warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/mit8kuo9/public_html/baker/index.php:1) in /home/mit8kuo9/public_html/baker/includes/common.inc on line 153.



Baker House - A Timeline


  • Alvar Aalto

  • Everett Moore Baker

  • Housemasters

  • Construction

  • Baker goes co-ed

  • Drinking Age increases (several)

  • Major renovation @ 50 years

  • All freshman required to live in Institute housing

  • Piano Drops

  • revised house constitution

  • Snack Bar

  • Dining / Commons status & issues

  • over-crowding

  • house tax

  • house budget

  • room rates


Significant Events

Continuing Issues and Trends

February 3, 1898

Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto
is born in born in Kuortane, Finland
to Johan Henrik Aalto (a land-surveyor) and
Selly (Selma) Matilda (née Hackstedt)

August 28, 1901

Everett Moore Baker
is born in Newtonville, Massachusetts
to George D. and Mary Hutton Baker


The Executive Committee of the Corporation decides to
build a new dormitory, to be designed by Alvar Aalto.  
This building is initially referred to as the "New Senior House"

Fall — 1947

Everett Moore Baker 
becomes Dean of Students at MIT

Fall — 1949

The "New Dormitory" (W7) is first occupied  

It is open to all registered undergraduate students, but members of the class of 1950 (i.e., Seniors) are given preference

August 31, 1950

Everett Moore Baker is killed in an airplane crash
near Cairo, Egypt while fiying back from a meeting in Bombay.

He had gone there to preside over a meeting of the International Student Service Organization.

September 1950

The "New Dormitory" is renamed
the "Everett Moore Baker House"

"To remind us of Everett Baker's success as a man, in recognition of his contributions to our community, and in  response to the spontaneous suggestions of students and staff, the Executive Committee of the Corporation has authorized the naming of the New Dormitory as the Everett Moore Baker House."

- From Killian's speech
  at the 1950 Tech Convocation

Fall — 1950

Rent "per man" per term = $190
Fall — 1951

Dean Frederick G. Fassett, Jr. becomes the Faculty Resident 

Fall — 1952

Baker House opens to all undergraduate classes (not just upperclassmen)

Fall — 1953

Dr. Samuel J. & Mrs. Jean Mason become the Faculty Residents

October 1953

The first issue of the Baker Letter is published

April 1955

"It was proposed that the Baker Housecomm adopt house colors for its athletic teams. After considerable debate on the subject, they voted that Baker's athletic colors be red and black."

November 1955 -

Referendum to repeal $1.00 assessment
to supplement the Baker House budget



The second major area covered by the Baker House Committee was the controversial "Baker House Tax". At the beginning of the term a referendum held in Baker showed that a majority of the students voting desired the imposition of a dollar tax on every residlent, to be used to expand the Baker House budget. When collection was attempted, however, there was considerable and very noisy resistance. As a result, the BakerComm wiped out all tax legislation from the record and plans to hold another, more widely publicized, referendum on Tuesday, November 29. The result of this referendum will be final, and the House Committee will attempt to enforce the tax, if it is approved.

Spring 1957

Prof. Norm & Jane Holland (and family) become the Faculty Residents


The "Department of Internal Facilities" is formed

May 1957

Tuition Riot

FALL -- 1957 - Room rates for Baker House beginning Fall Term 1957. Rates listed are each Man each Term.
$170 47 - 2nd through 6th floors
$185 01 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, and 11 - 1st through 6th floors
$200 12,13,and 14 - 1st through 6th floors.
42,43,44,45 and 46 - 1st through 6th floors.
$215 All remaining rooms, except room 121.
$235 121
November 1958 Theodore Bikel performs at Baker house
[Link to article in The Tech]
December 1958 -

Message from the House President: "Last week Dean Fassett called me into his office and expressed a wish that the house committee enforce ... the hot plate rule."

"Effective January 5, the possession of any heating or cooking device ... will subject the possessor to action by the Judicial Committee."

