The first Liggett Hall, erected in 1901 on the Washington University in St. Louis Danforth Campus, was renamed and dedicated as the former Prince Hall in 1961, when the “Liggett” name was transferred to a multistory residence hall on the South 40.
In 2006 this name was again transferred to the newly constructed John E. Liggett House, part of the Liggett/Koenig Residential College.
In the late 1890s, as the university was preparing to move from the downtown campus to the Danforth Campus, a men’s dormitory was one priority of the trustees and chancellor for the new campus. Board President Robert S. Brookings approached a number of donors to raise money for each of the projected buildings. He was able to persuade Elizabeth J. (Calbreath) Liggett, widow of John E. Liggett, to provide $100,000 for a dormitory in memory of her husband.
The cornerstone was laid on June 15, 1901, and the building was used by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company during the 1904 World’s Fair. The 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. It was occupied by the university in February 1905.
John E. Liggett
John E. Liggett was born in St. Louis on June 11, 1826. He attended the public school of the city and pursued advanced studies at the Kemper College Grammar School. In 1844, he began work with Foulks & Shaw tobacco manufacturers. In 1878 this business was incorporated as Liggett & Myers Tobacco Manufacturing Company.