Byars Hall serves as the college fine arts center, housing the art, music and theatre departments. The three-story building includes classrooms, musical rehearsal halls, a computer lab, a student art gallery, private piano practice rooms, a greenroom and the Theatre Department’s costume shop.
The building is the oldest academic structure on the Emory & Henry campus, with most of the current structure having been built in 1889. Fire destroyed two buildings previously located on the same site. The first of those was a boarding house designed by Col. William Byars, one of the college’s founders, and constructed in 1836–37. To honor Byars’ contributions to the life of Emory & Henry, the building bears his name.