Spring 1959 "Monkey Party" held in dining hall - there was a raffle and the grand prize was a live monkey -
Spring 1959 February 1959: The Holland's daughter is born, and becomes the second (legitimate) female resident of Baker House. The Great Vegetable Protest. The cafeteria manager was faced with an angry (but polite) group of residents who did not like the fact that the only vegetables being served at dinnertime over the course of many weeks were broccoli, eggplant, and cauliflower. The manager subsequently introduced more vegetable variety into the menu.
January 1961

Prof Alar Toomre becomes the Faculty Resident


Fall -- 1962

Prof E. Lee Gamble (and wife) becomes the Faculty Resident


January 1965

Professors Harald Reiche and William Watson
are invited to dinner in the Master Suite Lounge
sponsored by the Freshman Council.  
Both Professors Reiche and Watson will become
Housemasters of Baker House.

Fall -- 1968

Prof Isadore Amdur (and wife) become the Faculty Residents

"They are taking the place of Prof. and Mrs. Gamble While Prof. Gamble spends a year teaching in India..."

The 11's and 46's are still (freshman) triples

Fall -- 1969

Prof Nafi (and Helena) Toksoz becomes the Housemaster

March 1970 Wholesale revisions to the House Constitution are approved replacing the House Committee with an Executive Council -
October 1970 - [About] "60 residents issue a call ... for voluntary commons"
February 1972 - Average room rate is $682 per year
1969-1970   House money expended this year: $5618.72
May-70 House meeting "straw poll" indicates willingness to appropriate money for a Snack Bar in the dining hall  
Summer 1970 Professor Isadore Amdur passes away  
Apr-70 Dean Speer addresses a House meeting on the issue of hard drugs in the dorm  
Sep-70 "Seven dogs now live in Baker House. The housing office is somewhat pissed. The deans say we can decide on a policy for ourselves"  
Sep-70   proposed budget 10/70-2/71: $5021.49
Nov-70 the Snack Bar has been open for three weekends  
Dec-70 "For the record the following resignations occured sunday December 6, 1970. Bob Peterson from the post of Vice President for Service and Facilities, Mark Mitchell from Vice President for Freshman Orientation and Dormcon, Mark Stern from Vice President for Institute Relations, Skip Richards from Treasurer, Bill Blum from Secretary, Ira Vishner from Freshman Representative. Bob Goodot resigned separately from the office of Athletic Chair on December 7. Motion to not fill the vacated posts, to move regular Spring elections from March 2 to February 23 and to appoint Skip Richards acting Treasurer and Bill Blum acting Secretary in the lnterim PASSED without objection"  
Feb-71 House meeting votes to remove all dogs from Baker by 6/1/71  
1971   House tax: $6
1971-1972   Baker total yearly cost (before dining fee) = $599
Sep-71 Letter from Nafi to MIT: "In two short years, Baker House has become the least accommodating physical structure among the West Campus Houses. This creates some special problems. Indications of new social attitudes are apparent. For example, we have probably the least happy freshmen since they were forced to accept the last choice of their house selection. Some upperclassmen are developing an attitude like "a good thing about Baker is that you can tear it up and change it anyway you wish". I am too familiar with this attitude and what it leads to from "old Burton", and I am worried. A few token renovations (lounges) that were to be done are yet to be completed. Returning students found nothing that demonstrated the Institute's commitment to Baker House."  
Sep-71   reported total budget expenses: $5050
Oct-71 CROTCH = Committee Rectifying Our Terrible Campus Housing  
November 1971 Due to excessive hacking, NET&T removes all payphones from 2nd through 6th floors. Two payphones in the lobby remain  
