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About WU Archives

This guide will help you navigate University Archives' more than 300 unique collections, most of which document the history of Washington University from 1853 to today. Other collections are related to 20th century St. Louis history.

WUSTL at the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics

The first buildings on the Danforth Campus were used for the 1904 World’s Fair (officially titled the "Louisiana Purchase Exposition").  The following is a list of the buildings and their use during the fair, with their first academic use listed in parentheses.

Busch Hall:  Department of Works for the Fair and was used for architects and engineers (Chemistry)

University Hall [ renamed Brookings Hall]:Administrative Building for the Fair and held staff offices (administrative)

Cupples I: Anthropology Building for the Fair and held ethnological exhibits (Engineering and Architecture)

Cupples II:  Jefferson Guard Building for the Fair and held the Jefferson Guards, the Fair’s private police force  (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering)

Liggett Dormitory [renamed Prince Hall]: dormitory used for Fair guests

Ridgley Library [now Holmes Lounge]: Hall of International Congresses during the Fair; the library's reading room  was the focal point for social events, such as a gala ball given by West Point cadets; its second floor was a glittering display of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee gifts

Tower Hall [renamed Lee Hall, and Umrath Hall]:  used as dormitory for out-of-town students and teachers (dormitory)

Eads Hall:  Board of Lady Managers’ Building - headquarters for women’s organizations(Physics)

The 1904 Olympics, the first held in North America, were conducted at the same time as the fair.

Francis Gymnasium and  Francis Field were used for various events at the 1904 Olympics (Francis Field remains the University's track, the Gymnasium was replaced with a modern Athletic Complex)


For a map showing these buildings as they stood in 1904 consult Washington University in St. Louis : its design and architecture by Buford Pickens.

Relevant collections at University Archives include:

Photographs of the Fair & Olympics

Full Text Books Online

Most titles are avaiable through Google Books; some require a WU log-on if off campus.

Books about WUSTL & the Fair

Collections at other archives, libraries, and museums

Contact directly for more information: