In 1913 the Iowa General Assembly authorized $100,000 for the construction of the Vocational Building (now Wright Hall). Construction began in 1915 and was completed in 1917 at a total cost of $109,566. Initially the ground floor housed agriculture, the first floor manual training, and second domestic science, and the top floor, art. During the 1930's natural science replaced agriculture on the ground floor. In 1949 art and industrial arts moved into the newly constructed Arts and Industries Building (the present Latham Hall), and after two years of renovation, mathematics moved into the Vocational Building in 1951, sharing it with biology (which was part of the Department of Science) and the Department of Home Economics.
In 1957 the name of the building was changed to David Sands Wright Hall in honor of David Sands Wright, the first teacher of mathematics when the Iowa State Normal School was founded in 1876, and a member of the Department of Mathematics from when it was formed in 1909 until 1916. In 1968, biology moved into the new Science Building (now McCollum Science Hall). In Spring 1990 Home Economics moved into Latham Hall (which had been extensively renovated), and in Fall 1990 the mathematics and computer science faculty were dispersed to Baker and Sabin Halls with classes held in several buildings, so that Wright Hall could be extensively renovated. In January 1992 the Department of Mathematics returned to Wright Hall with the Department of Computer Science. In 2006, the Department of Computer Science moved to the innovative Teaching and Technology Center.
At present, Wright Hall only houses the Department of Mathematics, but several departments hold classes in the building and computer science has some laboratory space in the building.