Senior House Mural Exhibit: Find Where You Thrive

In past 20 years, Senior House residents painted over 450 murals– on walls, ceilings, doors, bathrooms, floors, stairwells — and used the internal architecture of the building to create an immersive experience. Check out the exhibit in the Student Center from now until May 7, and check out coverage in The Tech:

To protect murals, apply an anti-graffiti coating

“_____ I agree to allow Project Staff to apply anti-graffiti clear coat to protect the completed Mural from future damage.”
DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, “MuralsDC Wall Donation, Application, and Agreement Forms,” February 2017.

“Student Life will be putting together a review group of students … and staff who will work with the new student house government to determine our next steps with the murals.”
Barnhart, “Senior House Decision Process FAQ,” Chancellor’s Office, July 26, 2017.

Photos Spanning 1998-2017

Google photos made me split this into multiple albums, too many photos.  Most of the photos are Steer Roast, Deli Haus, Rush or other events at the house, others are things like a Meat Market (i think in Talbot) and a bunch of the Boston skyline from the 462 balcony.  Not all of these photos are ones I took; some were taken by others and posted publicly.  NOTE: while most of the metadata is correct, there are a bunch with the wrong dates (for example, I think the Deli Haus in here dated January 2001 is actually the 2003 Deli Haus).

Senior House to House Grad Students in Fall 2017

Latest E-mail from Chancellor Barnhart:

Dear [student],

I wrote last month that significant change is needed in Senior House. President Reif, Provost Schmidt, Vice President Zuber, and I made that decision together.

The reaction from the Senior House community has reinforced our decision. The misinformation, denials, and responses – online, in emails, and in person – violate MIT values. We no longer believe that first-year and continuing students living in Senior House next year will be able to define for themselves their own community values and living experience.

This has led us to conclude that our plan to re-set the undergraduate experience in Senior House is unworkable. Senior House is now closed to undergraduates, and it will reopen in the fall to graduate students. We continue to stand by our responsibility for providing all MIT students with safe residential environments, and we intend to fulfill that obligation.

You recently received your alternate fall housing assignment. If you have any questions or concerns about dining, financial aid, work study or any other topic associated with moving, please do not hesitate to contact David Randall or Jennifer Hapgood-White at

UPDATE: Plans of repopulation abandoned: Senior House to become graduate housing (The Tech, July 13, 2017)

Senior House Mural Update

we need you — to help with the murals!

help 1: 

we need help identifying who painted what and when.  you can go wild on this.  (you can now edit). If you’re not sure, please put a ? after the entry.

help 2: Choose the top 10 murals
The MIT museum plans to hire a photographer to take archive quality photos of up to 10 of the most significant murals.  Instead of pointing a camera at a mural and taking one photo, the photographer would take many, many photos, stitch them all together, and come up with one very large data file.  it’s not so much # of murals as it is “hey we have x number of hours to accomplish this task.” so it will be a ranked top 10 with the expectation that not all would get this extra special treatment.

we’re looking for people to fill in what their preferences are, and then a group of us (shmural) will rank the top choices.  you can vote for your top 10 murals.  The instructions are in the upper left hand corner.  don’t screw it up  (Yeah yeah, i know its not the best method for ranking, but you know what they say — life sucks and then you die).  After everyone votes, Katy Gero, Gabe Cira, and I will look at the results and talk about it, and then let you all know what we think the top 10 should be ranked at.

  1. Original works of art.  many of the murals in the house which we love dearly aren’t original to the house.  because of copyright stuff, we want to capture works by the house, not copies.  interpretations of other people’s art is fine.  some of the ones in the voting list are not originals.  deal with it.
  2. Cultural significance to the house.  interpret as you will.
  3. Likely to be painted over.  This is a bit tricky cause we don’t know which hallway murals will be painted, but basically anything behind or on a door is going to be painted as far as we know at this point.  so — all suites, all rooms, all doors, and towers (is towers a suite???).  my best guess that anything that isn’t “wholesome” or has sport death will also be painted.
  4. well executed.  we’re taking super high res photos.  if the mural itself is not of the best execution, then the photos we have now might suffice to document the photo.

Here are all the photos in case you want to nominate some others I haven’t listed yet.

Here are murals we haven’t photo’d yet, but you might want to remember.

Senior House Mural Archival Project

Several Alumni are archiving and cataloging the hundreds of murals in Senior House before they are slated to be whitewashed. You can view them here:

Senior House Mural - Raw

So much thanks to those doing the work.

Mural Veeps: Paula Marie Countouris,​ Katy Ilonka Gero​
Video: Tara Ebsworth,​ Julian Lemus​
Preservation: Gabe Cira
Editing: Logan Williams​

Photography: Jenn Marcos, Katy Gero, Emile Daigle, Elisa Young, Paula Marie, Jessica Adams​

More Thank Yous: Josh Gordonson, Seph Aliquo,​ Quentin Smith,​ Helen McCarthy,​ Matt Weston, Andrei Ivanov​, Milena Pagán​, Ike Feitler​, Sabrina Madera​, Gabriel Teixeira​, Abraham Quintero