Lemuel W. Norris (1848–1930), architect of the Gage School, was born in Leesburg, Virginia and educated at the Virginia Military Institute. Graduating in 1870, he returned to Leesburg to work in the family planing mill. Norris was in charge of the architectural and engineering activities of the firm, which designed and built a number of Leesburg houses as well as the Leesburg courthouse.
Norris married Mary Catherine Turner, and circa 1888 moved to Washington. He was listed in the directories first as an engineer and then as an architect, apparently employed by a local firm. He opened his own architectural practice in 1895 with offices at 808 17th Street, NW In 1904 he was employed in the Office of the Building Inspector. From 1905–1910 he was again listed as an architect in private practice, with offices again at 808 17th Street, NW From 1911-1929 he worked in the newly-created Office of the Municipal Architect, in charge of architectural design. Snowden Ashford, the Municipal Architect from 1909-1919, described him as "an architect of long experience and a civil engineer with a practice extending over 25 years. He was formerly employed as a civil engineer and computer in the inspector of buildings' office."
Norris designed 3 one-story stores (1897) for G. C. Glover, 1703 K Street, NW; Charles D. Heyl House (1898), 2009 Wyoming Avenue, NW; monastery and school for the Marist Fathers (1899), farm north of Catholic University; General Corbin House (1901), 1701 22nd Street, NW; Walsh Stables (1902–1903), rear 1511 22nd Street, NW; 3-story rear addition and 4th story to front of house for General John A. Johnson (1906), 2111 Q Street, NW; 4-story office building for H. A. Willard (1906), 1422 F Street, NW; and the C.L. Marlatt House (1908), 1521 16th Street, NW In addition to the Gage School Norris, as an architect in private practice, designed two additions to the McKinley Manual Training School (1908–1909), Rhode Island Avenue and 7th Street, NW. The Walsh Stables is included in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.