The scaffolding that diverted pedestrians outside of Silliman College last semester is finally gone, revealing the Sociology Department’s newly finished hub on College Street.
After spending nearly two decades spread among various buildings on or near Prospect Street, Sociology Department faculty moved into the freshly renovated offices at the beginning of August. The roughly week-long transition was smooth, members of the department said, and has brought sociology faculty within closer range of undergraduates and to each other.
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“It’s a huge change for the better, because before this the Sociology faculty had been spread apart across five separate buildings — some of which are quite a ways apart from each other,” sociology professor Richard Breen said. “I think it’s great that we’re all in the same building now.”
The new location on College Street — which sits between the front entrance to Silliman College and St. Anthony Hall — contains about 20 offices in addition to a faculty lounge and classrooms. The building is entirely devoted to the Sociology Department, other than the classrooms on the first floor that are available for general University use, Breen said.
Though Breen and Deborah Davis, another professor in the department, said their new offices seem slightly smaller than their previous spaces in buildings near Science Hill, they both said they and the rest of the department are happy with the move.
“Now you have a coherent space with a shared stairwell and shared corridors,” Davis said. “It’s easier to find people and interact with people. It’s a better community.”
Before its renovations, 493 College St. was run down and “quite a bit shabby,” Breen said. He called the renovations a “big improvement.”
Davis said that several of her students are happy that the department is now a shorter walk from the center of campus.
Sociology major Sarah Kelley ’13 said 493 College St. is more conveniently located than Rosenkranz Hall, where she used to take classes.
“I feel like it’s going to be a lot easier to have all the professors in the same building to go to office hours and stuff,” she said.
As of February, Yale planned to raze three buildings that formerly housed Yale’s Sociology Department — 140 Prospect St., 80 Sachem St. and 8 Prospect Place — if the plans were approved. At the time, the buildings were slated for demolition starting in December. The land they occupy will eventually be used to build two new residential colleges.
Those three buildings that used to house the Sociology Department stood in what is known as the “Prospect Triangle,” bounded by Prospect, Sachem and Canal streets.