The cornerstone for Adolphus Busch Hall was laid on October 20, 1900, and the building was leased to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company for use during the 1904 World’s Fair.
The World’s Fair used the building under the name of Department of Works; it served as the headquarters for the architects and engineers employed for the fair. The building’s architects were the Philadelphia firm Cope & Stewardson, represented by James P. Jamieson. The general contractor was Bright Construction Company. These companies worked together on other early campus buildings.
Adolphus Busch Hall was occupied by Washington University in St. Louis in February 1905 and served as the Chemistry Building from 1902 until the 1950s, when Louderman Hall was built. Later, Busch was remodeled into a humanities building.
Busch Hall was a gift of Adolphus Busch. Born in July 1839 in Germany, Busch moved to St. Louis at 18 in the footsteps of his brother. After working as a shipping clerk, he decided to take a position at Charles Ehlermann Hops and Malt Co. as a salesman. When he returned from the war (with honors), he returned to his sales position and married the daughter of Eberhard Anheuser. He then quit his sales job and took up working for his father-in-law. He soon became a partner, and the name of the company was changed to E. Anheuser Co.’s Brewing Association. After Mr. Anheuser died, Mr. Busch became president and changed the company’s name to Anheuser-Busch, the present name. During his remaining years as president, Mr. Busch grew his company into a world leader of many products besides beer, such as bottles and refrigerated rail cars. Busch served on the Washington University Board of Directors from 1895 until his death in 1913.