Kresge Auditorium is an auditorium building for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located at 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed by the noted architect Eero Saarinen, with ground-breaking in 1953 and dedication in 1955. It was designed together with the MIT Chapel, the two buildings separated by a "green," referred to by students as the "Kresge Oval." The ensemble is recognized as one of the best examples of mid-Century modern architecture in the US. Though unassuming by today's standards, the buildings were part of an attempt to define MIT's social cohesion. The Auditorium was where MIT students and faculty could gather for formal events, the chapel was intended for marriages and memorial; the green that stretches between the two buildings, in the tradition of early-American urban planning, was to serve as the setting for civic events. Though the campus has grown around the buildings, the essential features of this idea are still easily legible. The building was named for its principal funder, Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of Kresge Stores (corporate predecessor of K-Mart) and the Kresge Foundation.
Kresge Auditorium (Building W16) is next to both the Stratton student Center, the Zesiger Sports Center and the MIT Chapel. Both campus and public buses stop on Massachusetts Avenue in front of the Kresge Auditorium.