Art & Art History Building

Little Hall, the Art and Art History Building, is located on a steep hillside below the original campus quadrangle, where it is the linchpin for a green space. The building is connected to existing art studios by a two-story glass corridor that encloses an outdoor exhibition space. The building draws upon detail and character of traditional Colgate structures, which are constructed of bluestone with cream-colored trim, but it mediates between the traditional forms of the old campus and the more contemporary architecture of recent years.


Colgate University

Location Hamilton, NY
Size 35,000 Sq. Ft.
Program studios, galleries, auditorium, classrooms
Year Completed 2000
Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The building is the first to create an asset out of Colgate's sloping campus, offering dramatic outlooks and entrances at several elevations. The building is divided into two parts - an uphill section that is relatively simple and straightforward, and a downhill section with many levels and battered walls. A stepped walkway alongside the building brings pedestrians up and down the hill.

The interior, in particular the studios, consists of a flexible set of spaces with bare concrete floors and ceilings. The spaces include studios for printmaking, drawing, film/video and combined media, and state-of-the-art computer rooms. A 1,700 square foot gallery, a 260-seat auditorium with Dolby surround-sound and 35mm booth projector, and two art history classrooms with projection facilities are also included. Above the gallery is a seminar room. Faculty offices are on the top floor along with a large slide library. Spacious lobbies on the second and third floors showcase student art. Track lighting provides gallery-like flexibility.

“It is magnificent. Everyone here is moving in a dream like state. Visitors are left speechless and the students cannot imagine what awaits them. The proportions, spaces and the functional potential that the building allows stand above anything that I have seen in my thirty plus years of working in college art facilities ... Centerbrook did an absolutely brilliant job. This is a building for the ages ...” John Knecht, Colgate Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History



  • Design Award for Excellence, Society of American Registered Architects
  • Bronze Award for Excellence in Masonry Design and Installation, American Concrete - Central New York Chapter