State University of New York at Oswego

Tyler Hall Transformation

Oswego, New York

Our efforts began with a detailed space programming and concept design for the newly formed School of Communication, Media and the Arts (SCMA), to be accommodated in two fully renovated buildings and a possible new addition. As part of this, the team prepared an overall master plan for the 1968 Tyler Hall, currently housing the departments of theater, music and visual arts and the College’s 525-seat Waterman Theatre, as well as a master plan for the conversion of a student services building (Hewitt Hall) to house Communications and Graphic Arts. By linking these two buildings, currently flanking the College’s primary pedestrian mall, through the addition of an elegant transparent, light filled bridge, not only will the programs have greater adjacencies internally, but the buildings will begin to form an arts precinct, enhancing the visibility of arts on campus. The completed first-phase renovation of Tyler Hall includes two new accessible building entrances, renovation of Waterman Theatre and Tyler Art Gallery, a new two-story rehearsal hall/multi-purpose space and a recording studio.

Project Data

75,000 gsf

Program & Highlights

Houses the School of Communications, Media and the Arts (SCMA)
525-seat Waterman Theatre
Scene shop
Costume shop
Two-story recital/rehearsal hall
Art gallery with large pivot wall
Recording studio
Fine arts studios


General Contractor: Bette & Cring Construction Group
Structural Engineer: Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying
Civil Engineer: D.J. Parrone & Associates
MEP: M/E Engineering
Theater: Fisher Dachs Assoicates
Acoustics/AV: Acoustic Distinctions
Lighting: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design
Photographer: Christopher Payne

“Pfeiffer took a well-used 1960’s building that had become a bit of an embarrassment and turned it into a campus showcase in great demand. Our arts students are inspired to make beautiful work due to the spectacular appearance of the rehearsal rooms and public spaces. Our building has now become a ‘must see’ on campus tours and has helped increase student interest in our arts programs.”
— Dr. Julie Pretzat, Dean, School of Communication, Media and the Arts


2019 Lighting in Theory (LIT) Award – Community Building Lighting Category

The 1968 Tyler Hall before renovation, obscured behind a moat-like wall
The transformed Tyler Hall, accessible and transparent, the new identity for the arts on campus