1972 The very first piano drop - organized by Charlie Bruno '74  
Jan-72 Color TV issue - Baker House Vigilante Committee  
Jan-72   proposed house tax: $30 per year
Jan-72   approved house tax: $23.72 per year
Feb-72 Freshman Orientation Committee member: "we have freshmen here who picked Baker as their third or fourth choice..."  
Mar-72 Social Chairman's Outgoing Statement: "3 years ago Baker was the big party dorm, things died down over the past 2 years"  
1972-1973   total budgeted: $6655
1972-1973   Baker total yearly cost (before dining fee) = 615
1972-1973   rate review - avg this year: 612
Fall 1972 "From the Baker Confidential: "In past years such graduates served as tutors; the accent in recent years has shifted to the role of the graduate resident as guide, mentor, social catalyst and unifying influence on a floor."  
Fall 1972   budget: $5590
Oct-72 "From the House Meeting minutes: "There was discussion of what we could do for Charlie Roihl and Jim French, both deceased, of Baker House. It was decided to consult Prof. Toksoz."  
Oct-72 House meeting approves purchase of a set of Bose 901 speakers  
Nov-72 Controversy when floor party funds are mis-used to buy marijuana  
Dec-72   proposed budget: $2785
1973-1974   House Tax: $22.50
1973 An opinion poll taken at the meeting tonight showed House sentiment to be in favour of Baker being a coed dorm.
(vote is: 87-3-10)
Mar-73   Budget approved: $4080
1973-1974   rate review - avg next year: 668
Feb-74 Residents are told that the house is going co-ed  
Fall 1974   Budget: $6540
Nov-74   House tax: $3 per term
1974   Budget 3/74-10/74: $5770
May-74   house tax approved: $24
1974 Baker House goes co-ed  
Spring 1974   budget avail: $6650
Fall 1974   budget avail: $8400
Spring 1975   budget avail: $8997
Nov-74 Nafi: " ...immense amount of activity, a very happy environment as compared to a few years ago"  
Feb-75   The quads may get permanently quaded... 
1974-75   house tax=24
Mar-75   proposed house budget = 8990
Mar-75   "A unanimous resolution of Baker House, passed at a Rouse Meeting on the evening of the eighteenth of March, 1975,stated: RESOLVED, that Baker House is firmly opposed to the imposition of compulsory meal plans for dormitory residents, and is willing to work toward a reasonable alternative which does not involuntarily infringe on the rights of residents of the House"
1975-fall   budgeted=8810
1976-spring   budgeted=8905
1976-spring   proposed=8905
Apr-75   The Tech: DSA decides against mandatory commons
Apr-75   room rate=931 (next year)
Apr-75   room rate=931-78 (this year)
May-75 "...Toksoz's cat [Muffin] is now a Baker resident..."  
Sep-75   appd budget=8200
Oct-75 Memorial services will be held Frday for Steven Drazovich '78, who died while mountain climbing last Saturday  
1975-76   house tax=22
Nov-75 Endicott House  
Dec-75 Early mention of donuts being served after the house meeting :-)  
1975-fall   budget=8810
1976-spring   budget=8905
Feb-76   budget=8706.54
1976-spring   proposed budget=8770
1976-spring   budget appd=8290
Summer 1976 "... house is closing for the summer. The reasons include the following: There is going to be dirt and fumes in the air from the roof resurfacing. The elevator is being replaced ... Amherst Alley is being dug up so that they can replace steam pipes ... our hot water will be off for a few weeks."  
1976 Trophy case to be built by Gary Gammon and his father  
1976-04   house tax recommended=22 (for 76-77 school yr)
1976??   house tax=24
Apr-76 House votes for the following floors to be co-ed: 2, 3, 4, 5-west  
11-May-76 Alvar Aalto passes away in Helsinki, Finland  
1976-rush   "rush 1976 sept
first choice
1976-spring   budget=8290
1976-fall   budget=7936
1977-spring   budget=8xxx
1976-fall   proposed house budget = 7230
