Hack in Lobby 7: More Questions than Answers

by Jay London on June 5, 2013 · 2 comments

in Alumni Life, Arts, Hacks, Modern Geekhood

Moustache_Hack_6What’s an MIT celebration without a hack? Commencement week and Tech Reunions week unofficially kicked off on Monday when a mysterious hack was unveiled in the Lobby 7 stairwell near the School of Architecture + Planning.

The hackers—perhaps soon-to-be alums intent on leaving a final mark on the Institute—placed fake noses and moustaches on a large portrait collage in the area between the first and second floor.


Moustache_Hack_8It’s not known what kind of strategy (if any) was behind the hack. Did the hackers deliberately place disguises over specific faces while other mugs remained unscathed? Or was it a hasty moustache-and-dash attack?

Confusing things even more: Who are these people in the photos?

A Slice investigation has turned up scant information. One ongoing lead suggests that the portraits are from the early ’80s. A non-desecrated face in the lower left-hand corner has been identified as Jeffrey Schiff (not pictured), an architect who exhibited his work at MIT’s Hayden Gallery in 1983.

Moustache_Hack_3Slice is stumped so we turn to the MIT alumni community. Can you identify anyone in these photos or ascertain its origin? Are you in these photos, and if so, do you look better with a moustache?

If you have any details on the hack or the photos, leave us a note in the comments below or on Facebook or Google+. We’ll update this post as we receive more information.

Update: Thank you to our intrepid readers Larry DeMar ’79, Meredith Warshaw ’79, Council for the Arts at MIT director Susan Cohen! According to the trio, the photo collage was installed between 1978 and 1979, possibly through a grant from Council for the Arts. The photo features many then-students, including DeMar, whose picture (taken in 1978) was among those ’stached in the hack.


For more hacks, check out the MIT Hacks Gallery and this blog’s archive of hack-related posts.

Photo credits: Emily Kathan and Jay London

This is not first moustache-related hack in recent MIT history. In 2011, two hacks chronicling the Movember movement faced each other on either side of Mass. Ave.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Meredith June 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I’m class of ’79 and it was there in the late 70s.


Charlene Follett June 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

I’m in the photo, lower right…..I was walking through Lobby 7 on an errand for my boss at the time and a woman stopped and asked if she could take my photo for a project. I said yes and I’ve been hanging there ever since…..based on job I had at time, it must have been late 70s.


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