The Engineering Center Education Trust

The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET), a nonprofit organization, educates professionals, students, and the public about engineering and land surveying in the natural and built environment.

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Walking Tour of Boston

Description Sponsored by the Geo-Institute
Status Open
Number of Days 1
Start Time 9:30 AM
Begin Date 08/13/2011
End Date 08/13/2011
Early Reg: 07/20/2011

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Location name: See Event Profile Below for Details
Location phone:
City: Boston
State: MA
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Walking Tour of Boston
Intertwining of Geology, Engineering and History
Guided by
David Woodhouse, PG, Consultant, Woodhouse Geosciences
Meeting at MIT's Building 10 (The Dome), Cambridge, MA
End at South Station Boston, MA
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (Stop for Lunch in Quincy Market)
$10 Members, $15 Non-Members
The leisurely walking tour will be about 4 miles and will take about 4 hours including lunch. Along the route we will intertwine Boston's history with its geology and geotechnical engineering. The starting point is MIT's Building 10, the Alumni Building known as the Dome where the science of Soil Mechanics was born under the tutelage of Karl Terzaghi. Proceeding over the 364.4 Smoot long Harvard Bridge to the Christian Science Center, the Prudential Center, and then Copley Square, we will discuss the building renaissance that began in the 1960's. How foundation engineers dealt with the problems caused by Boston's complex soil and bedrock conditions that included groundwater conditions and their effects on historical buildings will be the focus. In that light, the problems of the John Hancock Tower will be addressed and we will look at the old pile cap exposed under the Trinity Church. The tour will continue down Boylston Street to the Boston Common/Public Gardens bringing us to the base of the Trimountain (Beacon Hill) and the original high ground of the Shawmut Peninsula where Boston was founded. The renaissance that began at the Prudential spread to the downtown where a number of high rise buildings sprang up. Walking up Tremont Street, by the Government Center, and then to Dock Square will allow us the opportunity to discuss several unique and different building foundations challenged by the subsurface conditions. We will stop at Quincy Market for lunch where participants can purchase food and drink before proceeding down State Street by the mix of old and new buildings will bring us to the waterfront and the Big Dig giving us a plethora of topics to discuss. The tour will end at South Station and the edge of South Boston where a new building renaissance is taking place.
Registration Deadline: Friday, 5 August 2011
Information/Registration: Register to attend this event and pay by credit card online by clicking the "Register" button above. To register online for an event at the BSCES member rate you must login using your BSCES assigned username and password. If you do not know your BSCES member login information, call 617/227-5551. If you have difficulties registering online contact Diana Gadsby at 617/305-4113 or You can also register for this event by mail or email. To do so, download and complete a BSCES Event Registration Form available at Then mail or email this form with payment, to BSCES, The Engineering Center, One Walnut Street, Boston, MA 02108 or, respectively. Cancellations received after August 5, 2011 and no-shows will be billed. Space is limited, so register now. Walk-ins may be subject to space availability on the day of the event.
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