Sep-76   approved house budget=7660
Dec-76 Motion to make entire house co-ed as of the Spring [1977] Lottery passes at the House Meeting  
1977-spring  The last class of males who entered Baker with the idea that it was an all-male dorm will be graduating (they hope) this spring, so there is no longer a need to guarantee any male a single sex living area  
1977-IAP Baker Medallion is installed in the central staircase, presented by Evertett Moore Baker's family  
Jan-77 Nafi has typhoid fever, is in a hospital in California  
Feb-77 "No Master Suite lounge usage for the next week or so, while Nafi recovers"  
Bernedetta Byrnetwo years?1974-fall   budget=6540
1975-spring   budget=8995
1975-fall   budget=8810
1976-spring   budget=8375
1976-fall   budget=7230
1977-spring   proposed=8905
1977-spring   app'd=8375
1977-fall   proposed house budget = $7835.00
1979-spring   proposed house budget = 8990
Mar-77 Ronald & Jane Prinn leave as Junior Faculty Residents  
Mar-78 House meeting votes to have 1st and 2nd floors carpeted  
1978-spring   budget=9575 proposed
Spring 1980 Recruiting faculty members and associate advisors begins for Baker associate advising program  
Apr-79 Massachusetts changes the legal drinking age from Age 18 to Age 20 on April 16, 1979.  
1979-80   room rate=636
1979-80   House tax=16.50
1979-fall   budget=12372
1980-spring   proposed=13633
1979-fall   budget=15843
1980-spring   budget=17790
1980-spring   budget = 13633
1980-spring   budget=15023
Baker 70 25 49 29 68 20 60 11 6 1 253 86 339 337 2"
Mar-80   "COMPARISON OF MALE/FEMALE RATIOS 12/78 and 12/79
12/78 12/79
Baker House - all floors coed
81F 272M 23% 87F 259M 25%"
May-80 Party for Nafi & Helena  
Jul-80 Nafi and Helena Toksoz leave Baker House  
1980-81 Prof Harald and Irene Reiche become housemasters room rate=709
1980-81   house tax=33/year
Sep-80   Mandatory commons begins for the Freshman class
1980-fall   budget=18264.92
9/1/80   06's are "over crowded" = (temporary triples)
Oct-80   "undergrad house count
m/f 1: 61/34
2: 79/21
3: 42/30
4: 68/19
total 250/104
cap 337 crowd 17"
Nov-80   "MALE/FEMALE RATIOS 11/80
Baker House: all floors coed
104 females 250 males 29.4%"
House House
Number of Residents 337
Avg/Room Area/Res. (¢) 144
Number of Rooms
Singles 166
Doubles 54
Triples 21
Total 241
Room Sizes
Avg Sqft/Room 150
Range/Rooms 109-196
Avg Sqft/Room 296
Range/Rooms 168-332
Avg Sqft/Resident 148
Range/Residents 84-166
Avg Sqft/Room 366
Range/Rooms 291-415
Avg Sqft/Resident 122
Range/Residents 97-138"
Dec-80   "COMPARISON OF }~LE/FEMALE RATIOS 12/78, 12/79 &12/80
Baker House
All floors Co-Ed
81F 272M 23%F
Baker House
All floors Co-Ed
87F 259M 25%F
Baker House
All floors Co-Ed
104F 250M 29.4%F"
Feb-81 DKE theft of chair and ottoman  
Mar-81 "This was the first year of operation of the country kitchen. It started operation on March 1st, 1981. The first country kitchen chairman was Larry McKenna"  
1981-02 House constitution amended to allow for two Social Chairpersons  
1980-fall   budget=18594.95
1981-spring   proposed=18805.50
1981-spring   budget = 19495.50
1981-82   room rate=801
1981-82   room rate=801
Baker 68 35 74 24 42 25 65 18 249 102 351 337 14"
Apr-81   house tax (81-82)=40 per year
    tax = $20 per smeester
May-81 "letter re: "architectural importance of your building" from Nicholas Ray Lecturer in Architecture, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Dec-81 DKE pledges steal the Christmas tree  
1 2 3 4 Other Total
Baker 45 29 63 36 78 21 40 25 227 111 338 337 6 7"
1981-fall   proposed budget=16539.95
1981-1982   budget (year)=39905.46
1981-fall   budget=20504.96
1982-spring   proposed=18005.00
1982-fall   budgeted=18357.69
1983-spring   budgeted=20010.00
1983-spring   budgeted=20685
1982-83   room rate=899
All floors coed
87F 259H 25%F
All floors coed
104F 250M 29.4%F
All floors coed
