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College of Mount Saint Vincent 

College of Mount Saint Vincent 

College of Mount St Vincent
Riverdale, NY

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is a private, co-educational Catholic college founded by the Sisters of Charity.  It is located on a steeply sloping 70-acre site along the Hudson River in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.  We completed an initial Campus Master Plan to accommodate student growth, develop a pedestrian-friendly campus, guide the construction of new buildings, and provide for intelligent stewardship of the natural landscape.

Completed projects include:

  • Maryvale Hall:  renovation and expansion to create the College’s arts and communications hub

  • Mastronardi Hall: a new 194 bed residence hall;

  • Science Hall:  three phases of renovations to create new laboratories and classrooms

  • Sitework improvement projects throughout the campus.

  • Master Plan Update: to strategize campus development over the next ten years

  • ​​Campus Planning

  • Renovation/Adaptive Reuse

  • Restoration/Preservation

  • Transformation

  • New Construction

  • Multiple Projects

Project Information


Campus Planning

The College of Mount Saint Vincent, established in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, sits on a scenic, 70-acre site that slopes from street level down to the edge of the Hudson River in the Bronx. The campus includes handsome 19th-century buildings, some early 20th-century neoclassical structures, and a scattering of more modern buildings constructed in the second half of the century. Although individual buildings are striking and the Hudson River site is spectacular, the school lacked the coherence of an organized campus.

A site analysis revealed three distinct landscape plateaus. The uppermost plateau, the “grotto park,” is adjacent to Riverdale Avenue.  The second plateau at mid-slope is the “campus core."   It accommodates the library, science building, auditorium, and some dormitories. The plateau at the base of the slope is the “river lawn,” defined by the iconic 19th-century Academic Building.

The Master Plan illustrated how future campus development could relate to the realities of topography and view—to the three plateaus.  It identified how new buildings could create interconnected outdoor rooms at the mid-level terrace.  The plan also showed how to create distinct pedestrian and vehicular movement paths that intersect and overlap.  Over the next ten years, the implementation of projects at MSV was guided by these considerations.



The Maryvale Communications building was formed by adding new, simple space to the original masonry laundry which served the Convent of the Sisters of Charity in the 19th century.   The spaces in the building include television and radio studios, classrooms for communications instruction, and north-facing studios for the visual arts program. 

1600 undergraduates attend the college and a significant number major in communications or the visual arts.  This building was designed like an artist's loft space which is virtually indestructible.  The subtlety of the design was to obtain west views of the Hudson River while capturing north light for the studios.  The new Maryvale Hall, in combination with the original 1830 Castle and the 1880 Administration Building, forms the gateway to the “River Lawn,” the most significant outdoor space on this Hudson River campus.

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