SUNY Oswego, School of Communications Media and the Arts (SCMA) | Tyler Hall

Photo Credit: Esto | Chris Payne

Tyler Hall is the visual and performing arts building at SUNY Oswego, a public university in New York. It was built in 1965 and underwent a major renovation from 2015 to 2018, costing around $40 million. The renovation aimed to improve the facilities, accessibility, and aesthetics of the building, as well as to create new spaces for artistic expression and collaboration.

FDA, SUNY Oswego, Pfeiffer Partners, and the State University Construction Fund, were responsible for the space programming and concept design, among other improvements, for the newly formed School of Communication, Media and the Arts (SCMA). The new school will be accommodated in two fully renovated buildings, as well as a possible new addition.

Some of the features of the renovated Tyler Hall are:

  • A lobby with a curved-glass theater façade and large windows that fill the space with natural light. The lobby also connects to an enhanced art gallery that showcases a wide range of artistic voices and points of view ²³⁴⁶.
  • The modernized accessible 525-seat Waterman Theatre eliminates long continental seating rows and improves sightlines. Technical systems have been updated and expanded, including new stage dimming and lighting controls, pit lift, stage floor and traps, fire curtain, and expanded multimedia capability. 
  • A two-story music rehearsal hall that doubles as a recital hall for ensemble performances. The hall has a high ceiling, wood paneling, and large windows that create a spacious and elegant atmosphere³⁴⁶.
  • A choral rehearsal room that accommodates vocalists and choirs. The room has soundproof walls, adjustable acoustics, and a piano³⁴⁶.
  • A digital arts lab that provides students with access to cutting-edge technology and software for creating digital media, such as animation, video, and graphic design³⁴⁵.
  • A recording studio that offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for sound design and audio recording. The studio is connected to the music rehearsal hall and the theater, allowing for live recording of performances³⁴⁶.
  • A redesigned lab theater that serves as a flexible and intimate space for experimental and student-led productions. The theater has movable seating, lighting, and sound systems that can be adapted to different configurations and genres³⁴.
  • Updated studios for artistic disciplines, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and metalsmithing. The studios have new equipment, ventilation, storage, and display areas³⁴.
  • A costume shop that supports the theater department with sewing machines, dress forms, fabric racks, and fitting rooms. The shop also has a laundry room and a dye room for cleaning and customizing costumes³⁴.
  • Modernized classrooms, offices, and collaborative spaces that enhance the learning and working environment for students and faculty. The spaces have smart technology, ergonomic furniture, natural lighting, and colorful accents³⁴.
  1. Tyler Hall.
  2. Tyler Hall renovation plans expanded – SUNY Oswego.
  3. Tyler Hall renovation featured in Architect Magazine – SUNY Oswego news.
  4. Institutional strength | SUNY Oswego’s 2015-16 Annual Report.
  5. Tyler Hall Renovation – Oswego Now.

  • Arch. of Record: Pfeiffer Partners
  • Completion Year: 2015
  • Location: Oswego, New York
  • Capacity: 525 seats


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