Swift Hall

Vassar College | Poughkeepsie, New York

Built in 1902, and designed by York & Sawyer, Swift Hall originally served as the infirmary at Vassar College until 1941, when it was converted into offices and classrooms for the History Department. However, the design for the building left it poorly configured, unable to fit the current faculty, and lacking in accessibility.

As a result, VMA planned and designed a significant rehabilitation to improve the quality of interior spaces, increase accessibility, restore the historic exterior while upgrading the building’s performance. The approach celebrated the original architecture while still providing an adequate environment for working and learning in the 21st century .

VMA reorganized the interior to provide additional faculty offices, simplify circulation, and create a new emergency exit from the third floor. Restoration included repairing and reconstructing damaged plaster, replicating original baseboards and doors, and restoring original wood windows for improved energy efficiency. Lastly, the small entry porch was removed and rebuilt with an expanded footprint to accommodate a new ramp, subtly integrated into the surrounding landscape, to provide accessibility at the front of the building while maintaining historic character.

Landscape completed in association with Michael Van Valkenburgh Assoc.


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Size: 10,500 sf
Budget: $3 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Historical Preservation, Landscape

Swift Hall

Vassar College | Poughkeepsie, New York

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