The Green building was dedicated in 1964 and the Stabile of Calder was built in 1965. The sequence of appearances on McDermott Court is OK, but the consequences certainly is not. The trouble with opening the Green building entrance doors resulted from surface wind waves running down the building from aloft and crashing into the ground surface. It was solved by replacing the original swinging doors with the revolving doors now in use on the Green building.
But what attracted my attention was the idea that the sculpture diverted breezes. I remember coming from lunch at Walker on a sunny day when the Sail was first installed. There was a group of people giving it the once over and I could not resist saying, in a voice loud enough so that the message would be overheard, that Yes, the surfaces had been developed by tests in the MIT wind tunnel so as to be effective in controlling wind currents around the Green building doors. The people who came with me from Walker caught the spirit and confirmed the statement. And we all thought it very funny. The Second Lemma of Humor is that if it requires an explanation it is not funny. But we thought the remark funny, first, because it held up to scrutiny the tragedy of MIT's failure in its search for a perfect building after the Greek Revival core was built. Windows leaked rain, roofs leaked rain, noisy central air conditioners distracted, doors fought being opened. And, second, it highlighted our desire to find reason or rationality in our esthetics to allow us to love our Art. And we thought that all MIT would think it funny. But now it is history. Jeez.... That is Folk History; sort of like Count Dracula... Or does The Tech have a sense of humor? And does all MIT really think the explanation funny? See also: (http://web.mit.edu/plosky/www/writing/factfiction.html)
Above the This Week in MIT History piece in the 5 October 1999 The Tech there is a piece, An MIT Original, the Oft Replicated UROP program Reaches 30 Years. It is perfectly good description of the history of UROP. They say no one learns from the history of wars: it is written by the conquerors. But one can learn from the not so entertaining reality. And so maybe a recital of UROP precedents might be of use in learning what works. That is the purpose of the text that follows.