The School of Hotel Administration began in 1921 as a department in the College of Home Economics. The first class comprised 24 students, and the first Hotel Ezra Cornell was hosted at Risley Hall in 1926. Even at the height of the Depression, graduates of the program found work, the vast majority in the hotel industry.
Plans for a Statler Hotel on the shore of Beebe Lake were put on hold during World War II. But in 1950, Statler Hall opened to the public. The East Avenue structure included spacious clubrooms for faculty, classroom and laboratory space, and 36 guest rooms.
The Johnson Graduate School of Management occupies Sage Hall, once a residence for women students, across the street.