Kate Waller Barrett Hall is a dormitory located at the eastern intersection of Jamestown Road and Landrum Drive. It was named for Kate Waller Barrett, an educator, humanitarian, sociologist, and member of the Board of Visitors, and was the first building on campus to be named for a woman. It was used as a women's dorm until the start of the 2005-2006 school year, when it was converted to a co-ed dorm.
Designed by Charles M. Robinson, the university’s architect, Kate Waller Barrett Hall was constructed between 1926 and 1927. It consistently had a housemother.
In addition to students, it housed the J. Lesslie Hall Literary Society in the 1920s and a library run by the Y.W.C.A. in the 1930s. In 1945, the university opened a Chinese Room in Kate Waller Barrett Hall following a donation by Alice Aberdein of a large number of Chinese art and furnishings valued at over $40,000. The university claimed the room contained the finest collection of Chinese art and furnishings in the southern United States. It became common for students in search of good luck to toss pennies at the feet of a gold-leafed Buddha statue featured in the room.