Constructed in 1922 and dedicated in 1923, January Hall housed the School of Law from the mid 1920s until the completion of the Seeley Mudd Law Building in the early 1970s. The wood-paneled room, which now houses the East Asian Library, was formerly the main reading room for the law library, and this ambiance has been incorporated into the main reading room in Anheuser-Busch Hall.
January Hall was given by Isabel Vallé January as a memorial to her mother, Grace Vallé January. Isabel was the wife of Robert S. Brookings. As a young woman, January inherited over a million dollars from her mother and the family resort in San Reno, located in the Italian Riviera. Robert Brookings had been a family friend since Isabel January was born, and despite their age difference (he was almost 30 years older), he married her when he was in his seventies. January moved back to St. Louis and supported Brookings philanthropic activities, such as their gift to Washington University, January Hall. They also gave to the Graduate School of Economics and Government in Washington D.C. which, before it separated, was part of Washington University.