Namesake: Jesse Parker Williams
Dates: Construction in 1907 | Renovations in 1970s and in 2000s
Jesse Parker Williams, an Emory College trustee, was the principal benefactor of the Williams Gymnasium. It was the first Emory building with electric lights, hot and cold water, and steam heat. The 1970s renovation was supported by a grant from the Woodruff Foundation.
Williams made his fortune in lumber and railroads, and after his death in 1913 his widow, Cora Best Taylor Williams, founded a hospital for the care of women and children. This hospital in 1992 gave up its charter to become the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation.