday, November 21, 2006

MIT Release

There's a nice press release on MIT's web site about the lightweights' performance at the Foot. These articles are always self-serving but I think MIT deserves the positive review. Not too long ago MIT was often unable to field a competitive eight for the championship regattas and would forgo that category for a V4. They could be competitive there, but a fast eight seemed out of their grasp. I think those days are coming rapidly to an end. The Engineers appear to have a fairly deep team this year and Coach Jenkins seems to have a good start on building off of last year's IRA petite final win.

While I'm on the subject of MIT, maybe someone there can clear up an urban legend. The story goes that the architect who designed the MIT boathouse neglected to consider how new and trailered boats would be brought into the boathouse. The result was a turning staircase in the middle of the house and only one way to bring a boat into the bays - from the dock. The solution was to cut a gate in the fence lining the river just above the docks so new and trailered boats could be handed down to the docks from the sidewalk. Obviously such a mistake would be a bit embarrassing to a school nicknamed the Engineers. Is this true? (The architect went to Harvard, I'm guessing?)


Aaron Benson said...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by a "turning" staircaise. Ours has a landing that requires people to turn for the second flight, but there is no rotation of the staircase itself.

As for boat loading, we have a removable ramp that goes from the sidewalk to the dock. It's pretty simple to walk equipment up to trailers on the side of the road (we even have a vehicle pullout to accomodate them). There really would not have been a good way to move boats through the house - they are one floor lower than the street and parallel to it. Figuring out a way to turn boats ninety degrees (to point out the door) and raise them a floor within the boathouse would be silly when an exterior ramp works quite well.

The BU boathouse (just upstream) has a similar situation with the boat bays being below street level. They have a path/road that goes around the side of the house and uphill, which serves essentially the same purpose as our ramp.

JW Burk said...

Thanks, Aaron, that makes sense. The story always seemed a bit apocryphal as it conjured up an image of architects and engineers standing outside a gleaming new boathouse saying, "Gee, we never thought about how to get the boats inside. I guess we'll just cut a hole in the fence and hand them down." Nonetheless, the first time I rowed out of that boathouse, that was the first story I heard.

Anonymous said...

so you've rowed out of our boathouse...who are you??? :)

my teammates and I speculated that F-n-D was our very own Aaron Benson..

apparently we were wrong...maybe?

JW Burk said...

It would be a bad policy to either confirm or deny.