IllF 227M 32.8%F
All floors coed
120F 222M 35%F"
1 2 3 4 Other Total
43 36 47 30 60 37 72 15 1 :223 118, 341 337 1 5"
1983-84   recommended house tax=40
1983-spring   approved budget=21170.24
Sep-83 Piano Drop: Halftime of the MIT football game  
1 2 3 4 Other Total
Naker 65 24 51 34 44 34 63 32 2 0 225 124 349 337 0 12"
1983-1984   room rate=985
1984 Amherst Alley moved, forcing the temporary suspension of piano drops  
1984-spring Baker House Productions presents "Pippin".  This is their first-ever production.  
1984-spring   budgeted=19970
1984-fall   budgeted=16376.00
1985-spring   budgeted=21915.69
Dec-84 Massachusetts changes the legal drinking age from Age 20 to Age 21 on December 5, 1984  
1985-spring   House tax: $60
1985-spring   VPIR's outgoing report says that the dorm wanted commons...  Amazing...
Spring 1985 Baker House Productions presents "Cabaret"  
Mar-85   house tax=64.00
1985-spring   budget=23568.69
1985-spring   spent=16270.07
1985-fall   budget=22869.69
1984-85   room rate=1041
1985-86   room rate=1070
Nov-85 Prof Reiche addresses house mtg re: alcohol-related incidents  
1985-fall It looks like the VPIR has to bring food to Execcon meetings now, too…  
Feb-86 VPRO reports almost 50-50 ratio in Baker  
Spring 1986 Baker House Productions presents "A Chorus Line"  
Mar-86   House Tax: $82
Fall 1986 The word "quint" shows up in the Baker Confidential…  
1986-rush The first time Rush that results in more women than men  
1985-fall   budgeted=22869.69
1986-spring   budgeted=20238.69
1986-fall   budgeted=26430.69
Oct-86 New England Monthly article: "Nerd U"  
Spring 1987 Baker House Productions presents "Grease"  
31809 Outgoing VPIR report touches on Commons, tutor room renovations, and alcohol  
31809 Baker House will by considered 'dry' through April 1, 1987.  
1987-spring The word "quint" shows up in the house meeting minutes…  
31823   house tax=90
32021   House tax: $45 / term
1986-spring   budgeted: $20228.69
1986-spring   spent: $19140.47
1986-fall   budgeted: $26360.69
1986-fall   spent: $18680.96
1987-spring   budgeted: $19930.69
1987-spring   spent: $18744.15
1987-fall   budgeted: $25820.69
1987-fall   spent: $20068.17
1988-spring   proposed: $22481.69
1987-88   house tax=92
1987-88   house tax = 90
Spring 1988 Jennifer Lund is elected the first woman President of Baker House  
Spring 1988 Baker House Productions presents "Guys and Dolls"  
1988-fall   proposed=23755.69
1988-1989   recommended house tax = 97
1988-89   recommended house tax = 92
1988-89   app'd house tax = 92 (46 per term)
1989 Sidney Altman (Judicial Committee Chairman 1959-1960) shares the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas R. Cech for their work on the catalytic properties of RNA -
02/26/89   house tax for next year =102
1989-April Snack Bar viability (LaVerde's opens nearby) is questionned. Referendum passes to "close until next year, select new Manager, develop new policies"  
1989-spring Baker House Productions presents "Chicago"  
4/15/89 Alumni softball game  
1989-spring   budget=19154.69
1989-fall   budget=18405.69
1990-spring show is "Bye Bye Birdie" ??  
Mar-90 Members of Execcon met with Dean Tewhey to discuss the incident at New Year's Party..he "Was very concerned with underage dlinking .. This has been the second incident that has occurred at Baker... If there is one more incident, we 'Will go dry for a full term. If you have a private party, you should have your own doorworkers and make sure your party is under control. .. if you have a complaint about noise or parties or drinking see someone within the Dorm first .. don't take it immediately to Dean Tewhey.  
May 1990 The "Sex God" and "Sex Goddess" competitions are ended [temporarily, as it turned out], and the "urchin" section of the Baker Confidential is re-written.  
September 1992

