Joe Bruno, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, stressed the history of the building and its importance to Wesleyan and to Middletown. The home was built between 1838-1840 by Richard Alsop IV for his mother, Maria Pomeroy (Alsop) Dana. Wesleyan purchased the home in 1948 with funds given by Harriet and George W. Davison, Class of 1892. In 1950, the Davisons commissioned the renovation and restoration of the house, adding to it the museum for storing and exhibiting their print collection, parts of which they had donated to the university over the previous two decades.