Johnson Chapel

A collage of images showing repair work to the top of the clock town in Johnson Chapel.

Johnson Chapel Clock Tower: As part of periodic maintenance, the College hired Valley Restoration, a company that specializes in chapel renovations. Here we see specialists remove scaffolding from the steeple of Johnson Chapel. In addition to painting, Valley Restoration replicated moldings to replace weather-damaged parts of the 9-foot-wide clock face using mahogany wood. The damage had occurred mostly to the outer ring, or bezel, due to its exposure. The clock hands were also given a fresh application of gold leaf and sealed. The workers find it easiest to perform these repairs when the clock is turned off, specifically with the hands in the 9:15 position.


A worker cools himself with the spray from a hose during renovation work at Johnson Chapel

Johnson Chapel: Valley Restoration painter Gerry Rich sprays himself with a cool jet of water after working in the hot summer sun.


A composite of photos showing the repair work happening inside Johnson Chapel.

Johnson Chapel Interior: Renovators replaced Johnson Chapel’s flooring and created wheelchair-accessible seating areas. Audiovisual equipment was upgraded to include a state-of-the-art sound system and the capability for live streaming events in high definition. In this composite, Johnny Kleeberg installs a new red carpet.


Two workers applying protective paint to the outside of a window in Johnson Chapel.

Johnson Chapel Interior: Valley Restoration specialists Mark Bastiaanse and Gerry Rich coat the exterior windows to protect and clean them. Seen from the interior of Johnson Chapel’s second floor, the workers are flanked by portraits of past trustees of Amherst College. 


Stearns Steeple

Three workers working on renovations to Stearns Steeple on a summer day at Amherst College

Stearns Steeple: Workers haul buckets of mortar up the steeple during its first substantial repair since 1994. The repair work, done by Grande Masonry of Providence, R.I., consists of chipping out and replacing deteriorated mortar (“pointing”), removing and resetting displaced stones, repairing cracked stones, patching chipped areas, cleaning the whole structure, and repairing windows and doors.

Amherst Center for Russian Culture

Workers replacing the wooden floor of the Russian Center

Interior of Russian Center: Stefan Davis (left) and Joseph Thibault (right) install new floors in the Amherst Center for Russian Culture in Webster Hall. This is the first major renovation since the center was founded in 1991. The renovation includes upgraded museum-quality finishes (wood flooring, carpet, paint, window shades) designed by C&H Architects, based in the Town of Amherst; custom millwork by Sandbox Design + Fabrication in South Hadley, Mass.; and new furniture for the offices and reading room.

Once complete, the Center for Russian Culture will continue to house a collection of rare books and other media and to serve as a flexible space for exhibitions, events, and research. 


The Lyceum

Exterior and interior images of the Lyceum.

Exterior and Interior of the Lyceum: The Aliki Perroti & Seth Frank Lyceum will be the home of the Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the history department. The Lyceum consists of a mid-18th-century former residence at 197 South Pleasant Street and a new addition to the south and west. The new building will be wood-framed, and its manufacture and assembly will absorb as much carbon as it emits. Above left: A mason repoints brick, cutting out and replacing the old mortar. Above right and below: Workers remove soil, preparing to underpin the foundation. The wood-framed floors were removed and will be replaced.

A composite set of images of the inside of the Lyceum.


Alumni Gymnasium

Four images of worker installing colorful murals and memorabilia in the Alumni Gym.

Interior of Alumni Gym: Ivan Volchanov and Vitally Kozar install new rubber flooring, and Jack Devlin applies decorative vinyl wall wrap. Visitors will be greeted with a welcoming “we’re all Mammoths” vibe, thanks to a summer renovation of the lobby and first-floor hallways. Scenes of campus life, along with the considerable accomplishments of the College’s stellar athletics teams, paint a vivid picture of the student experience at Amherst.

The Emily Dickinson Museum

Workers replacing wallpaper in the emily dickinson museum.

Interior of the Emily Dickinson Museum: Top left: Workers from Teagno Construction, Inc. gather near a magnolia tree outside the window of the newly wallpapered parlor of the Homestead. Top right: Wallpaper hanger Joe Callahan installed reproduction wallpaper at the Emily Dickinson Homestead. (shown at bottom right). The first- and second-floor hallways retained evidence of wallpapers from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The restoration team identified fragments that coincided with Emily Dickinson’s residence in the house (1855–1886) as a working poet. The fragments provided enough evidence to recreate the full pattern, which now decorates the lower and upper halls. Bottom left: A plastic sheet protects the doorway to Dickinson’s bedroom.

The Restoration of the Emily Dickinson Museum

Video by Marcus DeMaio and Patrick Fecher

Stored in the loft above the garage at the Emily Dickinson Museum were the original 9-foot-tall front door of the Homestead, more than four dozen original staircase balusters and much more. The museum has now reopened after its most significant restoration project to date.