In 1966 the Colleges recognized the need for additional facilities for the arts. At the time, a committee was appointed to draw up rough plans for required arts facilities, including a theater. A number of sites were considered, with the final selection being the property directly north of the Hobart College campus on Pulteney St, where the new performing arts center is currently being built. The architectural firm of Adams and Woodbridge, New York, was selected to draw up and submit site plans along with the estimated cost of building a new arts facility.
By February 18, 1966 Adams and Woodbridge had presented their initial sketches to the Planning Committee. Their preliminary plan was for a "two theatre" scheme that provided for classrooms, studios and office space for both the Art and Music Departments, and a common stage with two auditoriums, one for the Little Theatre and one for concerts. The estimated cost for the entire operation at the time was $1,750,000.
A second design plan by Adams and Woodbridge was presented to the Board of Trustees on June 10, 1966. This architectural plan differed from the "two theatre" plan in that it would include one theatre, a Little Theatre, seating 650 persons (400 on the ground floor and 250 in the balcony), to be connected to Williams Hall by means of a bridge which would contain the quarters of the Art Department and Music Department in addition to their existing quarters on the second floor of Williams Hall. They called it the "Hook-on" Scheme. The plans for the building also included the removal of the maintenance building and landscaping of the area behind Medbery Hall.
Following the retirement of President Hirshson in June of 1966 and the appointment of President Holland, the project for the new Arts Building was tabled. Though President Holland recognized the Colleges' need for new arts facilities, he found the estimated cost of the project prohibitive. Instead, he proposed that the colleges look into converting already existing facilities into arts space. This would cost significantly less than constructing entirely new facilities. Adams and Woodbridge were asked to look at Coxe Hall as a potential Arts Center and they found it suitable. Houghton House was also proposed as a potential location by President Holland as it had enough space to house practice rooms and the music library, with the first floor remaining free for small receptions and exhibitions. An addition of 2,500 feet to the house would provide additional space for music rehearsal rooms. He also envisioned the building of a 300 seat theater in the Houghton House area.
In the end, Houghton House was chosen as the new location for the Art and Music Departments and became the Art and Music Center in 1970. The main floor was used as a gallery, art library and for exhibitions, small receptions and official entertaining. The second and third floors were used for art and music instruction and faculty offices. The carriage house on the Houghton property was converted to art studios for classes in painting and sculpture. No additions to the original house were ever made and a theater was never built on the property.