The cornerstone for Bixby Hall was laid in October 1925. Jamieson & Spearl were the architects, and the general contractor was the Gamble Construction Company. In 1926, the School of Fine Arts moved into Bixby Hall from the building that served as the British Pavilion during the 1904 World's Fair. Today, Bixby Hall houses classrooms, offices, and studios for the College & Graduate School of Art.
Bixby Hall is named for William K. Bixby. He was born in Michigan on January 2, 1857. He was educated in public schools. In 1881, he moved to St. Louis to be a purchasing agent for the International and Great Northern Railroad. He later went to work for William McMillan at the Missouri Car and Foundry Company, and in 1899 he directed the merger of the Company with other companies to create the American Car and Foundry Company. He was a member of the University's Board of Directors, a charter member of the American Red Cross, and was also active in the affairs of the Saint Louis Art Museum. He began an acquisitions fund to buy American artwork for the University to be displayed at the Art Museum, on permanent loan from the University. He also worked with Robert Brookings in rebuilding the School of Medicine and made significant contributions to the establishment of the Bixby Chair of Surgery.