ISM Announces Building Project

October 11, 2016

Martin Jean, director of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, has announced plans to renovate and relocate many of the ISM’s offices to the Yale-owned building at 406 Prospect St., across the street from its current location at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle (SDQ).

The ISM is an interdisciplinary graduate center that educates leaders who foster, explore, and study engagement with the sacred through music, worship, and the arts in Christian communities, diverse religious traditions, and public life.

Now that Yale has approved the $6 million project, to be financed entirely by currently held ISM funds, an intensive planning phase will commence. The architectural firm Apicella + Bunton Associates of New Haven, CT has been engaged to do the work, with construction set to begin in 2017, and a projected move-in date during the summer of 2018.  Apicella + Bunton have worked on other Yale renovations, including the Center for Science and Social Science Information, Lanman Wright Hall, 493 College Street (the department of sociology), and the Yale Daily News building. Other current Yale projects include work at the Drama School, Durfee Hall, and the Manuscripts & Archives Library at Sterling Memorial Library. They have also done work at Lafayette College, and the principals have worked on projects at Vassar College and the University of Washington.

The property at 406 Prospect was built as a single-family dwelling in 1909 by the American architect (and Yale College graduate) Grosvenor Atterbury, known not only for building gracious mansions for the east coast social elite, but also for being one of the first architects to come up with a cost-effective method to provide a higher standard of housing – and health – for the less privileged, pioneering the use of some of the first prefabricated concrete housing plans.

“This move will afford us the necessary space for the ISM’s growing programs. Of course, our core commitments in programs with the Yale School of Music and Yale Divinity School remain central to us,” said Jean, “but we also are finding similar synergies with units all around campus.” With over 13,000 square feet, 406 Prospect will provide over 20 offices for faculty, fellows, and staff, common areas for students and public events, and workrooms for related projects. A recent massing study also revealed potential to add as much as 20,000 square feet of additional space to meet the needs of future generations.”

Dedicated music spaces will remain at SDQ; most ISM offices there will be released to the Divinity School to enable its continued growth.

“Over the last 15 years, our continued programmatic growth has put a predictable strain on our current facilities,” said Jean. “In our new home, we will be able to strengthen our core programs and explore new corners of our mission, in keeping with the hopes of our original donors, who more than 40 years ago imagined a ‘broad, and even timeless purpose to [the ISM] enterprise.’”

Faculty and staff toured the new building with the architects and members of the Yale facilities team. Here is what 406 Prospect looks like now; check back often for updates as progress is made!

(Faculty/staff photos by Derek Greten-Harrison; building photos by Tyler Gathro.)

Pre-renovation photos of 406 Prospect St. taken by Tyler Gathro. Photos of the faculty/staff tour of the space by Derek Greten-Harrison.