Built in 1933, Crow Hall was designed by two Washington University in St. Louis architects, George W. Spearl and James P. Jamieson, to house the Department of Physics in Arts & Sciences.
Due to the nature of the experiments conducted, the building is not subject to the Earth’s natural vibrations, and contains a shaft that extends the full height of the building; this is for experiments that involve the study of falling objects. Construction for the building was made possible by $700,000 in gifts.
Crow Hall, dedicated in 1934, is named for Washington University co-founder Wayman Crow, the state senator who drafted the university’s charter and secured its passage through the state legislature. Before entering the state senate, Crow ran a wholesale dry goods business in St. Louis.
When Crow drafted the university’s charter he named his close friend William Greenleaf Eliot as chairman of the original Board of Trustees. Eliot served in that capacity from 1854 until his death is 1887. Crow was on the board from 1854 until his death in 1885. Of the two, Crow has a building named for him, W.G. Eliot does not. Both Eliot Hall and Eliot House are named for Thomas H. Eliot, chancellor of Washington University from 1962-71.
View the historical Crow Letter.