Yale University
Department of Statistics

Dana House
1996 Exterior Renovation


Yale University completely renovated the exterior of the Dana House, a national historic landmark, in the Summer and Fall of 1996. Dana House has been the home of the Statistics Department for almost 30 years. For more information about the Department of Statistics.

The renovations included:

The Renovation

The building restoration was scheduled to take approximately 4 months, from June through September of 1996. In the end the renovation work spanned more than 6 months and wasn't fully completed until January 1997. In addition to re-stuccoing and re-painting the exterior, all the building's windows were removed and refurbished, the roof was renovated, and the porch completely refinished. The following pictures and chronology describe the renovation work as it progressed. Before and after comparison pictures are at the end.

Chronology of the Renovation

June 19, 1996: The scaffolding has arrived and, after months of anticipation, the job is about to begin. Views of the:
[Front] [Side]

June 26, 1996: The scaffolding has been errected and construction (or perhaps demolition is a better word) begins. Views of the:

[Front] [Side] [Porch]

July 3, 1996: Some close-ups of the paint removal process on the front porch. Because there is lead paint involved everything and everyone must be covered and protected. Close-up of the:

[Porch] [Workmen] [A column]

July 17, 1996: Removal of the stucco is done under the blue tarps. The building takes on the temporary appearance of a giant present or perhaps a Christo sculpture. Views from the:

[Front] [Left side] [Right side]

July 17, 1996: Some miscellaneous view of the building, including the back, a close-up of the outside of the old elevator with the stucco removed (it's actually completely covered with metal flashing), and Corky waving out of a back window.

[Back side] [Elevator] [Corky says "hi"]

July 20, 1996: A peek under the tarps to get a close-up during the stucco removal process. The views are from inside the porch when it was covered over with the tarp, along the left side of the building near the sitting room windows, and to the right of the porch under the classroom window.

[Porch] [Left side] [Right side]

July 30, 1996: The tarps have been completely removed and the Dana House stands showing all the brick under-structure. In addition to the removal of the old stucco, all the windows in the building are removed one-by-one and refurbished by a carpenter. Work also continues on the porch to reconstruct and preserve the elaborately carved columns. Some views of the bare bricks:

[Front] [Porch] [Left side] [Right side]

August 22, 1996: The "scratch coat" of cement is applied to the building over the bricks. While the bricks are being re-covered, extensive work on the roof is on-going.

[Front] [Right side] [Right (close-up)]

September 12, 1996: While the work on the roof continues, even including refurbishment of the stonework on the chimneys, the scratch coat is finished on the exterior walls. Then the final finish is tested for color and cement type on the left wall:

[Construction] [Stucco Test]

September 29, 1996: Progress is made on the stucco work and the front porch steps are replaced. Detail painting and carpentry work continues.

[Front, left] [Front, right] [Back]
[Porch] [Porch steps]

October 21, 1996: The roof work still continues. In an attempt to figure out what was taking so long, we climbed up the scaffolding to take a look. As it turns out, the entire roof is now made of metal! It seems to be tin soldered together. Take a look:

[Roof] [Roof] [Roof]
Also, some pictures showing eaves details:
[Eaves details] [Close up] [Roof]

November 15, 1996: Finally most of the exterior work is completed and the scaffolding starts to come down. For the first time the new exterior becomes visible.

[Left Side] [Front] [Right Side]

December 27, 1996: Work is essentially complete. The last month was spent with all the minor detail work. The new Dana House:

[Front] [Front]
[Front, left] [Front, right] [Back]
[Front Porch] [Side Entrance]

Before and After Pictures

[Front Before] [Front After]

[Porch Before] [Porch After]

[Right Side Before] [Right Side After]

[Back Before] [Back After]

Chronological pictures showing the restoration as it progressed.