Killian Court lies in the center of MIT's Main Campus. It was built along with the rest of the original buildings between 1911 and 1916. Originally named the Great Court, it was to contain a giant reflecting pool, surrounded by trees, to match the Neo-classical architecture of the surrounding buildings. For reasons now mostly lost to time (but probably involving either drainage problems or esthetics), the reflecting pool was never built. Today, the only trace of it is a grassy depression in the ground running most of the length and width of Killian.

The court today is a wide, grassy expanse running from Building 10 and the Great Dome to Memorial Drive next to the Charles River. It was designed as the center of Main Campus and the original buildings, and despite MIT's expansion over the last century, it still serves that purpose. An MIT student's time at the Institute begins and ends in the Court: with Killian Kickoff opening Rush for the freshmen, and Commencement sending off the graduates. The classic MIT photograph is of the Dome and the pillared entrance onto Killian from Lobby 10. One MIT president even had his ashes scattered over it, to ensure that he remained part of the Institute.

Of course, such a significant and central place is going to be used frequently by students. Killian is a popular target for hacks, especially during Orientation and Commencement, and a year doesn't go by without some truly spectacular snow sculpture appearing. In warmer weather, you can find students tooling, punting, playing frisbee, and otherwise enjoying the unusual green space.

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