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Ashdown House, Ben Wood with Luciana Pereira, Video Documentary of MIT’s Graduate Student Dormitory, 2006

Ashdown House: The Home Where Science and Technology Live

Ben Wood with Luciana Pereira

Video Documentary of MIT’s Graduate Student Dormitory


In 1937, MIT converted the Riverbank Court apartment hotel into a graduate student dormitory, the second such facility in the United States. Its first housemaster and later namesake was Professor Avery Allen Ashdown, who for nearly 30 years fostered a unique residence on the corner of Memorial Drive and Massachusetts Avenue. In 2006, MIT administrators announced that Ashdown House would “close,” or rather that a new graduate dorm would be built and the original Ashdown would be converted to undergraduate housing. Two graduate students and Ashdown residents, Ben Wood and Luciana Pereira, responded by creating this fascinating and prizewinning documentary. In their own words, Ashdown alumni and housemasters capture the history and spirit of a place that nurtured them during their formative years. Ashdown House was a place where ideas were constantly being exchanged through dinner conversations and a slice of cherry pie, during late night coffee hours, or over drinks in the Thirsty Ear Pub. It was, as one resident put it, “a home where science and technology lived.”

Used with permission by Ben Wood.

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