Riggs Hall was built in 1928 and named after Walter Meritt Riggs who was a professor of engineering and President of Clemson University from 1910 to 1924 when he died. It has served as a home for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering after the original building, Mechanical Hall, burned down in 1926.
Riggs Hall was designed by Rudolf Edward Lee. During that time, he was also designing Long Hall, the Fike Field House, new housing, and the J. E. Sirrine Textile Building. Because of this, these buildings have some of the same hallmark pieces that have become distinctive to Clemson's campus. This includes multicolored brick, concealed gutters, limestone banding, wide eaves with brackets, and orange tile hip roofs. This became known as his mature style and Clemson has chosen to mimic this style in other buildings on campus.
In 1923, the Beaux-Arts model was prevalent, and it was used in some of the artistic choices for Riggs Hall. The Beaux-Arts model is the use of historical forms in architecture with rich decorative detail. This architectural form can be seen in the grotesques that can be seen on the tops of the outside walls of Riggs Hall. It is said that the faces used were those of past professors of Clemson.