Today, Lakeside Dining Center sits on the north side of the SUNY Oswego campus and serves Johnson, Riggs, Scales and Waterbury residence halls.
Ground was broken for the dining center on June 10, 1957, by Dr. Hermann Cooper, assistant commissioner in charge of New York State teachers colleges at the time. This $682,000 facility connected to the nearly-finished Johnson Hall.
Opening in 1959, Lakeside Dining Center received praise from a November Palladium-Times article as "one of the most distinctive dining facilities in the nation." Modern design, furniture, and fixtures created a relaxed atmosphere enhanced by Oswego's great natural setting. The dining experience was coupled with a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario, afforded by large windows along the north side of the building. The large dining center also served as a fitting place for student dances and other social activities, once chairs and tables were moved aside.
Modernization and renovation
During the 2006-07 school year, Lakeside Dining Center underwent $7.2 million worth of renovations to update the facility. The dining center reopened in August 2007 with a modern design, new lights, furniture, and decorations which created a cool atmosphere where students could enjoy their down time for meals and socialization. Students from Riggs Hall were particularly pleased that the renovations included an indoor walkway between their residence hall and the dining center. Other improvements included new walk-in refrigerators and freezers, and upgrades to electrical, heating and plumbing systems.
The most exciting differences, however, were specialized food stations which took the place of the former buffet dining lines. A large oval structure, including a salad bar, fresh fruit, soups and desserts stands in the center of the serving area. Other stations include pizza, pasta, a deli bar, and featured meals on the menu as well as and grilled and vegetarian selections.
Among these impressive upgrades, it is through the large modern windows that the most striking feature of the Lakeside Dining Center, which is still the spectacular view of Lake Ontario, remains.
-- Kathleen Davis, Class of 2012