Yngve K. Raustein '94, a 21-year-old Baker House resident from Os, Norway, was fatally stabbed after an apparent robbery Friday night near Hayden Library

September 1993 Michael J. Duff falls three stories while trying to climb the Memorial Drive side of Baker House  
September 1994  

Baker House dining hall reopens, run by a student committee

1994-1995   Baker Dining operates under student management.  Losses cut from $10,000 per month to $10,000 per term.
Feb-95 The house secretary reports: "Baker Productions - This is a now defunct organization which used to organize and produce musicals in Baker House. Though not technically part of your duty, it might be nice to try to get this organization up and running for it, if for no other reason than to clear all of their old props out of the Secretary Closet."  
Fall 1995 - Baker Dining strikes deal with Aramark to link Baker dining hall more closely with the campus system run by Aramark
August 1998

President Vest announces that all freshmen will be housed in campus residence halls starting with the opening of a new dormitory.  Originally scheduled for the fall of 2001, this actually happens in the fall of 2002.

1999 Baker Productions puts on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Much Ado about Nothing, and All in the Timing in the years 1997, 1998, 1999 -
1999 Completion of renovations to Baker House are celebrated with presentations by the Department of Architecture and by the MIT Museum.  -
August 1999 Bakerites move back into refurbished dorm  
Spring 2002 Baker House Productions seems to have gone dormant again  
Spring 2002 The Sex God and Sex Goddess competitions have been revived by now.  Not sure exactly when...   
June 2002   Bon Appetit wins the contract for residential dining, which includes the dining halls in Baker House 
August 2002 "Baker House is having new windows installed as a final phase of the long-running renovations to Alvar Aalto’s modernist masterpiece"  
Fall 2002 Completion of Simmons Hall allows all freshmen to be housed in campus residence halls.  
December 2005 Zachary W. Morris dies from an accident at the East India Wharf in Boston  
July 2007

"James T. Albrecht ’08, ... died on July 22 from injuries sustained in a fall"
[The Tech, dated September 7, 2007]

December 2007

A student is struck by a large branch from the Class of 1950 Willow Tree in front of Baker House.  The tree is subsequently removed.

2009 60th Anniversary Celebration/Reunion -


40th anniversary of the MIT riot

Ken Roasto writes:

[May 11, 2012] I thought you might be interested to know that today is the 40th anniversary of the MIT riot.  I was working in the dining hall in Baker House until 7:00, and then went out to the area in front of the student center and Kresge Auditorium to see what was going on.  There was a trash fire burning in the middle of Mass. Ave., and every 10 or 15 minutes the grassy area would fill up, so the police fired tear gas grenades to disperse the crowd.  About 8:00 the police, with some dogs, had formed a line between the student center and Bexley Hall.  Another group of them came around from the other side of the chapel.  They moved forward and started clubbing people.  A crowd formed trying to get into Baker House, so I went in through the loading dock.  One policeman got into Baker, but left without doing anything.  The police tried to get into McCormack Hall, but it was locked, so they gassed it, and some of the tear gas got inside.  The police continued down to Burton and McGregor, but I don't know what happened there.  The student center did get gassed.  News reports on TV said the whole thing started when a group of undetermined origin tried to rip up the railroad tracks to stop a Dow Chemical train from going through.  They got chased down Mass. Ave. and that's how it started.


The most remarkable event during my years at Baker was undoubtedly the trial of Tim Backstrom '71, who is still my dear friend. Tim had broken down the house office door because he had been promised access and he needed to use the mimeograph(ditto?) machine. It was very well attended. Steve Hellinger '71, who once shot flaming arrows into the Charles River and rode a motorcycle down a hall WHILE he served as judiciary chairman, presided. Michael Fiertag '72, who I once bit on the arm(not hard) helped. Ed Markowitz '70 had rigged up a phone in a briefcase that would ring, no mean feat in 1970.. Ed, who owned a jag as an undergrad and went on to set records on wall street, wore a suit. The phone rang. Ed answered," It's the governor. He's pardoned."
Jack Katz '71, who became a doctor, asked Backstrom at the end of the trial the famous opening line from Zap Comix( S Clay Wilson.) "How old are you mate?"
Backstrom "Old enough to dring cup after cup on this here grog."
Katz" I'm just trying to strike up some gentle conversation.. Can I fondle your tool?"( these guys aren't gay. They're just showing how good their memories were.)
Backstrom " It's ungodly big wanna see?( doesn't show it)
Can't remember the whole comix.

Random Pictures

Page 13 - 6th floorImage0072009-07-04 15-47-16Page 03 - 1st floor