Opened in 1927 as a residence for 195 men, Lyons Hall was one of the first residence halls to incorporate the proximity of the lake in its design (thus, the picturesque views of St. Mary's Lake through its archway). Dedicated in honor of Joseph Lyons, an English professor in the 1860s-1880s, Lyons was originally known as an Honors Hall and is the only residence hall shown in the movie Rudy. Lyons was converted in 1974 to Notre Dame's sixth residence hall for women. In the summer of 2013 Lyons Hall underwent a major renovation, adding air-conditioned lounges with kitchens on each floor and converting the annex from student rooms back into a Faculty-in-Residence apartment.

Hall leadership coordinates the annual Mara Fox Run, which raises funds for a scholarship named in honor of a former resident of Lyons Hall who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993.