John F. Lee House

Lee House is one of the dormitories on the South 40 and is part of the Lee/Beaumont Residential College. It was dedicated in the 1960s.

In the 1950s when the South 40 began to be built, the name “Lee” was transferred to this residence hall, and the John F. Lee Hall was renamed Umrath, in honor of Karl D. Umrath, a St. Louis businessman and philanthropist. Originally, the name John F. Lee Hall had been given to the building previously known as Tower Hall, in April 1929.

This building’s cornerstone was laid in October 1902, and the building was used by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company at the 1904 World’s Fair. When Washington University in St. Louis took possession of the building in 1905, the original name was Tower Hall. The architects were Cope and Stewardson of Philadelphia, and the general contractor was Bright Construction. These companies built other early buildings on the Danforth Campus.

John Fitzgerald Lee

John Fitzgerald Lee was born in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 1848. In 1870, after earning his degree of LL.B. from the University of Virginia, he came to St. Louis to practice law. He served as president of the St. Louis Bar Association, president of the David Rankin School of Mechanical Trades, director of the St. Louis Public Library, and held several other positions of civic leadership. He also served on the Washington University Board of Directors from 1902 until his death in 1926.