September 1, 2021

To facilitate community use of outdoor spaces, canopies have been set up in five courtyards on campus. During traditional class meeting hours, these canopies are primarily available to facilitate outdoor academic/class activities. While reservations are not required, MIT instructors can request a reservation of a canopy. Intended as a community-wide resource, the canopies are available for wider, unreserved MIT use outside of traditional class hours and when not used for classes during weekdays. See the hours for each use and a map of the locations.

In addition to these canopy locations, MIT has many outdoor spaces with shade trees and lawns that provide great options for meeting outside with colleagues, research groups, mentors/mentees, and classes. These spaces provide extra outdoor capacity for classes, meals, or chance meetings.

For those who have not been on campus recently, you’ll find new open spaces, such as the green space near Kendall Square adjacent to buildings E23, E37, and E40. Chairs and picnic tables have been added in several locations, including outside buildings E52 and E62. MIT Covid Pass holders and escorted visitors can also enjoy the newly renovated inner courtyard at Building 14.

Event organizers can also request use of these spaces through Institute Events. Note that for events use of canopies, a reservation is required and availability may be limited. Event organizers can find a listing of other campus indoor and outdoor venues on the Institute Events site. Also, be sure to read the events policy as you plan your event.

As we pilot the use of these shared outdoor resources, questions or concerns can be directed to

MIT courtyard canopies available for fall 2021

Canopy locations: du Pont Court, Eastman Court, Hockfield Court, Lowell Court, and the lawn at Saxon Court. (View the full map.)

To reserve a canopy space, use this request form.

Note that while reservations are required for event use of canopies, a reservation is not required for class use. Instructional teams may make a canopy reservation if that is helpful for class planning but should feel free to use (without a reservation) any and all available canopies and shaded spaces outdoors.

Please note that canopy demand is currently high, and more than one group may be scheduled to share a canopy. The groups will be notified when this is the case. When possible, and to assist the teams coordinating use of these spaces, requests should be submitted 5 business days in advance of the intended use. Requests are being addressed more quickly for MIT instructors seeking reserved access for the first week of classes.

Canopy use guidelines:

  • If the canopy is available, please be courteous and considerate of your MIT colleagues while using it, just as you would with any uncovered MIT outdoor space.
  • If an instructor has planned to use a canopy for class, please honor that prioritized use, just like you would for a reserved classroom indoors.
  • Note that multiple small groups seeking reservations may be scheduled to use a single canopy space and will be notified when this is the case.
  • Please carry out any items you bring into the space, including any food waste. Event planners should arrange for waste removal.

Canopy use hours

Canopies are available for reserved and unreserved use during the hours noted below. As a community-wide resource, the canopies are available and intended for wider, unreserved MIT use during the noted hours on weekends and on weekdays when not in use for a class.

Use typeMondays–Fridays
(when classes are in session)
Saturdays–Sundays and Institute holidays
For instructional activities (subject listings, classes, and recitations) and, as available, DLC academic activities such as seminars8:00 a.m.–noon
1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
For open community uses, DLC events, and student group eventsNoon–1:00 p.m.
5:00–11:00 p.m.*
8:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.*
*Canopy use ends at 11:00 p.m. in consideration of city noise ordinances and residential housing proximity.

Canopy locations and features

Canopy features:

  • Canopies are professionally installed and inspected, and they provide overhead covering of ~30’ x 45’; to maximize airflow, canopy sidewalls are not lowered.
  • No audiovisual equipment or furniture (tables or chairs) is provided; organizers must arrange for equipment and/or seating.
  • Electricity provided is enough for minimal house lighting and 1–2 electrical outlets; no heating.
  • Canopies are available until mid-November 2021, weather permitting.
  • Canopies should not be used in severe weather conditions.
LocationDates available
(weather dependent)
du Pont CourtSeptember 7–~November 23, 2021Prioritized for academic use (not event use)
Eastman CourtSeptember 7–~November 23, 2021Also ample shaded space and seating beyond canopy for broad community use; active construction nearby at Building 54
Hockfield CourtSeptember 7–~November 23, 2021Also ample shaded space and benches beyond canopy for broad community use
Lowell CourtSeptember 10–~November 23, 2021Prioritized for academic use (not event use)
Lawn at Saxon CourtSeptember 13 – ~November 23, 2021Also ample shaded space beyond canopy for broad community use, including The Hive sustainability garden with seating; active construction nearby at Building 54