Harvard Science Center

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The Science Center, located just north of Harvard Yard

The Harvard University Science Center is Harvard's main classroom and laboratory building for undergraduate science and mathematics, in addition to housing numerous other facilities and services. Located just north of Harvard Yard, the Science Center was built in 1973 after a design by Josep Lluís Sert (then dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design).

The Science Center was financed in part by an anonymous gift from Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid "Land" camera.[1] (Despite popular rumors the building was not designed to resemble one of the Land's early models.)[citation needed] As part of its construction the portion of Cambridge Street running along the north edge of Harvard Yard was depressed into an underpass, allowing unhindered pedestrian movement between the Yard and Harvard facilities to the north, including the Science Center itself.

The Science Center houses the History of Science, Mathematics, and Statistics Departments; the Cabot Science Library; the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning; the Academic Technology Group; the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments; teaching laboratories for the chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences; innumerable faculty and staff offices; and facilities for central services such as mail and computing. In addition to its twenty general-use classrooms, its five main lecture halls seat up to several hundred students. On the main floor sections of the pioneering Harvard Mark I computer are on display.

Beneath the Science Center—essentially separate from and unconnected to the Science Center above (and largely unknown to occupants of the Science Center proper)—is a massive chilled water plant, which provides cooling to much of Harvard from the Science Center northward.


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Coordinates: 42°22′35″N 71°06′59″W / 42.376377°N 71.116297°W / 42.376377; -71.116297